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The Monica Swanson Podcast

English, Parenting, 4 seasons, 271 episodes, 5 hours, 48 minutes
About
Monica Swanson, author of the Boy Mom book, and blogger at monicaswanson.com, shares encouragement and inspiration for raising boys in today's world. Monica shares practical advice and biblical wisdom through honest conversations, interviews with other boy moms, and light-hearted humor.
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Can we Make Youth Sports Fun Again? With John O’Sullivan

Note: This is the first of a 3-part summer series on Youth Sports. (I'm so excited about this!) I hope you’ll spread the word and comment over in show notes to keep the conversation going.  According to recent research, 70% of kids drop out of organized athletics by the age of 13. Today’s guest, John O’Sullivan, suggests that this is because youth sports have become adult-centered, ultra-competitive, and crazy-expensive. I don’t think he’s wrong. Since my husband and I have shared conversations about youth sports on social media this year, I’ve heard from a lot of families who wanted more on this topic. I recently read O’Sullivan’s book, Changing the Game, and knew that his voice would be a helpful addition to this conversation!John played collegiate and professional soccer and has spent decades coaching and speaking to coaches and parents about the youth sports culture and how we might reverse some dangerous trends. He has a popular Ted Talk on the topic as well (link to that in show notes!) In today’s episode we talk about early specialization, when to give kids the “nudge” to be more committed to their sport, and how to help all of our kids grow up to love sports and lead an active lifestyle! I think this is a great conversation that will offer you some food for thought as you consider your kids’ athletic endeavors. Find show notes, links to John’s books (including his new one coming out later this year!) and his Ted Talk at: www.monicaswanson.com/john-osullivan  All show notes: www.monicaswanson.com/podcast  Looking for new science or math homeschool curriculum? All my boys have used DIVE/Shormann Math for Bible-based, short-but-thorough science and math lessons, through AP level! Go to diveintomath.com to learn more!  The Monica Swanson Podcast is a part of the Christian Parenting Podcast Network. To find practical and spiritual resources to help you grow into the parent you want to be, visit www.christianparenting.org Our Sponsors:* Check out Factor: factormeals.com/swanson50Advertising Inquiries: https://redcircle.com/brandsPrivacy & Opt-Out: https://redcircle.com/privacy
7/10/202449 minutes, 19 seconds
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How to Give Your Kids What Technology Can’t, with Erin Loechner 

"We’ve all heard the mind-boggling statistics about technology and social media use. The numbers don’t lie; our obsession with smartphones and social media is slowly eroding the very essence of our homes and families. We see it. We feel it. We know it.So what do we do about it? "... - Erin Loechner, today's guest.Erin Loechner walked away from over a million online followers to choose a different way of life for her family. Since then, she has done a lot of research and discovered the possibility of borrowing from the playbook of the tech industry to engage your family in meaningful ways. Erin suggests that we, as parents, can actually be “more engaging than the algorithm”! Sound hard to believe? You’ve got to listen to this conversation!  Find notes from our conversation at: www.monicaswanson.com/erin-loechner All show notes: www.monicaswanson.com/podcast  Looking for new science or math homeschool curriculum? All my boys have used DIVE/Shormann Math for Bible-based, short-but-thorough science and math lessons, through AP level! Go to diveintomath.com to learn more! The Monica Swanson Podcast is a part of the Christian Parenting Podcast Network. To find practical and spiritual resources to help you grow into the parent you want to be, visit www.christianparenting.org  Our Sponsors:* Check out Factor: factormeals.com/swanson50Advertising Inquiries: https://redcircle.com/brandsPrivacy & Opt-Out: https://redcircle.com/privacy
7/3/202440 minutes, 20 seconds
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How to Have a Better Relationship with Your Phone, with Joey Odom 

When Joey Odom missed his son’s first soccer goal because he was looking at his phone, he had a realization: his phone was getting in the way of his best intentions as a Dad and a husband. Since then, he has been on a journey to change his relationship with his phone so that he can change the most important relationships in his life.  I heard about Joey from our mutual friend (and a favorite podcast guest,) Justin Whitmel Earley who recommended I share Joey’s message with my listeners. I am so glad I did! In this interview Joey is sharing data, insights, and encouragement for ways we can all move forward as parents who want to navigate these waters well. I think you’ll enjoy this conversation and leave it feeling empowered to take some steps to a happier, healthier family life ahead. Find notes from our conversation over on my website at: www.monicaswanson.com/joey-odom  All show notes: www.monicaswanson.com/podcast  My TECH-SMART KIDS MINI-COURSE is NOW open for new students. (Only $25 and PACKED with helpful guidelines, lists of best tech-filters, articles, and other resources, and so much more!) Find out more, HERE!Looking for new science or math homeschool curriculum? All my boys have used DIVE/Shormann Math for Bible-based, short-but-thorough science and math lessons, through AP level! Go to diveintomath.com to learn more!  The Monica Swanson Podcast is a part of the Christian Parenting Podcast Network. To find practical and spiritual resources to help you grow into the parent you want to be, visit www.christianparenting.org Our Sponsors:* Check out Happy Mammoth and use my code MONICA for a great deal: happymammoth.com* Check out HelloFresh: hellofresh.com/monicaappsAdvertising Inquiries: https://redcircle.com/brandsPrivacy & Opt-Out: https://redcircle.com/privacy
6/26/202441 minutes, 58 seconds
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Simple rules for decorating any space, with Myquillyn Smith

Whether you’re a natural at home decorating or, (like me) feel a little lost on the topic, Myquillyn Smith (aka “the nester”) is the friend you need. When I got my copy of “House Rules” with 100 simple, memorable tips for decorating any space, I knew this would be a fun topic for the podcast this summer! I think you’ll enjoy Myquillyn’s laid back (but clearly educated) approach to making your space minimal, yet cozy. We cover a lot in this chat! From the “trinity” of rugs, drapes, and lighting, to what to do with the sofa you hate. Myquillyn tells us what it means to “quiet (or “hush”) the house, encourages us to “pick the one that scares you”, and differentiates between “trendy” or “trending.” And so much more… I think you’ll get a lot out of this conversation, whether you have a space you’d like to improve, or if you’re tucking ideas away for a renovation or new home one day! Find show notes and links to Myquillyn’s beautiful new book at: www.monicaswanson.com/myquillyn-smith or go to the general podcast page:  http://www.monicaswanson.com/podcast Looking for math or science homeschool curriculum? All my boys have used DIVE/Shormann Math and science for Bible-based, short-but-thorough science and math lessons, through AP level! They believe it was the best preparation for their college studies in engineering and data analytics. Go to diveintomath to learn more! The Monica Swanson Podcast is a part of the Christian Parenting Podcast Network. To find practical and spiritual resources to help you grow into the parent you want to be, visit www.christianparenting.org Our Sponsors:* Check out Happy Mammoth and use my code MONICA for a great deal: happymammoth.com* Check out HelloFresh: hellofresh.com/monicaappsAdvertising Inquiries: https://redcircle.com/brandsPrivacy & Opt-Out: https://redcircle.com/privacy
6/19/202443 minutes, 36 seconds
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The 3 Best Things I Did as a Dad, with Andrew Pudewa

Happy Father’s Day week everyone! Today my friend Andrew Pudewa, is with us to offer some lessons and encouragement for all of the dads out there! (Ladies, you'll enjoy this too!)Andrew is the founder and director of the Institute for Excellence in Writing (IEW), father of seven, and grandpa to a whole bunch of kids! Andrew travels and speaks around the world, addressing issues related to teaching, writing, thinking, spelling, and music with clarity, insight, practical experience, and humor. He's so much fun to listen to!And today, Andrew shares what he considers the “3 best things” he did as a dad. I love this conversation and I think men and women alike will find inspiration and encouragement in it! NOTE!! -- My Character Training Course is currently OPEN *only until Monday, June 17th! (find out more about the course at: www.monicaswanson.com/character-course)  Find show notes for today’s episode at: www.monicaswanson.com/andrew-pudewa General podcast page: http://www.monicaswanson.com/podcast The IEW WEBSITE here. Looking for math or science homeschool curriculum? All my boys have used DIVE/Shormann Math and science for Bible-based, short-but-thorough science and math lessons, through AP level! They believe it was the best preparation for their college studies in engineering and data analytics. Go to diveintomath to learn more! The Monica Swanson Podcast is a part of the Christian Parenting Podcast Network. To find practical and spiritual resources to help you grow into the parent you want to be, visit www.christianparenting.org Our Sponsors:* Check out Happy Mammoth and use my code MONICA for a great deal: happymammoth.com* Check out HelloFresh: hellofresh.com/monicaappsAdvertising Inquiries: https://redcircle.com/brandsPrivacy & Opt-Out: https://redcircle.com/privacy
6/12/202444 minutes, 8 seconds
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Parent Differently, with Kathy Koch

A child’s character reflects their convictions, establishes their reputation, and ultimately determines their destiny. In the world today it may seem like a big job to raise kids with biblical character, but today’s conversation should offer a lot of HOPE! Kathy Koch, child development specialist, author, and sought-after speaker, is here to help us understand how to guide children to develop biblical character.  We talk about the connection between character and obedience, the essential foundational beliefs for good character, and strategies for teaching and improving character in our kids.  I love this conversation so much, and the timing couldn’t be better because next week, (Monday, June 10th!) I will be opening the doors to my Character Training Course! (find out more about the course at: www.monicaswanson.com/character-course)  Find show notes for today’s episode at: www.monicaswanson.com/kathy-koch General podcast page: http://www.monicaswanson.com/podcast Looking for new math homeschool curriculum? All my boys have used DIVE/Shormann Math for Bible-based, short-but-thorough science and math lessons, through AP level! They believe it was the best preparation for their college studies in engineering and data analytics. Go to diveintomath to learn more! The Monica Swanson Podcast is a part of the Christian Parenting Podcast Network. To find practical and spiritual resources to help you grow into the parent you want to be, visit www.christianparenting.org Our Sponsors:* Check out Happy Mammoth and use my code MONICA for a great deal: happymammoth.com* Check out HelloFresh: hellofresh.com/monicaappsAdvertising Inquiries: https://redcircle.com/brandsPrivacy & Opt-Out: https://redcircle.com/privacy
6/5/202432 minutes, 15 seconds
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Why We are So Tired and What to do About it, with Jess Connolly

Women are mostly all tired, aren’t we? For women today, fatigue has become the norm, and busyness is often worn as a badge of honor.   Jess Connolly has lived in that bone-weary place, even to the point of developing chronic panic-attacks, battling anxiety and an autoimmune disease. But with wise practices and a new way of living, Jess discovered the path to a realistic rest that is available to every Christ follower. Jess is sharing practical wisdom to guide women into a lifestyle of sustainable rest. In today’s conversation Jess and I talk about the different sources of fatigue, the lies that prevent women from practicing rest, and the difference between being “busy” and having a “full life.” I loved what Jess had to say about (my pet peeve) “busy shaming” and how we each need to discover our unique sources of rest. I think this is a relatable topic for all women and I pray you finish this episode feeling refreshed and hopeful!  Show notes with links to anything we talked about: http://www.monicaswanson.com/jess-connolly  General podcast page: http://www.monicaswanson.com/podcast Looking for new math homeschool curriculum? All of my boys have used DIVE/Shormann Math for Bible-based, short-but-thorough science and math lessons, through AP level! They believe it was the best preparation for their college studies in engineering and data analytics. Go to diveintomath to learn more! The Monica Swanson Podcast is a part of the Christian Parenting Podcast Network. To find practical and spiritual resources to help you grow into the parent you want to be, visit www.christianparenting.org  Our Sponsors:* Check out Factor: factormeals.com/swanson50* Check out Happy Mammoth and use my code MONICA for a great deal: happymammoth.comAdvertising Inquiries: https://redcircle.com/brandsPrivacy & Opt-Out: https://redcircle.com/privacy
5/29/202431 minutes, 53 seconds
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Being a Mission-Minded Family, with Ann Dunagan

For Christian families in the thick of it, the thought of world missions can seem unrealistic and overwhelming. Many of us feel like we are in survival mode, just taking care of our families and trying to protect our kids from the crazy world. (and that’s all so important!) Yet, in light of the fact that 1/3 of our world has not yet heard the Gospel, Jesus’ words in the Great Commission are still relevant: We are to make disciples of all nations. What do busy families do with that?  Ann Dunagan is with us today to share her story of being a missionary family with seven children! But even more, Ann shares a lot of practical ways we can ALL be “mission-minded” right in the midst of our real lives at home. I think this is such an important conversation, whether mission work has been on your mind, or not (yet)!  Hopefully Ann’s words (and most certainly her enthusiasm) will inspire you to consider how you might raise kids who love God’s Word and His people, and who are ready to say YES to His call, whatever that might look like!  Show notes with links to anything we talked about: www.monicaswanson.com/ann-dunagan  General podcast page: http://www.monicaswanson.com/podcast Looking for new math homeschool curriculum? All of my boys have used DIVE/Shormann Math for Bible-based, short-but-thorough science and math lessons, through AP level! They believe it was the best preparation for their college studies in engineering and data analytics. Go to diveintomath to learn more! The Monica Swanson Podcast is a part of the Christian Parenting Podcast Network. To find practical and spiritual resources to help you grow into the parent you want to be, visit www.christianparenting.org  Our Sponsors:* Check out Factor: factormeals.com/swanson50* Check out Happy Mammoth and use my code MONICA for a great deal: happymammoth.comAdvertising Inquiries: https://redcircle.com/brandsPrivacy & Opt-Out: https://redcircle.com/privacy
5/22/202446 minutes, 4 seconds
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The Juggle is Real, with Sarah Molitor of Modern Farmhouse Family

When I come across a wildly popular influencer who is also raising (and homeschooling) 7 children, and keeping their home and marriage in (seemingly) great order, I can’t help but wonder: HOW DOES SHE DO IT ALL?   Sarah Molitor is one of those people, and in this interview with Sarah, I dive right into my honest questions: When do you sleep? Do you have time for devotions? How about exercise? And really: Do you have help?   Sarah is the author of Well Said (as well as 2 darling children’s books) and she also wrote the foreword to Becoming Homeschoolers. I had so much fun chatting with her in this episode, and her answers inspired me and made me laugh. I hope this very real girlfriend chat blesses you, too.  Show notes with links to anything we talked about: www.monicaswanson.com/sarah-molitor-2 General podcast page: http://www.monicaswanson.com/podcast Looking for new math homeschool curriculum? All of my boys have used DIVE/Shormann Math for Bible-based, short-but-thorough science and math lessons, through AP level! They believe it was the best preparation for their college studies in engineering and data analytics. Go to diveintomath to learn more! The Monica Swanson Podcast is a part of the Christian Parenting Podcast Network. To find practical and spiritual resources to help you grow into the parent you want to be, visit www.christianparenting.org Our Sponsors:* Check out Factor: factormeals.com/swanson50* Check out Happy Mammoth and use my code MONICA for a great deal: happymammoth.comAdvertising Inquiries: https://redcircle.com/brandsPrivacy & Opt-Out: https://redcircle.com/privacy
5/15/202452 minutes, 56 seconds
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Highs and Lows from 25 years of Motherhood (and celebrating a BOOK RELEASE!)

My husband Dave is with me today for a special Mother’s Day/book release interview! Dave and I are reflecting on the last 25 years of my motherhood journey...highs and lows, what I have learned, and my advice for younger moms. I share about some of my biggest joys of motherhood, (the laughter and fun, and much more!) and some of my greatest challenges (overwhelm, anger, and loneliness.)   We also get to talk about my book that released yesterday (May 7th!) - Becoming Homeschoolers. I share a bit of our homeschool story, how I ended up writing this book, and what readers can expect! Then Dave says a sweet Mother’s Day prayer for all the moms listening! HAPPY MOTHER’S DAY! Note: My publisher has offered to extend my preorder bonuses until the end of the week, so be sure to visit the preorder page if you want to get some really cool bonuses.   BOOK PAGE HERE for bonuses: https://monicaswanson.com/becominghomeschoolers/bonuses/     Show notes with links to anything we talked about: www.monicaswanson.com/mothers-day General podcast page: http://www.monicaswanson.com/podcast Looking for new math homeschool curriculum? All of my boys have used DIVE/Shormann Math for Bible-based, short-but-thorough science and math lessons, through AP level! They believe it was the best preparation for their college studies in engineering and data analytics. Go to diveintomath to learn more! The Monica Swanson Podcast is a part of the Christian Parenting Podcast Network. To find practical and spiritual resources to help you grow into the parent you want to be, visit www.christianparenting.org  Our Sponsors:* Check out Happy Mammoth and use my code MONICA for a great deal: happymammoth.com* Check out mylifeinabook.com and use code MONICA at checkout for 10% off. Create an unforgettable gift for your mom this Mother’s Day.Advertising Inquiries: https://redcircle.com/brandsPrivacy & Opt-Out: https://redcircle.com/privacy
5/8/202435 minutes, 32 seconds
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Parenting, Homeschooling, and Friendships with Grown Kids, with Sally Clarkson

Sally Clarkson’s books and podcast have inspired me for years. Living between England and Colorado, Sally’s writing and voice is like a trusted mentor who puts everything in perspective.   I have always hoped to meet Sally so this interview was really special. I got to ask Sally about her heart for parenting, what the rhythms in her home were as her kids grew up, and what led her to homeschooling. (Some of her answers might surprise you!)  I asked Sally about her great relationship with her now-adult children, and I asked her to offer wisdom to those of us still in the thick of parenting. I love this whole conversation and I think you will, too! Find show notes and links at my website:   www.monicaswanson.com/sally-clarkson  General podcast page: www.monicaswanson.com/podcast  Looking for new math homeschool curriculum? All of my boys have used DIVE/Shormann Math for Bible-based, short-but-thorough science and math lessons, through AP level! They believe it was the best preparation for their college studies in engineering and data analytics. Go to diveintomath to learn more!    The Monica Swanson Podcast is a part of the Christian Parenting Podcast Network. To find practical and spiritual resources to help you grow into the parent you want to be, visit www.christianparenting.org   Our Sponsors:* Check out Happy Mammoth and use my code MONICA for a great deal: happymammoth.com* Check out mylifeinabook.com and use code MONICA at checkout for 10% off. Create an unforgettable gift for your mom this Mother’s Day.Advertising Inquiries: https://redcircle.com/brandsPrivacy & Opt-Out: https://redcircle.com/privacy
5/1/202435 minutes, 17 seconds
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Raising Spiritual Champions with George Barna

Renowned researcher and bestselling author, Dr. George Barna is with us to share some startling data, along with a passionate call-to-action for Christian parents. This may be the most important episode you could listen to, and I pray that what we talk about inspires you to a deeper level of commitment in your parenting. (Don’t run away – I promise you'll be encouraged!) Dr. Barna’s recent book, Raising Spiritual Champions, focuses on the importance of raising kids with a Biblical Worldview, and how difficult this is in our world today. Part of the reason it is so difficult is that so few parents have a Biblical worldview. And as Barna says, we “cannot give what we don’t possess.”  Not only do a mere 2% of parents of preteens have a biblical worldview, but only 12% of Children’s Pastors do! Few Christians believe in absolute truth, and most Christians today are “syncretists”, meaning they draw their beliefs from a variety of competing worldviews, religions, and convenient concepts.   Raising children is an exciting opportunity to influence a life, but Barna says it’s also, “a daunting assignment.” Dr. Barna’s research reveals that who our children will be as adults is essentially determined by the age of 13 (their core beliefs, morals, values, desires and lifestyle.)    At the end of the conversation, I ask Dr. Barna to get practical and go through the “Seven Cornerstones” of a Christian worldview. I hope this is helpful and encouraging. Find those 7 Cornerstones as well as the rest of the links over in show notes: www.monicaswanson.com/george-barna  General podcast page: www.monicaswanson.com/podcast  Looking for new math homeschool curriculum? All of my boys have used DIVE/Shormann Math for Bible-based, short-but-thorough science and math lessons, through AP level! They believe it was the best preparation for their college studies in engineering and data analytics. Go to diveintomath to learn more!    The Monica Swanson Podcast is a part of the Christian Parenting Podcast Network. To find practical and spiritual resources to help you grow into the parent you want to be, visit www.christianparenting.org   Our Sponsors:* Check out Homethreads and use my code MONICA for a great deal: www.homethreads.com* Check out mylifeinabook.com and use code MONICA at checkout for 10% off. Create an unforgettable gift for your mom this Mother’s Day.* Get 15% off on your entire first order at happymammoth.com with code MONICA at checkout. Advertising Inquiries: https://redcircle.com/brandsPrivacy & Opt-Out: https://redcircle.com/privacy
4/24/202443 minutes, 19 seconds
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The Fruit of a Purposeful Family, with Melissa Brown

When you come across a family with a bunch of young adults thriving in their faith, work, and passions, you can’t help but want to ask the parents: “Ok! What is the secret?” (Right?) And for good reason: Yes we can learn through mistakes and struggles, but I vote that it is even better to learn from those who have had successes!  Melissa and Jonathan Brown are some of those people. They have raised, discipled, and homeschooled 7 children, most of whom are now adults. They have also worked with CRU (Campus Crusade for Christ) for years before branching off in their own ministry. Now they coach other parents and families in how to build a family on purpose.   In this conversation Melissa shares some of the best marriage advice ever. She also talks about the true key to passing faith on to our children. I think you’ll be inspired by everything Melissa shares. Find links to all that we talk about in show notes:  www.monicaswanson.com/melissa-brown  General podcast page: www.monicaswanson.com/podcast  Looking for new math homeschool curriculum? All of my boys have used DIVE/Shormann Math for Bible-based, short-but-thorough science and math lessons, through AP level! They believe it was the best preparation for their college studies in engineering and data analytics. Go to diveintomath to learn more!    The Monica Swanson Podcast is a part of the Christian Parenting Podcast Network. To find practical and spiritual resources to help you grow into the parent you want to be, visit www.christianparenting.org   Our Sponsors:* Check out Homethreads and use my code MONICA for a great deal: www.homethreads.com* Check out mylifeinabook.com and use code MONICA at checkout for 10% off. Create an unforgettable gift for your mom this Mother’s Day.* Get 15% off on your entire first order at happymammoth.com with code MONICA at checkout. Advertising Inquiries: https://redcircle.com/brandsPrivacy & Opt-Out: https://redcircle.com/privacy
4/17/202432 minutes, 24 seconds
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Hard is Not the Same as Bad, with Abbie Halberstadt

Our most trying moments as a parent can quickly spiral into discouragement, hopelessness, and sometimes even resentment toward God or your family—partly because our culture has conditioned us to believe that anything this hard can’t possibly be good for us. If you’ve ever found yourself asking, “Why me, Lord?” today’s podcast guest will resonate with you.  Abbie Halberstadt, (homeschooling) Mom to 10…with two sets of twins in the mix – understands toddler tantrums, mealtime melees, and the backseat blowups. Yet, she has lived out a message that is sure to encourage you.  Learning the difference between “just making it” and Christlike parenting has changed everything for Abbie, and she wants to help other moms find the good…even in the hard! In today’s conversation I ask Abbie more about her life – what led to book writing, and some of the highlights from her recent book, “Hard is Not the Same as Bad”. Find links to all that we talk about over in show notes! www.monicaswanson.com/abbie-halberstadt  Don’t miss MY NEXT BOOK LAUNCH TEAM signups (the group just opened as this releases, but we’ll welcome new team members until the end of the week!)  *find sign-up link in show notes as well.   General podcast page: www.monicaswanson.com/podcast Looking for new math homeschool curriculum? All of my boys have used DIVE/Shormann Math for Bible-based, short-but-thorough science and math lessons, through AP level! They believe it was the best preparation for their college studies in engineering and data analytics. Go to diveintomath to learn more!   The Monica Swanson Podcast is a part of the Christian Parenting Podcast Network. To find practical and spiritual resources to help you grow into the parent you want to be, visit www.christianparenting.org  Our Sponsors:* Check out Homethreads and use my code MONICA for a great deal: www.homethreads.com* Check out mylifeinabook.com and use code MONICA at checkout for 10% off. Create an unforgettable gift for your mom this Mother’s Day.* Get 15% off on your entire first order at happymammoth.com with code MONICA at checkout. Advertising Inquiries: https://redcircle.com/brandsPrivacy & Opt-Out: https://redcircle.com/privacy
4/10/202455 minutes, 43 seconds
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Raising Boys to Men, with Durenda Wilson

This one is especially for the boy moms out there! I know you'll love hearing from Durenda Wilson -- Mom to 8 (five boys!) author, podcaster, and someone I consider a virtual mentor -- as she shares from her new book, Raising Boys to Men.   Durenda has homeschooled all of her kids, and now with grown children (and a bunch of grandchildren) she has a lot of wisdom to share. In today’s interview, Durenda addresses our culture’s masculinity crisis with encouragement for moms to celebrate and appropriately direct their boys’ God-given masculinity. She shares an acronym that helps moms remember what their sons need most (“BURP” J ) and some really encouraging words about the importance of work, rough-housing, and how to nurture character and faith in our sons. Whether or not you have boys, I think you will enjoy this conversation!  Find show notes and links to everything we talk about on my website:  www.monicaswanson.com/durenda-wilson  General podcast page: www.monicaswanson.com/podcast  Looking for new math homeschool curriculum? All of my boys have used DIVE/Shormann Math for Bible-based, short-but-thorough science and math lessons, through AP level! They believe it was the best preparation for their college studies in engineering and data analytics. Go to diveintomath to learn more!   The Monica Swanson Podcast is a part of the Christian Parenting Podcast Network. To find practical and spiritual resources to help you grow into the parent you want to be, visit www.christianparenting.org   Our Sponsors:* Check out Homethreads and use my code MONICA for a great deal: www.homethreads.com* Get 15% off on your entire first order at happymammoth.com with code MONICA at checkout. Advertising Inquiries: https://redcircle.com/brandsPrivacy & Opt-Out: https://redcircle.com/privacy
4/3/202446 minutes, 47 seconds
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Setting the First Tracks: Talk to Your Kids about Everything

Who do you want to set the first impressions on your kids on topics like: identity and self worth, sexuality and gender, politics, and other cultural hot topics? I vote YOU DO, Mom and Dad. I think most of us would say that we, the parents, are the best people to begin these conversations. Yet, it is easy to put these (sometimes awkward!) conversations off. But, when we do, our kids are likely learning about them from somebody else (or the internet!)In today’s episode I am encouraging you to “Set the first tracks”, to talk about things before they are things! This is the final episode in my year-long series going over topics from my book: Raising Amazing: Bringing up Kids Who Love God, Like Their Family, and Do the Dishes Without Being Asked! If you are new to the podcast, I encourage you to check the archives for all of the other episodes covering highlights and nuggets from each chapter of my book.  In show notes I am giving away a printable list of "20 Conversations to have with your kids before they launch" and I am also offering a GIVEAWAY of 3 copies of Raising Amazing. So head over to show notes to enter and get all of the links mentioned!  Today’s episode: www.monicaswanson.com/raising-amazing-14 General podcast page: www.monicaswanson.com/podcast Looking for a new homeschool MATH curriculum? Check out DIVE/Shormann math, which is what all of my boys used, which they say well-prepared them for their college studies in engineering and data analytics! Your kids will love these short, Bible-based, SAT-Prep math classes! Go to DIVEintomath.com and see all they have to offer! The Monica Swanson Podcast is a part of the Christian Parenting Podcast Network. To find practical and spiritual resources to help you grow into the parent you want to be, visit www.christianparenting.org   Our Sponsors:* Check out Dwell Bible: http://dwellbible.com/monicaswanson* Check out Homethreads and use my code MONICA for a great deal: www.homethreads.comAdvertising Inquiries: https://redcircle.com/brandsPrivacy & Opt-Out: https://redcircle.com/privacy
3/27/202429 minutes, 27 seconds
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How to Experience REAL JOY in a world gone mad, with Brant Hansen

Would you say that joy (a deep sense of well-being, regardless of circumstances) is something you live with daily? Brant Hansen joins us to tell us that this is not only possible, but promised to all who follow Jesus. In fact, through Christ, we can start to see the world in a more childlike, humble, and optimistic way.  Brant and I are talking about his book: Life is Hard, God is Good, Let’s Dance, and I absolutely LOVE this conversation. We talk about how we can “outsource our worries”, what it means when you get goosebumps (I love this!) and the fact that when we don’t freak out, it freaks people out (in a good way!) Brant has great stories and tear-inducing insights (you’ve been warned.) I hope you end this episode feeling more joy and less anxiety already!  Find show notes and links to everything we talk about on my website:  www.monicaswanson.com/brant-hansen-joy  General podcast page: www.monicaswanson.com/podcast  Looking for new math homeschool curriculum? All of my boys have used DIVE/Shormann Math for Bible-based, short-but-thorough science and math lessons, through AP level! They believe it was the best preparation for their college studies in engineering and data analytics. Go to diveintomath to learn more!   The Monica Swanson Podcast is a part of the Christian Parenting Podcast Network. To find practical and spiritual resources to help you grow into the parent you want to be, visit www.christianparenting.org   Our Sponsors:* Check out Dwell Bible: http://dwellbible.com/monicaswanson* Check out Homethreads and use my code MONICA for a great deal: www.homethreads.comAdvertising Inquiries: https://redcircle.com/brandsPrivacy & Opt-Out: https://redcircle.com/privacy
3/20/202441 minutes, 42 seconds
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Life is Messy, God is Good, with Cynthia Yanof

Today’s guest, Cynthia Yanof is the friend we all need. She is honest, encouraging, and hilarious. She shoots straight and stays humble. I am so glad she poured all of these things into her new book: Life is Messy, God is Good: Sanity for the Chaos of Everyday Life. In today’s conversation Cynthia and I talk about parenting (she has college age down to first-grade children!) fostering and adoption (so much respect!) church life (Cynthia knows her stuff!) Mom-friends, and so much more. We talk about some of the lies in our culture and how we can speak truth to ourselves. Cynthia shares encouragement for focusing on what really matters in parenting, and also offers us her “4 Playground Rules” for life. (So good!)   Listen to this one for encouragement and a good, healthy laugh. Because, as Cynthia says, “When did it all become so serious?” Find show notes and links below:  www.monicaswanson.com/cynthia-yanof  General podcast page: www.monicaswanson.com/podcast  Looking for new science or math homeschool curriculum? All of my boys have used DIVE/Shormann Math for Bible-based, short-but-thorough science and math lessons, through AP level! Go to diveintomath to learn more!   The Monica Swanson Podcast is a part of the Christian Parenting Podcast Network. To find practical and spiritual resources to help you grow into the parent you want to be, visit www.christianparenting.org   Our Sponsors:* Check out Dwell Bible: http://dwellbible.com/monicaswanson* Check out Factor 75 and use my code swanson50 for a great deal: https://www.factor75.com* Check out Homethreads and use my code MONICA for a great deal: www.homethreads.comAdvertising Inquiries: https://redcircle.com/brandsPrivacy & Opt-Out: https://redcircle.com/privacy
3/13/202439 minutes, 33 seconds
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Practicing The Way, with John Mark Comer

Best selling author, teacher and Pastor, John Mark Comer, is here to talk about his newest book: “Practicing the Way”, which explores the concept of being an apprentice of Jesus. John Mark explains that to practice the way of Jesus, we must: “Be with Jesus, become like him, and do as he did” (the subtitle to the book.💥) In this conversation we talk about the difference between being merely a “Christian” (which can mean all kinds of things today!) and an apprentice. John Mark points out that we are all being “formed” – all the time -- whether we know it or not -- and the importance of being intentional about what forms us. We also talk about the “Rule of Life” - purposeful rhythms and disciplines, which he says, leads to the best kind of freedom.  We cover a lot in this conversation, and John Mark even shares some of the ways that the Comers are helping their 3 teenagers learn to slow down, lock up their devices (literally,) and practice a Sabbath rest. I think you’ll be (a little challenged perhaps, as well as- ) encouraged! Find show notes and links at: www.monicaswanson.com/john-mark-comer  General podcast page: www.monicaswanson.com/podcast  Looking for new math homeschool curriculum? All my boys have used DIVE/Shormann Math for Bible-based, short-but-thorough science and math lessons, through AP level! Go to diveintomath.com to learn more!  The Monica Swanson Podcast is a part of the Christian Parenting Podcast Network. To find practical and spiritual resources to help you grow into the parent you want to be, visit www.christianparenting.org  Our Sponsors:* Check out Dwell Bible: http://dwellbible.com/monicaswanson* Check out Factor 75 and use my code swanson50 for a great deal: https://www.factor75.com* Check out Homethreads and use my code MONICA for a great deal: www.homethreads.comAdvertising Inquiries: https://redcircle.com/brandsPrivacy & Opt-Out: https://redcircle.com/privacy
3/6/202442 minutes, 52 seconds
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Screentime and Other Ways Kids Spend their Days

