Parenting Teens: The Biggest Job We’ll Ever Have Podcast

Do you feel that parenting teens is the biggest job you’ll ever have? Are you wondering about how to help your child discover his or her unique potential? Are you dedicated to raising a child with character and integrity? Based on the Hyde School’s philosophy of “parents are the primary teachers and the home is the primary classroom,” this podcast was created to help parents understand just how to put this philosophy in place in the home, and to discover the transformative outcomes that happen in families who implement it. You will hear from not only experts in the field of raising teenagers, such as educational consultants, authors, and therapists, but also hear from former Hyde parents and students who share their stories of challenges and triumphs on this journey. We welcome you to jump in and start discovering some “ah ha” moments and practices you can implement right away to bring your family closer together and raise self-confident teenagers with character who become inspiring adults.
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Parenting Teens: The Biggest Job We’ll Ever Have Podcast





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Mar 18, 2019

Sean Grover When Kids Call the Shots

“You can’t take the struggle out of parenting – it’s built in. The real question is, how much are we willing to challenge ourselves?”

This quote from When Kids Call the Shots: How to Seize Control from Your Darling Bully  - and Enjoy Being a Parent Again by Sean Glover, is just one of many wise things about parenting you will hear in this interview.

Sean is a psychotherapist, speaker, and author with 25 years’ experience working with adults and children in New York City. His approach to parenting is the same as The Biggest Job’s: “When parents model the behaviors they want to see in their kids, they lead the way to better communication and a better relationship.” 

You can find Sean at

Mar 11, 2019

Listen, listen, listen.” – Chris Guidera, Hyde Alumni Parent

Chris Guidera, husband of Ali di Groot who was on the show last week, had similar words as his wife about his parenting: “I thought I had all the answers,” he admits; “and I learned that I needed to listen more. The family I grew up in  - somebody was always talking; nobody listened.”

Chris thought he was doing it differently than how he was raised, but learned he wasn’t. He made changes in his parenting through The Biggest Job Parenting Program and ultimately changed the level of trust between his daughter and himself.

Mar 4, 2019

“Before we went to Hyde, I was parenting from a very angry place.” Ali de Groot, Hyde Alumni Parent

Ali embraced the parenting program, once she realized what was being asked of her, and says that her parenting changed drastically. “We didn’t have to keep saying things like, do your homework, do your homework. 

The parent training taught me to just, one by one, let go of my attachments to all the outcomes and to focus on myself. I was able to treat my daughter much more calmly; I wasn’t angry anymore.”

In this podcast, Ali shares how The Biggest Job Parent program changed her, her parenting, and all her relationships.

Feb 25, 2019
Eric Karlan

Eric Karlan, Creative Commons license, image has been cropped

“What Do I Need to Know About You?”  is Eric Karlan’s favorite question to students.

Eric Karlan is co-owner of an organization called Ivy Experience, which helps students prepare for ACT and SAT testing, write college essays and complete college applications.

Don’t let the name of his company fool you into thinking that he only helps students interested in Ivy League Schools; he helps students and families interested in ANY school. He wants to know how a student is engaged in the world, and helps them find their unique story – what sets them apart – what their values and quirks are, and the obstacles they’ve overcome.

He asks the question, “What do I need to know about you?” because he believes that sharing one’s authenticity and passion is the most important part of helping students get to the right topic for their college essay.  “What is an admissions officer?” Eric asks; “He or she is a person; and people accept other people.” 

Feb 18, 2019

"As my children know from early on what I told them repeatedly… the two most important possessions a person has is their word and their integrity."

Dr. Bruce E. Berger, MD, Associate Professor of Medicine, Emeritus
School of Medicine, Case Western Reserve University.

A tumultuous divorce and custody battle led Bruce to seek a school that would give his son structure, stability and an academic education that was character-based.  

Having been awarded custody of his two children when they were young, he parented from a rule-based approach; what he learned through The Biggest Job Family Program was that he was parenting from his own anxiety about his situation, not from his principles.

Bruce’s circumstance might be different, but his parenting challenges can be seen in many of our own stories. 

