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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 (122)

Thursday
Apr192018

An Attachment-Based Model of Parental Alienation

With special guest:

  • Dr Craig Childress
    … in conversation with Bill Kable

Why is parental alienation such a controversial topic?

Nearly everyone knows someone who has had a child turned against them after separation of the parents. It happens unfortunately all over the world and looks remarkably similar wherever you find it. The construct was defined and given a label, “parental alienation” some thirty years ago by Dr Richard Gardner. More recently there has been a strong push to have it included as a separate diagnosis in the therapists’ “Bible” the DSM-5.

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Thursday
Apr122018

Men of Honour

With special guest:

  • Glen Gerreyn
    … in conversation with Bill Kable

Our guest today is Glen Gerreyn a man by choice as distinct from being born male. This personal development did not happen when he became a champion athlete but rather by some important choices that Glen has made in his life. So what does it mean to be a man, a real man? And what are these choices?

Glen has spoken to groups around Australia and around the world on the topic of men of honour and some of the content probably comes under the heading of “secret men’s business”. In these talks no subject is taboo. Because so many fatherless boys in our community do not have a mentor they can confide in, Glen often finds that no-one else has ever spoken to our young men so frankly in language they understand.

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Thursday
Apr052018

Help! My Son Hates School

With special guest:

  • Janet Allison
    … in conversation with Bill Kable

After listening to this show many men will be wishing that they could have had Janet Allison as their teacher in years gone by. Janet speaks to us from Portland Oregon in the USA where she has founded the organisation Boys Alive! to benefit teachers and children in the education process. Janet’s warm style is engaging and inspiring.

It may even sound a little funny to hear a boy say “I hate school” but behind that assertion are some worrying realities in the USA as mirrored in Australia. These include that boys far outweigh girls in every negative statistic as for example more boys than girls are expelled from preschool! More boys than girls have behaviour issues in elementary school; more boys drop out of high school than girls and on it goes.

Janet describes this statement from boys as a Red Flag and says that the current situation has reached crisis proportions. While Janet is herself the mother of two girls she sees this as a problem for everyone in the community. And Janet is well placed as an experienced educator and Family Coach to suggest activities that all parents and teachers can adopt.

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Thursday
Mar292018

From Poppy with Love

With special guest:

  • Rev Dr John Killinger
    … in conversation with Bill Kable

In today’s program we are invited into the usually private world of conversations between a grandparent and his grandchildren. Strangely we can get the message very clearly from the other side of the world but the grandchildren themselves are completely unaware of the one way conversations in the letters written to them, letters that are so tender, thoughtful, wise and loving.

In his book From Poppy with Love: Letters from a Grandfather to the Grandchildren He Isn’t Allowed to See Dr John Killinger addresses his pain at being excluded from his four grandchildren in the best way he knows how by writing letters setting out the lives and dreams and personalities of the grandparents they were prevented from seeing. This has by no means been an easy task as it is a constant reminder of the separation. However John has benefitted from the cathartic effect of his writing and he hopes that one day his grandchildren will have the opportunity to read the letters contained in three volumes published by The Intermundia Press. In this way they will be able to get an understanding of their provenance.

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Thursday
Mar222018

SHINE for Kids

With special guest:

  • Dennis van Someren
    … in conversation with Bill Kable

Dennis van Someren is getting the word out that we have a crisis in the community, a crisis involving some of our most vulnerable children that impacts on all of us.

Governments have responded to concerns about crime rates by building more jails with there being nearly 40,000 inmates in overcrowded jails around the country. This is up from 21,000 inmates only 10 years ago. At a cost of $292 per inmate per day the numbers are frightening. But when you consider that these inmates have in the order of 60,000 children and that the children of prisoners are 6 times more likely to end up in prison themselves you can see the problem.

Dennis van Someren decided some 9 years ago that he could no longer stand by and watch the situation worsen. He realised that he had something special to offer to the children with a parent or both parents in jail after hearing by chance a radio interview with a representative from SHINE for Kids. Dennis offered his services and was welcomed by the charity that has operations in NSW, Queensland, the ACT and Victoria.

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Thursday
Mar012018

Working Class Boy

With special guest:

  • Jimmy Barnes

Normally we expect to listen to Jimmy Barnes’s creative output as the lead singer and one of the main songwriters for iconic Australian rock band Cold Chisel. But Jimmy has now produced Working Class Boy which has become an Australian bestselling book.

This is not the story of that well-known band or his more recent exploration of the soul music catalogue. In today’s program we hear about Jimmy’s family upbringing and the influence that had on him in his adopted country.

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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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