If screentime is a challenge in your home (pretty sure that is most of us!) then this episode is for you! Today we’re talking about how we can be intentional about screens, sports, hobbies, and all the ways kids spend their days! - From Chapters 12 and 13 of my book: Raising Amazing: Bringing up Kids Who Love God, Like Their Family, and Do the Dishes Without Being Asked!  We start by zooming out on our kids’ days, and considering the time they spend at school, in sports, doing other activities. There is no doubt that in the busyness of family life we can find ourselves on autopilot, not tuned in to how our kids’ days are shaping their young lives.  Next we talk about the reality of screentime challenges. I share some helpful guidelines and encouragement for setting healthy boundaries, routines, and rhythms with technology. None of this is easy, but with some intentionality we can make small changes that make a big difference! Remember, raising amazing kids is not easy, but it’s worth it all in the end!Find free printables and show notes at:Today’s episode: www.monicaswanson.com/raising-amazing-12 General podcast page: www.monicaswanson.com/podcastThe Monica Swanson Podcast is a part of the Christian Parenting Podcast Network. To find practical and spiritual resources to help you grow into the parent you want to be, visit www.christianparenting.org Our Sponsors:* Check out Dwell Bible: http://dwellbible.com/monicaswanson* Check out Factor 75 and use my code swanson50 for a great deal: https://www.factor75.com* Check out Homethreads and use my code MONICA for a great deal: www.homethreads.comAdvertising Inquiries: https://redcircle.com/brandsPrivacy & Opt-Out: https://redcircle.com/privacy
2/28/202429 minutes, 36 seconds
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No Regrets Parenting in Difficult Cultural Times, with Rhonda Stoppe

Having a solid mentor in your life is a true gift; mentors offer us wisdom from their life experience and help us navigate all that we face. If you don’t have a mentor in your life, I encourage you to pray for, and seek one out. But I am also thankful that we live in a time when we can have “virtual mentors”, people we may not know in real life but who we can glean wisdom from all the same! Rhonda Stoppe is one such mentor, and today she is on the podcast offering a whole lot of wisdom and grace. In this episode, Rhonda and I are especially drawing from her book, “Moms Raising Sons to Be Men” which was released in its updated version last year. (However, we are not talking only about raising boys!) Rhonda addresses some of the changing cultural issues of our time and offers some healthy perspective to parents in the thick of it! Whether your kids are young or older, I think you’ll find a lot of encouragement in this interview. Be sure to find show notes and links over on my website:www.monicaswanson.com/Rhonda-stoppeGeneral podcast page: www.monicaswanson.com/podcastLooking for new science or math homeschool curriculum? All of my boys have used DIVE/Shormann Math for Bbile-based, short-but-thorough science and math lessons, through AP level! Go to diveintomath to learn more! The Monica Swanson Podcast is a part of the Christian Parenting Podcast Network. To find practical and spiritual resources to help you grow into the parent you want to be, visit www.christianparenting.org Our Sponsors:* Check out Factor 75 and use my code swanson50 for a great deal: https://www.factor75.com* Check out HelloFresh and use my code monicafree for a great deal: https://www.hellofresh.com/* Check out Homethreads: HomeThreads.com/MONICAAdvertising Inquiries: https://redcircle.com/brandsPrivacy & Opt-Out: https://redcircle.com/privacy
2/21/202438 minutes, 48 seconds
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7 Attitudes that will Sabotage Your Marriage (and 7 to Replace them with) with Dave

Happy Valentine’s Day! My husband Dave is with me as we celebrate our 28th Valentine’s Day together. ☺ In this episode we are talking through a blog post that has been very popular for many years now on my website: “7 Attitudes that Will Sabotage Your Marriage, and 7 to Replace them with.” Dave and I are sharing from our own experience -- as we’ve been guilty of all 7 bad attitudes…but we’ve also experienced God’s grace in helping us learn to replace them. Dave shares a reminder from 1 Corinthians 13, and I say a prayer for all of the marriages (as well as our kids’ current/future marriages) at the end. I hope this offers a bit of encouragement (even if via some tough love!)Find show notes and links at: www.monicaswanson.com/valentines-2024General podcast page: www.monicaswanson.com/podcastLooking for new science or math homeschool curriculum? All of my boys have used DIVE/Shormann Math for Bible-based, short-but-thorough science and math lessons, through AP level! Go to diveintomath to learn more! The Monica Swanson Podcast is a part of the Christian Parenting Podcast Network. To find practical and spiritual resources to help you grow into the parent you want to be, visit www.christianparenting.org Our Sponsors:* Check out Factor 75 and use my code swanson50 for a great deal: https://www.factor75.com* Check out HelloFresh and use my code monicafree for a great deal: https://www.hellofresh.com/* Check out Homethreads: HomeThreads.com/MONICAAdvertising Inquiries: https://redcircle.com/brandsPrivacy & Opt-Out: https://redcircle.com/privacy
2/14/202440 minutes, 23 seconds
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Let’s Talk about Kids and Dating, with JP Pokluda

Dating has never been simple (who remembers?!) but today it is more complicated than ever. The world offers all kinds of mixed messages to young adults and teenagers and our Christian culture isn’t giving a lot of alternatives. In such crazy times our kids need a voice of reason and a lot of Biblical wisdom to help them navigate. Pastor Jonathan “JP” Pokluda is the voice we all need and one that young people actually like to listen to. In today’s conversation JP and I are drawing from his book, “Outdated” which has become my own sons' favorite book on the topic of dating and relationships. JP offers wisdom, humor, and a ton of common sense on the topic of dating. He is tuned into our current culture yet remains biblically grounded. I think you’ll find this conversation inspiring and refreshing.This conversation will be helpful for all of us parents as we coach and encourage our kids through relationships and prepare them for a lasting marriage one day. Find show notes and links at:www.monicaswanson.com/jp-pokludaGeneral podcast page: www.monicaswanson.com/podcastLooking for new science or math homeschool curriculum? All of my boys have used DIVE/Shormann Math for Bbile-based, short-but-thorough science and math lessons, through AP level! Go to diveintomath to learn more! The Monica Swanson Podcast is a part of the Christian Parenting Podcast Network. To find practical and spiritual resources to help you grow into the parent you want to be, visit www.christianparenting.org Our Sponsors:* Check out Factor 75 and use my code swanson50 for a great deal: https://www.factor75.com* Check out HelloFresh and use my code monicafree for a great deal: https://www.hellofresh.com/* Check out Homethreads: HomeThreads.com/MONICAAdvertising Inquiries: https://redcircle.com/brandsPrivacy & Opt-Out: https://redcircle.com/privacy
2/7/202441 minutes, 49 seconds
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Helping Siblings Become Friends, with Luke and Jonah

Since last March, at the end of each month I have been covering highlights from a chapter of my book, Raising Amazing: Bringing up Kids Who Love God, Like Their Family, and Do the Dishes Without Being Asked! Today we get to cover the topic of sibling relationships from Chapter 11, with the help of my two sons, Jonah (22) and Luke (19). I know sibling relationships can be challenging, and they are obviously not entirely in our control as parents. (far from it!) However, in Raising Amazing I share some of the things we can do as parents that I think make it a lot more likely that kids will grow up to be friends. (even if they fight like crazy growing up!)The boys and I have a lot of fun in this chat and I hope some of your kids might listen with you, and be inspired! Find show notes and links on my website: Today’s episode: www.monicaswanson.com/raising-amazing-11 General podcast page: www.monicaswanson.com/podcastThe Monica Swanson Podcast is a part of the Christian Parenting Podcast Network. To find practical and spiritual resources to help you grow into the parent you want to be, visit www.christianparenting.org Our Sponsors:* Check out Factor 75 and use my code swanson50 for a great deal: https://www.factor75.com* Check out HelloFresh and use my code monicafree for a great deal: https://www.hellofresh.com/* Check out HomeThreads.com/MONICA to get a code for 15% off your first order!Advertising Inquiries: https://redcircle.com/brandsPrivacy & Opt-Out: https://redcircle.com/privacy
1/31/202437 minutes, 9 seconds
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The Sacredness of Secular Work, with Jordan Raynor

Jordan Raynor is back with us (he’s been a favorite guest in the past!) with an encouraging message about the eternal value of our work. All of it!As Christians we often talk about how our workplace can be our mission field (and that is so true!) but Jordan suggests that is only part of the story. And he is passionate that we – and our kids, hear the whole story. Jordan talks about how our daily jobs – from baristas and entrepreneurs to stay-at-home parents and coaches – have intrinsic and eternal value. This is a great episode to share with your friends and family. Find show notes and links (including the link to his vacation – at a European castle giveaway!) in the link below:Today’s episode: www.monicaswanson.com/Jordan-Raynor General podcast page: www.monicaswanson.com/podcastLooking for new science or math homeschool curriculum? All of my boys have used DIVE/Shormann Math for Bbile-based, short-but-thorough science and math lessons, through AP level! Go to diveintomath to learn more! The Monica Swanson Podcast is a part of the Christian Parenting Podcast Network. To find practical and spiritual resources to help you grow into the parent you want to be, visit www.christianparenting.org Our Sponsors:* Check out Factor 75 and use my code swanson50 for a great deal: https://www.factor75.com* Check out HelloFresh and use my code monicafree for a great deal: https://www.hellofresh.com/* Check out HomeThreads.com/MONICA to get a code for 15% off your first order!Advertising Inquiries: https://redcircle.com/brandsPrivacy & Opt-Out: https://redcircle.com/privacy
1/24/202434 minutes, 20 seconds
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What is Christian Deconstruction? (And how should we respond to it?) with Alisa Childers

Alisa Childers is back with a conversation I want every Christian parent to hear! A movement called “spiritual deconstruction” is sweeping through our culture, our churches, and (maybe especially) our universities. It is confusing and complex. It is leading young people away from the church and dividing families. In today's interview, Alisa offers us Biblical and historical context for deconstruction, and a truth-centered, loving way to respond to it.I first heard of the term “deconstruction” from my two sons who attended a Christian college, and who had friends “deconstructing” the faith their parents raised them with. My hope is that this conversation might help more parents understand the deconstruction movement, and be inspired to raise their kids to be critical thinkers as they develop their own, rock-solid faith (and thereby avoid “deconstruction.”) If any listeners have family members or friends who are part of the deconstruction movement, I hope this interview offers wisdom and hope. Please share this interview with your friends. Find links to the book “The Deconstruction of Christianity” (with a free chapter download) in show notes. The book will release at the end of January, 2024.Today’s episode: www.monicaswanson.com/Alisa-Childers General podcast page: www.monicaswanson.com/podcastLooking for new science or math homeschool curriculum? All of my boys have used DIVE/Shormann Math for Bbile-based, short-but-thorough science and math lessons, through AP level! Go to diveintomath to learn more! The Monica Swanson Podcast is a part of the Christian Parenting Podcast Network. To find practical and spiritual resources to help you grow into the parent you want to be, visit www.christianparenting.org Our Sponsors:* Check out Factor 75 and use my code swanson50 for a great deal: https://www.factor75.com* Check out HelloFresh and use my code monicafree for a great deal: https://www.hellofresh.com/* Check out HomeThreads.com/MONICA to get a code for 15% off your first order!Advertising Inquiries: https://redcircle.com/brandsPrivacy & Opt-Out: https://redcircle.com/privacy
1/17/202437 minutes, 8 seconds
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Monica’s (work and life!) Updates for 2024

Hey friends! Today I hope you can grab a cup of coffee (or your tennis shoes!) and join me for a more personal chat. I’m sharing updates from my podcasting and writing life, as well as personal reflections as I look at the year ahead.From my next book release (May 7!) to my fitness plans (💪🏼), from podcast topics, to skin-care in my 50’s (🤗) it’s all in there! You’ll find more updates, photos, links, and a GIVEAWAY – over in my COFFEE DATE BLOG POST, so I hope you can visit me there and say hi as well!I so appreciate your company on the podcast every week and I hope you know how much it means to me that you keep showing up and sharing my episodes with your friends. I cannot wait to serve you well in 2024!Find show notes with any links we mention over on my website:Today’s episode: www.monicaswanson.com/updates2024 General podcast page: www.monicaswanson.com/podcastLooking for new science or math homeschool curriculum? All of my boys have used DIVE/Shormann Math for Bbile-based, short-but-thorough science and math lessons, through AP level! Go to diveintomath to learn more!The Monica Swanson Podcast is a part of the Christian Parenting Podcast Network. To find practical and spiritual resources to help you grow into the parent you want to be, visit www.christianparenting.org Our Sponsors:* Check out Factor 75 and use my code swanson50 for a great deal: https://www.factor75.com* Check out HelloFresh and use my code monicafree for a great deal: https://www.hellofresh.com/* Check out Homethreads and use my code monica for a great deal: www.homethreads.comAdvertising Inquiries: https://redcircle.com/brandsPrivacy & Opt-Out: https://redcircle.com/privacy
1/10/202429 minutes, 8 seconds
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The Value of Just Showing Up, with Drew Dyck

Happy New Year! Whether you are heading into 2024 with goals and resolutions, a word-of-the-year, and a whole lot of confidence, or you are just barely…plodding your way into it, this episode is for you! Drew Dyck, author of JUST SHOW UP, is with us to offer some encouragement and perspective. Drew reminds us that there is great value in every small act of faithfulness. That some of the people we respect the most have never done anyting famous or noteworthy. That heaven will be full of those who prayed in their closet, and simply showed up for the people around them. As parents, as friends, and as Christians, sometimes just showing up is enough. Let’s do that well this year! Find show notes with any links we mention over on my website:Today’s episode: www.monicaswanson.com/Drew-Dyck General podcast page: www.monicaswanson.com/podcastLooking for new science or math homeschool curriculum? All of my boys have used DIVE/Shormann Math for Bbile-based, short-but-thorough science and math lessons, through AP level! Go to diveintomath to learn more! The Monica Swanson Podcast is a part of the Christian Parenting Podcast Network. To find practical and spiritual resources to help you grow into the parent you want to be, visit www.christianparenting.org Our Sponsors:* Check out Factor 75 and use my code swanson50 for a great deal: https://www.factor75.com* Check out HelloFresh and use my code monicafree for a great deal: https://www.hellofresh.com/* Check out Homethreads and use my code monica for a great deal: www.homethreads.comAdvertising Inquiries: https://redcircle.com/brandsPrivacy & Opt-Out: https://redcircle.com/privacy
1/3/202432 minutes, 46 seconds
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3 Ways to naturally instill character into your kids every day

With a little intentionality, we can develop character in our kids’ throughout the natural rhythms of our days. Whether your kids are toddlers or teenagers, this episode will equip you with some great tools for practical character development! Today I am pulling from chapters 9 and 10 of my book, Raising Amazing: Bringing up Kids Who Love God, Like Their Family, and Do the Dishes Without Being Asked! This episode also comes with two free resources: A printable list of character-rich books and Bible verses to inspire your kids! And a link to my own chore system+money management plan that we have used for years! Grab all of those over in show notes:Today’s episode: www.monicaswanson.com/raising-amazing-9General podcast page: www.monicaswanson.com/podcastLooking for new science or math homeschool curriculum? All of my boys have used DIVE/Shormann Math for Bbile-based, short-but-thorough science and math lessons, all the way through AP level! Go to diveintomath.com to learn more! The Monica Swanson Podcast is a part of the Christian Parenting Podcast Network. Christian Parenting is listener supported and offers so many great resources and podcasts like mine! Would you consider a year-end gift to Christian Parenting? If so, go to CPGive.org. Thank you so much for supporting this podcast and helping people all over the world have access to the amazing resources created by Christian ParentingOur Sponsors:* Check out Factor 75 and use my code swanson50 for a great deal: https://www.factor75.com* Check out HelloFresh and use my code monicafree for a great deal: https://www.hellofresh.com/Advertising Inquiries: https://redcircle.com/brandsPrivacy & Opt-Out: https://redcircle.com/privacy
12/27/202325 minutes, 34 seconds
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10 Do’s and Don’ts for a Happy Family Christmas, with Dave and Monica

Happy Christmas week everyone! 🎄Join my husband Dave and I for a fun and hopefully helpful “date-night” style conversation! Dave and I are sharing wisdom we have gleaned over 28 Christmases together, most with a house full of boys...Some important “do’s” as well as a few “don’t”’s! Hopefully a few will be encouraging reminders and a few will make you laugh. 🥰We hope some of you can listen together with your spouse while wrapping gifts, running last-minute errands, or in front of the fire for a stay-in date night. (Of course you can listen all on your own as well. These principles will be helpful to everyone!)Find show notes with any links we mention over on my website:Today’s episode: www.monicaswanson.com/Christmas General podcast page: www.monicaswanson.com/podcastLooking for new science or math homeschool curriculum? All of my boys have used DIVE/Shormann Math for Bbile-based, short-but-thorough science and math lessons, through AP level! Go to diveintomath to learn more! The Monica Swanson Podcast is a part of the Christian Parenting Podcast Network. Christian Parenting is listener supported and offers so many great resources and podcasts like mine!Would you consider a year-end gift to Christian Parenting? If so, go to CPGive.org. Thank you so much for supporting this podcast and helping people all over the world have access to the amazing resources created by Christian Parenting.Our Sponsors:* Check out Factor 75 and use my code swanson50 for a great deal: https://www.factor75.comAdvertising Inquiries: https://redcircle.com/brandsPrivacy & Opt-Out: https://redcircle.com/privacy
12/20/202327 minutes, 11 seconds
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6 Discipline Mistakes to Avoid During the Holidays

One of the most important and challenging jobs we have as parents is that of disciplining our kids. Most of us wish it weren’t necessary (and a lot of parents today mostly ignore it!) but I have learned that good discipline is one of the greatest keys to raising amazing kids!Back when my oldest sons (now 24 and 22 years old) were very young, I read a book that challenged and inspired me in how to discipline well. The book was called, “Don’t Make me Count to 3” by Ginger Hubbard.All these years later, Ginger is still offering wisdom and encouragement to parents through her books, speaking engagements, and podcast. And today she joins me to get practical about this topic of discipline! I decided that sharing our conversation just before the holidays would be perfect. Rather than end the holidays (and start the New Year) feeling disappointed and frustrated in our parenting, what if we up our game, and get extra intentional about discipline now? I believe it can make all the difference in the peace and joy your entire family will experience over the Christmas holiday and into the year ahead!Find links and show notes on my website:Today’s episode: www.monicaswanson.com/ginger-hubbard General podcast page: www.monicaswanson.com/podcastLooking for new science or math homeschool curriculum? All of my boys have used DIVE/Shormann Math for Bbile-based, short-but-thorough science and math lessons, through AP level! Go to diveintomath to learn more! The Monica Swanson Podcast is a part of the Christian Parenting Podcast Network. To find practical and spiritual resources to help you grow into the parent you want to be, visit www.christianparenting.org Advertising Inquiries: https://redcircle.com/brandsPrivacy & Opt-Out: https://redcircle.com/privacy
12/13/202336 minutes, 31 seconds
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Be a Memory Making Mom this Christmas, with Jessica Smartt

As moms we want to fill the holidays with all kinds of magic and meaning for our families. We want to celebrate Advent, bless our kids with good food, special gifts, and then come out of it all with great memories, right? Yet, all of our best intentions often lead to a lot of overwhelm and frustration. (it’s not just me, is it?) If you feel any of that, today’s episode is just what you need! I am re-sharing a favorite interview from 2 years ago, with Jessica Smartt, author of The Memory Making Mom. In it, Jessica and I talk about simple ways to celebrate Advent, have fun, and make memories to last the whole family a lifetime. Jessica shares some excellent book and movie recommendations, creative family activities, and perspectives to ground us in what matters most. The show notes are packed so be sure to visit…Today’s episode: www.monicaswanson.com/Jessica-smartt General podcast page: www.monicaswanson.com/podcastLooking for new science or math homeschool curriculum? All of my boys have used DIVE/Shormann Math for Bbile-based, short-but-thorough science and math lessons, through AP level! Go to diveintomath to learn more! The Monica Swanson Podcast is a part of the Christian Parenting Podcast Network. To find practical and spiritual resources to help you grow into the parent you want to be, visit www.christianparenting.org Advertising Inquiries: https://redcircle.com/brandsPrivacy & Opt-Out: https://redcircle.com/privacy
12/6/202336 minutes, 31 seconds
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The Power of Parenting with Yeses and Nos

I am so happy to be back with another monthly podcast covering highlights from my book, Raising Amazing: Bringing up Kids Who Love God, Like Their Family, and Do the Dishes Without Being Asked!  Today we get to cover Chapter Eight:  All about the importance of saying YES…and NO…to our kids.This is one of my personal favorite chapters/topics and I think it holds the key to some of the game-changing parts of parenting. Join me as I acknowledge that most of us tend to be more “yes-loving” parents than others, why “no” is so important, (and so difficult!) and then I get practical sharing the “Art and Heart of Saying No”!  We cover the yes side of things too, and as always, I point to a free printable download offering “100 Screen-free things kids can do indoors!”  Get the download and find show notes on my website:Today’s episode: www.monicaswanson.com/raising-amazing-8 General podcast page: www.monicaswanson.com/podcastThe Monica Swanson Podcast is a part of the Christian Parenting Podcast Network. To find practical and spiritual resources to help you grow into the parent you want to be, visit www.christianparenting.org Advertising Inquiries: https://redcircle.com/brandsPrivacy & Opt-Out: https://redcircle.com/privacy
11/29/202336 minutes, 10 seconds
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Happy Thanksgiving with Luke and Levi: Q&A, Gratitude, and Giggles

Happy Thanksgiving week! Today I am sharing a very real, laughter-infused episode with my two youngest sons, Luke and Levi. Though it is a replay from 2 years ago, it’s still a listener favorite. Invite your kids to join as Luke and Levi answer a few questions, share what they are grateful for, and keep it all very real. Basically, this offers a sneak peek (listen) into our home during a holiday week! Find links and show notes on my website:Today’s episode: www.monicaswanson.com/Thanksgiving-2023 General podcast page: www.monicaswanson.com/podcastEpisode sponsor:  HELLO FRESH, a brilliant option for this busy holiday season! Go to the Hello Fresh website to discover how they can help you make wholesome, family meals without the stress!Use code: 50MONICA for 50% off + free shipping!The Monica Swanson Podcast is a part of the Christian Parenting Podcast Network. To find practical and spiritual resources to help you grow into the parent you want to be, visit www.christianparenting.org Our Sponsors:* Check out HelloFresh and use my code 50monica for a great deal: https://www.hellofresh.com/Advertising Inquiries: https://redcircle.com/brandsPrivacy & Opt-Out: https://redcircle.com/privacy
11/22/202324 minutes
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How to be Unoffendable, with Brant Hansen

Head’s Up: This may be the most important thing you listen to before your holiday gatherings this year! I am so excited to share this conversation with Brant Hansen – radio show and podcast host, author, and truly amazing (/self-proclaimed quirky) man, with all of you!It turns out giving up your “right” to be offended can be one of the most freeing, healthy, simplifying, relaxing, refreshing, stress-relieving, encouraging things you can do. It’s a radical, provocative idea; We’re not entitled to get offended or stay angry. In this conversation, Brant gets practical about how we can become unoffendable, and we also have fun talking about kids, family, and one of his Instagram Reels that Levi and I have watched way too many times! ☺ I hope this conversation inspires and encourages you to have the best holiday season ever. And I'd be so grateful if you would spread the word about this show!Find links and show notes on my website:Today’s episode: www.monicaswanson.com/brant-hansen General podcast page: www.monicaswanson.com/podcastThank you to this episode's sponsor, HELLO FRESH!! (Have you tried it yet?) Check out all they have to simplify your meals in this busy season!Use code: 50MONICA for 50% off + free shipping!The Monica Swanson Podcast is a part of the Christian Parenting Podcast Network. To find practical and spiritual resources to help you grow into the parent you want to be, visit www.christianparenting.org Our Sponsors:* Check out HelloFresh and use my code 50monica for a great deal: https://www.hellofresh.com/Advertising Inquiries: https://redcircle.com/brandsPrivacy & Opt-Out: https://redcircle.com/privacy
11/15/202341 minutes, 21 seconds
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Finding Hope and Healing after Marriage Ends, with Brandi Wilson

While no one goes into a marriage imagining it will ever end, we know that divorce is a reality for approximately half of Americans. And while I will always be pro-marriage and encourage those of you in difficult marriages to seek help and fight to save your marriage, I know that sometimes there are no other options than divorce. Today’s guest, Brandi Wilson, knows the pain of divorce. In today’s episode she shares her story of being married to a megachurch pastor, who in 2016 walked away from the church and his family. So, when Brandi’s 20-year marriage dissolved, she also lost her church community, her dreams for the future, and a huge part of her identity. Yet, over 8 years later, Brandi has a message of HOPE and healing that I think will bless many listeners. If you or someone you love is navigating divorce, (especially while raising children) I hope you can tune in. Find notes and links to everything Brandi talks about in show notes:Find links and show notes on my website:Today’s episode: www.monicaswanson.com/brandi-wilson General podcast page: www.monicaswanson.com/podcastCheck out CTCMath for a simplified and fun (Yes! Fun!) option for a homeschool math curriculum or just extra math practice at home!The Monica Swanson Podcast is a part of the Christian Parenting Podcast Network. To find practical and spiritual resources to help you grow into the parent you want to be, visit www.christianparenting.org Our Sponsors:* Check out HelloFresh and use my code 50monica for a great deal: https://www.hellofresh.com/Advertising Inquiries: https://redcircle.com/brandsPrivacy & Opt-Out: https://redcircle.com/privacy
11/8/202343 minutes, 34 seconds
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How To Support Students Standing Strong in the Public Schools

Public school parents, this episode will be a huge inspiration to you! Terry Ann Kelly is with us to talk about how God is working in the public school system through Students Standing Strong (S3). These are student-led Clubs held in public schools all across the nation which are completely legal and opening the door for amazing ministry opportunity in our public schools. Terry Ann is the President and Founder of S3, and she has a wealth of experience and God-sized stories that will blow your mind and bless your heart. Whatever situation you and your family are in, God will give you opportunities to represent Him and share His love with others. I think this conversation will inspire you to consider how God might use you (and your kids) in whatever season, school, or neighborhood you are in! Find links to S3 and listen to the episode over in show notes: www.monicaswanson.com/terry-annPodcast page (for all episodes) www.monicaswanson.com/podcastCheck out CTCMath for a simplified and fun (Yes! Fun!) option for a homeschool math curriculum or just extra math practice at home!The Monica Swanson Podcast is a part of the Christian Parenting Podcast Network. To find practical and spiritual resources to help you grow into the parent you want to be, visit www.christianparenting.org Our Sponsors:* Check out HelloFresh and use my code 50monica for a great deal: https://www.hellofresh.com/Advertising Inquiries: https://redcircle.com/brandsPrivacy & Opt-Out: https://redcircle.com/privacy
11/1/202329 minutes, 45 seconds
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Making Your Home the Hub!

I am so happy to be back with another monthly podcast episode covering highlights from my book, Raising Amazing: Bringing up Kids Who Love God, Like Their Family, and Do the Dishes Without Being Asked! Today we get to cover Chapter Seven: How we can make our homes the hub -- a welcoming place for our kids…and their friends. Many of us have always imagined having a home that our kids love to be in, and a place their friends might want to gather in as well. Yet, making the idea become a reality can feel elusive…How do we practically create an environment that is welcoming and attractive to our kids and their friends? Do we need the best house with the coolest games and gadgets? How can we compete with technology and get kids to want to hang out with their family?In today’s episode I’m answering all these questions and more. I think you’ll be encouraged and feel equipped to make your home the hub for your kids as well! Also fun bonus: Luke comes on to share his "thoughts" from Chapter 7 of Raising Amazing as well! Find a free download: Dinner time conversation starters, over in show notes:www.monicaswanson.com/Raising-Amazing-7Podcast page (for all episodes) www.monicaswanson.com/podcastCheck out CTCMath for a simplified and fun (Yes! Fun!) option for a homeschool math curriculum or just extra math practice at home!The Monica Swanson Podcast is a part of the Christian Parenting Podcast Network. To find practical and spiritual resources to help you grow into the parent you want to be, visit www.christianparenting.org Our Sponsors:* Check out HelloFresh and use my code 50monica for a great deal: https://www.hellofresh.com/Advertising Inquiries: https://redcircle.com/brandsPrivacy & Opt-Out: https://redcircle.com/privacy
10/25/202328 minutes, 21 seconds
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God Never Gives Up On You, with Max Lucado

Max Lucado, America’s bestselling inspirational author, has always been a dream podcast guest of mine. I started reading Max’s books back in the 90’s when my faith journey was just beginning, and I’ve always admired his winsome ability to bring deep theological truths down to earth. In this interview I also found him to be incredibly warm, funny, and conversational. We talk about his brand new book, God Never Gives Up On You: What Jacob’s story teaches us about grace, mercy, and God’s relentless love. We also talk about Hawaii, golf, and the tattoo he thinks he might one day get (actually there are two!)Max’s spiritual insights in this conversation are profound and comforting. I think you’ll agree with me he’s just a wonderful man who God has used – and continues to use – in big ways.Find links and show notes on my website:Today’s episode: www.monicaswanson.com/max-lucadoGeneral podcast page: www.monicaswanson.com/podcastCheck out CTCMath for a simplified and fun (Yes! Fun!) option for a homeschool math curriculum or just extra math practice at home!The Monica Swanson Podcast is a part of the Christian Parenting Podcast Network. To find practical and spiritual resources to help you grow into the parent you want to be, visit www.christianparenting.org Advertising Inquiries: https://redcircle.com/brandsPrivacy & Opt-Out: https://redcircle.com/privacy
10/18/202329 minutes, 13 seconds
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How to Experience God’s Strength When You Feel Weak, with Emily Jensen

Emily Jensen, cofounder of the wildly popular Risen Motherhood, joins us today to talk about the very relatable experience of...feeling weak. 😌Whether we are in the midst of big hard things (a child with a disability, marriage or financial stress, etc.) or we’re just staring at the laundry pile in front of us, we have times of feeling overwhelmed, undisciplined, or just not very good at life. Emily’s beautiful new devotional “He is Strong” just released. In today’s interview Emily shares what led her to write it, and some inspiring insights found in it. Whether you’re currently feeling weak, or want to store up wisdom for all that lies ahead (this is real life, right?) I think you’ll find Emily’s vulnerability and commitment to God’s Truth to be such a comfort and encouragement.Find links and show notes on my website:Today’s episode: www.monicaswanson.com/emily-jensenGeneral podcast page: www.monicaswanson.com/podcastCheck out CTCMath for a simplified and fun (Yes! Fun!) option for a homeschool math curriculum or just extra math practice at home!The Monica Swanson Podcast is a part of the Christian Parenting Podcast Network. To find practical and spiritual resources to help you grow into the parent you want to be, visit www.christianparenting.org Advertising Inquiries: https://redcircle.com/brandsPrivacy & Opt-Out: https://redcircle.com/privacy
10/11/202333 minutes, 50 seconds
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The Power of Our Words, with Sarah Molitor

If you’ve had moments when your words have gotten the better of you (who hasn’t?) then this episode will encourage, challenge, and inspire you! Sarah Molitor -- best known for her darling 6-boy + 1 girl family on her super popular @modernfarmhousefamily Instagram account – is with us to share her honest journey learning to use her words for good.I loved getting to know Sarah, and I think you will, too. Sarah opens up about how her words have hurt others, especially her husband. But she also shares what it took for her to own up to the negative pattern, make changes, and learn to use her words for good. My favorite parts of this conversation were the role Sarah’s parents played in this process (#parentinggoals), and the specific steps Sarah took when she was ready to change. (Documenting these in show notes!)Sarah’s new book, Well Said*: Choosing Words that Speak Life, Give Grace, and Strengthen You Faith and Family just released! Find out more and grab notes over in my show notes:www.monicaswanson.com/sarah-molitorAll show notes: www.monicaswanson.com/podcastCheck out CTCMath for a simplified and fun (Yes! Fun!) option for a homeschool math curriculum or just extra math practice at home!The Monica Swanson Podcast is a part of the Christian Parenting Podcast Network. To find practical and spiritual resources to help you grow into the parent you want to be, visit www.christianparenting.org Advertising Inquiries: https://redcircle.com/brandsPrivacy & Opt-Out: https://redcircle.com/privacy
10/4/202346 minutes, 9 seconds
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Your Best Weapon or the Greatest Danger: Raising Amazing Chapter 6

I am so happy to be back with another monthly podcast covering highlights from my book, Raising Amazing: Bringing up Kids Who Love God, Like Their Family, and Do the Dishes Without Being Asked! Today we get to cover Chapter Six: All about the importance of surrounding your kids with helpful influences…and protecting them from bad ones!There is no denying: We all become like the company we keep. Your child will grow up to be much like the people and other influences that surround them each day. In today’s episode we talk about the important influence of family members (with some unfortunately necessary warnings in there), as well as peer influences, online influences and more. We also talk about the importance of role models (and how to find good ones.) I hope this episode encourages you to tap into the power of influences in your kids’ lives!Find a free download: A printable Scripture-based prayer for your child to be surrounded by good and godly influences. www.monicaswanson.com/Raising-Amazing-6Podcast page (for all episodes) www.monicaswanson.com/podcastAdvertising Inquiries: https://redcircle.com/brandsPrivacy & Opt-Out: https://redcircle.com/privacy
9/27/202327 minutes, 9 seconds
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Using Influence for Good (Good), with YouTuber, Matt Scharff

How would you respond if one of your kids told you they wanted to drop out of college and become a YouTuber? In case that topic has already come up in your home (or if, like me, you have just wondered how in the world you’d respond if it did!) today’s episode will give you a ton of insight…wand encouragement!My son Levi is a huge fan of the YouTube Golf sensation (and brand) “GoodGood Golf.” (GoodGood might compare to Dude Perfect in the world of golf.) In that group, Levi’s favorite golfer is Matt Scharff. When we recently noticed that Matt had John 3:16 written on all of his golf caps, we were intrigued. I reached out to Matt to see if he’d be willing to share his story on my podcast. He said yes! And the rest…is in today’s episode.I think you will love Matt and appreciate hearing his journey from “traditional family background, serious college student” to dropping out of college to pursue a YouTube career. He shares about how this went down with his parents (yikes!), and offers us advice in case we find ourselves in his parents’ position. He also tells us about his recent spiritual journey which has inspired him to put John 3:16 on his caps. (That, of course, is my favorite part of the story.) And at the end, Matt’s words to us parents…priceless! Invite your kids to listen and then visit my show notes to find and follow Matt and the crew over at GoodGood Golf!Find more information and show notes at:www.monicaswanson.com/Matt-ScharffPodcast page (for all episodes) www.monicaswanson.com/podcastAdvertising Inquiries: https://redcircle.com/brandsPrivacy & Opt-Out: https://redcircle.com/privacy
9/20/202354 minutes, 20 seconds
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Losing Their Home (but not Their Perspective) in the Maui Fire, with my friend Jes Claydon

People all over the world have been shocked and saddened by the tragic fire that recently destroyed the iconic town of Lahaina, on Maui. This is the deadliest fire in US history to date, and there is a long road ahead of healing and rebuilding. Yet, in the midst of all of the news, blaming, and politics, I think it is helpful to hear from real families who have been affected by the fire. And I happen to know an incredibly special family who was willing to share their story.Our friends, the Claydons, have been the Maui area Young Life leaders for a long time, and they are very integrated into the Lahaina community. They always referred to their Lahaina home as “God’s house” where they kept the doors open to countless students and visitors. In today’s episode, Jes Claydon joins us to share her family’s story from the fire. While they did lose their home, they have incredible perspective and a heart to continue to serve their community in whatever way God leads them. Jes is fun to talk to (even in a time of tragedy!) and her faith and attitude will inspire you to face whatever you might be going through as well. She also shares some ways you might help the victims of the fire and the rebuilding process at the end of the episode. I hope you feel like you are hanging out with Jes and I for this very special conversation. Find more information and show notes at:www.monicaswanson.com/mauifirePodcast page (for all episodes) www.monicaswanson.com/podcastAdvertising Inquiries: https://redcircle.com/brandsPrivacy & Opt-Out: https://redcircle.com/privacy
9/13/20231 hour, 9 minutes, 21 seconds
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Coffee Date, with Announcements, Updates, and Questions for YOU!