Feb 11, 2019


Can students achieve more by doing less in college?

“YES!” says Kyle Winey, college productivity expert, in his book, Hackiversity: The Secrets to Achieving More by Doing Less in College. 

When I read the title of this book, my first thought was, “Is this guy going to tell kids and parents that you really don’t have to study in college?” What I found out was the opposite.  Kyle’s recommendations are:

  • Achieve Self-Awareness by finding your passion, your strengths, your purpose and figuring out what lifestyle you want.
  • Maximize Your Marketability through your college selection, the megatrends out there today, the selection of your major, your grades, internships, networking and your character (which he calls non-negotiable skills).

“Hacking college isn’t meant to show you all of the ingredients involved with college success,” says Kyle. “It’s to help identify the few elements that rocket you toward success faster and with less effort.”

Our podcast conversation with Kyle gives you glimpses into Kyle’s premise and philosophy, which I think you’ll find fascinating.

You can learn more about Kyle and HACKiversity at In addition to HACKiversity the book, Kyle's HACKiversity Project features a college selection tool designed to generate a list of colleges that are right for you, based on your location, grades, and budget.

Feb 4, 2019

I learned that I had to be consistently patient and patiently consistent in my parenting.” 

Dennis Cavalli, Hyde Alumni Parent

Dennis and Claire Cavalli went through The Biggest Job Parent program almost ten years ago at Hyde School, but they are still using what they learned.

“I was just going through the motions of living my life,” says Claire; “I was doing what I thought I should do, or what the books said.”

In this is podcast, you’ll find out how the parent program helped them change as individuals and as a couple; how this change helped their son; and how people in their community are now coming to them, seeking help.

Jan 28, 2019

In the first of our series on parenting wisdom from Hyde Alumni Parents, Laura Main says:

“I was willing to do whatever I was asked to help my son, including if it was hanging upside down from the rooftop by rope from my ankles.” 

I think most parents feel this way. The family is doing great, is, in fact, a great family, and suddenly things aren’t going so well; perhaps there are struggles between the parents, a separation or divorce; a teen feels they need more independence; a parent feels the child needs more accountability. Whatever the reason, the student, and perhaps the whole family, is not thriving.

Laura and Doug share what their parenting was like before sending their son to Hyde, how their parenting changed, and what it’s like now. They admit they learned a great deal about themselves, both as individuals and as parents in The Biggest Job Family Program.

Jan 21, 2019

“What’s missing in many American lives is an everyday place for conversation about sexuality. We have “do” and “don’t”, but almost no “hmmm – let’s think about that…”  ~ Bonnie Rough

Beyond Birds and Bees book

Having the chance to live for a period of time in Holland, Bonnie Rough and her young family experienced firsthand the way the Dutch have learned to teach their children about sex, sexuality and gender equality. Her latest book, Beyond Birds and Bees: Bringing Home a New Message to Our Kids about Sex, Love, and Equality, and our conversation in this podcast, are filled with humor, humility, and heart. She is forth coming about her own doubts and how she struggled to overcome them and give her children the foundations in sexual education to never feel shame about their bodies and their sexuality. 

Bonnie can be found at and on social media.

Jan 14, 2019

Natalie Borrell of Life Success for Teens
Natalie Borrell of Life Success for Teens

That’s what we all want for our teens, isn’t it? Well, have you ever thought about having a coach for your teen? To help them deal with anxiety, fear of loss, and fear of rejection? Sure, all parents would like to be the person their teen turns to for help with these things, but what if you’re not? What if your teen doesn’t want you to be the one to help them deal with their test anxiety, presentation skills and how to talk to their teachers?

It might be a hard pill to swallow, but remember what we say in The Biggest Job Workshops: “Humility is one of the most important qualities in parenting.”

This podcast with Natalie Borrell, a school psychologist, and Alison Grant, a teacher with a license in counseling, of Life Success for Teens, ( gives us insight into teenage anxiety and some great tips for dealing with it. They can also be found on Facebook at Parents Raising Successful Teens – a free community group.

