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Entries in Raising Kids (104)

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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Thursday
Jul132017

BuildingBoys.net

With special guest:

  • Jennifer Fink

Are our boys failing school or is school failing them?

This is a question for everyone because while kids haven’t changed much over the last 100 years there has been a fundamental change in the performance of boys and girls in their education.

In the USA, Australia and 70 other developed countries according to UN figures, boys now lag behind girls on every single academic measure, they get into trouble and they drop out of school more frequently than girls. There are fewer boys at University and there are far more lost 20-something boys than 20-something girls. For the first time in the history of the United States boys are less educated than their dads. So what is going wrong and what can we do about it?

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Thursday
Jun292017

Fathering Adventures

With special guest:

  • Darren Lewis

He doesn’t claim to have been the beginning of all fathering adventures but in July 2008 Darren Lewis started an organisation by that name which has made many fathers and their children come alive through adventure based activities. Darren quotes Howard Thurman in recognising that the world needs people who have come alive.

We live in a world where fathers commonly spend just 8 minutes a day with each of their children, sometimes it is as little as 57 seconds on a week day. Darren provides an opportunity for Dads to spend dedicated time with their children in a fun environment.

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Thursday
Jun012017

Children in Crisis

With special guest:

  • Dr David Curl

Our distinguished guest in today’s program is very familiar with threatened species in the animal kingdom, having worked with luminaries such as the late Gerald Durrell OBE and Sir David Attenborough. He is now directing his considerable energy and ability to helping our own species in a crisis that is of our own making.

For a child, few crises are bigger than the loss of a loving parent. We often hear about those who had to grow up after the early death of a parent and those who never got over it. Fortunately, this does not happen to many of us. But a parent can be taken away by the Family Court just as effectively. If not handled properly, the separation of the child’ parents from each other can lead to immense personal suffering for their children and increased lifetime risks of physical and mental illness, even suicide. For this to happen to even one child is a catastrophe, but the reality is that tens of thousands of children, in Australia alone, are being forced to experience this trauma, compounded by the loss of other family members, as a direct result of the action or inaction of Australia’s adversarial family court system.

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Thursday
May182017

Beer + Bubs

With special guest:

  • Carrina Bradbury

Our guest today is Carrina Bradbury who has many qualifications that include being a qualified social worker, a family therapist, a clinical hypnotherapist and a doula.

All of this expertise is put to good use when Carrina takes her Beer + Bubs program to the pub in locations right across Australia. Beer + Bubs is a one-night session at the pub where expectant dads learn how to best support their partner up to and following the birth of their child. The combination of the location, the one or two glasses of amber fluid and being surrounded by other men in similar circumstances has proven to be a winner for the program.

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Thursday
May112017

SMS4dads

With special guest:

  • Dr Chris May

Who ya gonna call?

Our guest today is Dr Chris May from the University of Newcastle and he has a simple message for new Dads with mobile phones. Sign up for SMS4 dads and you will get the advice you need to deal with the new challenges we face as a Dad. This is not limited to young Dads. The age range of Dads already accessing the service extends to the over 50 year olds.

A really good aspect of this service is that it is available to Dads in remote locations that find it particularly hard to access help. The NBN is opening up the most remote areas to better communication and this will make access easy.

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Thursday
Apr272017

Private Bill: In Love and War

With special guest:

  • Barrie Cassidy

It makes for a rare occasion when Barrie Cassidy goes to the other side of the microphone. Barrie is one of Australia’s most respected and experienced political journalists and we welcome him to Dads on the Air.

But we are not going to discuss politics in this program. We are going to find out more about Barrie’s father Bill who is the main subject in Barrie’s book Private Bill: In Love and War.

After saying nothing about his war experiences for many years Bill Cassidy finally agreed to tell his children in great detail what he was doing in 1941, how he got seriously injured and finished up as a POW without being captured. He was transported in cattle trucks, put into isolation and had two unsuccessful escapes from the German Stalags. This period was when Bill faced the first of several major tests that he had to get through as he made his way through a long life.

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Thursday
Apr202017

From Bullied to Brilliant

With special guest:

  • Karen Clarke

Have you been bullied? Has anyone in your family been bullied?

In her book From Bullied to Brilliant: How to artfully avoid fitting in, our guest sets out how to understand and deal with bullies. In the program today we get to hear directly from Karen Clarke how to bounce back and turn pain into gain when confronted by bullies.