Welcome to my first ever “Coffee Date” Podcast episode! (Hopefully not the last!) If you’ve been around long, you might know how much I love a good coffee date with a friend. I’ve done many virtual coffee dates on my blog and via weekly emails (You can sign up for those at monicaswanson.com/subscribe) but today I hope you can join me on the podcast for some really exciting announcements, updates, and some things I hope you’ll give me feedback on!!In this episode I am announcing my next book (and how/why it came to be!)(I’m so excited!), as well as topics I hope to write + podcast on soon (can I get your vote…?) I talk a little bit about the recent tragic fire on Maui and my thoughts for those of you with vacations planned on Maui this year. And I also share some things about Dave and my background that most of you probably don’t know! I sincerely imagined we were having coffee together as I recorded this. So, whatever you’re doing, I hope you feel like we’re IRL friends in this episode. Then please go over to show notes to respond to a couple easy questions! ☺ www.monicaswanson.com/coffeedatePodcast page (for all episodes) www.monicaswanson.com/podcastAdvertising Inquiries: https://redcircle.com/brandsPrivacy & Opt-Out: https://redcircle.com/privacy
9/6/202329 minutes, 24 seconds
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Give Your Kids a Secure Foundation: Raising Amazing Chapter 5 with Monica and Dave

I am so happy to be back with another monthly podcast covering highlights from my book, Raising Amazing: Bringing up Kids Who Love God, Like Their Family, and Do the Dishes Without Being Asked! Today we get to cover Chapter Five: All about offering your kids a secure foundation through a healthy marriage.Most of us would agree that building a strong, healthy, and lasting marriage is one of the most important and beautiful, as well as one of the hardest things we will do in this lifetime. Yet, there may be nothing more important to your kids. In this episode Monica and Dave each share highlights from the chapter in Raising Amazing all about marriage. We cover the overlooked beauty of marriage vows and encouragement for single parents who want to pass on healthy perspectives on marriage to their kids. We also cover a packed list of ways you can nurture your marriage, even in the busy years of raising kids. Dave also pops in to share some “Words to the Dads” at the end. I hope some of the men can tune into this!Find a free download: 10 Amazing Date Night ideas in show notes: www.monicaswanson.com/Raising-Amazing-5Podcast page (for all episodes) www.monicaswanson.com/podcastAdvertising Inquiries: https://redcircle.com/brandsPrivacy & Opt-Out: https://redcircle.com/privacy
8/30/202332 minutes, 42 seconds
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How to be a Worry-Free Parent, with Sissy Goff

Are you a worrier? Do your kids worry too? Sissy Goff, best-selling author and child-therapist (for over 30 years) wants to help parents overcome their tendency to worry. Because: worry is contagious – and an anxious, worry-prone parent is likely to raise kids who also worry. Fortunately, Sissy has good news. She has help for uncovering the roots of anxiety and suggestions for processing your anxiety rather than passing it on. With practical tools and helpful perspectives, Sissy helps will help you model bravery, faith, and healthy coping skills. I think you’ll find a ton of encouragement and hope in today’s interview. Find more information and show notes at: www.monicaswanson.com/sissy-goff Podcast page (for all episodes) www.monicaswanson.com/podcastAdvertising Inquiries: https://redcircle.com/brandsPrivacy & Opt-Out: https://redcircle.com/privacy
8/23/202331 minutes, 21 seconds
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Why We Drift into Loneliness and How to Fight for a Life of Friendship with Justin Whitmel Earley

We were made for people. Yet, most of us are living a dangerously lonely life. In fact, loneliness is perhaps the least talked-about epidemic in our culture today. Justin Whitmel Earley, lawyer, #boydad, and one of my favorite authors is here to share a cure for this loneliness problem. This is a conversation I hope some men can tune into as well as us ladies!Drawing from his brand new (amazing) book, Made for People, Justin suggests that we cannot live the life we were made for without authentic friends. We discuss the obstacles to true friendship: busyness, fear of vulnerability, and past pain. Then Justin offers practical, life-changing habits for friendship that can help all of us move out of a world of digital loneliness and into a life of being truly known by your friends. This is so good!Find more information and show notes at:www.monicaswanson.com/madeforpeoplePodcast page (for all episodes) www.monicaswanson.com/podcastAdvertising Inquiries: https://redcircle.com/brandsPrivacy & Opt-Out: https://redcircle.com/privacy
8/16/202340 minutes, 15 seconds
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The Secret Art of Confident Motherhood with Alli Worthington

By now you probably know that I consider parenting and family life some of the highest privileges on earth; it is Kingdom work. Yet, often in our season of raising kids, we tend to “lose ourselves”, right? I hear from women who don’t remember what they used to enjoy before kids… “Did I have any hobbies?...What do I like to do/eat, etc?” As these Moms prepare for their kids to launch, they can begin to feel a little bit lost. Alli Worthington wants to help moms avoid this! She coaches women to love and care for themselves, even while raising their kids. She offers practical ideas and mindsets to stay healthy, balanced, and to avoid burnout. I think you’ll enjoy Alli’s straight-forward advice and relatable humor!The Monica Swanson Podcast is a part of the Christian Parenting Podcast Network. To find practical and spiritual advice to help you grow into the parent you want to be visit www.ChristianParenting.orgFind more information and show notes at:www.monicaswanson.com/alli-worthington Podcast page (for all episodes) www.monicaswanson.com/podcastAdvertising Inquiries: https://redcircle.com/brandsPrivacy & Opt-Out: https://redcircle.com/privacy
8/9/202335 minutes, 42 seconds
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3 Steps to a Successful Back-to-School Season!

It’s back-to-school season, and whether your kids go to school, are homeschooled, or do some combination of the two, change is in the air! This transition can be more stressful on all of us than we anticipate, and it’s easy to feel caught off guard in the midst of it all. Taking the time to be intentional as a family can make a world of difference! In today’s episode I am offering 3 simple steps that can help your family be back-to-school ready. These steps will ease anxieties and motivate a good work ethic as kids go back to school. I am also sharing clips from my friend, Durenda Wilson who recently contributed an amazing interview on the topic of WORK ETHIC to my Character Training Course! BTW: The Course is open for enrollment from Aug. 1-7th (this week!) for a special Back-to-School sale! (Once you enroll you will have lifetime access!)Find more information and show notes at: www.monicaswanson.com/back-to-school Podcast page (for all episodes) www.monicaswanson.com/podcastAdvertising Inquiries: https://redcircle.com/brandsPrivacy & Opt-Out: https://redcircle.com/privacy
8/2/202323 minutes, 16 seconds
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The Most Important Thing: Raising Amazing Chapter 4

I am so happy to be back with another monthly podcast covering highlights from my book, Raising Amazing: Bringing up Kids Who Love God, Like Their Family, and Do the Dishes Without Being Asked!  Today we get to cover Chapter Four: The Most Important Thing. This is all about making faith your highest priority. While every chapter of this book is important, I believe this topic truly is…the most important. The way I see it, if our kids grow up to love God and follow His ways, we have little else to be concerned about. They will then have the wisdom and resources to make good choices, find the support they need, and live amazing lives. In this chapter we talk about faith from the early years through the teenage years…the spiritual disciplines in childhood that research has shown correlate with a life-long faith…and much more. I hope this episode encourages and inspires you!Find a free download with the steps to lead your child into a relationship with God in show notes! www.monicaswanson.com/Raising-Amazing-4Podcast page (for all episodes) www.monicaswanson.com/podcastAdvertising Inquiries: https://redcircle.com/brandsPrivacy & Opt-Out: https://redcircle.com/privacy
7/26/202328 minutes, 48 seconds
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The Proverbial Man: The Example our Kids Really Need, with Josiah Swanson

Gather your kids and join Josiah and I for part III of my summer Proverbs mini-series!The Book of Proverbs is packed full of wisdom and has incredibly practical help for all the things kids (and adults) face today. I am so excited to share this 3rd and final episode of my summer mini-series as Josiah (turning 24 on the day this episode releases!) brings everything together with an insightful look at perhaps the greatest reason our kids should be reading Proverbs!In today’s episode, Josiah shows us how the book of Proverbs ultimately points to Jesus, the “Proverbial Man.” We talk about how Proverbs points to the Gospel message and our need for a Savior. And then Josiah prays for the kids listening. I think this is a super powerful episode for your kids to tune into!Find show notes and links in the link below:www.monicaswanson.com/proverbs-josiah**Don’t miss the free PROVERBS for LIFE Printable over on my website. Podcast page (for all episodes) www.monicaswanson.com/podcastAdvertising Inquiries: https://redcircle.com/brandsPrivacy & Opt-Out: https://redcircle.com/privacy
7/19/202334 minutes, 57 seconds
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What Your Kids Should Know about the Book of Proverbs, with Jonah Swanson

Gather your kids and join Jonah and I for part II of my summer Proverbs series!The Book of Proverbs is packed full of wisdom and has incredibly practical help for all of the things kids (and adults) face today. The Swanson boys have all grown up reading a lot of Proverbs and it has shaped them into the (wise) young men they are today.In today’s episode, Jonah (22) joins us teach us a bit more about the book of Proverbs…Who wrote it, how to read it, why it matters, and more. Your kids will learn a lot in this episode and hopefully finish it with fresh inspiration to grow in wisdom!Don’t miss the free PROVERBS for LIFE Printable over on my website: www.monicaswanson.com/proverbs-jonah Podcast page (for all episodes) www.monicaswanson.com/podcastAdvertising Inquiries: https://redcircle.com/brandsPrivacy & Opt-Out: https://redcircle.com/privacy
7/12/202333 minutes, 14 seconds
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Favorite Proverbs for Life, with Luke Swanson

Gather your kids and join Luke and I for part I of my summer Proverbs series!  The Book of Proverbs is packed full of wisdom and has incredibly practical help for all of the things kids (and adults) face today. The Swanson boys have all grown up reading a lot of Proverbs and it has shaped them into the (wise) young men they are today. In today’s episode, Luke (19) updates us on his life as a professional surfer and college student, and then shares some of his favorite Proverbs, and how they have impacted his life. I hope your kids can join you to listen and be inspired.  Don’t miss the free PROVERBS for LIFE Printable over on my website.  www.monicaswanson.com/proverbs-luke Podcast page (for all episodes) www.monicaswanson.com/podcast   The Monica Swanson Podcast is a part of the Christian Parenting Podcast Network. To find practical and spiritual advice to help you grow into the parent you want to be visit www.ChristianParenting.org
7/5/202345 minutes, 44 seconds
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Parentamorphosis!: Living an Amazing Life in Front of Your Kids

I am so happy to be back with another monthly episode covering highlights from my book, Raising Amazing: Bringing up Kids Who Love God, Like Their Family, and Do the Dishes Without Being Asked!  Today we get to cover Chapter Three: Parentamorphosis. This is all about modeling an amazing life for your kids! We want so many good things for our kids’ future: From a strong faith to a healthy lifestyle to a great marriage or success in their work.  And the best way to we can help our kids grow up to have all of these things is to model what it looks like to live them out.  We’ll never get anything perfect, but we certainly can model a life of excellence and a humble spirit that keep seeking God’s grace and direction!  So join Dr. Rick (“parenta-life coach”) and I for this important…possibly challenging episode.  I hope you are encouraged! Find a free download with a lovely printable of 1 Corinthians 11:1 over in show notes! www.monicaswanson.com/Raising-Amazing-3   Podcast page (for all episodes) www.monicaswanson.com/podcast   The Monica Swanson Podcast is a part of the Christian Parenting Podcast Network. To find practical and spiritual advice to help you grow into the parent you want to be visit www.ChristianParenting.org
6/28/202322 minutes, 44 seconds
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Raising Prayerful Kids, with Steph Thurling

Summer is a great time to help our kids develop spiritual habits that might stick with them through the year. But sometimes that is easier said than done, right? Steph Thurling, executive director of Christian Parenting, co-founder of Raising Prayerful Kids ministry, and super-fun mom is with us to offer some practical help!  Steph offers encouragement for every mom – the one who is new to faith (and prayer!) as well as the mom who is trying to get her kids on board with praying. I think you’ll be inspired by what Steph shares and relieved that praying with your kids does not have to be complicated!  www.monicaswanson.com/Steph-Thurling Podcast page (for all episodes) www.monicaswanson.com/podcast The Monica Swanson Podcast is a part of the Christian Parenting Podcast Network. To find practical and spiritual advice to help you grow into the parent you want to be visit www.ChristianParenting.org
6/21/202329 minutes, 4 seconds
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Pursuing Creativity in the Margins of Motherhood, with Ashlee Gadd

A lot of women trade in their personal passions and hobbies when motherhood takes over. Motherhood is so important and there is no doubt -- some seasons require just about all of us (right!?) Yet, what if we can be great moms, and nurture our creative side too? Ashlee Gadd is on the podcast today to give listeners permission to pursue their creative gifts alongside motherhood! And I think you’re going to be inspired! Ashlee is the Founder of the very popular website: Coffee + Crumbs, and she is an incredibly gifted writer. (One of my favorites!) Her new book, Create Anyway: The Joy of Pursuing Creativity in the Margins of Motherhood is so good! In this interview you can hear some of Ashlee’s personal journey -- finding the balance between motherhood and creativity, as well as some ideas for how we all might explore the gifts God has given us, even in the busiest of seasons! Find links and more over in show notes: www.monicaswanson.com/Ashlee-Gadd Podcast page (for all episodes) www.monicaswanson.com/podcast The Monica Swanson Podcast is a part of the Christian Parenting Podcast Network. To find practical and spiritual advice to help you grow into the parent you want to be visit www.ChristianParenting.org
6/14/202348 minutes, 15 seconds
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Summer and Screentime! 7 Steps that Might Save Your Kids (and your sanity!)

Technology does not have to steal your summer! Every summer I hear from parents who are frustrated, trying to navigate screen time with their kids.  How much is too much?  How can we keep them safe? Why do we have to have these battles!?  I get it. And I’m here to help! I am sharing a blog post with 7 steps that literally could save your kids (and your sanity!) this summer. Over in show notes you’ll find a printable checklist to use as you go through each of these steps.  I hope this is helpful and I am praying you have a wonderful summer with a little less stress over screens! Find a free download with the 7-Steps Checklist over in show notes! www.monicaswanson.com/seven-steps Podcast page (for all episodes) www.monicaswanson.com/podcast   The Monica Swanson Podcast is a part of the Christian Parenting Podcast Network. To find practical and spiritual advice to help you grow into the parent you want to be visit www.ChristianParenting.org
6/7/202321 minutes, 7 seconds
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How to Lead Your Family on an Intentional Trajectory: Raising Amazing Chapter 2

Join Monica for chapter Highlights and a free download! I am so excited to be back with another monthly podcast covering highlights from my book, Raising Amazing: Bringing up Kids Who Love God, Like Their Family, and Do the Dishes Without Being Asked!  Today we get to cover Chapter Two: Welcome Aboard: Lead Your Family on an Intentional Trajectory.   This has been a favorite chapter for a lot of people, as I get really practical about intentional family life. I talk about identifying your family’s core values, considering your family’s “brand” or “culture”, then putting things together in a Family Mission Statement. I talk about challenges or hard things families might face, and how that too, can shape us in unexpected, but beautiful ways. Find a free download of a Family Mission Statement Template over in show notes!   www.monicaswanson.com/Raising-Amazing-2   Podcast page (for all episodes) www.monicaswanson.com/podcast   The Monica Swanson Podcast is a part of the Christian Parenting Podcast Network. To find practical and spiritual advice to help you grow into the parent you want to be visit www.ChristianParenting.org
5/31/202329 minutes, 16 seconds
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Everything You Need for Great Summer Reading with Your Kids, with Sarah Mackenzie

The benefits of reading aloud, audio books, and so many inspiring tips and lists for you this summer! Sarah Mackenzie is with us today to talk about all things summer reading! Sarah is the author of Teaching from Rest and The Read-Aloud Family, and I have been a fan of Sarah’s for many years. Sarah is so much fun to talk to, and an absolute wealth of information and inspiration when it comes to families and reading! In today’s conversation Sarah offers some super motivating facts about the power of reading aloud, and tells us the best age-range for reading aloud (hint: no one is too old for read-alouds! - And my sons would agree!) Sarah gives some super helpful book recommendations (especially for middle-age boys who don’t love to read!) and many more practical tips and resources for families and reading this summer. You might want to take notes on this episode (but I will also have a lot of links and notes over on my website…) www.monicaswanson.com/sarah-mackenzie Podcast page (for all episodes) www.monicaswanson.com/podcast   The Monica Swanson Podcast is a part of the Christian Parenting Podcast Network. To find practical and spiritual advice to help you grow into the parent you want to be visit www.ChristianParenting.org
5/24/202352 minutes, 3 seconds
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What We Should Know (and teach our kids) about Children and Disabilities, with Laura Wifler of Risen Motherhood.

How understanding disabilities makes us better family, friends, and neighbors This is such a special conversation and I hope you can listen and share it with all of your friends. Laura Wifler of Risen Motherhood has so much profound wisdom and grace that will impact every listener! Laura is sharing from her experience raising a daughter with a rare chromosome disease, which led to her new children’s book, Like Me: A Story About Disability and Discovering God’s Image in Every Person. Laura offers heart-felt encouragement for those raising a child with a disability, and advice for how we might support others who are. I think this conversation is great for all of us and I pray it inspires great conversations in your own home!  Find links and show notes over at: www.monicaswanson.com/laura-wifler Podcast page (for all episodes) www.monicaswanson.com/podcast The Monica Swanson Podcast is a part of the Christian Parenting Podcast Network. To find practical and spiritual advice to help you grow into the parent you want to be visit www.ChristianParenting.org
5/17/202350 minutes, 26 seconds
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What Moms Need Most (+Mother’s Day Giveaway) with Dear Mushka’s Katie Lewis!

What do Moms' need most?  Mother's Day flowers? Or chocolate? Or beautiful jewelry perhaps!?  Katie Lewis of the much-loved brand, Dear Mushka, is with us to talk about what moms truly need most! Katie shares some of the difficult story of tragically losing her mother, and through that finding God's Word to be her lifeline. Her brand, Dear Mushka, grew out of this experience.   Katie shares about her story and we agree that more than all the other stuff (as good as it is) what us moms need most is Truth from God's Word!   Katie is also offering podcast listeners a lovely Mother’s Day giveaway, so be sure to go over to show notes to enter to win! And... visit dearmushka.com and use code: Monica for 15% off everything on the site! Show notes: monicaswanson.com/dear-mushka The Monica Swanson Podcast is a part of the Christian Parenting Podcast Network. To find practical and spiritual advice to help you grow into the parent you want to be visit www.ChristianParenting.org   Podcast page (for all episodes) www.monicaswanson.com/podcast
5/10/202330 minutes, 46 seconds
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Helping Your Child Prepare to Meet their Future Spouse, with Tricia Goyer

Questions and Prayers to prepare kids’ hearts Tricia Goyer, author of a lot of books :), and Mom to ten (!!) is with me today to talk about her new book (co-written with Robin Jones Gunn) called “Before You Meet Your Future Husband: 30 Questions to Ask Yourself and 30 Heartfelt Prayers” Tricia shares from her own experience facing a teenage pregnancy, and how that shaped her heart to raise her own children.  Though the book we are drawing from is for girls/young women, (12 and up, approximately) we are applying this conversation to topics important to talk to our sons and daughters about. This may be a great episode to invite your teenager to join you for!  Notes and links found over on my website: www.monicaswanson.com/Tricia-Goyer Thank you to Artza Box for sponsoring this episode!  Use this link and CODE: BOYMOM25 for 25% off your Holy Land Subscription box (thinking Mother's Day gift idea!)  Podcast page (for all episodes) www.monicaswanson.com/podcast The Monica Swanson Podcast is a part of the Christian Parenting Podcast Network. To find practical and spiritual advice to help you grow into the parent you want to be visit www.ChristianParenting.org
5/3/202349 minutes, 14 seconds
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How to be an All-In Parent: Raising Amazing Chapter 1

I am so excited to be diving into the new monthly podcast feature where I am sharing highlights from my book, Raising Amazing: Bringing up Kids Who Love God, Like Their Family, and Do the Dishes Without Being Asked! Today we get to cover Chapter One: All-In! – Fully Embrace Your Role as Parent.  This chapter opens with my scary experience of nearly losing my first son right after birth, as well as my honest experience with mommy-burnout. I talk about perspective, and how being all-in is a decision we make, not just a feeling we experience.  At the end I share 4 things being an all-in parent is not, and then I offer a long list of how we can show our kids that we are ALL-IN!  Find a link to get the full downloadable list of 25 ways to be all-in, over in my website show notes: www.monicaswanson.com/Raising-Amazing-1 Podcast page (for all episodes) www.monicaswanson.com/podcast This episode's Sponsor:  ARTZA BOX!  The quarterly subscription box from the HOLY LAND!!  You'll love it -- and it makes a great (Mother's Day!) gift!  (Use code: BOYMOM25 for 25% off!)    The Monica Swanson Podcast is a part of the Christian Parenting Podcast Network. To find practical and spiritual advice to help you grow into the parent you want to be visit www.ChristianParenting.org
4/26/202330 minutes, 4 seconds
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How to Teach Your Kids to Mind Their Mindset, with Megan Hyatt Miller

Hopefully you caught last week’s episode where Megan Hyatt Miller gave us a little “Brain Science 101”.  We talked about what it means to “Mind Your Mindset” (from her book with that title!) and the three steps to embrace a better mindset. Understanding this process can be an absolute game changer for your business, family, and every area of life. In today’s episode, Megan tells the story of her parenting challenges with two of her adopted sons, and how that led her to learning more about brain science. She offers encouragement for how we might change our parenting mindsets. Then she shares examples and steps to helping our kids recognize their own false narratives, and then rewrite their stories based on truth.  I love this topic so much and I think you’ll find it helpful, practical, and empowering!    Find show notes and links at: www.monicaswanson.com/megan-hyatt-miller-2   Podcast page (for all episodes) www.monicaswanson.com/podcast   Find Megan’s free gifts and downloads at www.mindyourmindsetbook.com/monica   The Monica Swanson Podcast is a part of the Christian Parenting Podcast Network. To find practical and spiritual advice to help you grow into the parent you want to be visit www.ChristianParenting.org
4/19/202334 minutes, 14 seconds
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How to Mind Your Mindset, with Megan Hyatt Miller

If you feel stuck in just about any area of life -- from parenting, to business or finances, to your health, this interview may be just what you need! Today I am talking with Megan Hyatt Miller  --  President and CEO of Full Focus, a best-selling author, and mom to 5 kids! Through challenges she faced after adopting two of her sons, Megan discovered life-changing truths about the power of our thoughts...and our ability to change our thoughts -- and therefore, our lives! Megan and her Father, Michael Hyatt, co-authored a book on this topic, titled: “Mind Your Mindset: The Science That Shows Success Starts with Your Thinking." Today Megan shares with us three simple, proven steps to rewire your brain for better thinking and the results you are looking for! I love how this topic aligns with the Biblical call to be "transformed by the renewing of your mind" (Romans 12:2).  Good news!!  -- Next week Megan will be back to apply these concepts specifically to parenting!  I hope you enjoy this episode, and you can find links to everything we talk about over in show notes: www.monicaswanson.com/megan-hyatt-miller Podcast page (for all episodes) www.monicaswanson.com/podcast Tickets are available now for this weekend’s Christian Parenting Digital Event: “EVERY PARENT WANTS TO KNOW” !  Link here or go to www.perfectlyimperfect.org/monica Find Megan’s free gifts and downloads at www.mindyourmindsetbook.com/monica
4/12/202337 minutes, 30 seconds
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Parenting Principles to Bring out the BEST in Your Kids, with Miles Mettler

Family life is busy, and parenting can be downright overwhelming. Oh how we need the sound wisdom of successful parents who are a step ahead of us to encourage us along the way. Today's guest, Miles Mettler is exactly that! Miles is an ambassador with Focus on the Family, and he has raised 4 amazing kids into adulthood. He has so much wisdom to share!  Miles is the author of 52 Parenting Principles: How to bring out the BEST in your kids which we are drawing from in this episode! In today’s conversation Miles talks about the importance being intentional about listening to our kids, avoiding the lectures, (so hard!) being “disciplined in your discipline” and more. I found so many nuggets to hold on to in this episode, and I think you will too!  Find show notes with links over at:  www.monicaswanson.com/miles-mettler Podcast page (for all episodes) www.monicaswanson.com/podcast Raising Amazing book page: www.monicasawanson.com/raisingamazing   The Monica Swanson Podcast is a part of the Christian Parenting Podcast Network. To find practical and spiritual advice to help you grow into the parent you want to be visit www.ChristianParenting.org Will I see you at the Perfectly Imperfect “Every Parent Wants to Know” digital event on April 14th?  I hope so!  Sign up’s are open and it is going to be SO GOOD! Use my link to get your tickets now: www.perfectlyimperfect.org/monica    
4/5/202344 minutes, 37 seconds
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What I Want You to Know About Raising Amazing, with Monica

Welcome to the FIRST episode of my new monthly podcast feature where I’ll be sharing highlights, nuggets, and free downloads and resources from my book, Raising Amazing: Bringing up Kids Who Love God, Like Their Family, and Do the Dishes Without Being Asked. I am so excited to walk through these chapters with you on the last Wednesday of each month of 2023!  This might be a good time to gather some friends to meet up with each month for coffee + podcast listen to chat through the chapters of Raising Amazing! Today’s episode is brief as I am sharing simply from the “note to readers” at the beginning of the book. This is about the heart of the book, including the title, subtitle, and what to expect. Also, I take a moment to speak directly to the Dads…as this book is for them as well! ☺   www.monicaswanson.com/Raising-Amazing-introduction CHARACTER TRAINING COURSE doors are open this week!  Podcast page (for all episodes) www.monicaswanson.com/podcast the Perfectly Imperfect "Every Parent Wants to Know" Digital Event Tickets are now available at www.perfectlyimperfect.org/monica The Monica Swanson Podcast is a part of the Christian Parenting Podcast Network. To find practical and spiritual advice to help you grow into the parent you want to be visit www.ChristianParenting.org
3/29/202321 minutes, 49 seconds
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Kids, Character, and their Future Success, with Dennis Trittin.

We all want our kids to have good character, but we don’t always consider how crucial character is to our kids’ future success.  In today’s interview, former multi-billion-dollar investment manager, Dennis Trittin, helps us connect the dots and find even more motivation for raising kids of character.  After over 30 years managing investments and studying successful leaders all over the world, Dennis shifted his focus to sharing what he had learned with the next generation.  Writing books and speaking to students, parents, and educators, Dennis is passionate about inspiring the next generation to embrace the kind of character that will help them get jobs, (and not get fired from them!) nurture healthy relationships, and live happy, fulfilling lives. Today we draw from his chapter on Character from his book, What I Wish I Knew at 18: Life Lessons for the Road Ahead. It is great timing for the conversation because next week, (Monday, March 27th- Friday, March 31st) the doors to my Character Training Course will be once again open!  See more and grab links below! www.monicaswanson.com/character-course TODAY’S EPISODE: www.monicaswanson.com/dennis-trittin Podcast page (for all episodes) www.monicaswanson.com/podcast   Raising Amazing book page: www.monicasawanson.com/raisingamazing   The Monica Swanson Podcast is a part of the Christian Parenting Podcast Network. To find practical and spiritual advice to help you grow into the parent you want to be visit www.ChristianParenting.org
3/22/202337 minutes, 48 seconds
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Raising Relational Kids in a Screen-Driven World, with Arlene Pellicane

If you are like 100% of the parents I know, 😉, your kids' relationship with screens causes you some amount of stress (and likely a good amount!) This is a difficult issue and one we might feel we will never catch up on. (and we're right.) Arlene Pellicane is a great help on this topic! She has done a lot of research and written a number of books to support parents raising kids in this screen-driven world. Two of her books were co-written with Gary Chapman (of the 5-Love Languages!) and in today’s conversation we are touching on some of the most practical and helpful topics they share! Arlene and I talk about the decision of whether or not to give a child a smart phone, (Arlene has a great solution to that one!) time limits on screens for kids, and how we can set better examples as parents in our own relationship to screens!  I think you’ll find this conversation super practical and encouraging! Find some of the notes I took for you and links in show notes: www.monicaswanson.com/arlene-pellicane www.monicaswanson.com/podcast The Monica Swanson Podcast is a part of the Christian Parenting Podcast Network. To find practical and spiritual advice to help you grow into the parent you want to be visit www.ChristianParenting.org
3/15/202344 minutes, 14 seconds
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Becoming a Time-Saving Mom, with Crystal Paine

Crystal Paine, known for years as “The Money-Saving Mom” knows a thing or two about balancing time. Balancing a busy career with raising six kids, and being a passionate advocate for foster-and-adoption, Crystal is still able to prioritize her walk with God, her marriage, and…even some rest! In the midst of the busiest season of her life, Crystal was writing “The Time-Saving Mom: How to Juggle a Lot, Enjoy Your Life, and Accomplish What Matters Most”. She has lived her message and in today’s conversation she shares more of her story and a few helpful tips and tools we can all put into practice right away.  I sure need this message and I think Crystal has encouragement for everyone who listens! Find links and listen at show notes: www.monicaswanson.com/crystal-paine Podcast page (for all episodes) www.monicaswanson.com/podcast   Raising Amazing book page: www.monicasawanson.com/raisingamazing   The Monica Swanson Podcast is a part of the Christian Parenting Podcast Network. To find practical and spiritual advice to help you grow into the parent you want to be visit www.ChristianParenting.org
3/8/202347 minutes, 10 seconds
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The Adventure Your Kids Were Made For! With Greta Eskridge

Today’s guest has inspired me from a distance for a long time.  Greta Eskridge is a homeschool grad – and now homeschool Mom to 4, and she and I share a passion for offering our kids healthy adventures growing up! Greta has written two books about adventuring with kids, and her enthusiasm is contagious! If the idea of adventure sounds complicated, dangerous, or overwhelming to you, I think you’ll be relieved by this conversation! Greta and I hope to inspire you to realize that adventure may be closer than you think, and it’s definitely worth the effort to offer it to your kids!  Find show notes and links over at: www.monicaswanson.com/greta-eskridge Podcast page (for all episodes) www.monicaswanson.com/podcast Raising Amazing book page: www.monicasawanson.com/raisingamazing
3/1/202338 minutes, 6 seconds
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Luke Interviews the Authors! Raising Amazing Release Episode, with Luke, Dave, and Monica

Today our son Luke, (19) takes the microphone and interviews his parents!  Raising Amazing released on February 21st, and we are celebrating the release with a fun, but heart-felt conversation about the book. Luke asks us about the title (“Is Amazing a little over-the-top?”), the heart of the book, what Dave enjoyed about his first author-experience (and what was the hardest part) and more.  I hope you feel like you’re at a release party and this interview should give you a little more insight into what you’ll find in the pages of Raising Amazing.  Find links to order, leave an Amazon review (as soon as you read it!) and more in show notes: www.monicaswanson.com/amazing-release-week Podcast page (for all episodes) www.monicaswanson.com/podcast   Raising Amazing book page: www.monicasawanson.com/raisingamazing   The Monica Swanson Podcast is a part of the Christian Parenting Podcast Network. To find practical and spiritual advice to help you grow into the parent you want to be visit www.ChristianParenting.org
2/22/202329 minutes, 39 seconds
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Raising Amazing Kids with Korie Robertson

Korie Robertson, author of Strong and Kind, and star of A&E’s Duck Dynasty, joins us as we count down the final days to the release of my new book, Raising Amazing! Korie was so kind and generous to team up with me as the Foreward writer for the book, and I love sharing her heart for the message of Raising Amazing with all of you.  Korie has raised 6 children and is now entering the grandparent stage of life, and she has so much experience, wisdom, and healthy perspectives to share with parents. I think you will be encouraged by her stories and blessed by this conversation as well as her message at the beginning of the book!  Find links to all we talk about (including a link to get Korie’s Foreward, AND the first chapter of Raising Amazing for free) in show notes!  www.monicaswanson.com/korie-robertson Podcast page (for all episodes) www.monicaswanson.com/podcast Don’t miss my the pre-order bonus for Raising Amazing, available now! - Be sure to visit my new book page monicaswanson.com/raisingamazing to pre-order Raising Amazing so it will arrive at your doorstep on its release day, February 21st and get immediate access to my PRE-ORDER BONUS: 4 Interviews featuring my 4 sons!  In the interviews, my boys respond to questions sent in by podcast listeners and social media followers related to their faith, sibling relationships, what they like about their parents (!), birth order, and so much more.  These will be great for your kids to tune into with you!    The Monica Swanson Podcast is a part of the Christian Parenting Podcast Network. To find practical and spiritual advice to help you grow into the parent you want to be visit www.ChristianParenting.org
2/15/202344 minutes, 30 seconds
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How to Anchor Kids in Truth on Cultural Issues, with Sean McDowell

Sean McDowell is an author, speaker, seminary professor, and father to teenagers! He has a heart to educate and empower students to think Biblically, communicate effectively, and stand strong in the midst of the noise of our world. Today we are chatting about Sean’s most recent book: A Rebel’s Manifesto: Choosing Truth, Real Justice, and Love amid the Noise of Today’s World. This book is written for teens but I think parents will benefit from it greatly as well!  I have followed Sean for years, and before that I was already a fan of his father (Josh McDowell, evangelist and author of hundreds of books!) You can find links to Sean’s Youtube channel and social media feeds where he shares helpful videos on topics related to our culture and faith in my show notes.    Show notes for this episode Podcast page (for all episodes) www.monicaswanson.com/podcast   Don’t miss my the pre-order bonus for my new book, Raising Amazing, available now! - Be sure to visit my new book page monicaswanson.com/raisingamazing to get access to Korie Robertson’s Foreward and my first two chapters!!  Be sure to pre-order Raising Amazing for it to arrive at your doorstep on it’s release day, February 21st and get immediate access to my PRE-ORDER BONUS: 4 Interviews featuring my 4 sons!  In the interviews, my boys respond to questions sent in by podcast listeners and social media followers related to their faith, sibling relationships, what they like about their parents (!), birth order, and so much more.  These will be great for your kids to tune into with you!  The Monica Swanson Podcast is a part of the Christian Parenting Podcast Network. To find practical and spiritual advice to help you grow into the parent you want to be visit www.ChristianParenting.org
2/8/202337 minutes, 41 seconds
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Helping Teens Navigate Through Life’s Toughest Issues, with Jessica Peck

Teens today are growing up in a confusing world, and they are facing things we couldn’t have imagined when we were young. From mental health issues, to the internet (cyberbullying, access to pornography, and social media to name a few,) to vaping, increased suicide rates and more, it is not an easy time to navigate the teenage years.  Or to parent a teenager! Enter Jessica Peck! Jessica has a Doctor of Nursing Practice degree, she is a professor at Baylor, and she is a mom to FOUR teenagers!  In today’s interview we cover topics from her incredibly helpful book, Behind Closed Doors: A Guide to Help Parents and Teens Navigate Through Life’s Toughest Issues. I love Jessica’s kind and humble heart and her passion for intentional parenting. I also appreciate the wisdom she has gained through a lot of experience quite literally, “behind closed doors.”  Please spread the word about this episode – No matter the age of your kids, these topics will be relevant eventually!  Find show notes and links to all we talk about: www.monicaswanson.com/jessica-peck   Podcast page (for all episodes) www.monicaswanson.com/podcast   Don’t miss my NEW PRE-ORDER BONUS!! - Be sure to visit my new book page monicaswanson.com/raisingamazing to get access to Korie Robertson’s Foreward and my first two chapters!!  Be sure to pre-order Raising Amazing for it to arrive at your doorstep on it’s release day, February 21st and get immediate access to my PRE-ORDER BONUS: 4 Interviews featuring my 4 sons!  In the interviews, my boys respond to questions sent in by podcast listeners and social media followers related to their faith, sibling relationships, what they like about their parents (!), birth order, and so much more.  These will be great for your kids to tune into with you!   
2/1/202347 minutes, 29 seconds
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A Rebellion Against Mediocre Motherhood, with Abbie Halberstadt.