Jan 7, 2019

Richard Preece, Live Big
Richard Preece, author of Live Big

Richard Preece works for a global investment management company. After graduating from The Biggest Job Parenting program at Hyde School, he took the Ten Priorities into his work place, teaching and modeling them in this country and abroad.

There’s not really any difference between what challenges people at home and what challenges them at work; so the 10 Priorities work wherever you are and whatever you’re doing,” he says.

Richard has written a book called Live Big: Creating the Life You Never Dared to Dream which is available on Amazon. If interested in finding out how to implement The 10 Priorities at your work place, contact Richard at

The 10 Priorities

  1. Truth over Harmony
  2. Principles over Rules
  3. Attitude over Aptitude
  4. Set High Expectations, Let Go of Outcomes
  5. Value Success and Failure
  6. Allow Obstacles to Become Opportunities
  7. Take Hold and Let Go
  8. Create a Character Culture
  9. Humility to Ask for and Accept Help
  10. Inspiration: Job # 1
Dec 31, 2018

Lisa Wade, author of American Hookup
Lisa Wade, author of American Hookup

If the title of this book, American Hookup: The New Culture of Sex on Campus, by Lisa Wade, PhD., startles you, the information and descriptions in the book may shock you. But tune in to this podcast so you can find out the truth about how pervasive hook-up culture on college campuses is today, its pervasiveness and effects on students.  

In an up-front conversation, Lisa Wade, associate professor of Sociology at Occidental College, gives us insight into the history of the hook-up culture on college campuses, the reasons students choose to hook-up, or choose to avoid it, and what colleges could do to change this culture.

“Seeing what’s happening on campus as a culture – recognizing that it’s not the hookup itself, but hookup culture that is the problem – is the first step to changing it,” she writes.

Lisa travels nationally, giving talks about hookup culture. You can find her on twitter (@lisawade); on Instagram (lisawadephd) or at

Dec 24, 2018

Are you a perfectionist? Is it influencing your child to be perfect also?

Focus instead on who are you as a person, what do you stand for, what do you believe in, what are your deeper principles, and how are you going to live a life that adheres to that? And if you do, you’re going to achieve what you’re meant to achieve, and it’s not a societal standard and it’s not better than other people, it’s your personal best.”  ~ Claire Grant

Claire, who is Executive Director of The Biggest Job Family Program at Hyde School, talks candidly about perfectionism in her own life as a teenager; how it happened, and her struggle to be satisfied with her own effort. She gives tips to parents who might be expecting perfection, and who are parenting out of guilt because they feel they should be more or because they’ve let their kid down in some way.

Dec 17, 2018

Lenore Skenazy, President & Co-Founder of Let Grow

In a world where parents are getting a lot of blame, here’s a different answer for why kids are so anxious about everything. Enter Lenore Skenazy, founder of LET GROW ( and author of Free Range Kids: How to Raise Safe, Self-Reliant Children (Without Going Nuts with Worry).

 “NO!” she says, “It’s not the parents; it’s this culture that has written everything that kids do, see, eat, hear, read,  lick – whatever - encounter as something that will be difficult and possibly dangerous…”

This is an informative and high-energy conversation with the woman who started the free range kids movement, now a law in the state of Utah and a pending bill in other states.  (

Lenore and her team have also started Let Grow, an organization that includes the Let Grow Project for parents and the Let Grow Play Club for schools. Let Grow is trying to help parents, schools and communities get back to raising resilient, independent kids. You can download free materials for projects to do at home and at school from the website

Contact Lenore at to arrange a speaking engagement or to get more information.

Dec 10, 2018

“Addiction takes over everything… it’s this brain disease that affects individuals and changes their whole view of life and their whole view of relationships.”

~ Katherine Ketcham

The Only Life I Could Save is Katherine Ketcham’s seventeenth book; she has co-authored sixteen others, ten of which are on the subject of addiction and recovery.

For years she worked with kids in a Juvenile Detention Center, but when addiction lands in her own family, nothing she learned from the kids in “juvie” seemed to help.

From the flyleaf: “This book is a raw and moving memoir of heartbreak, healing and profound transformation; … of what Katherine deems the most important lessons of faith, hope, acceptance, and forgiveness.”