We learn that bullying can be experienced by anyone at any stage in life and it is nothing to be ashamed of if you are the victim. It is one of the myths of bullying that the victim has shown some weakness that the bully seizes on but in fact bullies are often attracted to people who possess the very qualities they secretly or unknowingly admire.

A topical issue that we discuss is the prevalence of cyber bullying, a new phenomenon in the history of bullying that has sometimes led to tragic consequences.

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Thursday
Mar302017

Albanese – Telling it Straight

With special guest:

  • Karen Middleton

Everybody loves Albo - even many of his opponents in the national Parliament.

We can identify the three drives he lists as having influenced his development, namely the Catholic Church, South Sydney Rugby League team and the Australian Labor Party. These drives were all inherited from his fiercely loyal and protective mother Maryanne but behind the relationship between Albo and his mother is another fascinating story that has never been revealed until the release of Karen Middleton’s book Albanese - Telling it Straight.

Up until now there was no mention of a Mr Albanese, Albo’s father. Albo has said that being raised without a father did not bother him and in fact made him more self-reliant. But we question if this is really the case, and Karen Middleton has spoken to over 40 people in Albo’s life to get an answer.

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Thursday
Mar162017

How much father? How have dads evolved since the 1930s?

With special guest:

  • Dr Peter West

How have dads evolved since the 1930s? In the 1990s, Dr Peter West interviewed a wide variety of men who grew up in the decades between the Depression and the final decade on the 20th Century. The result of those interviews was the book Fathers, Sons and Lovers: Men Talk About Their Lives from the 1930s to Today. From footballers to policemen, from railway workers to farmers, he provided a rare glimpse into the lived realities or everyday Australian dads.

In this program, Glen Poole of Stop Male Suicide interviews Peter about the changing nature of fatherhood since the 1930s, asks how things have changed for dads since he wrote his book nearly 20 years ago and explores what fatherhood holds for the next generation of dads.

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Thursday
Mar092017

Flesh Wounds

With special guest:

  • Richard Glover

Our guest today is famous.

Richard Glover is the host of the top rating Drive show on 702 ABC Sydney, and the weekly podcast of Thank God It’s Friday. He is the author of twelve books including the bestseller In Bed with Jocasta. His new book Flesh Wounds is in a similar humorous vein but the big difference this time is that it is the real story of his unusual, to say the least, upbringing.

We got Richard on the other side of the microphone from his usual radio role to explore with us his journey from being one of the first artificially inseminated babies in Australia. This was followed by a childhood in Papua-New Guinea and then on to maintaining a relationship with a mother who lived in a fantasy world and a father who let the real world get on top of him.

The book is described by one reviewer as “sad, funny, revealing, optimistic and hopeful”. This is a clear indication that we can all relate to at least some of Richard’s story, perhaps to our surprise.

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Thursday
Mar022017

The Making of Men

With special guest:

  • Dr Arne Rubinstein

“If we don’t initiate our boys they will burn down the village to feel the heat” This is an African proverb quoted by our guest today Dr Arne Rubinstein that could describe the situation for young men today in Australia and other societies far from Africa.

The Making of Men is a book that Dr Arne Rubinstein has written after seeing first-hand in his medical practice the disasters that can befall boys who are not initiated into life as a man in the community. Arne recognises the qualities valued in young boys when they are naturally loving, energetic, funny, creative and sensitive. What happens then, when so many kids get into trouble as teenagers?

In this program we talk about one of the most important ways in which the community or village can play a role in bringing the boy through to being a valuable man in the community.

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Thursday
Feb232017

Ugly: A beaut story about one very ugly kid

With special guest:

  • Robert Hoge

Robert Hoge has a daughter Imogen who sums it up best. She said about Robert’s book Ugly “It’s important to tell your story especially when you’re different”

As one of the many roles that our guest today has filled with distinction he is an advocate for those with a disability and today we hear what it is like to grow up in a special club.

When Robert was 4 years old his parents decided on his behalf that because of his birth condition the best way forward was amputation on his legs and major operations on his face. While the operations were medical firsts and very successful they still left the young child with prosthetic legs and an unusual face that would draw sometimes unwanted attention. We hear from Robert today how he drew strength from his loving family and how his father responded when his youngest child needed support.

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