I am so excited to share this encouraging (and perhaps a bit convicting – in the best sort of way) – conversation with you! Abbie Halberstadt believes that Christ has so much more to offer you and your family than the empty validation of fist bumps for surviving another day that worldly culture bring to the table. Her book, M is for Mama, resonated with me deeply, and I am so glad I get to share her with all of you! Raising and homeschooling her ten kids (including two sets of identical twins—and that’s a story of its own!) Abbie has hard-earned wisdom to share, as well as humor and grace. This was one of my favorite interviews ever! Find show notes and links to all we talk about: www.monicaswanson.com/Abbie-Halberstadt Podcast page (for all episodes) www.monicaswanson.com/podcast Don’t miss my new Raising Amazing Preorder bonus!! Be sure to visit my new book page: monicaswanson.com/raisingamazing to get access to Korie Robertson’s Foreward and my first two chapters!! Be sure to pre-order Raising Amazing for it to arrive at your doorstep on it’s release day, February 21st, and get immediate access to my PRE-ORDER BONUS: 4 Interviews featuring my 4 sons! In the interviews, my boys respond to questions sent in by podcast listeners and social media followers related to their faith, sibling relationships, what they like about their parents (!), birth order, and so much more. These will be great for your kids to tune into with you!
1/25/202346 minutes, 44 seconds
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An Intentionally Amazing Year for Your Family, with Emily Ley

If you want your family to have an amazing year ahead, this episode will give you some practical tools to help make that happen!  Emily Ley -- owner of Simplified Planners, best-selling author, and dedicated mom -- is with us to offer 5 ways to kick-start an amazing year ahead. (Personally,) I am a fan of starting off the new year slowly – taking my time to set goals and develop a vision for the new year. Whether you catch this episode in January or later in the year, the good news is, God’s mercies are new every morning, and we can always regroup for a fresh start!   Check out Emily’s beautiful new journal, Sure as the Sunrise: 100 Morning Meditations on God’s Mercy and Delight in show notes! Find links to everything we talk about (as well as some notes from our chat!) in show notes: www.monicaswanson.com/Emily-Ley Podcast page (for all episodes) www.monicaswanson.com/podcast
1/18/202338 minutes, 23 seconds
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It’s Time for Bible Believers to become Bible Readers, with Wendy Speake

Happy New Year and Welcome to the Monica Swanson podcast!  If you missed last week’s episode, I hope you can go back and have a listen (it’s SHORT!) In this new year I am rebranding the podcast with a new name and a broader scope, but the heart of the podcast has not changed.  I am SO excited to dive into some great topics and interviews ahead. (Also: Welcome to the girl moms joining us!) Today’s interview is special for so many reasons. First, Wendy Speake was my very first guest over 3.5 years ago when I launched the Boy Mom Podcast; it only made sense she would also help me kick off this new season of the podcast!  Second, Wendy has a new book coming out this month which is so much of my heart for all of us this year.  The 40-Day FEAST is a follow up to her books, “The 40-Day Sugar Fast” and “The 40-Day Social Media Fast.” The Feast she is referring to is the kind where we consume God’s Word…learning to read it, study it, and hide it in our hearts.  And friends: Living in this world today I cannot emphasize enough how important this is.  I am really excited about Wendy’s new book and I am excited to feast on God’s Word in the New Year alongside all of you!  (Deal?! Deal!). Find all of the links Wendy mentioned in show notes: www.monicaswanson.com/Wendy-Speake-Feast Podcast page (for all episodes) www.monicaswanson.com/podcast
1/11/202341 minutes, 15 seconds
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Welcome to the Monica Swanson Podcast {Trailer!}

A New Season with Monica!  Happy New Year and Welcome to the Monica Swanson podcast!  For over 3.5 years I have been sharing episodes on the Boy Mom Podcast, and you can still revisit all 190 episodes any time. (I recommend you do! – there’s some good stuff in there!) But in this new year and new season, we are broadening our scope (and welcoming our girl moms – and all of the dads!) as we rebrand as the Monica Swanson Podcast!! (imagine the confetti!) Today’s very short episode is a quick intro to this new season as I talk about what you can expect and about how excited I am to be releasing my next book – Raising Amazing – on February 21st!   This podcast community has grown tremendously over the past couple of years with 1.7 million + downloads and so many new subscribers (hit the + to "follow"/subscribe!) and it is my heart to continue to serve you well.  I pray that you feel welcome here and I hope you will spread the word about the podcast with all of your family-loving friends!   Find links and show notes at:https://monicaswanson.com/monica-swanson-podcast-trailer/ Podcast page (for all episodes) www.monicaswanson.com/podcast
1/4/20239 minutes, 8 seconds
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Episode 190: The Last Chapter of Boy Mom and the Last Episode of the Boy Mom Podcast!

Welcome to the FINAL episode of the Boy Mom Podcast!  Wait! Let me explain. Beginning next week (New Year's, 2023) this podcast will be called The Monica Swanson Podcast!  In this very special, final episode of the Boy Mom Podcast, I am sharing highlights from the final TWO chapters of Boy Mom! This wraps up my monthly series which began in January of 2022! If you’ve missed any of the previous book highlights, be sure to go back and catch previous episodes from the last Wednesday of each month of the year! This week we are talking about raising boys to embrace a solid worth ethic…how that begins in the home, and how we might motivate boys to be hard workers as they grow up!  After that we touch on the final chapter of Boy Mom, called “Ready, Set, Launch!”  This part brings up some emotions for me because it is a topic so near to my heart and also because this is the closing episode for the Boy Mom Podcast.  Oh, so many feelings!  Be sure to visit show notes to get the free downloads mentioned:  A list of “Life Skills by Age” as well as the “Boy Mom Manifesto”!  I pray you have enjoyed this series and I will look forward to doing a similar series highlighting chapters from my next book: Raising Amazing, which comes out on February 21, 2023!   www.monicaswanson.com/episode-190 Podcast page (for all episodes) www.monicaswanson.com/podcast
12/28/202236 minutes, 49 seconds
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Episode 189: A Merry Christmas catch-up with Luke and Levi

Merry Christmas!  Join Luke (18), Levi (12), and I for a Merry Christmas chat…and also catch up on Luke's world travels since he was last with us back in June.  If you’re busy you can skip to 20 minutes for a brief Christmas greeting, but if you have the time/enjoy surf stories or listening to Luke (☺) then grab some cocoa and enjoy this conversation! (Your kids might enjoy it too!) Sending hugs and love to all of you and praying you have a most wonderful Christmas week ahead! www.monicaswanson.com/episode-189 Podcast page (for all episodes) www.monicaswanson.com/podcast
12/21/202236 minutes, 5 seconds
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Ep. 188: Loving Your Actual Christmas, With Alexandra Kuykendall

True confession:  This is about the exact week when I typically find myself morphing from the happy, care-free, "I love Christmas everything!!!!" Mom, to the stressed out, feeling behind, "I just want to get Christmas over with" Mom.  Yep.  Anyone with me?  As much as I love (truly, adore!) this season, I have learned that Christmas can bring up all kinds of hard emotions and dashed expectations, leaving us moms weary and worn. If you relate to this a little or a lot, today's episode (a replay from 2020) is for you. Alexandra Kuykendall joins us today with such a refreshing, endearing message about Loving Your Actual Christmas. Drawing from her book (by that name ;)) Alex reminds us that Christ did not come for the people who have it all together (if such people even exist!) but for the weary, grieving, and hurting. He came for us real people who sometimes struggle our way through the holidays. When we don’t have our act together, Jesus meets us in the most real way. Whether this Christmas finds you with joy and plenty, or grief and struggle (or any combination of things in between,) I think Alex's words about Jesus and Advent (and “Christmastide” – I learned something new!) will will be refreshing to your soul. www.monicaswanson.com/episode-188 Podcast page (for all episodes) www.monicaswanson.com/podcast
12/14/202235 minutes, 22 seconds
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Ep. 187: Tell Your Kids Your Story! with Asheritah Ciuciu

I am so excited to share this special conversation with my (now, in-real-life) friend, Asheritah Ciuciu. Asheritah has been on the podcast before as we talked about her amazing Advent devotional, Unwrapping the Names of Jesus. Now, with a beautiful Children’s Book newly released, Asheritah joins me to talk about the power of sharing our own stories with our kids, as we point to what Jesus has done in our lives. I loved learning a bit more about Asheritah and her husband (both Romanian) and the amazing things God has done in their lives. In this busy holiday season, I believe this conversation will be a blessing and so inspiring!  I hope you love it as much as I have! www.monicaswanson.com/episode-187 Podcast page (for all episodes) www.monicaswanson.com/podcast  
12/7/202241 minutes, 42 seconds
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Episode 186: Preparing our boys for dating and future relationships

In this episode we are talking about how we can approach the topic of dating and relationships as our sons grow up. I talk about how we have handled things with our sons, focusing on Biblical values and wisdom principles, not a set of rules. I share some resources we use for teaching our kids about sexuality, and the importance of having many conversations about even the awkward topics as our kids grow up. Many more highlights found in this episode and in Chapter 12 of Boy Mom. Be sure to get the free printable download: "Before He Asks Her Out" (a list of questions to go over with your son when he feels he is ready to date) in show notes:  www.monicaswanson.com/episode-186 Podcast page (for all episodes) www.monicaswanson.com/podcast      
11/30/202226 minutes, 59 seconds
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Ep. 179 Big announcements + Parenting Q & A!

This is an episode I have been so excited to share! I begin with a few announcements, one of which is about a big decision I am asking for your help with (see link to a short survey in show notes!) With my new book, Raising Amazing, coming out in February, I will also be making some changes in the podcast.  I can’t wait to share them with you! Next I dive into as many questions from podcast listeners as I can. I cover everything from helping a tween/teen to take responsibility for things to working moms and time management, to a teenager struggling with his faith. I think there is something in this one for everyone. I hope you enjoy! www.monicaswanson.com/episode-179 Podcast page (for all episodes) www.monicaswanson.com/podcast Take short survey HERE and be entered to win a giveaway! 
10/12/202228 minutes, 28 seconds
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Ep. 178: Take Back Your Joy, with Nicole Jacobsmeyer

Life can be incredibly challenging, and pain and suffering are a part of the human experience. (I wish they were not.) We will all face difficult times, and when you are a parent, the way you respond to difficulties has an impact on the generations that follow you. Today’s guest, Nicole Jacobsmeyer has faced her fair share of difficulties. From being a medical residency spouse (that’s hard, I know from experience!) to miscarriage, to cancer – all in a short time frame with three little boys in her care. Though Nicole has battled depression and hopelessness, her faith and her kids have inspired her to choose purpose and joy in the midst of hard seasons. In her brand new book: Take Back Your Joy, Nicole shares the hard and vulnerable parts of her story, while encouraging readers to face their own battles with supernatural faith.  Whatever season you are in, I think you’ll feel like you’ve found an honest friend in Nicole!  Find out more and get links over in show notes… www.monicaswanson.com/episode-178 Podcast page (for all episodes) www.monicaswanson.com/podcast
10/5/202245 minutes, 7 seconds
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Ep. 177: Raising (Physically) Healthy Boys, with Monica

This is the ninth part of the 2022 monthly feature on the podcast, covering the “12 Things Your Son Needs Most from You” from my book, Boy Mom. Today I am sharing some snippets from Chapter 10 – Body Wise. This chapter covers some of the ways we can help our boys to grow up to be active, healthy, and motivated to take care of themselves for a lifetime.   When our kids are young they depend on us for all of their health choices, and that is no small responsibility. As they grow up, we can still teach and coach and guide them in their decisions. I share some of the ways Dave and I have done this with our boys and things I’ve learned from friends who have navigated: overweight kids, picky eaters, and all the rest! I hope this offers you some food for thought (haha, catch that?) and maybe springboards you into some good conversations with your family about health…now and in their future! Be sure to check show notes for all of the links I mention, and a free download with some “boy-approved” (healthy-ish) foods we try to keep on hand for our boys!   www.monicaswanson.com/episode-177 Podcast page (for all episodes) www.monicaswanson.com/podcast  
9/28/202233 minutes, 48 seconds
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Ep. 176. Navigating Video Games with Your Kids

This week I am bringing back an episode from the past on a topic that is on a lot of parents' minds. I get asked about kids and video games, a lot, and have never felt qualified to give a comprehensive answer.  We are not much of a video game family, but I am not fully anti-video game, either.  So, I have always wanted to bring someone on who has an educated, balanced approach.  Boy did this conversation exceed my expectations!! Liz Busby, a researcher and writer for the Protect Young Minds website (now called, "Defend Young Minds",) a dedicated mom to four, and an enthusiastic gamer herself, 😯 joins us today to talk all about kids and video games! Liz shares the pros and cons of allowing our kids to use video games, precautions to take, resources to turn to, and so much more (including her top recommendations for games families can play together and how they might work in our favor(!)   While I have not changed my overall stance on video games for my own family (less is more - focus on outdoor activities, physical and academic challenges, etc. and use video games "occasionally") there is no doubt -- THIS was a surprising, fascinating, and really fun conversation. I also just might be trying some new games with my family soon! More good news: Liz is sharing all of her notes with Boy Mom listeners over in show notes. See link below! www.monicaswanson.com/episode-176 Podcast page (for all episodes) www.monicaswanson.com/podcast  
9/21/202248 minutes, 17 seconds
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Ep. 175: Growing up to Love God and His Word, with Josiah Swanson

I hear from a lot of parents who want to raise their kids to know and love God’s Word but are afraid of pushing too hard, or worried their kids might rebel against church and faith. My oldest son, Josiah (23) joins us today to share his faith journey, from his earliest years, through some years of doubt and questioning, and on to where he is today: A young man who loves God and cherishes the Word of God. Josiah answers questions sent in by listeners, including how he suggests responding to a teenager who doesn’t want to go to church, as well as a couple questions about choosing colleges. Find links to things Josiah and I mention over in show notes, and follow Josiah on his European travels on his Instagram feed! www.monicaswanson.com/episode-175 Podcast page (for all episodes) www.monicaswanson.com/podcast
9/14/202247 minutes, 22 seconds
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Ep. 174: Raising Kids without the (Emotional) Baggage

None of us want to imagine our kids carrying emotional baggage into adulthood, but…it happens. 😢 Wounds from people and experiences, from their own mistakes, (and sometimes even their own parents) grow into baggage that can impact the rest of our kids' lives… Chris Sasser (“Sass”) has been in family ministry for a long time, and through meetings with young adults, he recognized the problem of emotional baggage which so often impacts young marriages, jobs, and the future generations of families. Chris has identified 8 specific “bags” that we can help our kids be aware of, and he offers ways we might lighten those loads. I love this conversation so much, and I think you will get so much out of all that Chris has to share.  Find links to all that we talked about in show notes! www.monicaswanson.com/episode-174 The Artza Holy Land Subscription box is holding a flash sale this week! Head over to grab back-to-school themed items now! Use code BOYMOM25 for 25% off Artza Subscription boxes! (these make great gifts!) Podcast page (for all episodes) www.monicaswanson.com/podcast  
9/7/202247 minutes, 1 second
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Ep. 173: Inspiring Kids to Learn and Discover their Passions

This is #8 of the 2022 monthly feature on the podcast, covering the “12 Things Your Son Needs Most from You” from my book, Boy Mom. Today I am sharing some snippets from Chapter 9 – Inspiring Young Minds! This chapter is all about motivating boys to learn and helping them discover what will fuel their soul (and hopefully stick with them into adulthood!) We cover a lot in this episode – from creating a rich learning environment in the home, to small shifts that might help kids learn better (getting some fresh air, stand-up for math!? and more!) We also talk about the importance of introducing kids to a variety of sports and activities, and allowing them to discover their passions at their own pace… I love this topic and I hope you do, too! Be sure to check show notes for all of the links I mention, and a free download with conversation starters for fostering a growth mindset in your kids! www.monicaswanson.com/episode-173 Podcast page (for all episodes) www.monicaswanson.com/podcast
8/31/202233 minutes, 54 seconds
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Ep. 172: 4 Social Milestones Your Son Needs to Reach. With David Thomas

This is part II of a listener-favorite conversation with David Thomas which first aired nearly two years ago! In these episodes we are drawing from a book that David co-authored: “Are Your Kids on Track: 12 Emotional, Social, and Spiritual Milestones Your Kids Needs to Reach.” David’s insights and experience from counseling are relatable and encouraging! This week we are talking about 4 social milestones our sons need to reach, as well as the main stumbling blocks that get in the way. (If you missed it, be sure to go back to last week’s conversation about the 4 emotional milestones!) I think you’ll end this conversation with some new tools and inspiration to help make sure your son is on track socially! www.monicaswanson.com/episode-172 Podcast page (for all episodes) www.monicaswanson.com/podcast
8/24/202232 minutes, 51 seconds
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Ep. 171: 4 Emotional Milestones Your Son Needs to Reach. With David Thomas

This week and next I am sharing listener favorite-conversations with David Thomas which first aired nearly two years ago. David is a counselor at Daystar Counseling Center in Nashville, TN., and the author of several books. In these episodes we are drawing from his book: “Are Your Kids on Track: 12 Emotional, Social, and Spiritual Milestones Your Kids Needs to Reach.” David’s insights and experience from counseling are relatable and so helpful! This week we are talking about 4 emotional milestones our sons need to reach, as well as the main stumbling blocks that get in the way. Next week we’ll tackle 4 social milestones. I think you’ll end this conversation with some new tools and inspiration to help make sure your son is on track emotionally! www.monicaswanson.com/episode-171 Podcast page (for all episodes) www.monicaswanson.com/podcast
8/17/202244 minutes, 30 seconds
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Ep. 170: College Readiness, for Moms and Sons. With Jonah Swanson

My 2nd son Jonah, (21) joins us to chat about his first two years of college, and the years leading up to that. From being homeschooled, to taking a gap year, to navigating friend groups, spiritual questions and more – we cover a lot! This is a great episode for high school kids to listen to. Jonah offers encouragement for securing your identity before college, knowing what you believe, and making your college (or wherever you launch to) feel like “home”! I love what Jonah shares and I chime in as well to give a Mom’s perspective on many of the topics we cover. Please share this with friends who are nearing or in this season of life!  Thank you for listening.  Find links to things Jonah and I mention in show notes! www.monicaswanson.com/episode-170 Podcast page (for all episodes) www.monicaswanson.com/podcast
8/10/202259 minutes, 21 seconds
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Ep. 169: Raising Young Creators, with Jordan Raynor

Jordan Raynor has always been passionate about creativity and productivity, and he's written a number of best-selling books on these topics. In his new book, The Creator in You, Jordan's goal is to inspire our children to start young!  He helps kids to understand that work existed from the very beginning – even before sin entered the world...He reminds kids that God is a creative, working God, who invites them to create alongside Him! Jordan and I talk about work as a spiritual theme, how we as parents can inspire our kids to value work, and the role of chores and doing hard things. If you have little kids, this is a must listen. But for all of us, this conversation should inspire an appreciation for all the work we do (Motherhood counts!) and encourage us to raise our children to dream, create, and work hard, all to God’s glory. Links and my own list of books to inspire kids to work in show notes: www.monicaswanson.com/episode-169 Podcast page (for all episodes) www.monicaswanson.com/podcast    
8/3/202230 minutes, 27 seconds
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Ep. 168: Wisdom for Raising Boys in a Screen-Saturated World

This is the seventh part of the 2022 monthly feature on the podcast, covering the “12 Things Your Son Needs Most from You” from my book, Boy Mom. Today I am sharing some snippets from Chapter 8 – Navigating the Digital Age. There is a lot to cover, but I think this is one of the greatest parts of our job as parents in today's world! Be sure to check show notes to find two free downloads: A Technology Contract, and a list of helpful resources! (filters and accountability software.) I hope this episode encourages and equips you to raise your son to grow up with a healthy relationship with technology! www.monicaswanson.com/episode-168 Podcast page (for all episodes) www.monicaswanson.com/podcast
7/27/202236 minutes, 27 seconds
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Ep. 167: Raising Tiny Theologians, with Amy Gannett

Amy Gannett of Tiny Theologians has inspired me with her incredible knowledge of Scriptures and her heart to bring up children who know and love God’s Word.  Many people have ideas about who God is – based on their feelings or wishes, or what the culture has to say (scary!) But our kids need to know who God says He is, and what He says about them!  Amy creates resources to share Truths from Scripture, and practical ways we can teach our children to be…tiny theologians. Be sure to check show notes to get links to follow Amy, order her darling new board books, and more! www.monicaswanson.com/episode-167 Podcast page (for all episodes) www.monicaswanson.com/podcast  
7/20/202238 minutes, 15 seconds
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Ep. 166: The Journey to being World Jr. Champ, with Luke Swanson

My third son Luke (18) joins us today to talk about his journey from being a little boy on a surfboard with his dad, to recently winning the Jr. World Championships of surfing in El Salvador! Luke shares some of the ups and downs of his journey, his experience with sponsors and surf brands, and faith + character lessons he’s learned along the way.  We recorded this interview just two days before Luke left to surf in Indonesia for the rest of the summer. This might be a great interview to share with your children as Luke encourages kids to pursue excellence in all that they do! (Colossians 3:23) Find photos and links to see Luke’s surfing and more in show notes: www.monicaswanson.com/episode-165 Podcast page (for all episodes) www.monicaswanson.com/podcast  
7/13/202250 minutes, 29 seconds
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Ep. 165: Hope for the Mom at the End of her Rope, with Stacey Thacker

At some point in parenting, I think we all feel weary, worn out, and yes…at the end of our rope! (Some of us have felt that way for very long seasons!)  Ten years ago Stacey Thacker and Brooke McGlothlin wrote a book to encourage moms who were feeling that way. (It was called, “Hope for the Weary Mom.”) Because of the great response to that book, their publisher asked them to update the book and re-release it under a new name: Unraveled: Hope for the Mom at the End of Her Rope. In today’s interview, Stacey shares some snippets of that story and what God has taught her about pressure and perfectionism, weary seasons, and more.  Stacey’s heart is to share the message that the source of a mom’s hope, in the midst of weariness and overwhelm, is Jesus, and only Jesus. How does this work out practically?  That’s what we talk about in this interview! I hope you are encouraged and end this episode feeling all kinds of HOPE! Find links and more in show notes: www.monicaswanson.com/episode-165 Podcast page (for all episodes) www.monicaswanson.com/podcast  
7/6/202243 minutes, 3 seconds
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Ep. 164: Influences, Role Models, Lonely Seasons. Helping our Sons Navigate Well

This is the sixth part of the 2022 monthly feature on the podcast, covering the “12 Things Your Son Needs Most from You” from my book, Boy Mom. Today I am sharing some snippets from Chapter 7 – Forces at Work: Influences and Role Models. This is an incredibly important topic that I urge parents to pay close attention to! The influences in your child’s life will mold and shape them into who they grow up to become. In this episode, we’re talking about the greatest influence on kids – their own parents(😬! ) as well as sibling and peer influences, role models, and more. I also share about the lonely seasons my sons went through when they made some good, hard choices to pull away from kids who were not good influences. I hope this episode is a big encouragement to you!   Order Boy Mom here! **Also, in show notes find links to some (free!) downloads I created for Boy Mom book readers! www.monicaswanson.com/episode-164 Podcast page (for all episodes) www.monicaswanson.com/podcast
6/29/202233 minutes, 1 second
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Ep. 163: The Resilience We Need Now, with John Eldredge

I am so excited to share this conversation with John Eldredge, who I’ve been a fan of since reading his book, Wild at Heart, so many years ago. John’s wisdom and depth of insight have inspired people all over the world, and his newest book, Resilient: Restoring Your Weary Soul in these Turbulent Times is sure to do the same. In today’s interview, John talks about the importance of recognizing the traumatic nature of the pandemic on all of us, and the need to intentionally heal and move forward with resilience. He talks about the impact of our recent times on our children, and how we might help them through it.   I love John’s honesty as he shares how the pandemic affected him personally, and I appreciate John’s focus on the difference between worldly resilience and supernatural resilience – how we must choose singlehearted dependence on God in order to move forward in a healthy way. John also shares one of the many beautiful prayers from his book. I so enjoyed getting to know John and I think you will too. Find show notes: www.monicaswanson.com/episode-163 Podcast page (for all episodes) www.monicaswanson.com/podcast   * Today (June 22nd!) is the final day to join the CHARACTER TRAINING COURSE for the $50 off SUMMER SALE! Whether you have toddlers or teenagers, the self-paced video lessons, downloads and interviews (including two with Wendy!) will equip and encourage you to raise kids of character. Find out more here!
6/22/202243 minutes, 47 seconds
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Ep. 162: Raising Emotionally Strong Boys, with David Thomas

When it comes to understanding boys, David Thomas is someone I have learned so much from. With over 25 years of counseling experience, and having co-authored multiple books, David has a heart for helping boys build the “emotional muscles” that are an essential, yet often-neglected part of a boy’s journey to manhood.  Today we get to talk about the practical help he offers parents in his brand-new book, “Raising Emotionally Strong Boys”, and in the companion guide (for boys) “Strong and Smart: A Boy’s Guide to Building Healthy Emotions”. In today's interview, David defines “emotional healthiness”, and explains why emotions can be difficult for boys to communicate about. He talks about the “3 R’s” that can help boys respond to stress, and so much more!  I appreciate David’s compassionate and practical help so much, and I think all parents will benefit from what he shares! www.monicaswanson.com/episode-162 Podcast page (for all episodes) www.monicaswanson.com/podcast * Be sure to check out the Character Training Course’s SUMMER SALE beginning (today!) June 15th (doors will be open for one week only!) Whether you have toddlers or teenagers, the self-paced video lessons, downloads and interviews (including two with Wendy!) will equip and encourage you to raise kids of character. Find out more here!
6/15/202234 minutes, 3 seconds
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Ep. 161: Choosing our (Parenting) Words Well

Wendy Speake, long-time friend of the Podcast, (she’s my most frequent, and probably most-requested guest!) is back with us for another great Mom-to-Mom chat this week.  Wendy and I are talking about a topic from one of the books she has co-authored with Amber Lia, “Parenting Scripts.” I think you would agree that a universal parenting challenge is that of finding yourself in a moment of frustration, with the need to correct or discipline, but the “right words” simply don’t come. In moments like these we often tend to say the wrong thing…something we later regret. Wendy and I talk about how differently things go when we think ahead, consider our words or actions, and get intentional about our response! That’s the heart of Parenting Scripts and it is a game changer. I think this episode will be a big encouragement, and hopefully springboard you into some parenting scripts of your own! www.monicaswanson.com/episode-161 Podcast page (for all episodes) www.monicaswanson.com/podcast   * Be sure to check out the Character Training Course’s SUMMER SALE beginning June 15th (doors will be open for one week only!) Whether you have toddlers or teenagers, the self-paced video lessons, downloads and interviews (including two with Wendy!) will equip and encourage you to raise kids of character. Find out more here!
6/8/202253 minutes, 45 seconds
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Ep. 160: Helping Your Kids Know and Love the Word of God, with Hunter Beless

Hunter Beless, host of the Journeywomen Podcast, Mom to four (#4 is coming later this year!) and author of the new kids’ book, Read it, See it, Say it, Sing it! Joins us with the most encouraging message. Hunter’s love of God’s Word is absolutely contagious, and her heart to pass it down to our kids is so beautiful. In today’s conversation, Hunter talks about why we need to read, memorize, and talk about God’s Word in our own lives as parents. She offers some tips for reading the Bible with your kids, and where to start if you're new! I think you’ll love Hunter’s heart and this conversation! Don’t miss the mention of the Biggest Story Bible Storybook 10-book GIVEAWAY next week!  Giveaway will be done through the podcast email list, so be sure to subscribe at: www.monicaswanson.com/subscribe! www.monicaswanson.com/episode-160 Podcast page (for all episodes) www.monicaswanson.com/podcast
6/1/202241 minutes, 20 seconds
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Ep. 159: Raising Boys of Character

This is the fifth part of my new monthly feature on the podcast, covering the “12 Things Your Son Needs Most from You” in my book, Boy Mom. Today I am sharing some snippets from Chapter 6 – Aiming High: Teaching Noble Character. I’ve received more feedback on this chapter than any other. This chapter also inspired me to create my online Character Training Course (which will be opening its doors again on June 15th!) This is one of my very favorite things to talk about and I believe with all of my heart that next to faith, character is the most important thing a parent can focus on. Character will be a key to your child’s success in relationships, school, sports, and a career.  I hope this episode gives you some practical tools to use and a bunch of inspiration to raise your own kids of character! Find out more about the Character Training Course here: monicaswanson.com/character-course www.monicaswanson.com/episode-159 Podcast page (for all episodes) www.monicaswanson.com/podcast
5/25/202233 minutes, 59 seconds
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Ep. 158: You are More than a Mom, with Kari Kampakis