This podcast introduces you to a very brave woman, a brave family, and a son who continues to lead and inspire them all.

You can find Katherine at or

Dec 3, 2018

What if your teen doesn’t want to go to college?

A New U, Faster and Cheaper Alternatives to College

“Only 11 percent of employers believe new college graduates have the skills their businesses need. Seventy-one percent of employers said they would consider hiring a person without a degree over a person with a degree.”  ~ Ryan Craig.

Ryan Craig is an investor and author of A New U: Faster + Cheaper Alternatives to College (BenBella Books). In this book, he explains why he feels colleges are not educating kids for today’s jobs; what’s wrong with career services departments at universities; and what the alternatives to college are - alternatives that are faster, cheaper and put kids on a track to avoid layers of debt from a college diploma.

Faster + cheaper alternatives aren’t pathways to vocational or blue collar jobs, but rather to digital new collar careers,” he writes.

The book is enlightening and fascinating; and this interview will peak your interest and raise your level of awareness about alternatives to college that don’t incur debt and the possibility of no job after four years of study.

The best place to find Ryan is on twitter: @ryancraiguv

Nov 26, 2018

Hyde School Inner Leadership 5 Deliverables

Do your kids say things like this…?

Hear the inside scoop from three students about what they learned in the Inner Leadership Program at Hyde School…

  • We asked ourselves, how are we as a family going to flourish?” – Evan Davis
  • “I could choose to be curious about my role in the family, or I could just avoid the truth [about it].” – Brett Van Vort
  • “My family is so much more open with each other now; there’s not really anything that we can’t talk about.” - Jenny Balter

There’s much more on this podcast from these three students on what they learned in the various pieces of the program, from confidence in public speaking and independence and trust in themselves, to finding the balance between having fun and still being a good role model.

These students, each now in college, are honest, and self-reflective. I found them quite amazing in the way they could articulate their answers.

Nov 19, 2018

Our podcast today will explain the answers to the above questions, as we talk with Laura Gauld, Head of School and President of the Hyde School Organization.

Hyde School Inner Leadership 5 Deliverables

Hyde School’s Inner Leadership Program, where the journey of your unique potential begins, is the promise to all students who graduate from the school. There are five deliverables within this promise:

  1. Self awareness: what are my strengths? What is my vision? What are my obstacles?
  2. Public speaking confidence
  3. The importance of taking on challenges outside one’s comfort zone
  4. Meaningful relationships: understanding what they are and how to create them
  5. The family context: understanding the dynamics and influence of my family

Listen to this podcast and hear how these deliverables are accomplished at Hyde School.


Nov 12, 2018

“When it comes to being a step parent, there isn’t one right way, because every family dynamic is different. You’re marrying the package: you’re marrying ex-spouses; you’re marrying the kids…; the right way is your way for you.”

~ Lisa Walker

The above quote is just a small piece of the wonderful wisdom you’ll hear on step-parenting in this podcast with Lisa Walker. When she married, he had a son in the ninth grade; the boy’s mother was very much in the picture, and as biological parents they had a fear of holding their son accountable.

As a step parent, Lisa learned that standing up for her own values was the thing that would most help her step son. An adult now, he’s told her this mattered; that he is the man he is today, in part, because of her love and respect for him.

Nov 5, 2018

"Clear limits and boundaries aren’t just nice or good for children and teens; they’re bedrock.”

Talk to Me First by Deborah Roffman

~ Deborah Roffman: Talk To Me First: Everything You Need to Know to Become Your Kids’ “Go-To” Person about Sex.

In part two of our series with Debbie Roffman, she teaches us the importance of the five-piece suit of parenting, mentioned briefly in part one. Those five parts are:

  1. Affirmation
  2. Information
  3. Clarity about Values
  4. Limits and Boundaries
  5. Guidance

She emphasizes the importance of letting our kids know, clearly, what our values are, in all aspects of life including sexuality; of “being the parent;” and to communicate the humanity of being sexual with another human being.

Debbie is referred to by her colleagues as the most articulate professional voice in the US on the need for broad-based human sexuality education. She works with parents, schools and students all across the country.

