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Welcome to the Dads on the Air archives, with hundreds of programs dating back to 2003. You can browse by month or year, or search the entire archive for a specific topic or name. Find a show you heard a long time ago, download or stream individual programs, or just poke around by clicking “Click to read more…” next to each program for a detailed show description.

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Entries in Raising Kids (116)

Thursday
Feb152018

The Greatness of Dads

With special guest:

  • Kirsten Matthew
    … in conversation with Bill Kable

Kirsten Matthew was inspired by her father to take on the Big Apple where she worked as a journalist for ten years. This is a huge achievement considering that she arrived in New York without even a green card, no job offers, not even any friends. At a low point Kirsten rang her father who gave some simple advice to get on with it and that was enough to get her established.

After that experience and lots of other insights, wisdoms and truths from her father Kirsten realised that the universal threads of fatherhood can be found the world over. So she set about the task of recording some quotes, song lyrics, artwork and images of dads throughout history and around the world. The result of these efforts is a beautifully presented book The Greatness of Dads.

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Thursday
Feb082018

Youth Express

With special guest:

  • James Winter
    … in conversation with Bill Kable

Making a living in the Australian theatre has never been an easy task. Our guest today is James Winter an actor and director who has raised the level of difficulty significantly.

James draws on his over 20 years’ experience in the arts industry to create performance with non-performers, particularly the marginalised and at risk youthful members of our community. In doing this work through the Belvoir St Theatre’s Outreach Program, Youth Express, James engages with young people who may be homeless and find themselves excluded from mainstream education.

Youth with these challenges come from a number of support organisations including Key College, an accredited High School in Redfern Sydney run by Father Chris Riley’s Youth Off The Streets. Belvoir’s Youth Express provides them with access to a professional theatre company and its artists.

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Thursday
Feb012018

The Equal Parent Presumption

With special guest:

  • Dr Edward Kruk
     … in conversation with Bill Kable

Our guest today has produced a book of 167 pages, The Equal Parent Presumption: Social Justice in the Legal Determination of Parenting after Divorce, that should be required reading for everyone who works in the space of parenting after divorce; and that includes Judges who routinely make sole parenting orders, Psychologists who offer family therapy, and all the other institutions that influence family relationships.

The trouble really arises because although there is a mantra of acting “in the best interest of the child” this becomes a discretionary assessment by a Judge who has no training in the area of child development or family dynamics and furthermore the Judge takes no interest in reviewing the outcome of the decision. Dr Kruk invites us to take the child’s position.

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Thursday
Jan252018

Ten Leadership Lessons You Must Teach Your Teenager

With special guest:

  • Dr Tim Hawkes

What the world needs now is leadership and that is our topic today.

Our guest in this program is one of Australia’s leading educators whose new book Ten Leadership Lessons You Must Teach Your Teenager takes a different approach to the topic of leadership. This book is not addressed to the business people trying to get higher on the greasy pole of corporate success. Dr Hawkes writes for mums and dads to share some wisdom with their teenage children.

Based on his great experience from many years teaching and leading thousands of students Dr Hawkes provides parents with realistic expectations and their children with challenges that the contemporary teen can reasonably be expected to achieve.

In our discussion today we ask Dr Hawkes if leadership is born or can it be learned. We learn about the concept of “servant-hearted leadership”. We ask if everyone can be a leader. Can someone be a leader all the time? You can learn a lot by listening to this leader.

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Thursday
Jan182018

Our Boys: Raising strong, happy sons from boyhood to manhood

With special guests:

  • Richard Aston & Ruth Kerr

On this program we get to talk to good people who are making a difference in our society. Our guests today, Richard Aston and his wife Ruth Kerr, fit this category and they speak to us from across the ditch in New Zealand.

For fifeen years Richard and Ruth through the Big Buddy program have been providing fatherless boys with a buddy, someone who can show them the way to manhood. These buddies are volunteer mentors who are carefully chosen by going through a detailed screening. The boys know they can rely on their buddies to turn up when expected and listen to what is happening in the boys’ lives. And they get to do fun things.

Having seen up close and personal what makes boys tick Richard and Ruth have distilled for us what works and what does not work when the aim is to develop our boys into adults. This is practical and down to earth advice set out in their new book Our Boys: Raising strong, happy sons from boyhood to manhood.

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Thursday
Jan112018

Are Fathers Important for Adolescents? 

With special guest:

  • Dr William (Bill) Fabricius

Most studies in the area of children and families concentrate on the influence of mothers. Fathers are understudied in this area. For this reason we welcome the results of a paper on the role of fathers and we have the opportunity today to speak with one of its lead authors, Associate Professor Dr William Fabricius who joins us from New York. The title of the paper is Effects of the Inter-Parental Relationship on Adolescents’ Emotional Security and Adjustment: The Important Role of Fathers.

This new study looked at hundreds of adolescents, a balanced mix of those living with biological dads and those with stepdads studied in three waves from Grades 7 to 12 across ethnic and gender lines. The research measured the effect of non-violent parental conflict, Intimate Partner Violence and demonstrated affection. The findings revealed the importance of marital quality, namely the level of parental love and closeness, and interestingly “mattering to father.”