What if taking care of yourself was the first step to helping your family thrive? I’m sure you would agree that in the crazy season of motherhood, it is easy to lose a sense of your self and your self worth. We juggle so many things as moms, and we often find our own needs as a last priority.   Kari Kampakis joins us to share some highlights from her new book, “More than a Mom: How Prioritizing Your Wellness Helps You (and Your Family) Thrive. Kari is a wealth of wisdom, practical advice, and so genuine. Find links to all of the things we talk about over in show notes:   This episode is sponsored by Sarah’s Spanish School, a live, online Spanish school which is offering FREE classes for the entire month of May. Go check it out at: www.sarahsspanish.com/theboymom   www.monicaswanson.com/episode-158 Podcast page (for all episodes) www.monicaswanson.com/podcast
5/18/202237 minutes, 22 seconds
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Ep. 157: What if it’s Wonderful? With Nicole Zasowski

Are you quick to celebrate the big and small things in life? Or do you hesitate – feeling like celebration must be earned, or like the minute you celebrate, things might take a turn for the worst? Nicole Zasowski, marriage and family therapist, and author of newly released book, What if it’s Wonderful, joins us to talk about the gift, and discipline of celebration! Sharing from a research perspective, as well as personal experience, Nicole’s voice is honest, relatable, and endearing! After walking through her own seasons of disappointment, Nicole shares how she learned to shift her perspective from that of being suspicious of joy, to choosing to pursue a life intentionally anticipating joy! I LOVE this topic so much, and I learned a ton from Nicole in this interview.  SHOW NOTES: www.monicaswanson.com/episode-157 Podcast page (for all episodes) www.monicaswanson.com/podcast * This episode is sponsored by Sarah’s Spanish School, an online Spanish class for kids, with FREE CLASSES in MAY!! Go to sarahsspanish.com/theboymom to check out it! (my boys are doing it!)
5/11/202248 minutes, 17 seconds
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Ep. 156: Sis, Take a Breath this Mothers’ Day, with Kirsten Watson

I’m so excited to share this special Mothers’ Day episode with Kirsten Watson! As a mom to seven kids, wife to NFL veteran - Benjamin Watson, and cohost of a popular podcast, Kirsten Watson knows what it’s like to feel overwhelmed and exhausted. She has also learned what it takes to thrive, even in the busiest seasons; it all begins with taking a breath. Taking a breath is about inhaling the Word of God so we can exhale peace. Taking a breath is about recognizing our gifts and our limits…it is learning to say yes, and no. It’s about recognizing the significance of our significant other, finding our “dark alley friends”, and growing through every season. In today’s interview Kirsten shares highlights from her beautiful book, Sis, Take a Breath.  This conversation will be a good way to prepare for Mothers’ Day (and every day) with perspective, humor, and plenty of deep breaths. www.monicaswanson.com/episode-156 Podcast page (for all episodes) www.monicaswanson.com/podcast * This episode is sponsored by Sarah’s Spanish School, an online Spanish class for kids, with FREE CLASSES in MAY!! Go to sarahsspanish.com/theboymom to check out it! (my boys are doing it!)
5/4/202239 minutes, 40 seconds
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Ep. 155: Helping Your Son Develop a Secure Identity

This is the fourth part of the new monthly feature on the podcast, covering the “12 Things Your Son Needs Most from You” found in my book, Boy Mom. Today I am sharing from Chapter 5, “Secure Foundations: Affirming Significance and Identity.” This topic is so relevant to all the things are kids face today. How can we help our sons develop a self-worth that is not dependent on their performance or other people’s opinions?  How can we help our sons know that while many things will describe them, none of those things have to define them? What happens when our boys fail at what they are passionate about…When their dreams are crushed, or they get stuck in the comparison trap? These are all important questions, and I believe that parents who have thought through them will be a great asset to kids growing up today. In the noisy world our kids are growing up in, having a security based on the unchanging Truth of God’s love for them can be an absolute game changer. Join me as I share highlights from Chapter 5 of Boy Mom. Find a free download and more encouragement over in show notes: www.monicaswanson.com/episode-153 Podcast page (for all episodes) www.monicaswanson.com/podcast *Reminder: Ratings and reviews are so helpful! Please leave one wherever you listen to this podcast!  
4/27/202223 minutes, 58 seconds
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Ep. 154: The Unexpected Journey of Raising a Son with Autism

Today’s guest, Kate Swenson, shares her honest, difficult, but inspiring journey of raising a son with severe autism. We can learn a lot about autism through her story, and I think we can all relate to facing unexpected challenges in parenting.   Approximately 1/54 kids in America are diagnosed with autism, and I know many of you are affected in one way or another by this diagnosis. Kate shares candidly about the pain and isolation she has experienced, her divorce -- and remarriage (a story of its own!) and the and how she has ultimately found joy and purpose in her journey to “find Cooper’s voice.”  Be sure to share this episode with those you know who might be encouraged by Kate’s story!   www.monicaswanson.com/episode-154   Podcast page (for all episodes) www.monicaswanson.com/podcast
4/20/202237 minutes, 26 seconds
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Ep. 153: An Easter/Anniversary Chat with Monica and Dave

Hey Friends! Happy Holy Week! This week I have my husband, Dr. Dave, with me to celebrate our 26th anniversary, answer some questions, chat about parenting and marriage, and offer some Easter reflections. Though he is a much more behind-the-scenes type of guy, Dave has so much wisdom to offer, and I love getting to share him with all of you! Invite your men to join us for this fun and encouraging chat! Have a wonderful Easter and thank you for being a part of this podcast community.  *Reminder: Ratings and reviews are so helpful! Please leave one wherever you listen to this podcast! www.monicaswanson.com/episode-153 Podcast page (for all episodes) www.monicaswanson.com/podcast
4/13/202239 minutes, 57 seconds
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Ep. 152: Raising Kids to be Strong and Kind, with Korie Robertson

I am so excited to be bringing back the most-downloaded episode of 2021 this week!  I loved this chat with Duck Dynasty star, Korie Robertson, who has raised a number of amazing kids (her daughter, Sadie Robertson, is one of my top-recommendations for role models for young women!) I have admired Korie and her entire family for years, so this interview with a special honor!   Korie shares stories about ways she focused on character in her kids when they were growing up, and she also answers questions sent in by podcast listeners.  This is a fun way to get to know Korie, and to be inspired to raise your own kids to be strong and kind! *On this topic of kids and character, be sure you are signed up for this weekend’s Perfectly Imperfect Parenting event (all-online!) where I’ll be speaking on 3 practical ways to raise kids of character!  Get tickets at boymom.perfectlyimperfect.org.  Event is on April 8th but you can watch allll the amazing speakers until the end of 2022!!   www.monicaswanson.com/episode-152 Podcast page (for all episodes) www.monicaswanson.com/podcast
4/6/202246 minutes, 55 seconds
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Ep. 151: Raising Boys to Know and Love God

This is the third part of the new monthly feature on the podcast, covering the “12 Things Your Son Needs Most from You” found in my book, Boy Mom. Today I am sharing from Chapter 4 – “The Beginning of Wisdom: Nurturing Faith.”  This chapter is what I would consider the heart of the book!  It’s the best I have to give! I get a lot of questions from people about what we did to raise sons who all love God and choose to follow Him, even as they launch and live independently. While I would never suggest there is a formula, I do believe there is a lot parents can do to nurture and inspire faith in our children.  I hope this episode gives you some practical ideas and hope for raising your own sons to live a life of faith for all of their days!  www.monicaswanson.com/episode-151 Podcast page (for all episodes) www.monicaswanson.com/podcast
3/30/202228 minutes, 46 seconds
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Ep. 150: Foster the Family, with Jamie Finn

Whether or not you've ever considered being a foster family, this conversation with Jamie Finn will inspire you.  Her heart for children and family is contagious and her message is for all of us. After reading Jamie’s book, Foster the Family, I was so inspired to learn more. In today’s conversation we cover Jamie's story of becoming a foster parent and starting a super creative and brilliant ministry. I ask some total beginner questions, and Jamie so humbly answers! She is so real and honest, and so much fun. Please share this episode with your friends because we can all play a role in supporting children and families in need, and I think Jamie has some great ideas on how we might do that well.  www.monicaswanson.com/episode-150 Podcast page (for all episodes) www.monicaswanson.com/podcast
3/23/202242 minutes, 36 seconds
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Ep. 149: Let’s Talk About Youth Sports, with Carla Hanes

Do you love youth sports, or dread them? Are you an enthusiastic fan, or would you rather avoid every gym, field, and court possible? Do you get excited to see your kids growing in strength and character through sports, or do you see competition bringing out their dark side?  Let’s face it – If your kids play sports, they will likely be a big part of your life! There is a lot we can talk about on this topic! After I shared a series of Instagram Stories asking for your experience and feedback about youth sports, I decided this topic was worthy of a full podcast episode.  I thought it would be fun to bring a real-life friend on with me, so I invited my friend Carla, whose sons are in very different sports from mine! In this very real conversation, we talk about the good and difficult parts of youth sports…with an emphasis on the good! Carla is an enthusiastic football, soccer, and track mom, and I think you’ll find her passion contagious! Grab a coffee (or put on your sneakers!) and join Carla and I for this fun chat all about youth sports! PS Do you enjoy this mom-to-mom chat?  Let me know! I’d love to plan more episodes like this! www.monicaswanson.com/episode-149 Podcast page (for all episodes) www.monicaswanson.com/podcast      
3/16/202254 minutes, 46 seconds
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Ep. 148: Finding Identity in a Culture of Loneliness, with Bonnie Gray

Growing up as an American-Chinese daughter of a mail-order bride and a busboy working in San Francisco’s Chinatown, Bonnie Gray has a story that will capture your attention and win your heart. In her Memoir, Sweet Like Jasmine, Bonnie shares her grown-up journey of revisiting her childhood memories, uncovering family secrets, and witnessing brokenness made beautiful. (She’s such a good writer!) In today’s interview, Bonnie and I talk about her amazing story, how she has shared the hard parts of her past with her sons, and how finding our identity in Christ is the key to peace and belonging for all of us. Bonnie is so much fun to talk to, and I appreciate her honesty, vulnerability, and strength.  Bonnie’s story is unique, but it is also our story!  One of loneliness, longing for love, and ultimately finding the greatest love and security only in a relationship with God.  I am so excited to share this interview with you! www.monicaswanson.com/episode-148 Podcast page (for all episodes) www.monicaswanson.com/podcast
3/9/202249 minutes, 41 seconds
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Ep. 147: Habits of the Household, with Justin Whitmel Earley

We all have habits that fill our parenting, but are they the ones we choose? Justin Whitmel Earley says that “Our routines become who we are, good or bad, and over time they become the story and culture of our families.” If we do not carefully choose our habits, we end up falling back on rhythms that are forming us to be distracted, overstimulated, too busy, and lonely. Justin Whitmel Earley is a lawyer, author, speaker, and father to four boys! I have quickily become a huge fan of his new book, Habits of the Household: Practicing the Story of God in Everyday Family Rhythms. In this episode, Justin and I talk about how the book came to be, (a story we will ALL relate to!) and some of the habits and liturgies families can use to reduce chaos and create sweeter daily rhythms. We camp out on technology for a bit because I love that part of his book. If you are not already family with Justin, I think you’ll feel like you made a new friend after listening. Grab links and show notes at… www.monicaswanson.com/episode-147 Podcast page (for all episodes) www.monicaswanson.com/podcast      
3/2/202238 minutes, 58 seconds
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Ep. 146: Raising Boys with Boundaries and Freedoms

This is the second part of my new monthly feature on the podcast, covering the “12 Things Your Son Needs Most from You” from my book, Boy Mom. Today I am sharing some snippets from Chapter 3 -- Training Grounds: Boundaries, freedoms and discipline.  This chapter has been a reader favorite and a most-requested topic for radio and podcast interviews. I love this topic so much and I hope it offers you some helpful perspective on: setting limits and saying no, giving kids a chance to stretch their wings, (and maybe skin their knees!) and disciplining kids with love and grace.  www.monicaswanson.com/episode-146 Podcast page (for all episodes) www.monicaswanson.com/podcast
2/23/202231 minutes, 19 seconds
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Ep. 145: What parents should know about adolescent substance abuse, with Richard Capriola

Parenting a child through substance abuse is one of the most difficult experiences imaginable; something none of us could have fathomed when our kids were young. Yet the statistics on teens and substance abuse is startling. The percentage of teens vaping (nicotine or marijuana) has increased in recent years, and many parents are either totally unaware or don’t realize the extent of the problem.  Today’s guest, Richard Capriola, spent years working as an addiction counselor at the Menninger Clinic in Houston Texas, and has now written the helpful guide, The Addicted Child: A Parent’s Guide to Adolescent Substance Abuse. This book educates parents on everything from the types of drugs kids are abusing and what drug use does to the adolescent brain, to the kinds of treatment available for addiction. There is also a great resource list in the book for parents to find the help and support they need. In this interview we chat about the content of the book, and Richard shares hopeful stories from families who have overcome addiction to find a brighter future. We are all impacted by substance abuse to some extent, and I think you’ll find this an informative and encouraging conversation!  Please share with friends as none of us know who might need this information. www.monicaswanson.com/episode-145 Podcast page (for all episodes) www.monicaswanson.com/podcast
2/16/202237 minutes, 59 seconds
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Ep. 144: Intimacy in Marriage, with Debra Fileta

Valentine’s Day is just around the corner, and what better time to have a counselor, relationship expert, and author of “Married Sex” join us to talk about the importance of intimacy in marriage.  Debra Fileta is so much fun to talk to, and even if I’m blushing throughout this interview, she totally is not!    Debra talks about why women need to see sex as a gift for them as well as for their husbands as well as the importance of communicating about our sex lives. We also talk about how we can talk to our kids about marital intimacy and model a healthy love life that inspires them.   www.monicaswanson.com/episode-144 Podcast page (for all episodes) www.monicaswanson.com/podcast
2/9/202241 minutes, 1 second
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Ep. 143: Redeeming Your Time, with Jordan Raynor

If you're starting off the new year feeling just as hurried and hectic as you ended last year. (um, 🙋🏼‍♀️) then this episode is for you and me both. Today we get to talk to Jordan Raynor, serial entrepreneur and national bestselling author. Jordan offers a refreshing, biblical antidote to swamped to-do lists and hurried schedules. Jordan’s energy is contagious and I love that he focuses on meaningful and lasting lifestyle changes which we can practically implement right away!  Small changes make a big difference!  I hope you enjoy!   www.monicaswanson.com/episode-143 Podcast page (for all episodes) www.monicaswanson.com/podcast
2/2/202235 minutes, 21 seconds
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Ep. 142: 4 Building Blocks of a Healthy Relationship with Your Son

This is the first of a new monthly feature I plan to do covering the “12 Things Your Son Needs Most from You” from my book, Boy Mom.  Today I am sharing some snippets from Chapter 2: A Connection that Lasts, and expanding on the topic of growing a strong and healthy relationship with our sons. Though all relationships go through challenging seasons, I believe that a focus on these four building blocks will be very helpful.   In show notes find a link to a (free!) download "20 Ways to Make Your Son Feel Loved" as well as links to Boy Mom and more. I hope you enjoy this episode and that this new series offers you a ton of encouragement and support to be the best #boymom you can be in the year ahead! www.monicaswanson.com/episode-142 Podcast page (for all episodes) www.monicaswanson.com/podcast
1/26/202229 minutes, 31 seconds
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Ep. 141: Finding Goodness Right Where You Are, with Alexandra Kuykendall

While the past few years have put a spotlight on the divisive, contentious, darkness of our world, it is good to remember that God has not changed. And, His goodness and light are still there.  The question is: Do we see it?  Alexandra Kuykendall joins us today to point us to the practical truth of Philippians 4:8 – and a reminder that we can choose to shift our focus from the messy, hard things of our current culture, to all that is true, noble, and good right now. (hint: There’s a lot.) Alex tackles the hard stuff of personal conflict, cancel culture, and social media crazy with hope, help, and humor. This topic is so relevant to our lives right now!  The way we navigate these things will be passed on to our kids so we have many reasons to learn, grow, and do better! www.monicaswanson.com/episode-141 Podcast page (for all episodes) www.monicaswanson.com/podcast
1/19/202248 minutes, 45 seconds
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Ep. 140: Moms, we Need Each other! With Heather MacFadyen

There is so much pressure on moms to do everything right, and asking for help along the way often feels like defeat.  Heather MacFadyen, host of the popular “Don’t Mom Alone” podcast, joins us today with a refreshing reminder that we were never meant to do this on our own!  We need community. And community is available to all of us – if we look for it!   Heather and I talk about how to find and foster the key relationships you need to be the mom you want to be. I think you’re going to love Heather and this conversation!   www.monicaswanson.com/episode-140 Podcast page (for all episodes) www.monicaswanson.com/podcast
1/12/202245 minutes, 33 seconds
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Ep. 139: 30 Days to Make or Break any Habit, with Mark Batterson

As we kick off 2022, Mark Batterson offers us practical ways to make habits, break habits, and get serious about reaching our dreams. Mark says that “Destiny is not a mystery…Destiny is daily habits”. He believes that our lives are built on our patterns of behavior: both constructive and counterproductive habits. He also tells us the good news that “Each person is just one habit away from a totally different life!”  I love this topic, especially as we kick off a new year.  These are all ideas to share with our kids as we encourage them to dream big and establish a lifestyle that will support their greatest goals! www.monicaswanson.com/episode-139 Podcast page (for all episodes) www.monicaswanson.com/podcast
1/5/202232 minutes, 33 seconds
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Ep. 138: Building Family Culture and Habits for the Best New Year, with Kimberly Amici

Kimberly Amici is a Family Culture Coach and the host of the Build Your Best Family Podcast.  She is passionate about relationships and family life.  Today Kimberly shares some ways we might shift our focus from short-term goals to lifestyle habits that will shape our destiny.    As we go into the new year we could all use some inspiration for setting an intentional family culture, with habits and routines that support our truest values. I hope you enjoy this topic as much as I do!   Find show notes and get Kimberly’s Family Culture Discussion Sheet at: www.monicaswanson.com/episode-138 Podcast page (for all episodes) www.monicaswanson.com/podcast
12/29/202132 minutes, 55 seconds
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Ep. 137: A Prayer for the week of Christmas

Merry Christmas everyone…or as we say around here: Mele Kalikimaka! In this week’s episode I am checking in briefly to say hello and to read a special prayer from the Every Moment Holy book of prayers. I hope it offers you a moment of quiet and reflection in the midst of a busy season! Have a wonderful Christmas, and please know that I am so grateful for your part in my podcast community! www.monicaswanson.com/episode-137 Podcast page (for all episodes) www.monicaswanson.com/podcast
12/22/20216 minutes, 21 seconds
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Ep. 136: Help and Hope for Grief during the Holidays, with Marci Pecora

I am so grateful to introduce you to my friend, Marci Pecora. Marci is a licensed marriage and family therapist, well-acquinted with grief.  After a nearly 5-year battle with cancer, Marci’s husband went to heaven 10 years ago, leaving behind Marci and their two children.  Through grief groups and with the support of family and friends, Marci has not only survived, but discovered a gift in walking others through their unique stories of grief. I am so grateful that Marci would join us to share some insight and wisdom for understanding and walking through seasons of loss and grief – especially during the holidays. Whether you are grieving a loss now, or know someone else who is, I think you’ll find this to be a really helpful conversation.  What Marci shares will be useful to all of us eventually, and I hope you’ll consider sharing this episode so those who need it will find it. Marci’s recommended books and resources for grief are linked to in show notes: www.monicaswanson.com/episode-136 Podcast page (for all episodes) www.monicaswanson.com/podcast
12/15/202152 minutes, 30 seconds
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Ep. 135: Finding Wonder in every Season, with Singer-Songwriter, JJ Heller

When I first listened to JJ Heller’s song, “A Hand to Hold”, I had to pause the music and get tissues!  JJ’s music captures the wonder of childhood and the love between parents and children in such a magical way! Today, JJ joins us to talk about her journey…from college basketball player, to crippling anxiety attacks, to finding her voice and place in the music industry (and 10 million streams of Hand to Hold!) And now “Hand to Hold’ is also the sweetest children’s book! I love JJ’s honesty and humility and I think everyone will enjoy getting to know her in this chat.  Her story is a great reminder that God can use every struggle, hurt, and disappointment for His glory and our good when we love and trust Him! Find Hand to Hold on Amazon www.monicaswanson.com/episode-135 Podcast page (for all episodes) www.monicaswanson.com/podcast
12/8/202154 minutes, 3 seconds
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Ep. 134: Simplifying Christmas, with Tama Fortner

Yay!  We made it to December, and I am so excited for the Christmas season ahead! Today’s guest, Tama Fortner is helping us simplify Christmas, reclaim peace, and ENJOY all the best parts of Christmas without any unnecessary stress!  Tama and I chat about so many great ideas tucked into her new devotional book, Simply Christmas – from practical ways to simplify your decorating, to some creative (and simpler!) gift-giving ideas...and more!  Join us for this fun conversation as we kick off what I hope will be the best Christmas ever! Get Simply Christmas on Amazon! www.monicaswanson.com/episode-134 Podcast page (for all episodes) www.monicaswanson.com/podcast
12/1/202132 minutes, 7 seconds
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Ep. 133: Happy Thanksgiving with the Swanson Boys

I love sharing my sons with all of you, and this week my two youngest – Luke, 17, and Levi, 11, are with me to answer some listener questions and share some Thanksgiving holiday cheer.  The boys were fighting a case of the giggles and our dog fell off the bed in the middle of our chat, but this should give you a pretty realistic look at life at the Swansons real life! (This is a great one for your kids to listen to as well!) Don’t miss it!!  --- The Character Training Course doors are now open for a first-time ever, THANKSGIVING SALE (from November 22nd to Monday, November 29th)!  Find out more here:  www.monicaswanson.com/character-course. www.monicaswanson.com/episode-133 Podcast page (for all episodes) www.monicaswanson.com/podcast
11/24/202129 minutes, 8 seconds
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Ep. 132: Gratitude Training, with Kristen Welch

Entitlement has become an epidemic among our kids. We are raising children in a quick-fix society, where everything they want seems to be available at the touch of a button (or a holler out to Alexa!) Many of us (me included!) have grown frustrated with this issue, and wonder if there is some way to fight against it.  Kristen Welch, founder of Mercy House Global, and author of “Raising Grateful Kids in an Entitled World” (among other awesome books) joins us today to talk about gratitude, which she calls the antidote for entitlement!  Kristen is sharing 6 ways we can “train our kids” (and ourselves) in gratitude…These are practical and do-able -- at the holidays, and all year long.  Note! -- >  If you want to hear more on this topic of gratitude (and the issue of entitlement) be sure to check out my Character Training Course, which will open its doors for a special THANKSGIVING SALE beginning Monday, November 22nd 2021.  Find out more here:  www.monicaswanson.com/character-course. Find links to Kristen’s book, website, and notes at: www.monicaswanson.com/episode-131 Podcast page (for all episodes) www.monicaswanson.com/podcast  
11/17/202131 minutes, 50 seconds
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Ep. 131: God Made YOU to be YOU, with Jamie Ivey

Jamie Ivey, popular podcast host and author, joins us today to talk about helping our kids discover and enjoy their God-given identity. Jamie and I talk about the story behind her book for women -- You Be You, and how that led to her new children’s book, God Made You to be You.    Our culture today offers plenty of messages about who our kids are and what gives them value.  As parents we have an awesome opportunity to teach our kids the Truth – helping them establish a foundation in their uniquely wonderful, God-given identity. This prepares them to stand up against any lies that might come their way! I love this chat with Jamie about everything from her own story, to the making of her children’s book, to how she feels about her soon-to-launch son. I hope you finish it feeling encouraged! www.monicaswanson.com/podcast Today’s episode: www.monicaswanson.com/episode-131
11/10/202135 minutes, 52 seconds
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Ep. 130: “When You Don’t Feel Good about the Girl Your Son is Dating” with Kari Kampakis

Today I am excited to share a “guest podcast” from Kari Kampakis, host of the Girl Mom Podcast. In this episode Kari shares some helpful perspectives to keep in mind if your son is dating someone you don’t feel good about, as well as some sound wisdom to share with your teens or young adults when they enter the dating season of life.  (It’s not easy – rememeber!?) Be sure to go to show notes to find and follow Kari Kampakis, her awesome blog (with many viral posts) her podcast, and her books.  If you have daughters or know someone who does, Kari is a must-follow! www.monicaswanson.com/podcast today’s episode: www.monicaswanson.com/episode-130    
11/3/202123 minutes, 28 seconds
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Ep. 129: Inspiring Boys to “Run Toward the Roar” with Levi Lusko

Levi Lusko, Pastor, best-selling author, husband, and Dad -- joins us to chat about his heart for tackling real issues kids face with compassion, grace, and biblical authenticity.  Pastor Levi’s newly released children’s devotional, Roar Like a Lion, helps parents open up conversations and bring Biblical truth into relevant topics including peer pressure and bullying, faith, fears, friendships, and finding the courage to try new things.   Levi and I talk about his family’s healing process after one of his young daughter’s went to heaven, and how in God’s mysterious way that opened the door for he and his wife to have their first son. He shares about how much he loves to bring the Bible to life for his kids and how that led to writing his first kids’ devotional.  At the end I got to ask Pastor Levi a few Dad/Pastor questions, and I loved his responses.  Find links and show notes at…   www.monicaswanson.com/podcast today’s episode: www.monicaswanson.com/episode-129
10/27/202135 minutes, 7 seconds
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Ep. 128: God has Good Plans for You, with Megan Fate Marshman

When life is difficult, it can be hard to believe that God is for you – that He is truly working all things together for your good. If you have ever wrestled with these thoughts, then this interview with Megan Fate Marshmann -- gifted Bible teacher, storyteller, and writer is just for you.  I recorded this interview in early 2021 to talk about the message in her incredible book, Meant for Good, but days before the interview was scheduled to release, Megan’s husband Randy had a sudden heart attack and departed for heaven. The message from Megan’s book became only more relevant and profound.  I held on to the interview for many months and am so grateful for the chance to share it now. Megan's words are powerful and I think you’ll be encouraged -- whether you’re currently in a good season, or a hard one.  Perhaps you know someone who needs to hear this message now (please pass it along!)  Find all of the links in show notes… Show notes:  www.monicaswanson,.com/episode-128
10/20/202143 minutes, 29 seconds
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Ep. 127: Simplifying Family Life with 3 Key Routines, with Toni-Ann Mayembe

Whether you work outside the home or not, moms have a way of filling their days and then some...The overwhelm of  rushed mornings, exhausting evenings, or the dreaded #mondaymorning are so very real!  Today we get to hear from a working mom who definitely understands!  Toni-Ann Mayembe is a family dentist, a reservist in the Navy, a blogger and podcaster, and an intentional, involved #boymom and wife, and yet, she is holding it all together with style!  And even more, Toni-Ann is on a mission to help moms eliminate the overwhelm and enjoy motherhood while being authentic with themselves and others.  In this interview, Toni-Ann walks us through the three routines she believes can make a big difference in your family life.  She also offers a link to get a free download to help make that happen.  This is such a fun and practical conversation – I hope you enjoy! Show notes:  www.monicaswanson.com/episode-127    
10/13/202135 minutes, 4 seconds
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Ep. 126: Raising Jesus Followers, with Rachel-Ruth-Lotz-Wright

Billy Graham was one of (if not the) most impactful evangelists of all time, and now we get to hear from his daughter and granddaughter as they share stories from their family legacy.  Billy’s granddaughter, Rachel-Ruth joins us today to share some of those stories and the heart behind the book, Jesus Followers: Real-Life Lessons For Igniting Faith in the Next Generation. (co-written with her mom, Anne Graham Lotz.)    Parents today are raising what has been called the “least religious generation.” What can Christian families do to make sure their faith is not only lived out in their homes but received by the next generation?  That is what this book is all about.  Rachel-Ruth has such a sweet, gentle spirit, but she is also bold in her convictions. Her love for Jesus and passion for sharing the Truth is contagious.  I think you’ll be inspired as you listen!   Show notes:  www.monicaswanson.com/episode-125   Get your tickets to this fall’s Christian Parenting Digital Event: Every Parent Wants to Know…with incredible speakers like Christine Caine, Jess Connolly, Heather McFadyen, Anthony Evans, Kristen and Benjamin Watson, and more!  Event begins October 15th but you’ll have until the end of 2021 to listen to all of the speakers!
10/6/202150 minutes, 12 seconds
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Ep. 125: The 4-Hour School Day, with Durenda Wilson

We want our kids to have the best education, but less-than-ideal school environments as well as more recent inconsistencies in schools due to the pandemic have left parents uncertain about traditional schooling. Durenda Wilson, Mom to eight kids with over 25 years of homeschooling experience, joins us today to offer a refreshing approach to all things family and education.  Durenda has so much wise counsel for parents looking for fresh ideas to ensure their children have a quality education suited to their natural talents and abilities. In today’s interview we talk about some of the myths related to homeschooling, and how we can help our kids become more independent in their school work. We talk about which topics you can wait until high school to take seriously, and how to incorporate your child’s natural interests into their curriculum.  Whether or not you homeschool your kids, I think you will feel inspired and encouraged listening to this conversation!  Spread the word to your friends and check out show notes to listen and grab all the links! Show notes:  www.monicaswanson.com/episode-125 Get your tickets to this fall’s Christian Parenting Digital Event: Every Parent Wants to Know…with incredible speakers like Christine Caine, Jess Connolly, Heather McFadyen, Anthony Evans, Kristen and Benjamin Watson, and more!  Event begins October 15th but you’ll have until the end of 2021 to listen to all of the speakers! Podcast homepage:  www.monicaswanson.com/podcast
9/29/202156 minutes, 15 seconds
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Ep. 124: The Hard Good, with Lisa Whittle

Life is full of hard things, we all know that. But how we choose to see those hard things – our perspective on all that life gives us -- can make a radical difference in how we come through our trials.  When bestselling author and Bible teacher Lisa Whittle lost her beloved father in 2017, she found herself on a journey to learn the hard good.  Years later Lisa combines the lessons she learned with counsel from Scripture to create a roadmap that will help readers navigate their own hard good. In this episode Lisa shares about her relationship with her dad, and then we touch on a number of the “hard good” circumstances that we all face: From accepting things you wish were different, to seeing someone else get what you want, to showing up when you want to shut down. I think Lisa’s honesty and Biblical counsel will help you navigate a current hard season, or store up wisdom for those ahead. Show notes:  www.monicaswanson.com/episode-124 Sign up now for Christian Parenting's FALL Digital Event (Oct. 15th!) with amazing speakers talking about those things that..."Every Parent Wants to Know!" Get your tickets HERE. 
9/22/202137 minutes, 26 seconds
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Ep. 123: Helping Teens Navigate Social Media with Integrity

There is no doubt, parenting in the age of social media can be tricky. Whether or not your kids are currently using social media, it is never too early to start thinking about how you might coach your kids in their use of it.  In today’s episode I am sharing a blog post I wrote about a shift my oldest son made in his approach to social media that was a game changer!  I am also sharing clips of an interview with that son about his journey with social media from age 13 to 22. I am happy to announce a new page on my blog where I have gathered all of my technology-related content.  And I am excited to share that the doors to my “Raising Tech-Smart Kids Mini-Course” are OPEN from September 15-17th (as this episode comes out!)  If you catch this in real time, be sure to check out what is in the mini-course using the link in notes! Today’s episode is short but so practical and hopefully inspirational! Show notes: www.monicaswanson.com/episode-123 Raising Tech-Smart Kids Mini-Course My new All-Things-Technology Page!  Podcast homepage:  www.monicaswanson.com/podcast
9/15/202120 minutes, 34 seconds
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Ep. 122: How to Declutter Like a Mother, with Allie Casazza

Allie Casazza is on a mission to eradicate the "hot mess mom" stereotype by empowering other women. Today she joins me to talk about her proven, family-oriented approach to minimalism.  Allie shares the very real and raw story of how her journey began, and why she believes we can all find more peace by simplifying our stuff.   Whether you’re a working mom, overwhelmed by kids and responsibilities or already on your minimalism game, I think you’ll be inspired (and empowered) by this conversation.  Allie is hilarious, relatable, and full of practical ideas.   Show notes:  www.monicaswanson.com/episode-122
9/8/202138 minutes, 5 seconds
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Ep. 121: Q and A with my College Boys!

Sharing a fun chat with Josiah (22) and Jonah (20) who are answering questions listeners have sent in. In this interview we cover their relationship as siblings (“Did you always like each other?”...“Did you ever fight?”) as well as how/when they made their faith their own. They talk about how they feel about homeschooling now, in light of how it prepared them for college.  Finally, they talk a bit about their relationship with their mom. (aww) I love all that they share, and they even have some advice for the kids listening!  *At the beginning of this episode I take a few minutes to address questions listeners have sent in for my husband, a hospital physician, related to Covid and the vaccine. Since I know there are many more questions, I am hoping to do a Q and A episode with Dr. Dave on the podcast in a couple weeks! (stay tuned.) Show notes: www.monicaswanson.com/episode-121
9/1/202146 minutes, 39 seconds
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Ep. 120: Helping Kids Recognize God's Truth from the Enemy's Lies.

