Dr. Robert Zeitlin | Pratfalls of Parenting Ep 140

Dr-Robert-Zeitlin-AuthorDr. Robert Zeitlin is an author, speaker, psychologist, and perhaps most importantly a father. On this episode of the podcast, Dr. Zeitlin talks about his book, Laugh More, Yell Less. He also talks about his work with adolescents, balance a busy schedule as a psychologist with raising two children, and he shares stories of trying to stay in dad mode rather than putting on his Dr hat when parenting his own children. Dr. Zeitlin also talks about the psychology of parent, the psychology of young people and how those two things bump up against one another.

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Kate Hopper | Pratfalls of Parenting Ep 139

415407_2911398509111_1038312012_o“Once we start to share our stories, everybody feels less alone.”

Episode 139 features writer and educator Kate Hopper. Kate talks about the shifting understandings of motherhood and moms that comes from parenthood and adulthood. Kate talks about getting burned out as a writer and how she’s trying to deal with that. Kate shares stories of how motherhood seeps into everything. Plus, Kate talks about wanting to raise strong girls and how to be direct and open about sex education.


“Becoming a mother really made me a writer.”


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Dan Kois | Pratfalls of Parenting Ep 138

Dan Kois“I have found ways to exploit all the things I am good at and the things I’m okay at.”

Dan Kois is co-host of Slate’s Mom & Dad Are Fighting podcast and Slate’s culture editor. On this episode of the podcast Dan talks about the idea that parents and the adults in children’s lives tell us what we are good at when we’re young and how large an impact that can have on their adult paths. He talks about what it’s like to have a daughter very much like you and what it’s like to have a daughter who is very different from you. Dan also talks about trying to explain how much hard work it takes to actually do creative things.

Dan shares stories of the tension of whether to push your kids to stick with something when they lose interest versus letting them move on from something and how that can inform ways young people think about hard work. And he get’s into questions of how much to share about your kids publicly.

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Philip Sheppard | Pratfalls of Parenting Ep 137

K98GLJs3_400x400Composer and educator Philip Sheppard has been making music for a very long time. In this episode of the podcast, Philip talks about growing up in a musical home, how he thinks about collaboration, and the difference between writing music and playing music.

Philip also talks about raising creative children, how hard it can be to find true creative freedom, living out his childhood dreams of being a part of Star Wars and meeting astronauts, and creating ‘Compose Yourself’ as a way to let anyone make music.



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Tim Gihring | Pratfalls of Parenting Ep 136

Tim Gihring“Storytelling is a pretty good way to tell art history, science, you name it.”

Tim Gihring is the Brand Narrator at the Minneapolis Institute of Arts and a former editor of Minnesota Monthly magazine. His reporting and essays have appeared in Best Food Writing, Fodor’s, Salon, and newspapers around the world.

In this episode, Tim talks about creating stories and developing voice as a writer and editor. He talks about the similarities and differences between the magazine world and the museum world. He also shares the story of how he started writing his Debut Dad column in the Star Tribune and talks about what he’s learned by writing it and seeing how people react to it.

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Meghan Wilker | Pratfalls of Parenting Ep 135

Meghan Wilker“Not everybody’s a parent and not everybody wants to be around kids.”

Meghan Wilker is Chief Operating Officer at Clockwork. She’s also the Author of Interactive Project Management: People, Pixels, and Process, Founder of Geek Girls Guide and Twin Cities Interactive Project Management Meetup and a Board Member, Bollywood Dance Scene.

In the show, Meghan talks about being a mother to a 9 and 6-year old. She talks about starting the Babies at Work program at Clockwork. She tells stories about having a baby and loving motherhood but also loving work and wanting to get back to working.

Meghan also talks about getting excited about how technology let’s her connect with other people at an early age, how she worked for a lot of places that were not very human-focused and finding her people. Meghan also talks about her relationship to other people’s opinions regarding parenting choices.

“You can still be a girl and like technology and enjoy it and do it for a job.”

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Elissa Cedarleaf Dahl | Pratfalls of Parenting Ep 134

elissa cedarleaf dahl“It’s impossible to be 100 percent in the moment with your children all the time.”

Visual artist and educator Elissa Cedarleaf Dahl is the latest guest. She talks about reclaiming her family name, creating potluck meals and making art in a shared space, and raising a 4 and 1 year old and how that results in something like ADHD.

“A lot of my work is about relationships that I make with people and doing art together.”

Elissa also talks about the ways a mother’s body physically adjusts to the demands of motherhood, the time it takes to do community-based art projects, and the way some people do or don’t talk about parenthood. She also touches on the challenges of being ready to be a productive creative person in the narrow windows of time you can create for making work.

“Those days when I could go for a run, paint for a few hours and then go to the Salvation Army… the idea of free will is a far off target.”

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Sam Choo | Pratfalls of Parenting Ep 133

Sam Choo“One informed guest or one informed caller can just but us on a different rail.”

Producer and broadcast director for MPR News Sam Choo talks about working with on air personalities Kerri Miller and Tom Weber on weekday talk and call-in shows. Sam shares what it’s like to work in the high intensity space of a newsroom and how reporting on the weather often results in his being on-call. Sam also talks about how he got into radio, his relationship to digital media, and how being a dad to young girls makes him think about his work and the world.

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Rob McGinley Myers | Pratfalls of Parenting Ep 132

TRxiDp5g“My blog distracted me so much from getting my novel out, that I didn’t actually get my novel published.”

Producer of the Anxious Machine podcast Rob McGinley Myers talks about discovering an early interest in writing and ultimately going to graduate school for fiction. Rob talks about what it was like to work for Garrison Keillor for five years at the Writer’s Almanac. He also tells the story of quitting his job to write a novel. Plus, Rob talks about interviewing his daughter about her sex ed class.

“What I wanted to do was to talk to everybody, people from all walks of life, about how technology effects their life.”

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Dave Olson | Pratfalls of Parenting Ep 131

wFH-0008“I don’t think any of us thought we were going to do kids music. It was one of those rare opportunities.”

Dave Olson talks about writing and producing a rap song to help a young girl with autism and how that led spending a year in Madison writing a rap record for kids. He shares the story of how making a kid’s album led to his music act, Figureheads, becoming a touring kid’s touring entertainment group and ultimately became a non-profit organization focused on inclusion and literacy. Dave also talks about following his musical ambitions from Minneapolis to Madison to Milwaukee.

“How little can I work so I can work on music.”

Dave talks about transitioning to being a writer, producer, and performing of kid’s music to building a career as a commercial audio engineer and composer. He talks about making music for television and radio as well as working with clients like the San Antonio Spurs, the Milwaukee Brewers, and ESPN.

IMG_9155“I think maybe when you get into your 40s you shouldn’t be a kids hip-hop act.”

Dave also talks about changing the focus of his work, in part, to help normalize his schedule so that he can be more consistently available at home. He talks about shared parenting duties and about wanting to teach his kids how to make music and make things in general.


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