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Thursday
Dec212017

Reflective Parenting

With special guest:

  • Dr Alistair Cooper
    … in conversation with Bill Kable

“She has a mind of her own” is something we hear often enough when parents are talking about the challenges they face in trying to relate with their children. Yet if parents accepted this as fact and tried to find out what was going on inside this other mind the world would become a lot less complicated for both parent and child. With co-author Dr Sheila Redfern our guest today Dr Alistair Cooper has written a new book Reflective Parenting: A Guide to Understanding What’s Going on in Your Child’s Mind showing how to read your child’s mind and use this knowledge to improve your relationship. If you follow the principles of reflective parenting in everyday interactions it will help your child achieve her full potential and save your sanity.

The book is filled with practical advice and real life situations based on Ali’s extensive clinical experience and in some cases drawing on his experience with his own children to show us the possibilities.

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Thursday
Oct262017

Unfinished Business: Women Men Work Family

With special guest:

  • Dr Anne-Marie Slaughter

When our guest today Dr Anne-Marie Slaughter wrote an article for The Atlantic magazine in 2012 it created what could be described as a firestorm. The article had an estimated 2.7 million views and sparked intense debate. Someone seen as a leading light in feminism was questioning the feminist narrative.

The article was called “Why women still can’t have it all” but clearly there was some unfinished business and this became the title of her new book Unfinished Business: Women Men Work Family in which she uncovers the missing piece of the puzzle.

Anne-Marie is clearly a gifted communicator as demonstrated in several high-powered careers, most notably her time as Director of Policy Planning in the US State Department working alongside Hillary Clinton, the Secretary of State.

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Thursday
Oct192017

Leading Women for Shared Parenting

With special guest:

  • Molly Olson

Why would leading women want to join a group that is striving to achieve the sharing of time that children spend with both parents after separation or divorce? If the approach of the Courts and the legislature has always been that the mothers are essential, fathers not so, why would these women work tirelessly to make changes?

Molly Olson is one of the fair-minded women found around the world who can see the benefits to the children as well as to the parents if the allocated time is shared. After listening to Molly it becomes a no-brainer that in her words the system has to change and it will change.

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Thursday
Oct122017

Understanding Parental Alienation

With special guests:

  • Karen & Nick Woodall

Everyone seems to know someone who has been affected by parental alienation, even if the name of the condition may not be recognised. We have all seen children, following a separation, who reject a parent and cling to the other parent when there is no good reason for doing so.

We would expect therapists working in this area to be on the lookout for the tell-tale signs that a child is fully alienated. However because of a galling lack of understanding of the condition this is not always so. Even the early signs may be missed such as when a child who is usually happy to come to your house or come with you on trips begins to find it difficult to do so.

Once the alienation has taken root it is obvious to any thinking person that there is something wrong because the child’s reality has been distorted. At that point the worst aspect of a separation with another parent may take place, namely, you lose your child.

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Thursday
Oct052017

Dadvice

With special guest:

  • Dr Luke Martin

Seriously! Becoming a Dad can be a white-knuckle ride and sometimes it can be overwhelming. When you leave the hospital carrying a new baby it might be the first time it hits you that you have taken on an enormous responsibility and yet you are not issued with an instruction booklet.

Men have lots of different reactions when they hear that they are about to be joined by a new family member who will need 24-hour support. Some jump around, some think about the meaning of life and some might even feel depressed. The main thing to remember is that whatever feelings you experience you will not be the first. This is where Dadvice comes in, a new mental health campaign for new Dads developed by beyondblue and funded by the Movember Foundation.

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Thursday
Sep282017

The Fathering Project

With special guest:

  • John Bond

Our guest today is the son of a very famous father, Alan Bond, who is forever linked with Australia winning the America’s Cup in 1983. John Bond was there for this hugely significant event in the USA, one which lifted the whole country. Where to after that?

John Bond returned to Australia and got his motivation when he heard an address by Professor Bruce Robinson which inspired him to support the most powerful force for reducing the chances of our kids falling victim to drugs, suicide and crime. Having an effective father or even a father figure leads to reduced incidence of crime, alcohol and drug abuse; it enhances mental health and self-esteem, leads to improved school engagement and performance, social competence and improved health behaviours generally. Professor Robinson, who has previously been a guest on Dads on the Air provided the research which is compelling.

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Thursday
Sep212017

Dads and their Babies

With special guest:

  • Dr Dawson Cooke

We will all readily make the assumption that the bond between mothers and their babies is important for the health of the family but what about the dad-baby bond? Our guest today is Dr Dawson Cooke who is able to discuss that relationship based on the findings in his study recently published in Infant Mental Health. Dr Cooke has been working with parents and particularly fathers for the last 15 years both in his practice and as a researcher at Curtin University in WA. In his latest study which involved 451 families he has made some findings that have caught the attention of the media.

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Thursday
Sep142017

Parents Beyond Breakup

With special guest:

  • Pete Nicholls

Who are Parents Beyond Breakup?