What our kids believe will create a roadmap for the choices they will make for the rest of their lives. Teaching kids to discern God's voice from the enemy's lies is one of the greatest ways we can help them form right beliefs which will lead to good choices.  After a traumatic life experience, Charity Rios learned what it means to "tend her heart", replacing the enemy's lies with God's Truth. Now that she has four sons, Charity is teaching them these same concepts. Charity shares how to do this in her new children’s book, My Heart's Garden, which has concepts simple enough for young children to understand, but deep enough to impact adults as well. In today's conversation, Charity shares her story, gives the simple steps to tending your heart, and offers examples of how we might walk through these steps with our kids. I think you'll find it practical and encouraging! Show notes: www.monicaswanson.com/episode-120
8/25/202132 minutes, 13 seconds
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Ep. 119: Don’t Miss Out! With Jeannie Cunnion

Mom to five boys, Jeannie Cunnion has written two parenting books which very well may be on your shelf. ;) Recently, Jeannie narrowed in on the greatest parenting tool she has discovered: The power of the Holy Spirit! And now she doesn't want any of us to miss out on all that is available to us through the Holy Spirit!  Today Jeannie joins us to talk about the benefits of having the Holy Spirit’s daily presence in our life. I love how understandable and practical Jeannie makes things, and I love that when we really grasp the Holy Spirit in our own lives, we can naturally teach our kids to do the same.  This is a powerful conversation and I hope you enjoy! Show notes:  www.monicaswanson.com/episode-119 Thank you to this episode's sponsor, Artza.com -a subscription box delivered straight from the Holy Land, full of incredible goodies for your whole family.  (See show notes for a peek at my most recent box!)
8/18/202145 minutes, 53 seconds
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Ep. 118: Growing Slow, with Jennifer Dukes Lee

In a culture that embraces hurry, and “busy” is the norm, today’s episode with Jennifer Dukes Lee invites us an alternative…one of strategically “growing slow.”  Jennifer discovered these lessons after years of fast-paced, high stress living – a season that led her to a breaking point. Jennifer says that the lessons she shares in her book, Growing Slow, are the result of unlearning what the world taught her about success and finding the courage to walk in a world that asked her to never stop running.  Wow!  I needed this conversation at least as much as anyone. I think you’ll find Jennifer’s words and heart to be a huge encouragement!  Be sure to visit show notes… www.monicaswanson.com/episode-118
8/11/202136 minutes, 53 seconds
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Ep. 117: What a Teenage Boy Needs Most from His Mom

7 years ago I wrote a blog post that was read by nearly 2 million people in 2 weeks. (that was a huge surprise!!)  That blog post led to many opportunities, including the chance for me to publish my book, Boy Mom: What Your Son Needs Most from You, and...launch the BOY MOM PODCAST!! This week the Boy Mom Book turns two, and I’m full of thankfulness and a bit of nostalgia. ❤️ On the podcast today I reflect on all of the steps that led to the book, and for the first time ever, I read the blog post that started it all.  (Pause to wipe tears.) Thank you for sharing in this special day and be sure to visit show notes for a little party, complete with giveaways and confetti. Show notes: www.monicaswanson.com/episode-117 Podcast homepage:  www.monicaswanson.com/podcast
8/4/202118 minutes, 30 seconds
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Ep. 116: Equipping Your Kids to Understand and Defend their Faith, with Natasha Crain

Research suggests that at least 60% of kids who grow up in a Christian home walk away from Christianity by their early twenties, largely in response to the intellectual challenges to their faith. 😮  In light of the specific challenges kids will encounter in today's world (especially in college, I can tell you from my boys' experience) it has never been more important for our kids to know what they believe and why they believe it.  The good news is, parents are uniquely positioned to equip their kids to understand and defend their faith. Today's guest, Natasha Crain, has written a number of books to help parents raise their kids with an understanding of how to make a case for and defend their faith in an increasingly secular world. Natasha offers a roadmap for meaningful dialogue about Jesus in light of the most relevant topics to kids today.  In today's episode, Natasha is sharing some eye-opening statistics as well as practical advice for parents who want to help their kids navigate well! I think you will end this episode feeling inspired and encouraged! www.monicaswanson.com/episode-116
7/28/202139 minutes, 6 seconds
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Ep. 115: How we Can Live Freely and Lightly, with Emily Lex

Emily Lex – watercolor artist and popular blogger, joins me today for a candid conversation about her journey from insecurity and anxiety, to quiet confidence and peace.  Facing many of the emotions and struggles common to all of us, Emily found the reward in a renewed sense of identity and strength.  This conversation inspired me so much, and I think you’ll find so many golden nuggets that will bless you, wherever you are in your faith and personal journey!   Show notes: www.monicaswanson.com/episode-115
7/21/202149 minutes, 43 seconds
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Ep. 114: The Most Important Thing a Parent Can Do. With Brooke McGlothlin

Brooke McGlothlin has become one of our favorite resources for all things praying for your kids.  Her interviews in episodes 27 and 42 were some of the most listened to here on the Boy Mom Podcast, and she is back with more inspiration today.  Brooke’s brand new book, Praying Mom: Making Prayer Your First and Best Response to Parenting, is about to come out and we get a sneak peek into some of the awesome content in the book.  Brooke has such a friendly, encouraging tone, I know you’re going to end this episode feeling built up and inspired! www.monicaswanson.com/episode-114   This episode is sponsored by the new, cutting edge internet filter, Canopy!  Go to canopy.us/boymom to try get 30 days of Canopy for free!   
7/14/202135 minutes, 31 seconds
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Ep. 113: Treading Boldly through a Pornographic World, with Daniel Weiss and Joshua Glaser

Friends this is such an important podcast episode!  As we are wrapping up my summer mini-series on Boys and Technology, today we dive into the most concerning issue related to boys and devices: Pornography.  Josh Glaser and Daniel Weiss, authors of Treading Boldly through a Pornographic World, join me to talk about how we can help our kids navigate in this hypersexualized, porn-friendly world we are raising them in. We talk about how parents can protect their kids, as well as how to handle it if we find out they’ve already accessed porn. You’ll find so much empathy and grace as well as practical help and encouragement in this episode.  Please, please spread the word to your friends because hearing this episode could make the difference in a child’s future. Show notes: www.monicaswanson.com/episode-113 Podcast homepage:  www.monicaswanson.com/podcast This episode is sponsored by the new, cutting edge internet filter, Canopy!  Go to canopy.us/boymom to try get 30 days of Canopy for free!
7/7/202147 minutes, 26 seconds
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Ep. 112: Everything You Need to Navigate Video Games with Your Kids, with Liz Busby

I am beyond thrilled to finally have some answers for everyone who asks me about kids and video games! Liz Busby, a researcher and writer for the Protect Young Minds website, dedicated mom to four, and enthusiastic gamer, joins us today to talk all about kids and video games!  Liz shares the pros and cons of allowing our kids to use video games, precautions to take, resources to turn to, and so much more (including her top recommendations for games families can play together and how they might work in our favor!)  As someone who has mostly kept my own kids off of video games (and encourages other parents to do the same) this was a surprising, fascinating, and fun conversation.   More good news:  Liz is sharing all of her notes with Boy Mom listeners over in show notes!  www.monicaswanson.com/episode-112 This episode is sponsored by the new, cutting edge internet filter, Canopy!  Go to canopy.us/boymom to try get 30 days of Canopy for free!   
6/30/202149 minutes, 38 seconds
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Ep. 111: What Most Parents Don’t Know about Internet Filters, with Sean Clifford

If your kids are on devices of any kind, then this is one episode you do not want to miss!  We continue our summer mini-series, “Boys and Technology”, with a chat that had me on the edge of my seat. Sean Clifford shares some eye-opening statistics, and also helps us understand what most internet filters do…as well as what they do NOT do (hold on, this might surprise you!)  He also shares a new type of filter that uses cutting edge technology (artificial intelligence!) to prevent porn (or sexting) from ever reaching our kids’ devices!  This interview is packed with helpful information and some sweet encouragement, too! Show notes: www.monicaswanson.com/episode-111 Go to canopy.us/boymom to try get 30 days of Canopy for free!   
6/23/202140 minutes, 45 seconds
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Ep. 110: Empowering Kids to Make Good Choices Online, with Kristen Jenson

This episode kicks of my summer series talking about boys and technology. I want to come at this topic from many angles, and today’s conversation is foundational. Kristen Jenson, author of Good Pictures Bad Pictures (check out episode 44) is back to talk about equipping our kids with what they need to make good choices online. The new Brain Defense Digital Safety Curriculum is an entertaining, video-based curriculum for students which covers everything from cyber-bullying, to pornography, to internet addiction. Our goal is to arm kids with safe technology habits to protect their growing minds. This episode will inspire you to have important conversations and give your kids what they need to thrive online. Show notes: www.monicaswanson.com/episode-110
6/16/202130 minutes, 10 seconds
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Ep 109: Lots of Q & A, with my son, Jonah

It is so much fun to have my son, Jonah, home from college and here to co-host this all Q & A episode! I've been saving questions for some time now, and I've still only scratched the surface.  In today's chat Jonah and I cover everything from how to decide if your family is a good fit for homeschooling, to whether or not Dr. Dave recommends we (and our kids) should get the vaccine, to a list of parenting questions about everything -- from toddlers to teenagers, from purity to influences, to father son struggles.  Grab your earbuds and join in.  Find links to anything we mention in show notes: Podcast notes:  www.monicawanson.com/podcast Today's episode; www.monicaswanson.com/episode-109 Thank you to thegoodbook.com for sponsoring this episode.  I HIGHLY recommend "The Big Questions" book series which address the tough questions every tween wrestles with (How do I Know Christianity is Real?" "What Happens when We Die?" and more!)  Visit thegoodbook.com to check them out today! 
6/9/202151 minutes, 48 seconds
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Ep. 108: Where the Magic Happens {2 year Podcast Birthday + Character Course Doors open!}

This week we celebrate two years of the Boy Mom Podcast! Even more, this week the doors to the Character Training Course are open – for a (first-ever!) SUMMER SALE! In today’s episode I read a blog post from the archives -- sharing a story…of a regular Wednesday night in my home.  This is a little glimpse into what I believe is the heart of character training.  I hope you enjoy, and I hope it reminds you that your work matters…Every moment of pressing in, pressing on, holding high standards and holding your tongue. Your job is important, and one day you’ll look back and see the beauty in all you do each day. My Character Training Course offers so much support and encouragement for the work you do, so I hope to see you in there this week! Find out more: www.monicaswanson.com/character-course Show notes: www.monicaswanson.com/episode-108 Podcast homepage:  www.monicaswanson.com/podcast
6/2/202119 minutes, 38 seconds
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Ep. 107: Timeless Parenting Wisdom, with Chrys Howard

My recent interview with Korie Robertson on the Boy Mom Podcast was a favorite episode for a lot of listeners! Now today, Korie’s own mom, (also seen on Duck Dynasty!) Chrys Howard joins us to share all kinds of timeless parenting wisdom.  Chrys has so much wisdom to share and inspires me in so many ways! I love that true parenting Chattinwisdom does not come and go with trends…it is timeless!  This episode has some great encouragement for mom and grandparents alike.  I think you’re going to love it! FIND SHOW NOTES: www.monicaswanson.com/episode-107 Podcast homepage:  www.monicaswanson.com/podcast   ** On June 1st the Character Training Course will open its doors for the first EVER summer SALE!  Don’t miss it!  Find out more here : www.monicaswanson.com/character-course   Thank you to this episode’s sponsor, The Good Book Company, who is sharing the BIG QUESTIONS SERIES of books for kids ages 9-13.  These books answer questions like, “How do we Know that Christianity is Real?  And “What Happens When we Die?” These are such important topics to go over with your kids!  See show notes and go to www.goodbook.com to find out more.
5/26/202144 minutes, 36 seconds
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Ep. 106: Help for Destructive Mommy Anger, with Natalie Hixson

Whether or not you’ve ever had anger issues before, Motherhood seems to reveal our hidden anger issues. While anger is a normal emotion, it can be handled in negative and destructive ways which can hurt our kids and our relationship with them.  This was a big struggle for me when my kids were young, and I’ve heard from so many moms who feel shame and sadness over how this has affected their parenting.   Today’s guest, Natalie Hixson, shares her story of overcoming destructive mommy anger, and how this led her to learn more about the problem and ultimately become a coach -- helping other women overcome destructive anger habits!  This episode is full of compassion and encouragement as well as practical tips and tools. Natalie also offers a free “Triggers Tracker” download.    Today’s episode: www.monicaswanson.com/episode-106   Find show notes:  www.monicaswanson.com/podcast   Note: One thing that helped ME overcome anger patterns in my parenting was to get intentional about what I focused on as a parent.  Focusing on my kids’ character was a huge help for me in this way.  Now I have great news!  From June 1st- 7th,  I will be opening the doors to my Character Training Course which teaches parents to raise kids of excellent character! I hope you can be a part of this awesome online course – filled with practical help, resources, interviews, and videos! Sign up on the interest list at: www.monicaswanson.com/character-course
5/19/202149 minutes, 15 seconds
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Ep. 105: Create Family Adventures - Around the World or Around Your Table with Liz Yeboah

When I met Liz Yeboah through a homeschool roundup on Instagram, I immediately became a fan of her and her intentional family life! Though the Yeboahs live in England, they have created a culture of curiosity, exploration, and globe-trotting adventures with their four sons and one daughter. In this episode, Liz shares some of the most magical trips her family has taken (hello South of France, and Shanghai...) as well as the most meaningful (visiting her husband’s roots in a village in Ghana.) She shares the books and platforms that have inspired her, and then tells us exactly how she plans her family’s big trips, monthly outings, and even date nights!  (you're going to want a wall-calendar and some colorful markers!) as well as the best travel apps, online inspiration and more.  You’re going to love Liz and everything she shares in this episode! www.monicaswanson.com/episode-105 Homepage:  www.monicaswanson.com/podcast Want to raise kids of character!??  -- Get ready for a summer sale launch of the Character Training Course!  Find out more about the course and leave your name on the interest list at: www.monicaswanson.com/character-course
5/12/202149 minutes, 58 seconds
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Ep. 104: 5 Ways to Avoid Mothers’ Day Disappointment

There is no doubt, Mothers’Day can be a mixed bag...While we often go into the holiday thinking we have low expectations, part way through the day we often realize that we had really just stuffed our expectations. ;) Moms are the orchestrators of all-things-family-and-celebration, so a holiday that is all about US...? Well, it can be tricky! In today’s episode I share a blog post that went viral years ago and has since then been shared all over the world and even on the Today Show website. It is called “5 Ways to Avoid Mothers’ Day Disappointment.” Whether you think you need it or not, I highly recommend tuning in for a refresher! And please consider sharing this one with your friends! Who knows who might need it this year! Here’s to a No-Regrets-Mothers’ Day! www.monicaswanson.com/episode-104Podcast homepage: www.monicaswanson.com/podcast  Get your copy of BOY MOM today on Amazon! If you’ve read it already, please consider leaving an Amazon Review! Also: your ratings and reviews for this podcast mean SO MUCH to me! If you have been impacted by the Boy Mom Podcast, please take a second to tap on 5 stars on your podcast app.
5/5/202116 minutes, 16 seconds
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Ep. 103: Mother’s Day Starts Now! Join the Celebration...

This episode is all about celebrating you, Moms. I wanted to kick off Mother's Day a bit early this year because history has proven (to me, at least) that a holiday like this comes and goes only too quickly...and if we aren’t thinking and planning ahead then we are likely to all but miss it! Today my online assistant, Morgan, joins me to share fun Mothers’ Day and Motherhood Facts, best parenting advice, and some special clips from Boy Mom readers who are sharing how the book and podcast have impacted their parenting, as well as the best parenting advice they’ve been given! There are a few giveaways tucked in here too, so be SURE to get over to show notes to grab links and enter to win giveaways! SHOW NOTES: www.monicaswanson.com/episode-103Podcast Homepage: www.monicaswanson.com/podcast Get your copy of BOY MOM today on Amazon! If you’ve read it already, please consider leaving an Amazon Review! Also: your ratings and reviews for this podcast mean SO MUCH to me! If you have been impacted by the Boy Mom Podcast, please take a second to tap on 5 stars on your podcast app!
4/28/202129 minutes, 54 seconds
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Ep. 102: Unexpected Heartbreak, Ambiguous Loss, and Trusting God for Hope, with Pat and Tammy McLeod

After their teenage son’s traumatic brain injury from a hard hit in a football scrimmage, Pat and Tammy McLeod’s world turned upside down. In this powerful interview, they share about the months and years that followed their unexpected heartbreak, how they came to understand “ambiguous loss” and some of the things that helped keep their marriage, family, and faith together through the hardest of times. I believe the McLeod’s story, and the concept of ambiguous loss is so important for all of us to understand, and I pray you are encouraged by this episode!   SHOW NOTES: www.monicaswanson.com/episode-102 Podcast homepage: www.monicaswanson.com/podcast   Thank you to this episode’s sponsor: Strykeclub.com Skincare essentials for THE BOYS! **Use code BOYMOM to receive 10% off your purchase at StrykeClub.com.
4/21/20211 hour, 16 seconds
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Ep. 101: Wake Up Calls, Knowing Our Identity, and Love-Centered Parenting, with Crystal Paine

After a frightening wake-up call with one of her children, Crystal Paine began to explore where things went wrong and how she might fix it.  When a therapist suggested she take a different approach – one of focusing more on her relationship with her children than trying to fix them – everything began to change. Crystal discovered root issues – lies she had believed about herself and her parenting. In her new book, Love-Centered Parenting, Crystal writes about this journey, and in this episodes, Crystal and I talk about what she has learned and how listeners might apply these lessons to their own parenting. I appreciate Crystal’s honesty and humility, and I think this conversation will inspire you in your own parenting! SHOW NOTES: www.monicaswanson.com/episode-101 Podcast homepage:  www.monicaswanson.com/podcast Thank you to this episode’s sponsor:  Strykeclub.com  Skincare essentials for THE BOYS!  **Use code BOYMOM to receive 10% off your purchase at StrykeClub.com.
4/14/202144 minutes, 2 seconds
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Ep. 100: Celebrating 100 Episodes with Show Highlights and Giveaways

I am so grateful to all of you who have listened to The Boy Mom podcast, spread the word about it, and helped make this community so special. In today’s show, we look back over the last 99 episodes, sharing clips from the 7 most downloaded episodes, and giveaways from each of the authors featured.  I hope you enjoy this celebration and I hope you know how grateful I am for all of you!!  Join the party, listen and be sure to enter to win the goods over at: www.monicaswanson.com/episode-100 Podcast homepage:  www.monicaswanson.com/podcast Giveaway ends on 4/12/21 and winners will be contacted by email! 
4/6/202128 minutes, 16 seconds
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Ep. 99.5: Holy Week Check-in and Poem with my son, Josiah

I decided to delay on sharing Episode #100 because that is going to be a big party-of-an-episode, with giveaways, clips from the most popular episodes, maybe some dancing and 🎉 confetti.  (we’ll see 😉 )  But this week happens to be HOLY WEEK…and it just felt wrong to put a bunch of hype on anything but...Jesus.  So, today I’m keeping things brief, and I’m inviting you all to join me for this short chat with my son, Josiah, who also shares an Easter poem he wrote as a teenager.  (Maybe your kids will want to listen, too.)  I’ll have a copy of the poem as well as links to the things we mentioned over in show notes: www.monicaswanson.com/podcast www.monicaswanson.com/episode-99.5 
3/30/202110 minutes, 54 seconds
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Ep. 99: Bible Devotions for Boys of all Ages, With Christie Thomas

Recently I did some Instagram stories talking about Bible Devotions and I had a lot of people ask me to share recommendations for boys’ devotionals.   I put together a list and shared it with my email subscribers, but I knew there was a lot more to talk about on this subject!  Moms asked how to best get started doing devotions with their sons.  Some had never read the Bible with their kids and wanted to start.  Moms asked at what age my boys started spending time with God on their own.  I love this topic so much!!   I invited my friend Christie Thomas to join me and I think you’re going to LOVE what she shares! Christie is a 3-boy momma, has years of experience working in Children’s ministry, and she also has a lot of helpful resources and tools on her website to share!  Christie is also the author of The Mother and Son Prayer Journal, which releases on April 6th! Be sure to see show notes for a LOT of links and free downloads!     www.monicaswanson.com/podcast www.monicaswanson.com/episode-99   Thank you to the Surf Atlas for sponsoring this episode!  Find out more about this gorgeous and educational book in show notes, or visit  us.wilderworld.com   If you enjoy the Boy Mom Podcast, would you consider supporting the show by donating to CPGive.org?  You can also text the word CPGIVE to 474747.  Thank you so much!! 
3/23/202143 minutes, 7 seconds
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Ep.98: Raising Differently Wired Boys to be Emotionally Intelligent and Resilient

This episode is for every mom who wants to raise her son to be emotionally intelligent and resilient…boys who are strong and empathetic, who are self-aware, and also…aware of others.  While every boy is unique, they all need our help growing up to embrace these qualities in the world today. Today's guest, Colleen Kessler, shares from her extensive research, as well as raising her own four, differently wired kids.  Colleen is an award-winning educator, educational coach, and consultant, international speaker, and passionate advocate for the needs of differently wired kids. This episode is super educational, and will also encourage you to keep talking to your kids, cheering them on, and supporting them in all of their uniqueness!  Find show notes:  www.monicaswanson.com/podcast Today’s episode:  www.monicaswanson.com/episode-98 You can support the Boy Mom Podcast by supporting Christian Parenting!  Two ways to donate!  You can TEXT: CP GIVE to 474747 or visit www.cpgive.org and donate now! 
3/16/202145 minutes, 58 seconds
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Ep.97: Raising Kids to be Strong and Kind, with Korie Robertson

If you have followed the Robertson family since Duck Dynasty became a major hit, you might have wondered, “How did they do it?” - How have they raised such amazing children and stayed so close as a family while being in the crazy spotlight of reality television?  In today’s conversation, Korie Robertson answers that question with honesty and humility.  Korie shares a bit from her book, “Strong and Kind: Raising Kids of Character”, and then she answers fun questions sent in from my Instagram followers!  Korie is so down-to-earth and fun to talk to, and I think her parenting wisdom will be a great encouragement to everyone!  Find show notes:  www.monicaswanson.com/podcast Today’s episode:  www.monicaswanson.com/episode-97
3/9/202144 minutes, 39 seconds
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Ep. 96: Disrespectful Kids, Body Talk, Gardening and More: Q and A with Dave and Monica

I'm excited to kick off quarterly Q and A episodes this week, and I'm especially excited to have my husband, Dave, join me for this one!  It's a casual chat covering all kinds of things -- from how to handle eye rolling/disrespect, to helping kids develop their own faith, updates on Dave's tropical garden, fitting workouts into busy homeschool days, and much more.  You can always send questions in to [email protected] (and write "Q &A" in the subject line) for future episodes! Find all show notes at: www.monicaswanson.com/podcast Today's episode: www.monicaswanson.com/episode-96  
3/2/202132 minutes, 6 seconds
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Ep. 95: Taming Your Child’s Tongue, with Ginger Hubbard

Ginger Hubbard is a best-selling author and sought-after speaker, and her books, “Don’t Make me Count to Three” and “I Can’t Believe You Just Said That!” shaped my early parenting years.  It is so great to have Ginger on the Podcast this week to share practical advice and encouragement on redirecting our kids’ behavior, from the heart.  This chat focuses on verbal frustrations (whining, lying, complaining, tattling…) and Ginger offers a simple three-step plan to deal with it all in a way that will actually last.  You are going to love all of Ginger’s practical examples and helpful tips!  Be sure to see show notes for links to her books, website, and brand new podcast! Find show notes:  www.monicaswanson.com/podcast Today’s episode:  www.monicaswanson.com/episode-95
2/23/202146 minutes, 39 seconds
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Ep. 94: Every Boy is Unique! Personality types and more with Heather MacFadyen

After such great feedback on the recent mini-series on Birth Order (Episodes, 90, 91, and 92) I wanted to continue the conversation about all of the things that make our boys unique. So, I invited my friend, Heather MacFadyen - host of the Don't Mom Alone Podcast, and four-boy-momma, to join me for today’s episode. Heather and her husband Bruce have a lot of experience with the Strength Finders test (aka: Clifton’s Strengths Test) so Heather gives us a little insight into how that works.  We also touch on love languages, and the Enneagram. Grab some coffee and join this fun boymom chat!  Find show notes:  www.monicaswanson.com/podcast Today’s episode:  www.monicaswanson.com/episode-94
2/16/202150 minutes, 28 seconds
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Ep.93: Kids, Character, and their Future Success, with Dennis Trittin

We all want our kids to have good character, but we don’t always consider how crucial character is to our kids’ future success.  In today’s interview, former multi-billion-dollar investment manager, Dennis Trittin, helps us connect the dots and find even more motivation for raising kids of character.  After over 30 years managing investments and studying successful leaders all over the world, Dennis shifted his focus to sharing what he had learned with the next generation.  Writing books and speaking to students, parents, and educators, Dennis is passionate about inspiring the next generation to embrace the kind of character that will help them get jobs (and not get fired from them!) nurture healthy relationships, and live happy, fulfilling lives. Today we draw from his book, What I Wish I Knew at 18: Life Lessons for the Road Ahead.   It is great timing for the conversation because this week (Feb. 9-12) the doors to my Character Training Course are once again open!  Learn more about the course and sign up NOW at www.monicaswanson.com/character-course. Find show notes:  www.monicaswanson.com/podcast Today’s episode:  www.monicaswanson.com/episode-93
2/9/202140 minutes, 58 seconds
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Ep. 92: Let’s Talk about the Baby of the Family! With my sons, Luke and Levi {Part 3 of my Birth Order Series}

I love talking about birth order, and today’s episode had me smiling and laughing throughout.  Youngest kids are known for some unique character qualities – from being the comedians of the family, to getting off easy compared to their older siblings, and more. They are fun to love, but they still need our intentional parenting! In today’s episode, I share fun facts and helpful information about “What Our Youngest Sons Need Most from us", including a short interview with each of my (2) youngest sons. Be SURE to check show notes for links and for a chance to win a copy of The Birth Order Book by Dr. Kevin Lehman!   Find show notes:  www.monicaswanson.com/podcast Today’s episode:  www.monicaswanson.com/episode-92
2/2/202126 minutes, 27 seconds
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Ep. 91: Let’s Talk Middle Children! With my son, Jonah {Part II in my Birth Order Series}

This is the 2nd in a series looking at how birth order affects our sons.  You’ve probably heard the term, “Middle Child Syndrome”, and if you have a middle child you will probably agree that this can be a complex position in the family. I began studying birth order to better understand my own middle son, and what I learned helped our family so much.  After sharing what I learned on my blog, I heard from a lot of families who were encouraged by what they read!  In today’s episode, I share that blog post and a short interview with my middle son. Be SURE to check show notes for links and a chance to win a copy of The Birth Order Book by Dr. Kevin Lehman!  I’m happy to share this episode’s sponsor, BRONCO AND FRIENDS: A Party to Remember, written by one of our favorite role models, Tim Tebow!  Find links to the book and more information in show notes!   Find show notes:  www.monicaswanson.com/podcast Today’s episode: www.monicaswanson.com/episode-91
1/26/202129 minutes, 26 seconds
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Ep. 90: Let’s Talk Firstborns! With my son, Josiah {Part 1 in my Birth Order Series -}

This is the first in a short series looking at how birth order affects our sons.  I love to study personalities, love languages, birth order, and anything else that can help us better understand and relate to our kids.  Today I am sharing a blog post I wrote a few years ago about firstborns, as well as a short interview with MY firstborn, Josiah. Josiah offers some encouragement to the moms and kids listening and I think you will enjoy what he shares.  Be SURE to check show notes for links to things we talk about – and enter to win a copy of The Birth Order Book by Kevin Lehman.  I’m also so excited to share this episode’s sponsor, BRONCO AND FRIENDS: A Party to Remember, written by Tim Tebow!  Find links to the book and more information in show notes! SHOW NOTES: www.monicaswanson.com/podcast Today's episode: www.monicaswanson.com/episode-90 Thank you to this episode's sponsor:  Bronco and Friends Children's book, by Tim Tebow   
1/19/202126 minutes, 8 seconds
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Ep. 89: Reading and Understanding the Bible with the Bible Recap {with Tara Leigh Cobble}

I am over-the-moon excited to share this interview with the author of the resource I have always dreamed of, but now hold in my hands…(happy tears!) The Bible Recap: A One-Year Guide to Reading and Understanding the Entire Bible.  Perhaps you are familiar with the Bible Recap Podcast (with over 20 million downloads in the first year!) but my 2021 is starting off extra special because of this new tool to help me read through (and understand!) the Bible in a year!  Tara Leigh is so much fun to talk to, and she has some encouragement for us boy moms who want to inspire our sons to love the Word of God as well.  This is an episode you don’t want to miss, and I hope you’ll share it with your friends as well!  Find show notes:  www.monicaswanson.com/podcast Today’s episode: www.monicaswanson.com/episode-89 Thank you to this episode's sponsor, The Good Book Company!Find The God Contest by best-selling Children's author, Carl Laferton at www.thegoodbook.com
1/12/202140 minutes, 14 seconds
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Ep. 88: The God Contest, with Carl Laferton

Carl Laferton, best-selling author of The Garden, the Curtain, and the Cross, joins us today to talk about his brand-new book, The God Contest.  I have such passion for this topic because my four sons’ early years were impacted so deeply by good stories.  Bible stories, stories about heroes of the faith, and other creative, even silly stories -- shaped my boys’ character, faith, and interests.  This new book by Carl Laferton tells the story of Elijah up against the prophets of Baal up on Mt. Carmel (see 1 Kings 18.)  It is an exciting, humorous, and profoundly faith-building story that will inspire our kids to put their faith in the One True God.  Carl and I not only get to talk about this particular story, but Carl reminds us of the importance of helping our kids build their own faith based on the Word of God and equipping them to respond to questions about their faith.  I love this chat so much and I think you will too!    Find show notes:  www.monicaswanson.com/podcast Today’s episode: www.monicaswanson.com/episode-88 Find the God Contest wherever books are sold!  Thank you to the Good Book Company for sponsoring this episode!!
1/5/202134 minutes, 18 seconds
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Ep. 87: Daily Habits to Help Families WIN every Day - with Mark Batterson

Prominent Pastor and New York Times best-selling author, Mark Batterson joins us for such an inspiring interview to prepare us all for the new year. I love talking about positive habits, goal-setting, and, well – winning just about anything, and this chat just hit the sweet spot for all of that!  Mark is sharing from his brand new book (releasing today! -- December 29th!) called Win the Day: 7 Daily Habits to Help You Stress Less and Accomplish More. In this episode we talk about some of the habits he covers in his book and I am so excited to not only put these into practice, but to help my sons embrace these as well! What a fantastic way to prepare for a HAPPY NEW YEAR (we pray!) ahead!  💥 Find show notes:  monicaswanson.com/podcast Today's episode: monicaswanson/episode-87
12/29/202028 minutes, 33 seconds
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Ep. 86: Christmas Memories and Traditions with the Swanson Boys

Merry Christmas!!  In today's short episode Josiah and Luke join me to talk story (as we say in Hawaii) about Christmas memories and traditions.  We talk Christmas music, (look for this year's playlist in show notes) favorite movies, the most memorable gifts, and what they each love most about the true Christmas story.  This is a fun episode to share with your kids!  Sending much love and Mele Kalikimaka, from our family to yours! Show notes:  www.monicaswanson.com/podcast Today's episode: www.monicaswanson.com/episode-86  
12/21/202018 minutes, 46 seconds
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Ep. 85: Loving Your Actual Christmas, with Alexandra Kuykendall

Alexandra Kuykendall joins us today with such a refreshing, endearing message about Loving Your Actual Christmas.  Drawing from her book (by that name,) Alex reminds us that Christ did not come for the people who have it all together, but for the weary,  grieving, and hurting.  He came for us real people who sometimes struggle our way through the holidays. When we don’t have our act together, Jesus meets us in the most real way.  Alex talks about the meaning of Advent as well as Christmastide (the “12 Days of Christmas”) and how we can truly savor this season – yes, even 2020 – more than ever before.  Find links and notes below!   Find show notes:  www.monicaswanson.com/podcast Today’s episode: www.monicaswanson.com/episode-85 
12/15/202034 minutes, 15 seconds
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Ep. 84: Practical Tips for a Tech-Smart Holiday with Your Kids

Over the past years, I have heard from countless families about their greatest challenges in parenting during the holidays. One thing I hear every year is the frustration of kids being on screens and feeling like technology is stealing their precious family time.  In today's episode I offer some practical ideas about being proactive and making a tech-smart plan for your family this holiday season.  For those listening this week (Dec. 8-11th) I have a brand new, helpful resource available called "Raising Tech-Smart Kids".  This mini-course has guidelines for raising kids with technology and screen time, social media, and video gaming.  It includes 2 interviews, helpful downloads, a top-notch resource with the best filters and accountability software, books, websites, and much more!  Read more about the course and sign up here: Raising Tech-Smart Kids Mini-Course PODCAST SHOW NOTES:  www.monicaswanson.com/podcast This episode: www.monicaswanson.com/episode-84
12/8/202018 minutes, 8 seconds
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Ep. 83: (Not Your Typical Gift Guide) with Kate Merrick

Kate Merrick and I wanted to share a chat about gifts in the holiday season.  Because, as Kate said, "There are a lot of gift guides out there, but not a lot of guidance on gifts."  So true.  So join us for a fun conversation where we share favorite holiday memories, expectations for the season ahead, and some guidance for choosing gifts that last this season.  Kate shares memories of being raised by divorced parents and has some encouraging words for single moms. We talk about the most important gifts we can give (hint, they aren’t the kind you get on Amazon.)  And then we get practical about actual gifts (yep, some of those are on Amazon,) that will not soon be forgotten (or put in the Goodwill bin ☺) This is the most fun and inspiring episode to kick off your Christmas season.  Find links to everything we chat about in show notes:    Find show notes:  www.monicaswanson.com/podcast Today’s episode: www.monicaswanson.com/episode-83  Support the amazing work of this podcast host, Christian Parenting by giving today at www.cpgive.org *Your gift will be doubled!!  
12/1/202050 minutes, 7 seconds
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Ep. 82: Getting Practical about Gratitude in Your Home with Krista Gilbert

