Friday, September 2, 2016

Podcasts for Growing Minds - Part III

Today we wind up our three-part series on podcasts with those aimed at parents. Our earlier posts looks at podcasts for children and teens

Podcasts Just for Parents

 1. The Longest Shortest Time (30-60 minutes) 

This parenting podcast is hosted by a journalist-turned-podcaster who was inspired to create the show after her experience with pregnancy, childbirth, and adjusting to parenthood. It sees itself as a “bedside companion” for new and seasoned parents alike about topics ranging from balancing parenthood with a career all the way to how to make placenta pills. Two particularly memorable episodes featured a US veteran who struggled to care for her children amid deployments (ever wonder what it’s like trying to breastfeed in a war zone?) and a professional clown who uses his clowning skills while parenting.

2. On Being (52 minutes)

This podcasts can help parents get into their zen zone whenever they have a chance for some down time. Host Krista Tippett interviews religious leaders, artists, scientists, psychologists, lawyers and political activists about their work and many more of life’s unanswerable questions. A recent favorite of ours broke format (typically a single interviewee each week) to share stories from 16 Americans celebrating Ramadan about “the delights and gravities of Islam’s holiest month.” It was our first time really getting a feel for what Ramadan means to Muslim Americans, and it helped us feel connected to the great diversity of our country. Although this podcast often features religious leaders and touches upon some religious concepts, it is wholly non-denominational and spiritual rather than religious.

3. Only Human (25-40 minutes)

Sometimes, parents don’t have time to read the news every morning or catch up on current events. Sometimes, parents don’t even have time to engage in the thought-provoking activities that keep their brains running. That’s why it’s nice to be able to listen to a podcast like Only Human that forces you to think critically about some of the most pressing issues in physical and mental health. We’ve learned a lot about the history of medicine, new scientific advances, and what it means to be “only human” in the face of chronic illness. The reason we're recommending this podcast for parents, however, is because of its focus on mental health, relationships, and connecting with others. Many of its episodes thoughtfully explore the relationships among parents and children, doctors and patients, siblings, and even med students and their training cadavers. The podcast reminds us to stay connected to others in the face of hardship and doubt, and it stretches our critical thinking muscles in the process. We recommend starting with episode one, in which the host discusses her own experience of fighting cancer while pregnant.

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