If you have not heard already about Parents Beyond Breakup it is very likely that you will soon because the word is getting out from our guest today Pete Nicholls who has been instrumental in raising awareness in the community. Parents Beyond Breakup is a national charity working in many communities around Australia focussing on suicide prevention in one of the demographics most at risk, namely separating parents.

Parents Beyond Breakup is the parent body for the well-known Dads in Distress who have been guests on the program many times previously and provided presenter Phil York for several years. But as our guest today Pete Nicholls explains a demand has grown for helping mothers in times of crisis and so Parents Beyond Breakup now incorporates both Dads in Distress and Mums in Distress as part of its operations.

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Thursday
Sep072017

#DADUP

With special guest:

  • Nick Thorpe

Scotland has become a hotbed of reform in supporting dads.

After the highly successful Year of the Dad campaign in 2016 Fathers Network Scotland has again joined with the Scottish Government in the 2017 campaign called Dad Up. In today’s program we cross to Edinburgh to speak to Nick Thorpe who is the Head of Communications for Fathers Network Scotland to hear directly about the successes and what has been learned through these initiatives.

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Thursday
Aug242017

Terry Virts Astronaut Father

With special guest:

  • Terry Virts

In today’s show we reach for the heavens.

Our guest is Terry Virts an American Air Force Colonel and test pilot who was selected by NASA to be an Astronaut in 2000 and subsequently made his first flight into space as the pilot of space shuttle Endeavour STS 130. In 2014 Terry launched into space again from Baikonur, Kazakhstan to ride to the International Space Shuttle where he was to be the Commander and he stayed on the station for 200 days.

Terry has lots of stories to fascinate those of us who may have never been in charge of going higher than the attic. We are also interested in the family man and the effect on his family of these long absences when he is doing dangerous exciting work with the world media watching. As Terry tells us children have a way of bringing you back to earth if you get too caught up in your own world and his stories about reunions with his family are heart warming. The love of Terry’s daughter is preserved forever after she arranged with a car manufacturer to draw a 5 square kilometre message saying that she loved her dad.

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Thursday
Aug172017

Didge Group Connection to Culture

With special guest:

  • Stuart McMinn

Stuart McMinn is working in a program that draws on tens of thousands of years of culture to benefit our youth, in particular our young Indigenous men.

Following on from the vision of local Indigenous man, Uncle Bob Williams from the Mingaletta Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islanders Corporation, Interrelate Central Coast supported the establishment of the Young Boys Didgeridoo and Cultural Group, ‘Didge’, in mid-2011. This new group offered cultural and other supports which had an immediate and significant impact.

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Thursday
Aug102017

SHTUM

With special guest:

  • Jem Lester

In this program we cross to London to discuss with author Jem Lester his novel SHTUM. For anyone who has missed the British television shows and is not sure what “shtum” means Jem tells us that it means “silent or uncommunicative”. That is what a loving father may face when he has a child with profound autism.

The book SHTUM won the 2013 PFD/City University Prize for Fiction but in writing the book Jem tells us he draws on his own experiences having raised a boy now nearly 16 who is profoundly autistic.

This is one of those books you do not want to put down. One of the characters refers to the power of words and yet the most eloquent communication between a father and a son is a non-verbal moment where the connection is “hilarious, fleeting and precious.”

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Thursday
Jul272017

Sam’s Best Shot

With special guest:

  • Dr James Best

How many Dads will walk away from their jobs for six months, sell their home and then travel to the wilds of Africa in the hope that it will be good for their son?

We like to think most Dads would do it. Today we get to speak to Dr James Best who did exactly that with his 14 year old son Sam. Sam said he went away as a boy and came back as a person summing up what his parents had hoped for when they embarked on this adventure.

Sam has special needs because he has been diagnosed as being on the autism spectrum. Sam is around about the middle of the spectrum not at the extreme end of either those who cannot talk or the savants. Sam can read and write, he is good at maths and music. He comes out with quirky interpretations of what others see and is often described as a charmer. Sam’s greatest difficulty is with social communication, maintaining eye contact and focussing on a task. He is prone to outbursts, even violent outbursts when frustrated.

Behind the thinking of James was that they had tried all the conventional approaches to dealing with autism and yet they still worried whether Sam would be able to form relationships, get a job and to all the other things we regard as normal in Western society. So having done a lot of scientific research on their own and with the support of the experts in the field Sam and his wife Benison decided to take on something different.

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Thursday
Jul202017

Families are like Fingerprints: They are all Different

With special guest:

  • Clint Greagen

It is time to check in again with our favourite Stay-at- Home Dad namely Clint Greagen, the Reservoir Dad.

We last spoke to Clint after the release of his book Reservoir Dad which described his experiences after he quit his job while his wife Tania returned to the workforce. This decision meant that Clint became the parent of first resource, the glue in the family and exchanged a career outside the home for all the benefits that come from a close relationship with one’s own children. Clint and Tania now have four children ranging from age 5 through to age 12.

Clint can speak with authority about the recent study conducted by the Australian Institute of Family Studies on stay-at-home parents. Clint is especially motivated to speak up because of the treatment given to the results of the study by the media. Headlines such as “Do stay-at-home Dads have to lift their game?” are misleading about the study findings and what is really going on.

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