Krista Gilbert, author of Reclaiming Home, joins me for a practical and inspiring conversation about gratitude.  Krista and I share ways we can teach our kids to be grateful -- from ideas for Thanksgiving day, to things we can do throughout the holidays (and into the New Year!)  Krista shares some awesome ways we can show our appreciation to others-- from service workers to cleaning staff, to our friends and neighbors. I think this episode will inspire you and give you some awesome ideas for things you can do with your family now!    Find show notes:  www.monicaswanson.com/podcast Today’s episode: www.monicaswanson.com/episode-82
11/24/202043 minutes, 8 seconds
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Ep. 81: Raising Siblings to be Strong Together, and Strong Individuals. With Amy Carney

My guest today is Amy Carney - author ("Parent on Purpose"- an excellent book) speaker, content creator, product maker, and Mom to five. Amy knows a thing or two about sibling relationships!  Shortly after her triplet sons were born (*gulp*), she had a daughter, and a couple years later, adopted another son. Amy and her husband have made some upstream choices to parent their children with great intention in many ways -- including establishing intentional bonds with one another, while intentionally growing as individuals. This interview inspired me to continue parenting on purpose and I think you’ll find lots of practical helps for sibling relationships, too. Find show notes:  www.monicaswanson.com/podcast Today’s episode: www.monicaswanson.com/episode-80 Be sure to grab the giveaways I mention in the episode over at monicaswanson.com – scroll to the bottom of the homepage and you’ll see two free downloads!
11/17/202050 minutes, 59 seconds
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Ep. 80: 4 Social Milestones Your Son Needs to Reach with David Thomas

David Thomas joins us again for part 2 of our conversation drawing from his book, “Are My Kids on Track? The 12 Emotional, Social and Spiritual Milestones Your Child Needs to Reach.” In Episode 78 David and I talked about the 4 emotional milestones our sons need to reach, and today we cover the 4 social milestones they need to reach.  David offers such valuable insight into boys’ development and how we, as their moms, can help them reach the most important milestones. I love this topic so much, and I think you will, too! Find show notes:  www.monicaswanson.com/podcast Today’s episode: www.monicaswanson.com/episode-80 Get Monica's book, Boy Mom: What Your Son Needs Most from You
11/10/202033 minutes, 43 seconds
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Ep. 79: Where do You Run on Your Hardest BOYMOM Days? With Wendy Speake

Wendy Speake’s new book, The 40-Day Social Media Fast, is an invitation to exchange your online distractions for real-life devotion. Today, Wendy joins us to talk about all of the things we Moms tend to run to on hard parenting days -- social media being a big one in today’s culture, but not the only one! So, if you (like me) ever catching yourself mindlessly scrolling…turning to Facebook or Instagram, Amazon Prime or Netflix, (just to name a few) to numb you or distract you from the things (and people) in your life, I think today’s episode will hit home.  No condemnation here, just a ton of love and support, and some practical ideas for how we might exchange those draining distractions for life-giving, real-life devotion.  Find show notes at: www.monicaswanson.com/podcast Today’s episode:  www.monicaswanson.com/episode-78   Thank you to the Good Book Company for sponsoring this episode!  Be sure to see show notes to find out more about an amazing new Family Advent book called “A Better Than Anything Christmas.”  (It's darling!!)  Find out more at thegoodbook.com.
11/3/202045 minutes, 43 seconds
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Ep. 78: 4 Emotional Milestones Your Son Needs to Reach. With David Thomas

David Thomas, counselor, speaker and author (not to mention dad to one daughter and twin sons!) joins us for the first of a two-part conversation about milestones our sons need to reach.  Today we talk about emotional milestones (in two weeks we’ll cover social milestones.)  David touches on the four milestones boys should reach as well as some of the stumbling blocks that get in the way.  David has so much wisdom, insight, and sensitivity to the needs of boys and their families, I think you’ll finish this episode with new insight and tools to put into use right away. Find show notes at: www.monicaswanson.com/podcast Today’s episode:  www.monicaswanson.com/episode-78   Thank you to the Good Book Company for sponsoring this episode!  Be sure to see show notes to find out more about an amazing new Family Advent book called “A Better Than Anything Christmas.”  Find out more at thegoodbook.com.
10/27/202044 minutes, 15 seconds
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Ep. 77: Q&A Birthday Edition {Luke Swanson interviewing his Mom}

To celebrate my upcoming (significant 😯 ) birthday 😉, this week my son Luke takes the role of interviewer, firing me a list of questions sent in by listeners. Some of the questions are more serious parenting questions (challenges with tweens, keeping toddlers in their beds, etc.) and some are just for fun (how is my bang-grow-out process going?) But they are all good conversations, with my son Luke adding his input as well!  Thank you for helping me celebrate my birthday week on the podcast, and I hope you’ll all join me for the Perfectly Imperfect Parenting Event on October 23-24th online.  Get tickets here: boymom.perfectlyimperfect.org. SHOW NOTES: www.monicaswanson.com/podcast Today’s episode: www.monicaswanson.com/episode-77
10/20/202022 minutes, 4 seconds
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Ep 76: The Gift of Adoption, and Pro-Life Kids. With Bethany Bomberger

Bethany and Ryan Bomberger have been a great inspiration to my family. Today, Bethany shares her family's story, and what led she and her husband to start the Radiance Foundation. Bethany also talks about (and reads an excerpt from) her book, Pro-Life Kids.  I believe this conversation will offer hope and inspiration to families everywhere! **Sign up today for the Perfectly Imperfect Event hosted by Christian Parenting! I’ll be sharing a talk titled: “What our Sons Need Most from Us, Now” and there will be over 40 other amazing speakers as well. This is an online event happening on October 23-24th! Register today at: boymom.perfectlyimperfect.org. Find show notes: www.monicaswanson.com/podcast Today’s episode at: www.monicaswanson.com/episode-76
10/13/202041 minutes, 58 seconds
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Ep 75: Moms Standing Strong, with Alli Worthington

Alli Worthington, author, speaker, business coach, and BOY MOM to five sons (!!) joins us today with an encouraging and empowering message for all moms. Just listening to Alli speak made me feel stronger!  Be sure to check show notes to find out more about Alli and get links to her new book, Standing Strong! Show notes:  www.monicaswanson.com/podcast Today's episode:  www.monicaswanson.com/episoe-75 Don't miss the upcoming ONLINE Parenting event I will be speaking at!  The Perfectly Imperfect digital event is hosted by Christian Parenting, and it is packed with incredible speakers.  Find out more and get a ticket at:  www.boymom.perfectlyimperfect.org  
10/6/202035 minutes, 1 second
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Ep. 74: A Father's Role in Character Training, with my husband, Dave.

Dad's are hugely important in the character development of their kids. My husband joins me to talk about some of the most important things a dad can do to be intentional about his kids' character training and development.  Find a video interview with my husband and lots of other encouragement for dads and moms in the Character Training Course - which just opened its doors for purchase from now until Friday, Oct. 2nd!! (Then will close until a future date) Learn more at: www.monicaswanson.com/character-course.   SHOW NOTES:  www.monicaswanson.com/podcast Today's episode:  www.monicaswanson.com/episode-74  
9/29/202024 minutes, 4 seconds
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Ep. 73: Parenting Wisdom from 7 Inspiring Interviews

I'm so excited to share sneak peeks from 7 interviews which are part of the brand new Character Training Course which will be launching on Sept. 28th! 😁   I think you'll be encouraged and inspired by these 7 nuggets of parenting wisdom from: Jonathan Pitts, Ruth Chou Simons, Dennis Trittin, Kari Kampakis, Maile Higashi, Wendy Speake, and my son Jonah.  Find out more about the Character Training Course and leave your name and email address to be notified as soon as doors open over at:  www.monicaswanson.com/character-course.  Show notes with links at: www.monicaswanson.com/podcast   
9/22/202020 minutes, 47 seconds
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Ep. 72: Help for When Kids Worry, with Sissy Goff

If you have a child who worries a lot, the season we are in is likely especially stressful. After hearing from many of you who have an anxious child, I knew just who I wanted to bring on to help! Sissy Goff is a counselor, author, and speaker who helps kids find confidence in who they are and hope in who God is making them to be. I’ve read many of Sissy’s books and have so much respect for her! I am so grateful that Sissy could join us to offer encouragement, tools and practical advice for parenting kids who are anxious or worried, especially during this pandemic. Be sure to check show notes for links to Sissy’s books and where you can find more of her work. Show notes: www.monicaswanson.com/podcast This episode: www.monicaswanson.com/episode-72 Big thanks to Prepdish for sponsoring this episode! Prepdish simplifies family meals with their weekly meal prep plans! Check them out and get a free, 2-week trial at www.prepdish.com/boymom!    
9/15/202036 minutes, 25 seconds
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Ep. 71 : Parenting Boys into their College/Life Launch, with Gwen Smith

This is the final episode in our summer series exploring The Joys and Challenges of Every Stage of Raising our Sons.  And this is one of my very favorite stages to talk about (maybe because two of my sons are in it now!) No matter the age of your son(s), I think you’ll be encouraged and inspired by this conversation!  Author, podcaster, speaker, and musician, Gwen Smith, joins me to talk about preparing ourselves, and our boys, for the day they launch into independence – whether that is college, the military, or the workplace.  Gwen has two sons (and a daughter) who are in or recently graduated from college, and her perspective is incredibly insightful!  We cover everything from all of those high school “lasts” (have the tissues handy,) to coaching our kids (from a distance) as they deal with life challenges, spiritual questions, dating, and more. Gwen and I both love our relationship with our college-age kids so much, and we wish that for everyone!  Even if your kids are young, I think you’ll get a lot out of this episode.  Also: The grandmas are right when they tell us:  Blink, and your kids will be there, too! Find show notes at: www.monicaswanson.com/podcast this episode: www.monicaswanson.com/episode-71  
9/8/20201 hour, 52 seconds
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Ep. 70. A Refreshing Approach to School, Family, and Life. With Corinne Gold

This episode is a big breath of fresh air for all...of...us. Whether you have boys or girls, whether you homeschool, distance school, (or aren't sure what you're doing for school! 😊) Just hearing my guest, Corinne Gold, share perspectives from her life will be incredibly refreshing to everyone! I know that a lot of people are stressed out right now, and it is my hope that listening to Corinne's story of family time, beach days, great books, and confidence in it all -- will inspire you to consider just how much structure and "school-style learning" your kids really need...Perhaps this time of distance learning can turn into a new way of doing life as a family.  Be sure to check check out show notes to see Corinne's beautiful family and super fun Hawaiian life and an epic video about her husband's surfing (He has the Guinness Book World record for surfing the biggest wave!) Also get links to her very best sourdough recipe and more. Find show notes at: www.monicaswanson.com/podcast This episode: www.monicaswanson.com/episode-70  
8/31/202046 minutes, 30 seconds
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Ep. 69: Intentional Parenting in The Teenage Years {with Krista Gilbert}

Word on the street is that all the fun of raising boys ends when they become teenagers...that boys will pull away from their parents...rebel..experiment, and on and on.  But does it have to be that way?  Krista Gilbert - author, podcaster, and mom of 3 teenage boys (as well as one daughter!) and I dive in deep to discuss our experience raising teen boys.  We talk about what an absolute blast teen boys can be, as well as some of the harder stuff.  We cover friendships, dating, substance abuse, and more.  I love this conversation so much and I think you will, too! Find show notes (and listen to the episode) at: www.monicaswanson.com/podcast. This episode directly:  www.monicaswanson.com/episode-69 Thank you to World Watch for sponsoring this episode!  Get your kids' plugged into a daily 10-minute dose of current events and news from a Biblical perspective at www.worldwatch.news.   Also be SURE to answer the question in show notes to enter to win the August bundle of Surface Sunscreen.  And use CODE: BoyMom to get 20% off all sun care products at www.surfacesunscreen.com.   
8/25/20201 hour, 7 minutes, 35 seconds
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Ep. 68 Navigating the News with Your Kids {with World Watch}

In light of so many difficult and controversial news stories in 2020, I think you'll find this episode incredibly encouraging.  Nick Eicher and Brian Basham join me to talk about helping our tweens and teens navigate the news today. We cover news literacy, critical thinking, and Biblical discernment -- and how the brand new World Watch 10-minute Daily News Program can help!  Whether you homeschool or not, the World Watch daily video segments will teach your kids (and the whole family) about world news and current events, as well as stories about science, technology, culture, art, the economy, and more. The news can be an educational tool, and a great springboard for conversations. However, most of the news we find on television is biased and confusing.  World Watch's 10 minute videos are a great alternative -- written by Christian journalists, each show is informative, engaging and thought-provoking.  I'm super excited about what they're doing.  At the end of this episode I share 5 tips for talking to your teens about the news, wherever you get your news!  I love this positive and encouraging approach to what can otherwise be a challenging topic...especially in today's world!   Thank you, World Watch, for sponsoring this episode and sharing your wisdom.  Find out more about World Watch at: www.worldwatch.news. Listen to the episode and get links to everything we talk about in show notes: www.monicaswanson.com/podcast today's episode:  www.monicaswanson.com/episode-68 *Also be sure to comment over in show notes so that you'll be entered to win the August bundle of Surface Sunscreen products!   
8/17/202034 minutes, 41 seconds
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Ep. 67 Talking Middle School Boys!! With Maggie John

If you've been around my site for long, you know I'm a big fan of boys in the sweet, awkward, hilarious middle school years!  As we continue on in this series celebrating all of the seasons of raising boys, I'm so happy to have Maggie John with me for this conversation!  Maggie is a Television host (!) as well as a two-boy momma who lives in Canada. One thing I love about this series is getting to know new friends and learning how different families' lives look in each season.  I think you'll find Maggie refreshing and so wise.   Find links to everything we talk about in show notes at: www.monicaswanson.com/podcast this episode: www.monicaswanson.com/episode-67 Big thanks to Prepdish for simplifying MY life with their awesome online meal planning service, and for sponsoring this episode.  Get a free 2-week trial at prepdish.com/boymom And...don't miss the final month of the Surface Sunscreen Bundle Giveaway!  Enter to win by leaving a simple comment in show notes.  (And get 20% off all surface products using Code: BOY MOM at www.surfacesunscreen.com  
8/11/202041 minutes, 42 seconds
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Ep 66: The gift of Imagination, with my son, Josiah.

It is such an honor to share this episode with all of you!  My first-born son, Josiah, joins me to celebrate the one-year birthday of the release of my book, Boy Mom, for one of my favorite interviews ever!  I let Josiah chose the topic for this episode and he did not hesitate to choose the topic of IMAGINATION!  Josiah's imagination played a huge role in his childhood, and still to this day, Josiah taps into his imagination in some very practical and inspiring ways (he'll share about that in our chat!)  This will be a great episode for your kids to listen in on, and I hope it inspires you to cultivate imagination in your kids (and your own life!)   ALSO:  Josiah created 2 awesome printables for you and your kids.  I think you'll love them.  Find links to the printables and all show notes at: www.monicaswanson.com/podcast Today's episode: www.monicaswanson.com/episode-66 THANK YOU to this episodes' sponsor, The Institute for Excellence in Writing (IEW) who encouraged the use of imagination in all of my boys' homeschool writing experiences.  I highly recommend IEW for kids' writing and language arts classes from grade K-12! ALSO, Surface Sunscreen is offering another month of their bundle giveaway and 20% off all products at the Surface website using code:  BOY MOM!  (find notes and question to enter to win the giveaway in the show notes!) 
8/4/202039 minutes, 50 seconds
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Ep. 65: Homeschool Made Simple, with Jenn Bryant

This episode is for anyone feeling overwhelmed by the idea of a homeschooling your kids (whether you're already homeschooling or just thinking about it!)  My friend Jenn Bryant joins me, as we share the very good news: It doesn't have to be that hard!  You really can simplify your approach, and Jenn is sharing 7 ways to do that. It's easy to overcomplicate things, and I love Jenn's reminder to slow down, focus on the things that really matter, and ultimately -- enjoy the ride! Jenn and I have a really fun chat, and I hope you can grab a cup of coffee and feel like you're hanging out with us!  Find links to everything we talk about at: www.monicaswanson.com/podcast this episode is:  www.monicaswanson.com/episode-65 I'm super thankful for this episode's sponsor -- one of my family's FAVORITE homeschool curriculums -- IEW:  The Institute for Excellence in Writing. You can see all of the IEW curriculum my boys have used (and get a link to try the IEW curriculum for FREE for 3 weeks) at:  www.iew.com/monicaswanson! ALSO: This is the final week to enter to win a BUNDLE of Surface Sunscreen products -- so be sure to leave a quick comment in the show notes and you'll be entered to win the July Bundle.  (also use code: BOY MOM to get 20% off everything from the Surface website!)  Be sure to subscribe to this podcast, and if you haven't left a rating or review, would you take a minute to do that now!?  Thank you!  
7/27/20201 hour, 7 minutes, 7 seconds
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Ep. 64 Let them be Kids! Celebrating the Elementary years, with Jessica Smartt

Jessica Smartt, author, speaker, and mom to 3 elementary-age kids (2 boys, 1 girl) joins us today to talk about the joys and challenges of raising elementary-age boys. Jessica's new book, Let Them be Kids, is one of my favorite books of 2020, and we get to talk about some highlights of the book, as well as the magic, mischief, and madness of raising little boys. We also touch on some of the challenges parents of elementary kids face -- many of which fall under the category of technology.  I hope you can grab a cup of coffee (or strap on your tennis shoes) and feel like you're right there with Jessica and I as we have this chat.  Find more in show notes: www.monicaswanson.com/podcast www.monicaswanson.com/episode-64. Thank you to Prep Dish -- this episode's sponsor!!  I love my weekly meal plans, and Prep Dish now offers meal plans in Gluten free, Paleo, and Keto varieties.  Go to www.prepdish.com/boymom to get TWO WEEKS free of Prep Dish and see if you aren't hooked, too!  Also be sure to leave a comment in show notes to be entered to win the end-of-July BUNDLE of SURFACE SUNSCREEN!  AND use CODE: BOY MOM to get 20% off everything on the surface sunscreen.com website!  
7/21/202043 minutes, 20 seconds
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Ep. 63: Two Big Announcements! And a chat about our Youth Culture Today. With my Son, Jonah.

My son Jonah is back with me to help me celebrate the announcement of my BRAND NEW CHARACTER TRAINING COURSE (doors to the Beta Group open July 15th!) and to share his own announcement that he is kicking off his own TRUTH FOR YOUTH PODCAST on July 18th!  Jonah and I dive into a fun chat, sharing some of the points from one of his first podcast episodes which is about "Problems Kids Face Today -- and the Solutions for those Problems".  I am truly honored to have this just-turned-19-year-old with me and this interview was one of my all time favorites.  I hope you love it too and DO NOT WAIT TO SIGN UP if you're interested in the character training course! (The Beta Group will be limited to the first 100 to sign up!) All of the details are in show notes: www.monicaswanson.com/podcast Today's episode:  www.monicaswanson.com/episode-63 Thank you to this episode's sponsor, Classical Conversations.  If you're looking into homeschooling next year, I highly recommend checking out all they have to offer!  More details in show notes! ALSO:  The Surface Sunscreen Summer Bundles Giveaways continue on!  Leave a comment in show notes to enter to win the July Giveaway!  (AND get 20% off EVERYTHING on the Surface website by using CODE:  BOYMOM!)
7/13/202037 minutes, 1 second
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Ep. 62: Bethany Hamilton, on Life with her Preschool Boys.

I'm so excited to share this super fun conversation with Bethany Hamilton with you!  Bethany has been one of our family's greatest inspirations.  After losing her arm to a shark attack at age 13, Bethany went on to become one of the greatest female surfers in the world.  In this interview, I loved getting to know a grown up Bethany, who surfs better than ever, but is now also a wife and #BOYMOM to her two preschool-age sons!  Bethany shares some of the joys and honest-challenges of raising rambunctious boys, and we also talk about how she balances parenting with training, competing and travel. Bethany is committed to a healthy and active lifestyle and we talk about how she is intentional about  her sons' health as well. We cover a lot in this interview and I think you'll enjoy getting to know this beautiful and authentic side of Bethany!  Find links to anything we talk about in show notes: www.monicaswanson.com/podcast. This episode;  www.monicaswanson.com/episode-62 THANK YOU to this week's podcast sponsor, Classical Conversations -- a top ranked, much-loved homeschool curriculum that combines home education, with community-learning.  (This is a great option for brand-new homeschoolers!)  Read more about CC in my show notes!  Also see show notes for another chance to WIN the SURFACE SUNSCREEN bundle giveaway!  (And use CODE: BOY MOM to get 20% off anything at the Surface website! all summer long!)
7/7/202057 minutes, 8 seconds
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Ep. 61: Skincare! From Acne to Aging, with Dermatologist, Heidi Foster

This episode is such a treat!  My friend, a mom to six, and dermatologist joins me to talk about all things skin care!  Heidi shares her best advice for adolescent skin, sunscreen, acne prevention and treatment, as well as anti-aging and more.  This is like a free visit to a dermatologist who has the time to talk to you about anything and everything!  Heidi has a long list of recommendations (most are over-the-counter!) and I've placed links to everything in show notes! This also happens to be the FINAL WEEK OF THE JUNE SURFACE SUNSCREEN bundle giveaway, so leave a quick comment in show notes and you might just win sunscreen for your whole family this summer!  (Also use code BOY MOM to get 20% off everything at www.surfacesunscreen.com! ) Show notes:  www.monicaswanson.com/podcast Today's episode;  www.monicaswanson.com/episode-61 Thank you to this episode's sponsor, PREPDISH!  Prep dish is making my life SO MUCH EASIER!  Find out more in show notes!  (and get two weeks free with Prep dish at www.prepdish.com/boymom )
6/30/202050 minutes, 7 seconds
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Ep. 60 Favorite Books for Boys with Wendy Speake

Join Wendy Speake and I as we chat over our favorite books for boys of all ages.  This is a conversation we've wanted to have for a long time, and I hope it offers you some new inspiration for reading with your boys this summer!  We cover some classics, some inspirational stories, a few great series, and more -- then, at the end we touch on favorite movies to inspire boys as well.  Hope you can grab some coffee and pull up a chair (or imagine we're walking/driving/folding laundry...alongside you) and join the conversation!  This episode's sponsor is IEW.  See show notes for more, or find all of the curriculum my boys have used and 3 weeks free curriculum at www.iew.com/monicaswanson.   ALL SHOW NOTES:  www.monicaswanson.com/podcast This episode:  www.monicaswanson.com/episode-60  
6/23/202052 minutes, 1 second
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EP. 59 Motivating Boys to Read and Write with Andrew Pudewa

Andrew Pudewa is the Director of the Institute for Excellence in Writing (IEW), and my boys have used his curriculum for over 10 years.  We are huge fans of Andrew's fun teaching style, quirky nature, and use of great vocabulary!  Andrew teaches and speaks all over the world, and in this interview I invite him to share from a specific teaching I heard that changed my approach to schooling (and parenting!) my boys!  It's so good.  In this interview Andrew shares some of his best tips for motivating our kids to read and write, and I think you'll feel affirmed and encouraged by Andrew's message.   Special thanks to IEW for Sponsoring this episode.  Be sure to read show notes on my website to get links to everything Andrew mentions, including the chance to get THREE FREE WEEKS of curriculum right now!  www.monicaswanson.com/podcast.   Today's episode:  www.monicaswanson.com/episode-59 Find a dedicated page on the IEW website featuring the IEW curriculums my boys have used as well as the talk Andrew and I discuss in this interview:  www.iew.com/monicaswanson *This episode also kicks off a new summer sponsor, Surface Suncare, who I am teaming up with to offer a discount and a giveaway at the end of June.  Find all the details in show notes! 
6/16/202052 minutes, 21 seconds
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Ep. 58. Thunderstorm Artis, on NBC's The Voice, and What He Learned from His Parents

This episode is a dream come true for me.  Thunderstorm Artis has been a favorite young man of mine for years; ever since he brought my sons on board with him to lead worship for our local church youth group, I have been a fan of both his music and his heart.  In today's episode, Thunder shares his story of growing up as one of 11 children in a musical family, losing his Dad to a sudden heart attack when he was just thirteen, then going on to pursue a career in music as a young adult.  This last winter Thunder entered the blind auditions for NBC's "The Voice", and received the highest response from the judges in a "four-chair turn."  Thunder made it through all of the rounds of the competition and all the way into the finals.  In this interview we talk about his experience on the Voice as well as meeting and marrying his wife, Faith, in the middle of it all.  I also asked Thunder to share some of the lessons he learned from his parents who he has such great respect for.  I think you'll find great encouragement in his message to boy moms everywhere.  Thunder and I end the conversation by touching on the racial tensions in our world right now and I appreciated hearing Thunder's perspective from his experience (both here in Hawaii and on the mainland where he lives now.) Find links to all of the places you can listen to and follow Thunder in show notes: www.monicaswanson.com/podcast.   This episode:  www.monicaswanson.com/episode-58.  
6/9/202048 minutes, 30 seconds
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Ep. 57. Facing Seasons of Anxiety, with Ruth Schwenk

Ruth Schwenk has walked through seasons of anxiety as she went through multiple miscarriages and her husband's cancer diagnoses.  But she has also learned that sometimes anxiety comes through more daily battles -- including the unknowns we all face due to the Coronavirus pandemic.  After all she has been through Ruth loves to encourage women to face their own anxious seasons with the loving help of our faithful God.  I know this episode will be a great encourage to you if you feel a little (or a lot) anxious now.  Check show notes for Ruth's free download of 30 verses to read when you're feeling fearful or anxious: www.monicaswanson.com/podcast today's episode;  www.monicaswanson.com/episode-57  
6/2/202043 minutes, 55 seconds
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Ep. 56. Supporting our Friends who have Kids with Special Needs. With Sandra Peoples

This episode is for anyone who either has a child with special needs, or knows someone who does. (pretty sure that is everyone!) This topic was born out of my own desire to be a better friend; to not let my lack of knowledge or awkwardness get in the way of better supporting my friends who have kids with special needs.  I'm pretty sure I am not not alone in all of this, and I'm so grateful Sandra Peoples was willing to come on to guide us from her experience, and with so much grace.  Sandra has a son with Autism and she was also raised with a sister with Down Syndrome.  Because of this she understands well what special needs families need most.   Sandra gives us practical advice on how we can support our friends (the parents of the kids) and ALSO how our kids can be a good friend to the child with special needs as well as to the "typical" siblings of them!  This is so packed with ideas, inspiration and grace, I hope you love it!  Please pass this episode on to your friends and find show notes over at: www.monicaswanson.com/podcast Today's episode:  www.monicaswanson.com/episode-56 Thank you to this episode's sponsor:  www.wondercratekids.com
5/26/202049 minutes, 46 seconds
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Ep 55: Encouragement for "Solo-parenting" boys, with Jen McDonald, Military Spouse

Jen McDonald, author, host of Milspousematters podcast and super encourager to all women (especially military spouses and anyone doing the hard work of parenting mostly on their own) joins me for this awesome episode.  I loved talking to Jen, and appreciate all of her hard-earned wisdom and refreshing perspective.  I know you'll love her too!  Jen is giving away two copies of her book, "You are not Alone:  Encouragement for the heart of a military spouse" so be sure to see show notes and enter to win!  show notes:  www.monicaswanson.com/podcast Today's episode;  www.monicaswanson.com/episode-55  
5/18/202048 minutes, 42 seconds
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Ep. 54: 27 Tips for Finishing the School Year STRONG {with Robert Bortins}

For every weary mom (and student) out there, this list of 27 ways to finish the school year strong will be a huge encouragement.  Robert Bortins, CEO of Classical Conversations, joins us to cheer us to the finish line.  Robert was the oldest of four boys, and his mom was developing Classical Conversations homeschool curriculum while he was growing up.  Now Robert is all grown up and the CEO of Classical Conversations (CC).  CC is in over 42 countries and it is one of the most popular, respected homeschool curriculums in the world.  You can download all 27 tips in the show notes!  Head over: www.monicaswanson.com/podcast  
5/12/202036 minutes, 11 seconds
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Ep. 53. Happy Mothers' Day: A reading, an announcement and a GIVEAWAY!

Hey Friends!  Happy Mother's Day week!  This week I am sharing a short reading from one of my favorite chapters of Boy Mom (I might cry a little, oops) and some reminders to help you savor this sweet occasion.  Also, I have an announcement to share, AND a GIVEAWAY!!  Be SURE to check out show notes at: www.monicaswanson.com/podcast and for this episode:  www.monicaswanson.com/episode-53  
5/5/20209 minutes, 13 seconds
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Ep. 52. Q & A: Quarantined Boys, Why We Homeschool, about Video Games (Luke answers) and MORE!

This episode just scratches the surface on so many questions I've been saving...Let me know if you love it, and we'll do more of these!  Today I tackle the story of how our family started homeschooling, what we love about it, and tips for inspiring boys to read.  I talk about boys' need for adventure, and how you can help meet that need -- outside or in!  I answer a question from a mom who is reluctant in the kitchen, sharing a mindset shift that is good for all of us.  THEN, my 16 yr. old, Luke, joins me to address all of the questions about video games and whether or not our boys play games.  Finally I get Luke and Jonah to each answer the question:  What is one thing your parents have done differently (from what they see 'out there') that they are GLAD we've done differently...and what is one thing they didn't like but think they'll be glad about later. ;)   Find show notes at:  www.monicaswanson.com/podcast Today's episode:  www.monicaswanson.com/episode-52  
4/28/202043 minutes, 11 seconds
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Ep. 51. Your Family Was Made to Move Mountains, with Kristen Welch

I'm so happy to have Kristen Welch on with me to talk about her experience going from being a mom-blogger, to a world changer.  After a 2010 trip to Kenya with Compassion International, Kristen's world was rocked, and she hasn't looked back since.  In her recent book, Made to Move Mountains, Kristen talks about the various mountains we face -- the mountains we dream of climbing, as well as those we would never choose, but God puts in front of us.  As we're all facing various mountains related to the Coronavirus and a long quarantine period, Kristen's wisdom is incredibly relevant and inspiring.  We may not all be called to start global ministries but there is something each of us can do.  This may be the perfect time to consider which mountains we are being called to climb now.   Find show notes at:  www.monicaswanson.com/podcast Today's episode:  www.monicaswanson.com/episode-51  
4/21/202051 minutes, 12 seconds
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Ep. 50: A Healthy Marriage that Blesses your Sons. With Ashley Willis

Marriage is an awesome gift from God, but it can also be really challenging.  When we are in the thick of raising kids, marriage can feel even more stressful.  Today's guest, Ashley Willis understands this well.  She is a mom to four boys, and alongside her husband, Dave, she writes and speaks all over the country about marriage and parenting!  Ashley and Dave are authentic, funny, and super encouraging.  We hope that today's conversation will inspire you to keep it real, and stay intentional as you build your marriage into all that it can be -- even in this crazy season of raising kids (and the Coronavirus! ) Find show notes:  www.monicaswanson.com/podcast Today's episode;  www.monicaswanson.com/episode-50  
4/14/202051 minutes, 41 seconds
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Ep. 49 How Jesus Changed my Sons' Lives

My sons Josiah (20) and Luke (16) join me for this special Easter episode.  When kids are raised in a Christian home, sometimes they hesitate to share their personal testimonies.  They might feel like they've "always been Christians" because they've heard about God or gone to church since they were young.  My boys join me to share that even though they were raised in a Christian home, they each have a story of how Jesus changed their life.  I hope this inspires some of the listeners' kids to consider their own story of faith, and how they might share it with others.  Find show notes and links to where you can follow my boys on social media at: www.monicaswanson.com/podcast Today's episode:  www.monicaswanson.com/episode-49
4/7/202033 minutes, 28 seconds
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Ep. 48 You Have What it Takes to Homeschool, with September McCarthy

September McCarthy, homeschool Mom to 10 kids (yes, 10!) joins me to share from her wisdom and experience.  September has a huge heart for family, and she is such an encouragement to me as a homeschool mom.  In today's conversation, September shares life-giving perspectives as well as some of the simple methods she uses to make her day run smoothly.  In light of the Coronavirus and most people currently being "locked in" with kids, I think this conversation will be incredibly practical and encouraging.   Be sure to check show notes for the curriculums September and I have used over the years as well as links to related blog posts, and all of the places you can follow September.   Podcast Show Notes:  www.monicaswanson.com/podcast Today's episode:  www.monicaswanson.com/episode-48  
3/31/20201 hour, 2 minutes, 48 seconds
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Ep. 47_ Gap Year, SATs, and the Journey to College, with my son, Jonah

My son Jonah has worked incredibly hard to pursue his college dream.  In today's episode Jonah shares what he did as a high school student to put himself in the best situation possible to get accepted to his dream college, and even more -- to receive an honors scholarship to that college.  We talk about the things Jonah thinks matter most in high school (I promise I didn't tell him what to say! ) as well as coursework, internships, community involvement, and so much more. Jonah talks about his crazy SAT study method (it's impressive, I must say) and what he did to improve his score over time.  Jonah also talks about the honor's scholarship contest he was invited to, and what that looked like.  I think this is a great episode to share with your kids and I hope it inspires some of them to start dreaming of their own exciting futures, now!
3/24/202051 minutes, 11 seconds
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Ep 46_ An Invitation to STAY (especially now) with Anjuli Paschall

Today's episode is especially timely in light of so much unrest in the world due to the Coronavirus Pandemic.  Anjuli Paschall (Pastor's wife and mom to 5, as well as the founder of the Moms we Love Club on Instagram) joins us to discuss the topic from her new book, Stay.  Stay is an invitation to sit with God at the table of your soul...to resist the urge to run, avoid, or ignore the hard parts of our life...and to instead stay with it all, and invite Jesus to stay with you.  (we need this right now, don't we?) Anjuli shares the story behind STAY, and we also talk about how we can use this message in our parenting...as we teach our kids to "stay" in their hard places too, inviting Jesus to be with them in the midst of it all.   Be sure to catch the introduction and grab the link in show notes to my recent blog post addressing questions for Dr. Dave related to the Coronavirus and for me related to schooling from home. I also share my biggest concern for our kids in this season of spending so much time at home...I hope you can read it, and share it.   SHOW NOTES:  www.monicaswanson.com/podcast Today's episode:  www.monicaswanson.com/episode-46  
3/16/202047 minutes, 12 seconds
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Ep 45. Moms Need to Find what Fuels their Souls. With Stefanie Gass

In this episode we are talking about finding that thing...or those things, that "fuel our souls"...The hobbies, passions, work or play that light us up and keep us going when the days are long.  During the busy season of motherhood it is easy to neglect the things that used to make us come to life, and today's guest, Stefanie Gass, is here to inspire us all to return to those things -- or find something new to fuel our souls.  Stefanie is a podcaster, business coach, and "Mompreneur" who inspires moms to find their passions and look for ways to turn their passions into profit.  I love this conversation so much, I found myself sharing parts of my own story that I have never talked about publicly!  I hope this episode inspires you.  Definitely check the show notes for free stuff and links to all the places you can find Stefanie at: www.monicaswanson.com/podcast Today's episode www.monicaswanson.com/episode-45  
3/10/202043 minutes, 21 seconds
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Ep 44. Protecting Young Minds, Online. With Kristen Jenson

If you only listen to one episode of the Boy Mom Podcast, I hope it is this one!  Kristen Jenson, author of the best-selling book, Good Pictures Bad Pictures, is with me to talk about the importance of teaching our kids about pornography, BEFORE they stumble upon it.  We live in a world where our kids WILL eventually see "bad pictures" and it is up to us to equip them with the tools to respond well when they do.  Kristen shares the three things we must teach kids before they ever get on the internet (at any age!) as well as the "Can-Do" plan (the steps to take when they see something they know they shouldn't.)  We learn how Good Pictures Bad Pictures came to be, some of the science behind pornography addiction, and much more.  This is a packed episode and there is a big giveaway at the end!  Hope you enjoy.  **Also find lots of helpful links, statistics and more in show notes: SHOW NOTES:  www.monicaswanson.com/podcast This episode:  www.monicaswanson.com/episode-44  
3/3/202051 minutes, 51 seconds
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Ep. 43: Discovering the Gift of Lent as a Family. With Asheritah Ciuciu

In today's podcast episode we are talking about the 40 days leading up to Easter...The season we call Lent!  Asheritah Ciuciu, the author of "Uncovering the Love of Jesus" -- a newly released Lent devotional, shares the most beautiful and inspiring message, I got emotional during the interview! Asheritah tells us about the tradition and history of Lent, and the blessings for those who slow down to take in this season.  Asheritah also shares practical ways families can draw near to Christ together through the Lent season.  She offers a free download and all kinds of resources available for Lent.  Find links to everything at: www.monicaswanson.com/episode-43 ALL podcast show notes at:  www.monicaswanson.com/podcast  
2/25/202036 minutes, 33 seconds
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Ep 42. How to Fight for (not against) Your Son, With Brooke McGlothlin

If you have what Brooke McGlothlin refers to as a "hard to handle" son, this episode is for you!  Brooke shares her story of feeling like she was always fighting against her 2 sons, when God laid it on her heart to learn to fight FOR them instead.  Brooke and I go over a list of ways we can fight for our sons, and Brooke offers a free download with 10 ways to fight for your hard-to-handle son in show notes.   Find show notes for today's episode at:  www.monicaswanson.com/episode-42.   Find all podcast show notes:  www.monicaswanson.com/podcast.  
2/18/202038 minutes, 45 seconds
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Ep. 41. Diets, Freedom, and Becoming a Naturally Skinny Mom.

