After connecting with many of you about one of my previous posts, 4 Best Podcast Episodes to Help You Improve Your Life (check it out if you haven’t already!), I’m thrilled to share with you five of the best podcast episodes on parenting. As you may know by now, I’m a podcast junkie, and try to listen to at least a couple a day. As I shared in my last podcast post, listening to podcasts is a really easy way to learn something new and challenge your assumptions about things you think you know. Listening regularly makes me feel better about the fact that I’m not able to read as much as I’d like, and it’s something I can fit into my daily life while getting other things done.
In the last few months, I’ve listened to a ton of podcast episodes on parenting and issues that affect us as parents, and I’ve put together the following list of what I consider to be the most insightful ones. I strongly believe that a shift in perspective can create tangible and lasting improvements in your life, and that’s one of the reasons I’m so invested in seeking out the wisdom found in the research and experience of others. I hope these podcast episodes improve your life as much as they’ve improved mine!
Best podcast episode for when you need to vent:
Stop whatever you’re doing RIGHT NOW and listen to this!!! So this isn’t strictly about parenting, but every single mom who makes mental notes all day and night of every little detail that needs to be taken care of for every single person in the household could benefit from listening. The hosts discuss letters they received from several women lamenting the invisible emotional labor that so many of us are constantly performing. While I was listening, I found myself nodding vigorously to almost everything. I’ve spoken to a few friends who have also listened, and we all found the concerns raised highly relatable. As a bonus, I really appreciate the discussion of how to tackle this issue with the wonderful and well-meaning men in our lives. Very insightful, super spot-on. Highly recommend.
Best podcast episode for tackling parenting’s biggest questions:
 TED Radio Hour — “Turning Kids Into Grown-ups” [50:47]
This episode is filled with big, practical ideas, and it gives a ton of guidance that parents can put into practice immediately. Several experts share their ideas about how we can tweak conventional wisdom on child-rearing to help our kids live their best lives. I’ll give you just a sample of what’s discussed, but trust me when I say you’ll be getting out a pen and notepad for this one. In this podcast, you’ll hear about how relinquishing control over how our kids turn out is one of the best things we can do for them. You’ll hear about how love and chores are maybe the two most important things that your kids need to grow up happy. You’ll hear about how to instill the value of courage in girls and how to raise your kids to have healthy sexual behaviors as they grow older [NOTE: if you are listening with any younger ones within earshot, this discussion picks up around the 24-minute mark].
Best podcast episode for when you need a break:
 Little Sprigs — “Self-Care as a Spiritual Practice (with Suzi Lula)” [56:00]
I think most of us can relate to being too hard on ourselves, not giving ourselves enough time to recharge, and feeling guilty and selfish when we finally do. If any of these things has ever applied to you, please listen to this podcast. By the time I finished listening, I was inspired to finally kick my inner martyr to the curb! We’ve all heard the expression “you can’t pour from an empty cup.” This podcast episode reminded me that the best thing for my son is to have a mom who is able to be centered and present because she’s taking good care of herself. I definitely needed to hear this one!
Best podcast episode for reflecting on the big picture:
 NPR’s Hidden Brain — “Kinder-Gardening” [29:21]
I love the theory of parenting that psychologist Alison Gopnik shares in this podcast. She suggests that today’s parents are stressed because they believe that by exerting a ton of control, they can mold their children into a very specific image. She presents an alternative approach in which we are gardeners, and while we can try to create conditions for our children to thrive, we should accept that the endeavor of parenting is messy and imaginative and imprecise. I can’t wait to read more in-depth about her research in her book, the The Gardener and the Carpenter!
Best podcast episode for when you want a renewed sense of purpose:
 Oprah’s SuperSoul Conversations — “Conscious Parenting Can Change the World” with Dr. Shefali Tsabary [33:45]
This podcast episode inspired me to step back, take a deep breath, and remember my higher calling as a mom. Dr. Shefali Tsabary shares beautiful wisdom about the relationship between parents and children, and how an important part of parenting is setting aside our ego, being fully present in our role as parents, and learning from our little ones. Dr. Tsabary’s book, The Conscious Parent, is a recent addition to my bookshelf, and I highly recommend you check out her discussion with Oprah to get an overview of her philosophies!
Take a listen to these podcast episodes and let me know what you think. Do you have any other favorites you’d recommend? I’d love to hear from you!