Podcasts for Parents (and Kids too!)

Podcasts for Parents

Until a few years ago, I had never bothered to listen to a podcast.  I assumed podcasts were similar to National Public Radio, but for hipsters and nerds.   This assumption couldn’t have been farther from the truth. According to a Nielsen report from March, approximately 28% of the U.S. population listens to podcasts, and the average listener consumes seven shows per week.  Podcasts have become a mainstay media.

For those of you who were like me and have never tried a podcast, think of them as a unique combination of both entertainment and information that focus on a particular niche.  Amateurs host some podcasts while others are the creation of well-known celebrities. What makes these shows unique is that the conversations almost always feel intimate. It’s like the host or hosts are talking to you one on one directly.  They are the perfect way to add some color to drab activities like jogging, commuting, cleaning, or running errands around town. There are thousands of options when it comes to choosing a show. Six hundred thirty thousand options to be exact.   To help you get started, let’s take a look at some of my favorite podcasts dedicated to parenting.

Adults Only

This section is for podcast specifically for parents that focus on adult issues.  There’s another section below that lists shows that are kid friendly.

Mom and Dad Are Fighting
From Slate.com, Mom and Dad Are Fighting is a thought-provoking podcast that is a favorite of parents and non-parents alike.  Hosts Gabe, Rebecca, and Carvell provide a diverse perspective on parenting in the 21st century. One description from a typical weekly episode states the hosts discuss “YELLING! and other subjects including kids mocking the weight of their teachers, the privilege conversation, stolen cell phones, and making sick days fun.”   I would highly recommend this podcast to just about anyone.

Liz Gumbinner and Kristen Chase of CoolMomPicks.com host this candid and humorous show on the daily challenges of being a parent.   This show has found quite a bit of success because the hosts are highly relatable. When you first start listening, you tend to believe they’ve got it all figured out, but you soon realize they make the same mistakes like everyone else.  This podcast is a realistic approach to parenting.

The Mom Hour
The hosts of “The Mom Hour” bring a great depth of knowledge and creativity to the table to this weekly show.   One is a writer for major outlets like The Washington Post and the other is the CEO of the Life, Listened family of podcasts.  Together they have eight kids between them ranging in age from four to nineteen. This podcast stands out through the show’s choices in practical topics.  Recent episodes include “Helping Kids with Doctor Visits” and “Holiday Travel & Visiting Relatives.” The Mom Hour is a mix of common sense advice coupled with years of experience from two down to earth hosts.

The Longest Shortest Time
This award-winning podcast spans the gambit when it comes to parenting.  Host Andrea Silenzi takes listeners on a different journey each week. Episode topics range from common themes such as dealing with infertility issues to the less traditional material including women who have given birth in a car and polyamorous couples.   A recent host change has upset some longtime listeners while others find the new content enthralling. This poignant, sometimes crazy show is worth a try, especially for expectant or first-time mothers.

Bring Your Kids!

Podcasts can be fun for kids too!  They offer parents a much-needed break from the daily music rotation of the same twenty songs on the radio.  Here are three great shows to listen to with your children.

Imagined Life
Imagined Life takes a unique approach, unlike anything you’ve listened to before. The show is part guessing game, part history lesson, and part fantastic storytelling all intertwined into a weekly adventure.  Listeners are taken on an exploration through the joys, the sadness, and moments that defined an individual on their journey to the public eye. Clues are provided along the way to help you guess the identity of each week’s mystery persona.   Imagined Life is hard to put into words. You need to listen to this one genuinely understand. The show is phenomenal for both kids and adults!

Pickle from WNYC Studios had a limited run of six episodes in December of 2017.  Those six episodes have fans begging for more though. The show is summed up by its tagline: “Big Questions for Small People.”    Its an ethics podcast for kids ages five to eleven. The show provides different “pickles” and asks surprisingly deep questions about those difficult decisions in life.   The hosts guide the conversation around things like “Do zoo animals have a good life?” and “When is it ok to tattle..when is it not?”. The shows are fun, engaging, and get children thinking.   Pickle is a must listen!

Wow in the World
A relative newcomer to the podcast scene, Wow in the World, has garnered a considerable following in the eighteen months since it launched.   Hosts Guy Raz and Mindy Thomas connect with kids through fun-filled conversations on exploring the world around us through the lens of science, technology, and discovery.     Wow in the World encourages kids to join a community of other “wowzers” at their website wowintheworld.com.

Whether you are new to podcasts or a veteran listener, the shows listed above will provide you and your children with educational entertainment!   Most smartphones come with a built-in app for searching for podcasts. In case you don’t have one, check out Overcast on iPhones or CastBox for Andriod phones.