Today's episode is an extension from my blog series:  "What Moms Need Most" and this week's post:  "Moms Need to Feel Good in their Skin."  My friend, personal trainer, Cassie Phillips joins me as we each share our journey to freedom from diets and obsessing over food, exercise, and our bodies.  We also invite everyone to join us for a (Free!) online group beginning on Feb. 17th called the "3-Week Jumpstart to the Naturally Skinny YOU."  Get link to the group and show notes at: www.monicaswanson.com/podcast Today's episode: www.monicaswanson.com/episode-41 The Secret of Your Naturally Skinny Friends on Amazon:  Jumpstart group:  www.monicaswanson.com/jumpstart  
2/11/202032 minutes, 51 seconds
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Ep. 40: Nurturing Self Control in Boys. With Drew Dyck

In today's episode we get to hear from Drew Dyck, author of "Your Future Self Will Thank you: Secrets to Self Control from the Bible and Brain Science".  When I read this book I immediately knew it would be an excellent resource for parents!  I'm so happy Drew could join me to talk about the importance of self control in our sons.  He shares the connection between our kids' level of self control and how that correlates to future success in life, (gulp!) as well as some interesting research on the topic.  Fortunately, Drew offers the good news that self control can be nurtured...that we as parents can play a role in helping our kids develop self control!  (phew!)  I think you will enjoy this episode! SHOW NOTES:  www.monicaswanson.com/podcast Today's episode:  www.monicaswanson.com/episode-40  
2/3/202045 minutes, 5 seconds
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Ep. 39: Talking to an Expert Girl Mom about Raising Boys Today, With Kari Kampakis

In today's episode Kari Kampakis, author and speaker (and soon-to-be "Girl Mom Podcaster"!) joins me to chat about raising boys today.  We cover a lot of ground, like:  What are her teenage girls looking for in a boy?  Why is it important for teenagers to build friends with the opposite sex?  What would she want a son to know?  I think you'll gain insight and inspiration for raising amazing sons from this conversation!   Find show notes for all podcast episodes at: www.monicaswanson.com/podcast Find today's notes at:   www.monicaswanson.com/episode-39  
1/28/202036 minutes, 40 seconds
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Ep. 38: "What Moms Need Most" Part I: Intentional Perspective

I'm really excited today, to be reading you the first blog post in my brand new "What Moms Need Most" series over at my blog. (monicaswanson.com.)  This message is so much of my heart, and I hope it brings you a ton of encouragement.  This is the first post of many in my new series, yet it is foundational to all the rest.  Find show notes with links to the Introduction to the series and this very post in show notes. Show notes:  www.monicaswanson.com/podcast Today's show:  www.monicaswanson.com/episode-38  
1/21/202016 minutes, 4 seconds
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Unleash Your Kids' Genius! With Jean Harville

Today I have Jean Harville on the podcast with me. Jean has worked as a Reading Strategist for kids with learning challenges for many years.  She also adopted and raised 2 kids from China.  Now that her kids are grown, Jean is taking her passion for kids and learning to the online community as she coaches and encourages parents who want to help their kids learn to love reading and overcome learning difficulties.  At the end of January (2020) Jean will be launching a FREE online MASTERCLASS with 18 experts in the areas of brain development, nutrition, anxiety, dyslexia, ADHD and more.  Click on show notes below and be sure to sign up for UNLEASH YOUR KIDS' GENIUS MASTERCLASS! :)  show notes:  www.monicaswanson.com/podcast THIS EPISODE:  www.monicaswanson.com/episode-37  
1/14/202041 minutes, 12 seconds
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Happy New Year, and a Fun (Boy-Approved) Approach to Family Mission Statements

Aloha and Happy New Year!  I'm stopping in to wish you all a happy 2020, and share some of the things I plan to do in the New Year -- both on the Podcast and over at my blog (www.monicaswanson.com.)  I also share a new approach our family is using to create a family mission statement, based on 3 elements of story.  Your boys will love developing a mission statement when they realize they are part of a counterattack against a villain, when the stakes are high.  :)  Hope this inspires your family to gather and get to work on your own mission statement in 2020.   Podcast show notes:  www.monicaswanson.com/podcast Today's show:  www.monicaswanson.com/episode-36  
1/8/202018 minutes, 4 seconds
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Merry Christmas with Monica and her Boys

Monica's four sons join us today to celebrate the Christmas season.  We are reflecting on Christmases past -- from favorite family traditions to favorite Christmas movies, cookies and more.  We are also talking about  what we are currently doing to intentionally focus on Christ in this season.  Get to know each son (Josiah, 20, Jonah, 18, Luke, 15, and Levi, 9) as they share an honest conversation with their mom in today's episode.  Find Boy Mom Show notes at:  www.monicaswanson.com/podcast Today's notes:  www.monicaswanson.com/episode-35  
12/18/201935 minutes, 49 seconds
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Ep. 34: Advent (and year-round) Family Devotions with Asheritah Ciuciu

In today's episode best-selling author, Asheritah Ciuciu joins us to talk about the Advent season and family devotions.  Asheritah has written a number of books, including the Advent devotional, "Unwrapping the Names of Jesus" which my family is going through as we prepare for Christmas. Asheritah encourages moms to bring kids into their devotions as they make the Word of God a beautiful part of every day.  She also shares the brain science behind how to establish new habits and how that can help us be more consistent with our Bible devotions.   Find podcast notes at:  www.monicaswanson.com/podcast Today's episode at:  www.monicaswanson.com/episode-34  
12/10/201939 minutes, 7 seconds
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Ep. 33 Making Family Memories this Christmas, with Jessica Smartt

Jessica Smartt, author of Memory Making Mom, joins us today to share some simple inspirations for making holidays memories to last a lifetime.  Making memories doesn't have to mean more work or more stress, and this episode will give you confidence that you have what it takes to make great memories in every season. Find links to al of the great resources Jessica shares, including a downloadable "Memory Making Bullet Journal" over at show notes! All podcast show notes:  www.monicaswanson.com/podcast Notes for this episode:  www.monicaswanson.com/episode-33    
12/3/201942 minutes, 20 seconds
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Ep. 32 Cultivating Gratitude as a Family with Dave

My husband Dave joins me in this episode to talk about Thankfulness, Gratitude, and... is there a difference?  Dave and I chat about how we can cultivate a heart of gratitude, and how we might inspire the same in our kids.  We talk about some practical mindsets that help us to be more grateful and we discuss why we can be grateful even in the hardest times. Find Podcast notes at:  www.monicaswanson.com/podcast this episode at:  www.monicaswanson.com/episode-32
11/26/201920 minutes, 33 seconds
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Ep. 31: Practicing Presence over the Holidays (and everyday!) with Kate Merrick

Kate Merrick joins me for today's episode and she has a story and message you don't want to miss!  Kate learned to be present while fighting for her daughter's life in a battle with cancer.  Kate made some radical decisions in order to be more present then, and she's never regretted it. Now, Kate inspires the rest of us in this no-nonsense (hilarious) conversation about living with intention, getting over the FOMO and embracing gratitude.  Kate also shares some wisdom for both moms of young kids and mom's of teenagers.  You don't want to miss this episode!   Find Podcast Notes always at:  www.monicaswanson.com/podcast Today's show notes at:  www.monicaswanson.com/episode-31  
11/18/201957 minutes, 36 seconds
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030: Are you the Right Mom for the Job? With Becky Keife

Becky Keife, author of the new book, No Better Mom for the Job, joins us for today's conversation.  Becky, who was raised mostly by her mom and alongside sisters, once wrestled with feeling inadequate as a mom to her three, "spirited" boys. God used her experiences to stretch and grow her, and now she encourages moms all over the world!  In today's interview she shares from her experience embracing her boy-mom role, finding her "mom-strengths" and working within her sons' and her natural wiring.  I love how honest and transparent Becky is, and I think you'll find a lot of practical nuggets in this interview! Find show notes at:  www.monicaswanson.com/episode-30 And all podcasts and notes at:  www.monicaswanson.com/podcast  
11/12/201938 minutes, 15 seconds
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029: Let's Talk about Moms and Sugar, with Wendy Speake

Wendy Speake, author of the 40-Day Sugar Fast joins us for this conversation about moms and sugar.  Wendy has been leading tens of thousands of women through an annual online sugar fast, and now she has put the best of her daily devotions and inspiration into a book.  Wendy tells the story of how all of this came to be as well as testimonies from those of who have taken a break from sugar to lean into God.  We all run to something!  Whether you have a tendency to run to sugar, or Netflix, wine, or Facebook, this episode will speak to your heart! Find show notes at:  www.monicaswanson.com/episode-29 ALL show notes at:  www.monicaswanson.com/podcast  
11/4/201936 minutes, 59 seconds
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028: Let's Talk about Mom Guilt

Mom Guilt!  Ever experienced it?  :)  As this episode releases I'll be taking off for 3 weeks of travel with (1) of my sons for surf contests in Texas and Portugal.  (leaving two other sons at home.)  Today I'm talking about Mom guilt in all of its forms-- from trivial things to more serious...and how to decide when to listen to the guilt and when to brush it off.  I talk about the difference between condemnation (from the enemy) and conviction (from the Holy Spirit.)  I ALSO point to a free download over in the show notes which is a list of Scriptures to lead your child (or yourself! :)) into a relationship with God. Find the download and notes from today's episode over at: www.monicaswanson.com/episode-28 And all podcasts at:  www.monicaswanson.com/podcast See you back here in 2 weeks and meanwhile, follow my travels on Instagram: @monicaswanson_  
10/21/201918 minutes, 25 seconds
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027: The Why, What, and How of Praying for Boys (with Brooke McGlothlin)

In today's episode Brooke McGlothlin joins me to talk about the importance of praying for our sons.  Brooke shares the story of how she began to pray for her ("250% boy"-) boys and how it changed her parenting. Moms are busy and time is short, but with a little intention, we can add some life-changing, power-packed prayers to our days.  It is so worth it!  Hope you are encouraged by our conversation! Please spread the word, leave a rating and review, and find show notes at:  www.monicaswanson.com/episode-27  ALL Podcast notes are at:  www.monicaswanson.com/podcast  
10/14/201948 minutes, 30 seconds
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026: Practical Parenting Q & A with Wendy Speake (part II)

In today's episode Wendy Speake is back on with me as we tackle a few more important (and challenging) questions about raising boys.  We talk about siblings who do NOT get along, and offer some suggestions for handling that.  We also talk about how we can help our boys make better health choices.  And we dive into some practical thoughts on boys and technology.  This episode is packed and I hope you enjoy! FIND SHOW NOTES:  www.monicaswanson.com/episode-26 and all podcast show notes:  www.monicaswanson.com/podcast  
10/8/201957 minutes, 28 seconds
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025: What I Have Learned from my Sons. {Aloha Friday...}

This is the last Aloha Friday Episode of 2019!  in this episode I share about some exciting travels coming up for me with my son Luke (for surf contests in Texas and Portugal!)  I also talk about how God uses our kids to teach us so much -- to grow us, stretch us, and develop our character!  I'm linking to a brand new blog post and encouraging parents to slow down this weekend to ENJOY your kids and to learn about them and from them!   SHOW NOTES (With a BOY MOM BOOK GIVEAWAY!) over at SHOW NOTES:  www.monicaswanson.com/episode-25 ALL PODCAST NOTES:  www.monicaswanson.com/podcast  
10/4/201918 minutes, 29 seconds
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024: Practical Parenting Q & A with Wendy Speake (part I)

My friend, Wendy Speake, is back with me (she was my first guest in episodes #3 and #4) as we respond to questions sent in by listeners.  This is part one of a two-part Q & A, and today Wendy and I answer questions related to:  14 year-old disobedience... 6 year olds with BIG FEELINGS, bedtime issues, argumentative kids, and all kinds of topics that springboard off of these!  I think you'll find this episode super practical and encouraging and I hope you hop over to the show notes at:  www.monicaswanson.com/episode-24  All Podcast show notes at:  www.monicaswanson.com/podcast. Thank you for leaving ratings and reviews wherever you listen!!  Aloha! ) 
10/1/201949 minutes, 58 seconds
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023: Books and Podcasts for Teenagers {Aloha Friday with my son, Jonah}

For this Aloha Friday episode my son Jonah (18) joins me to talk about some of his recent favorite books and podcasts.  I add a few of the books my fifteen year old son has been reading as well, and we link to all of them in the show notes.  Jonah loves to read and it's fun to hear him talk about all of these things!  I hope your tween or teen might get to listen and be inspired to read (the Bible and other books) and listen to some inspiring podcasts!   SHOW NOTES:  www.monicaswanson.com/episode-22 all show notes:  www.monicaswanson.com/podcast  
9/27/201929 minutes, 16 seconds
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022: Raising Boys with Sensory Processing Challenges with Heather MacFadyen

I am thrilled to have my friend,podcaster, and fellow (4-)boy mom, Heather MacFadyen on with me in today's episode.  Heather and I are talking about sensory processing issues in boys, and how we can best help our boys in this area.  Heather has a professional background which introduced her to this subject, but she also has had experience personally and with her sons to make her really understand and care about this topic.  Whether or not your son has sensory processing issues, I think you will get a lot out of this episode!  Find show notes with links to everything Heather mentions over at: www.monicaswanson.com/episode-22.  
9/24/201939 minutes, 28 seconds
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021 Teaching boys Life Skills by age (with free download guide) and Q & A on sibling bullying

This Aloha Friday Episode springboards off of Episode 020 where my husband, Dave, and I talked about all of the things we can do NOW, to prepare for the day our children launch into independence one day.  Dave and I mentioned the importance of teaching our kids life skills, and in today's episode I offer a free download (LIFE SKILLS BY AGE) and encourage parents to teach their kids ONE new Life Skill this weekend!  I also tackle a Q & A about sibling bullying:  What to do when one of our kids is bullying (or generally mistreating) their sibling. I hope some of the principles I share encourage parents to navigate challenging sibling relationships and also to keep perspective in the midst of them.  :)  Find show notes:  www.monicaswanson.com/episode-21 BOY MOM BOOK:  www.monicaswanson.com/boymombook  
9/20/201914 minutes, 39 seconds
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020: Raising Boys who will be Ready to Launch, with my Husband, Dave.

This is a special episode because we are covering the final chapter from my book, Boy Mom.  My husband Dave joins me for this conversation, as we go over the "7 Things parents can do now, so they are ready to launch their kids later."  This is really the heart of this Podcast and my Boy Mom book!  This episode is applicable to daughters as well, and I hope some of the men out there will listen as I think Dave has a lot of wisdom to share.  Dave is a family-practiced-trained physician, (who works in a hospital) and he is an amazing father to our boys.  I hope you enjoy, and thank you for leaving ratings and reviews wherever you listen! FIND SHOW NOTES AND LINKS:  www.monicaswanson.com/podcast  
9/16/201929 minutes, 8 seconds
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019: Wisdom in Choosing Friends: Aloha Friday with my Son, Luke.

My 15 year old son Luke joins me in today's episode as he shares a quote from George Washington which says:  "It's better to be alone than in bad company."  Luke shares his thoughts on this, as well as a couple Bible verses, and his own personal experience seeking good friendships.  This is a great episode to have your kids listen in on, and I hope it inspires some conversations this weekend about friendships, loneliness, and being wise while you wait.  SHOW NOTES:  www.monicaswanson.com/podcast
9/12/201914 minutes, 51 seconds
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Ep. 018: Boys: Relationships, Dating, and Beyond

Rhonda Stoppe is joining me in today's packed episode where we talk about helping our sons navigate relationships, dating, sex, and marriage.  Rhonda has four grown children and a TON of wisdom and experience to share.  She has written books on topics related to romance and marriage, as well as one just for moms raising sons. This episode is a bit longer than the others but I hope you can listen to the end because Rhonda's encouragement and wisdom go all the way to the end. :)   Find show notes and links to everywhere you can find Rhonda at: www.monicaswanson.com/podcast  
9/9/20191 hour, 14 minutes, 53 seconds
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017: Family Dinner Chat: Back to School with a Growth Mindset {Aloha Friday Episode}

In this Aloha Friday Episode I am encouraging families to gather around the dinner table to chat about the new school year.  I cover the topic of MINDSET and the difference between a fixed mindset and a growth mindset.  I love this topic and I hope you'll find it super practical and encouraging for your family!   I also cover a Q and A about boys and reading.  I share a helpful tip I learned to get boys to want to read more.  Find show notes and links to anything I mentioned at: www.monicaswanson.com/podcast  
9/6/201913 minutes, 13 seconds
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016: Boys, Learning, and Discovering Passions: With Amber Lia

Amber Lia joins me in this episode as we springboard off of Ch. 9 in my book, Boy Mom: "Inspiring Young Minds: Learning and Discovering Passions."  Amber is a (homeschooling) mom to four boys, and was a teacher for many years before having children.  She shares inspiration for inspiring young minds, stimulating curiosity, and pointing kids to God in all things.  We also talk about motivating older kids to learn and ways we can work with an unmotivated teenager.  I think you'll get a lot out of this conversation!  Find show notes and links to all of the places you can follow Amber at:  www.monicaswanson.com/podcast.  
9/3/201950 minutes, 7 seconds
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015: Boys and Perseverance: An Aloha Friday Episode with my son Jonah.

For our 2nd ALOHA FRIDAY Edition of the Boy Mom Podcast, my son Jonah joined me to chat about the character quality of PERSEVERANCE.  Jonah has impressed me in the past year with his ability to persevere in work, studies, and life.  I ask Jonah about his SAT studies and his job as a dish washer while he waited to be promoted to busser (for the past year! :))  Jonah shares his perspective on it all.  I share some fun quotes on perseverance, and there will more quotes and Bible verses over at my show notes. At the end I do a quick Q&A in response to the (common!) question about what is a reasonable amount of time for boys to be on devices on a school day.   Show notes:  www.monicaswanson.com/podcast.  Instagram:  www.instagram.com/monicaswanson_  
8/30/201916 minutes, 27 seconds
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Raising Boys Who Value Work and Money Management

Today's interview is packed with practical ideas from my friend and guest, Kristi Clover.  Kristi is so much fun to talk to -- and she is a master at organization for families.  You'll love her advice on how to "set kids up for success" in their chores, and her family's approach to earning and stewarding money.  Kristi shares principles that every family can put into practice and I think you'll enjoy this conversation! Kristi's new book, M.O.M. (Master Organizer of Mayhem) releases early in September!  As always, you'll find much more on the topic of Boys, Work, and Money Management in Chapter 13 of my book, Boy Mom.  Show notes and links:  www.monicaswanson.com/podcast  
8/27/201950 minutes, 2 seconds
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(New!) Aloha Friday Episode: 2 Free Resources for you, and a Q&A about When you and Your Spouse Disagree on Parenting Issues.

I'm so excited to introduce this new "Aloha Friday Edition" of the Boy Mom Podcast! I hope to keep these short and sweet, mostly solo (or with one of my guys!) and to focus each of these episodes on connecting with your family as you head into the weekend.  Today I am also answering a frequently-asked question about how to handle it when you and your spouse are not on the same page with parenting issues.  Hope you are encouraged. Podcast page:  www.monicaswanson.com/podcast. Blog homepage:  www.monicaswanson.com  
8/23/20198 minutes, 26 seconds
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Raising (Emotionally) Healthy Boys, With Christie Thomas

Christie Thomas joins me for today's episode as we talk about raising emotionally healthy sons.  Christie is the mom to three boys and she has a background in children's ministry.  She faced some personal trauma years ago that has given her a deeper understanding of anxiety, and she has helped her sons through childhood anxiety as well.  Christie has written two beautiful children's books to help kids cope with topics like fear, loss, and anxiety; she approaches these topics with a balanced combination of Biblical principles and solid scientific research.  In today's episode, Christie shares three steps to helping our kids deal with anxious feelings. (I think these are great for anyone dealign with anxiety at any age!)  Be sure to check the show notes for 2 free downloads from Christie as well as her books, and links to all of the places you can find and follow her! Show notes:  www.monicaswanson.com/podcast More on raising emotionally healthy sons: www.monicaswanson.com/boymombook.  
8/20/201945 minutes, 57 seconds
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Raising (Physically) Healthy Boys, With Erin Mohring

Erin Mohring joins me in today's episode to talk about raising sons to embrace a healthy lifestyle.  Like me, Erin is married to a physician, and in today's episode she is sharing her family's experience of transitioning to a healthier lifestyle.  Erin and her husband became runners, cleaned up their diet, and now their three sons are following in their footsteps.  Erin is the real deal, a ton of fun, and she shares practical and actionable steps towards raising a healthy family, even if you haven't started off so great yourself!  Erin also shares some inspiring nuggets at the end of the interview as she answers my "Boy Mom questions" and gives a piece of advice she wished she had when her kids were younger.  (You'll want to write it down!)  Thanks for listening and for leaving a rating/review wherever you listen!!   Find show notes at:  www.monicaswanson.com/podcast. Erin's site:  www.homewiththeboys.com  
8/14/201958 minutes, 4 seconds
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Boy Mom Book Release Day with the Swanson Boys

Today we're having a Boy Mom Book Launch party on the podcast.  The Swanson boys (ages 9 up to 20) are hosting the podcast, and asking ME questions!  We are all in the mood to celebrate the release of Boy Mom, and I think you'll enjoy the boys' interesting, fun, and silly questions. We are also offering a Boy Mom Book giveaway!  Be sure to follow instructions, and we'll choose a winner on Friday, August 9th, 2019!  Spread the word and please continue to leave your ratings and reviews.   Link to Book Page:  www.monicaswanson.com/boymombook. Link to Podcast Page:  www.monicaswanson.com/podcast  
8/5/201924 minutes, 52 seconds
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Raising Boys in a Digital World, with Ruth Chou Simons

I am so excited to share this conversation with Ruth Chou Simons, mother of 6 boys (!!), best-selling author, and incredibly gifted artist.  Ruth and I chat about raising boys in a digital world...trying to keep the focus on principles, rather than hard, fast rules. This is not an easy topic, but Ruth's wisdom is deep, and she encourages us to focus on the heart behind the issues. ("We become what we behold".) We talk about keeping the conversation open with our sons, and setting expectations as a family.  We also talk about what to do when you realize you've already allowed certain things and you want to make changes.  (You can do it!)  I also wrap up by asking Ruth 3 fun *Boy Mom* questions which will help you get to know where better!  I think you'll enjoy what Ruth shares and I pray this conversation is an encouragement to you!  Find show notes:  www.monicaswanson.com/podcast Find Ruth's website:  https://gracelaced.com  
7/29/201952 minutes, 2 seconds
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Raising Boys with Intentional Influences

In today's episode, I am joined by Jeannie Cunnion:  Mother of four sons, author, speaker, and a truly grace-filled friend.  Jeannie and I have a great conversation about raising our sons with intentional influences.  I am convinced that my two oldest sons are who they are today much because of the influences that have shaped them.  We can do our best as parents, but we are also wise to surround our sons with positive outside influences, and ultimately help them learn to choose good influences for themselves!  Jeannie is so good at reminding us that God is sovereign and the only One who can change our boys' hearts. However, as long as they are in our care, we can (and should!) point our boys to the best influences possible -- some in person, some as role models.  Of course, we could only scratch the surface on this topic, so find much more in chapter 7 of my book, Boy Mom (releasing on August 6th!)   Find show notes: www.monicaswanson.com/podcast  
7/23/201949 minutes, 5 seconds
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Raising Boys of Noble Character

Today I am sharing from Chapter 6 of Boy Mom, and this is a topic I am passionate about.  (It's also a topic I'm spending a lot of time focusing on with my youngest son.)  I am talking about the heart of character, and how we can focus on raising kids of character at all ages.  When they are young we focus on manners (and the heart behind manners!) and as they grow up we can attach more meaning to they WHY behind the behaviors we are teaching.  I share a story of something I did with one of my teens when his character was lacking, and I hope it inspires you.  (it was a game changer for our family!)  This is a packed podcast and I hope you enjoy it...and spread the word about it!  Ratings and reviews are SO appreciated!  (if you haven't left one yet, would you take a minute to do that now?)   Find show notes at:  https://monicaswanson.com/podcast/ And Boy Mom Book Page (with new Pre-order Incentives available!):  https://monicaswanson.com/boymombook/  
7/16/201926 minutes, 13 seconds
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Raising Boys with a Secure Identity with Gwen Smith

In today's episode, Gwen Smith joins me as we continue to cover the main topics in my book, Boy Mom:  What Your Son Needs Most From You. (releasing on August 6, 2019!) Today we come to the topic of raising a son with a secure identity.  This is a big, important topic!  In a world that judges you and labels you based on performance, popularity, looks, wealth, likes, follows, and on and on...how can we raise a son who does not find his identity in ANY of those things?  How do we cheer on our kids in the hobbies or sports they love (and we also love!?) without making that the most important thing?  How do we stress the importance of being excellent in all that you do without making our kids think that is where their value comes from?  This isn't easy stuff, but I think you'll enjoy Gwen and my honest conversation about all of it!  Gwen's 3 kids are bright, accomplished college students-- and athletes, and she has a lot of wisdom and experience dealing with all of this!  I hope you enjoy!  As always look for show notes over at my podcast page!  Thank you for spreading the word about this new podcast, and if you haven't already -- would you please leave a rating and review wherever you listen?  Thank you so much! Podcast page with show notes:  https://monicaswanson.com/podcast/ Gwen Smith's website:  https://gwensmith.net Boy Mom Book page:  https://monicaswanson.com/boymombook/
7/9/201952 minutes, 57 seconds
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Raising a Son Who Loves God, with My Son Jonah

I am so happy to share this conversation with my 17 year-old son, Jonah with all of you.  Jonah shares about his experience growing up in a Christian home, when he made his faith his own, and how he has developed his faith over his teenage years.  This may be a good episode to invite your son (and husband!) to listen in on.  I also get to ask Jonah some fun questions at the end of the episode; listen in and find out what War and Peace, a rifle, and a surfboard have in common.  :)  ALSO:  Don't miss a free download over at my podcast page!  I'm sharing a downloadable template which can help you teach your son a simple acronym for praying and using a Bible Journal.  Spread the word and don't forget to subscribe to the Boy Mom Podcast so you will get future episodes!  Aloha! Podcast page:  https://monicaswanson.com/podcast/ Boy Mom Book page:  https://monicaswanson.com/boymombook/
7/2/201930 minutes, 17 seconds
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Boys and Discipline with Wendy Speake

Wendy Speake joins me again as we discuss boys and discipline. Wendy and I talk about how discipline is (unfortunately) a big part of parenting, and how being prepared to discipline is actually a key to NOT losing your cool as a mom. We talk about the purpose of discipline and what it means to understand -- and use -- your sons' "currency."  Wendy and I cover a whole lot, and I hope you enjoy this episode!  Find show notes at Podcast page, and please don't forget to SUBSCRIBE to this podcast, and leave a rating and/or a review!  Thank you!   
6/25/201938 minutes, 25 seconds
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Raising Boys with Boundaries and Freedoms, With Wendy Speake

I'm excited to have my good friend, Wendy Speake, as my first podcast guest.  Wendy joins me as we chat about what boundaries and freedoms look like for each of our families...How sometimes we use a rule for one boy that is different from the other kids.  How life isn't always "fair."  (and much more!)  We also talk about boys and their need for freedoms and adventure...how important it is to offer boys healthy freedoms as they grow up.  There's a lot of great stuff in this conversation, so I hope you enjoy it and be sure to spread the word to your boy-mom friends!   Podcast page:  https://monicaswanson.com/podcast/ Boy Mom Book page:  https://monicaswanson.com/boymombook/ Wendy's website:  https://www.wendyspeake.com  
6/6/201943 minutes, 36 seconds
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Building a Healthy Relationship with your Son

Today I begin a series which will cover all of the main topics in my new book, Boy Mom:  What Your Son Needs Most from You.   In these first episodes we will be covering the 12 things your son most needs from you...These are areas moms can equip their sons so that they are ready to face the world once they leave the nest.  In today's episode we are going over chapter two of the BOY MOM BOOK, and it's all about building a healthy relationship with our sons.  We all want to feel connected to our sons in a relationship that will last a lifetime, yet this can get tricky as boys grow up, pull away, and go through various stages.  We know they need to grow in independence, but we don't want to lose our relationship with them, either.  In this episode I talk about what I consider the four building blocks of a healthy relationship with your son.  This episode ought to be an encouragement to you, as well as a loving reminder that the relationship you have with your son today is building a foundation for how you will relate to one another for years to come.  I'm sharing some of my own experiences and practical tips for moms of boys of all ages.  I hope you enjoy! Find show notes at https://monicaswanson.com/podcast/ Follow Monica on Instagram at @monicaswanson_   And on Facebook -- as Monica Swanson-thegrommom.
6/4/201927 minutes, 30 seconds
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Welcome to the Boy Mom Podcast with Monica Swanson and Friends 001

Aloha, and welcome to the first episode of the Boy Mom Podcast with Monica Swanson and Friends! In this first episode I will be telling you a little more about me and my family, my blog (and the viral post which you might be familiar with) AND my new book -- Boy Mom!! (releasing on August 6th, 2019!) I am sharing my hopes for this podcast, and what I have planned for future episodes, and asking you for your thoughts on what you'd like me to cover here as well.  Subscribe to get future episodes covering all kinds of topics related to raising boys! LINKS:  Monica's website:  https://monicaswanson.com Viral Post:  What a Teenage Boy Needs Most from His Mom Boy Mom Book page Podcast notes:  https://monicaswanson.com/podcast/ Monica on Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/TheGrommom Monica on Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/monicaswanson_/    
6/4/201916 minutes, 24 seconds