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Cindy Wang Brandt helps parents heal from religious trauma, break toxic cycles, and raise children with healthy spirituality and conscious citizenship. She is an author, speakers, conference host committed to helping parents raise kids for a better world. The Parenting Forward podcast features interviews with thought leaders from progressive faith and non-faith spaces, resources to create better practices in parenting and life with children. We believe parenting is revolutionary, that if we ...
 
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Today’s guest is Dr. Joel Schwartz, a licensed clinical psychologist. Joel co-runs Total Spectrum Counseling with his wife, Brittany Boveé Schwartz, in the San Luis Obispo area of California. He specializes in therapy and testing for the misunderstood and demonstrates this through his unique practice: Total Spectrum Counseling is fully staffed by n…
 
Anxiety is one of the most common mental health struggles. At least it is for my family. I grew up in an anxious family, my husband struggles with some anxiety, and, as a result, we have two pretty anxious kids. So, in this episode, we are diving into all things anxiety in childhood and parenting. Here to discuss this topic with me is my co-host fo…
 
Today I am launching a podcast series on how to care for our children's mental health and flourishing. Although I struggle plenty with mental health myself, I am not a licensed expert in the subject. Therefore, I’m bringing my friend, Joseph Lee, onto the show. Joseph Lee is a psychiatrist and previous guest from episode 43. In his episode, we talk…
 
By now you should know that the goal of this podcast is to help you raise conscious citizens. What you may not know is how to actually do that. Raising conscious citizens sounds like a lot of work. Not only do we have to re-parent ourselves with consciousness but we then have to find the exact right words to say to our kids regarding citizenship an…
 
A few weeks ago I sent out a newsletter called “Disorganized Religion.” It was a product of my reflection on the idea that many who have decided to leave the church still crave a dedicated time and space to explore the bigger questions of life and existence and to validate their children's innate spiritual questions. They’re happy with their decisi…
 
Recently, I’ve been hearing a lot about one certain Tik Toker. Because I hang out in parenting spaces a lot, I hear about cool new voices and parenting influencers pretty quickly. In this case, my community has been raving about how much they love this Tik Toker. I’ve started seeing her videos all over the place and they’re truly amazing. Her name …
 
We’ve all read those Christian books that are full of flowery statements. The writing is beautiful but it has no substance to it. On top of that, it’s pretty stuffy too. It can seem very academic, old, and quite frankly boring. Diana Butler Bass, however, is a Christian author whose writing falls right into the sweet spot of not fluffy and not stuf…
 
If you grew up evangelical, the thought of youth ministry is probably very triggering. It may bring back memories of shame and religiosity. Adolescence is a very tender time of our lives and that is exactly when a lot of the toxicity of fundamentalism was solidified. More likely than not, we heard rhetoric like, “Gay is sinful” and, “Love the sinne…
 
If we want to address and overcome all of the “isms” in our world, we have to start with the “ism” we have against our children. We can never help our kids understand the danger of racism, ableism, and sexism if we overlook ageism and the effects it has on them. This can feel extremely overwhelming. Oftentimes we don’t even know the prejudices we h…
 
More than anything, parenting is about creating and changing culture. We just happen to do so one child at a time. As we extend love, compassion, and justice towards our children, they are formed into members of society who extend the same to others. They challenge the harmful status quo of the world and, together, we build a better future. I recen…
 
I’ve often joked that Parenting Forward is a social justice parenting manual. However, I wish The Sandbox Revolution had existed before I wrote it. That book is even more like a social justice parenting manual. This week I am talking with its author, Lydia Wylie-Kellermann. She was raised in a family where she was heavily involved in activism and f…
 
I imagine many of my listeners are regulars at pride parades. If that’s you, you’ve probably seen the moms who offer free hugs to LGBTQ kids who may not have a supportive or loving family. There is something so simple and yet so profound about that act of kindness. It communicates a love that is basic to human dignity but often denied to LGBTQ kids…
 
What are schools really teaching our kids? Are they educating them on information that is actually relevant to our world right now? Most of our schools just aren’t teaching our kids things like how to vote and make wise decisions about policies. Those topics usually aren’t even brought up. That’s why I am so excited to talk with Ashley Berner this …
 
Storytelling is a key element of the human spirit. As human beings, we respond to stories with both our emotions and our minds. Specifically, when we hear the stories of those who are different from us, we are forever changed. In our effort to raise conscious citizens, this should be one of our primary goals. We must be dedicated to providing oppor…
 
Children in America have been largely boxed out from politics. They have missed out on that sense of political agency that our culture affords to adults. It’s not that they don’t care; they aren’t in a state of apathy but are experiencing disconnect. How can we empower our kids to shift from a passive acceptance of politics to active navigation of …
 
If the pandemic and the Trump-era taught me anything, it’s that we need to be conscious citizens. In fact, we can’t afford to be unconscious. Democracy and the assurance of justice require us to remain woke, vigilant, and engaged in the way our society runs itself. Because of this, parenting includes a responsibility to raise our kids to be conscio…
 
So many of us who grew up in evangelicalism just wanted to be good. We lived in fear of not being good and therefore losing God’s love. This was even more prominent for those of us who are natural storytellers. Not only do we experience religious trauma but we let it embed deeply into the story of our lives. We allow it to enter deep recesses of ou…
 
Each of us must understand that they will go through hard things in life. However, we must also never fall into despair or overwhelming anxiety. That is where resilience comes in. Being resilient is the ability to believe that we can go through hard things and, though we may be changed by them, still survive. Today, I brought Amelia Richardson Dres…
 
Over the summer, I posted a Twitter thread about recovering from purity culture. I wasn’t specifically addressing the parenting audience, but it easily applies and is very important to the parenting conversation. Just like how the sex talk should not be a one-time conversation with our kids, recovery requires ongoing conversations. So, for our last…
 
Talking openly about sex is very new to me. I openly share about religion and parenting but have little experience sharing about my sex life. It feels very private so it’s hard to be vulnerable in that way. A lot of parents experience this same issue in trying to raise their own kids with healthy sexuality. This week’s guest, Kim Cavill, struggled …
 
All month in January, we’re talking about purity culture. I want to hold various discussions on sex to ramp up the Parenting After Purity Culture conference happening in February. Today, I’m so excited to be talking to Brena Marie Davies about the topic. Brenda is the founder of the popular YouTube channel, God Is Grey, as well as the author of On …
 
All throughout the month of January, we’re going to be revisiting the topic of purity culture in preparation for our upcoming Parenting After Purity Culture conference. We’ll talk about what purity culture is and how it relates to parenting. We’re also going to bring back some archived episodes on the topic, as well as new interviews with experts w…
 
Many adults believe that kids don’t have much to contribute to society. It’s very common to brush them aside as “not quite people yet.” This is one of the biggest reasons I started this podcast. I want to push against this belief and advocate for the rights of children. In this episode, I’m talking with a friend who wholeheartedly agrees. Anna Skat…
 
My guest today is Yolanda Williams from Parenting Decolonized. Her mission is to help black parents raise emotionally, spiritually, and intellectually liberated kids. She does this by addressing parenting from a racial perspective, considering the trauma black parents hold within their DNA. She teaches them how that history plays into how they pare…
 
We’re back with another special holiday episode of Parenting Forward! However, instead of doing something festive, we’re going to be talking about religious trauma again. I know that holidays are the worst when we have family issues to deal with. It’s only worse when we have religious family issues. That is why I brought on today’s guests, Brian Pe…
 
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