Thanks so much for coming by to check out Episode 50 of The New Family Podcast where I share the story of my own unique family structure following separation and divorce.
I decided to up the year on The New Family Podcast with this solo episode reflecting on the kind of year it’s been and the biggest lessons I’ve learned from creating 88 episodes in 2016.
It’s hard to do so without mentioning that many of us have experienced a real sense of heaviness about the state of the world this year. Just one aspect of that is the many people who feel that their choices—of who to love, of how to make a family—are under threat as a result of the U.S. election. So on this episode I touch on some of the wonderfulness of how far families have come and the level of acceptance they do enjoy, in a little effort to accentuate the positive and share a sense of hope.
Here are five lessons and observations from the year I’ve had connecting with families in every shape and form, as well as with some of the most forward thinking experts and thoughts leaders on topics that pertain to family life.
1. Our definition of family has indeed expanded in a very positive way over the last year.
One of the most striking areas of progress I’ve witnessed is in the opening of our hearts and minds to the rights and lived experiences of transgender and non-binary folks. Yes, it’s coming too late. Yes, there’s so far to go. But this year I’ve observed a lot of people speaking up in support of trans rights.
But the newer definitions of family we explored on the show in 2016 weren’t just limited to those families with transgender loved ones…
2. We’re changing our ideas about separation and divorce, and maybe toward marriage as well.
Over the past year we shined a light on people who are rising above the acrimony that used to be a default mode for divorcing couples.
Related Resources and Episodes:
3. Technology is changing family life in ways that are both positive and negative. It’s easy to go to the negative side with this, but technology does families a lot of good too.
4. Despite the heavy hearts we may have about the state of the world, empathy is still a tremendously valuable and valued quality.
I’ve had the chance to speak twice with Dr. Michelle Borba this year. She’s an internationally renowned educational psychologist and an expert in parenting, bullying and character development.
Her latest book is UnSelfie: Why Empathetic Kids Succeed in Our All-About-Me-World. That says that empathy isn’t just a “nice to have,” touchy-feely kinda quality—it actually plays a surprising role in predicting our kids’ happiness and success.
5. Resilience is perhaps the most important quality we can model for and encourage in our children during uncertain times.
Whether your kids have seen you struggle through a job loss, a marriage breakdown or a political fight that didn’t go as hoped, now is a great time to model capability and resilience for them in the face of sadness or struggle.
Are you a fan of the show? We’d dearly love your support.
Click here to visit our Patreon page and find out how you can become of a patron of the show to help us cover our costs. For as little as $1 per month you can help ensure the podcast will always be available.
Here are all the ways you can listen to our show:
I wrote an e-book called 11 Ways to Keep Your Family Weeknights From Spinning Out of Control. To get it for FREE, simply subscribe to our newsletter recapping the best of thenewfamily.com and the podcast!