You can find her at

Oct 29, 2018

Are you looking for a “way in” to have the sex talk with your teen?

Deborah Roffman

Deborah Roffman

Deborah Roffman has the answers for us in her book, Talk to Me First: Everything You Need to Know to Become Your Kids’ “Go-To” Person about Sex.

In the preface of her book she writes: “What I hope you’ll discover most of all, if you haven’t already, is the joyfulness to be found in educating and guiding your children around this most central and amazing part of our humanity.”

In the first of a two-part series Debbie explains why it’s so important for our kids to hear information about sexuality from a trusted adult first, and where they go when the information isn’t from that person.

Debbie publishes widely throughout national media, and does workshops and trainings for teachers, parents, counselors and students at schools and organizations across the country. In 2016 she was named as one of Time Magazine’s 16 Top Parenting Experts for the 21st Century.

You can find her at

Oct 22, 2018

“Integrity is a way you live your life, a way you make decisions every day, and how you treat others… it’s the little things  you do that get seen as the bigger things.”   ~ Geri Goldstein

Geri’s comment, above, comes from experience. There was an “elephant” in the living room in her family; after years of enabling others in the family, Geri found within herself what it took to speak the truth about it.

This story has an uplifting and positive ending, thanks to Geri’s integrity and courage, and the entire family’s ability to ask others for help.

Don’t miss this one!

Oct 16, 2018

“Do your kids know more about gender and sexual attraction than you do?”

Amy Lang portrait 

Amy Lang, of Birds and Bees and Kids (, and the author of Birds and Bees and YOUR Kids, and Dating Smarts: What EVERY teen needs to know to date, relate or wait!, joins us for a second podcast – this time about gender, sexual attraction, what it means to be gender fluid, what is cisgender? Pansexual? And more…

“Trust your child to know their gender, even if it doesn’t conform to the gender they were assigned at birth and may not make sense to you. Gender is not about what genitals a person has, but who they know themselves to be in their heart.”

Amy is starting her own podcast which will be a Q & A podcast; phone her at 206-926-1522 and leave your questions.

She gives terrific advice to parents on this subject; you’ll want to hear what she has to say in this podcast.

Oct 8, 2018

R U Ok?: Teen Depression & Suicide is the title of a book by author Kristi Hugstad, Certified Grief Recovery Specialist and credentialed health educator.

Kristi Hugstad 

After her husband completed suicide, Kristi bought every book on grief she found and says her living room looked like a recovery library; because of her experience and her new understanding of what she wished she had known, (the title of a previous book she wrote is What I Wish I’d Known), Kristi wrote R U Ok?, a book for parents, educators and teens.*

This interview with Kristi is up-lifting, enlightening and down to earth at the same time. Her presentation of the causes for the depression which can then lead to suicide are straightforward and thought provoking.

If you have not had “the talk” - and Kristi doesn’t mean the sex talk, she means the talk about suicide - with your teen, it’s just as important as the other talks from parents, like “don’t text and drive!” 

*Through a grant, R U Ok? is available for schools and organizations, free of charge. Contact Kristi at to ask for your copies.

Oct 1, 2018

What can parents do to reduce the chance of teens hurting themselves?

Kirrillie Smout 

Kirrilie Smout

This is the title of an article (and today’s podcast) with Kirrilie Smout, clinical psychologist and founder of Developing Minds: Helping kids & teens learn life skills & manage tough times, located near Adelaide, Australia.

In a nutshell, Kirrilie says:

  • We should do everything we can to help teens be connected with a peer group. (And she gives suggestions on how to do this.)
  • We need to help teens learn strategies to cope when they are feeling agitated, stressed, hopeless and overwhelmed. (And she describes some of them.)

In the article, there is a link for some of these strategies:

Beyond Blue is in Australia, but the coping strategies are universal.  She asked that I give several links in the United States:

Kirrilie has also written two books that are available through her website:

  • When Life Sucks: ideas and tactics for teens in tough times
  • When Life Sucks for Kids: ideas and tips for when you feel mad, worried or sad – or life gets kind of messy.
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