Final Thoughts on Food and Feeding

In the last episode of the season, the cohosts revisit some highlights of this season and share more tips and insight for raising our kids to be healthy and independent eaters.

Mackenzie Johnson

Parent to a little one with her own quirks. Celebrator of the concept of raising kids “from scratch”. Learner and lover of the parent-child relationship. Translator of research with a dose of reality. Certified Family Life Educator.

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Feeding and Eating with Kids

As children transition into school, the family lifestyle can shift which means eating can change too! In this episode, you’ll learn about specific developmental changes that impact our kids’ eating habits and what you can do to support healthful eating at this age.

Mackenzie Johnson

Parent to a little one with her own quirks. Celebrator of the concept of raising kids “from scratch”. Learner and lover of the parent-child relationship. Translator of research with a dose of reality. Certified Family Life Educator.

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Season 9 Podcast: Regulation & Behavior

Lies, and tantrums, and bad attitudes, oh my! When kids have challenging behaviors, it might be that they need help learning to regulate! Helping our children learn to manage and regulate themselves is a big task for parents. These episodes explain the concept of self-regulation, explore contributing factors, and hone in on strategies to help you along the way.

In the ninth season of the podcast, our cohosts, Lori and Mackenzie, explore research and reality on helping children regulate their emotions, thoughts, and behaviors. On this page, you’ll find an outline of the season’s content and a brief description of each episode.

S9: Ep. 1 – What is Self-Regulation?
In this season opener, the cohosts dive into the topic of regulation and three different kinds of it. Plus, they discuss a crucial strategy for helping our kids regulate themselves.

S9: Ep. 2 – I’m The Adult Here: My Regulation
In this week’s episode, we examine and reflect on our parenting role when it comes to regulation, self-control, and big feelings. We also look at a common wellness strategy applied specifically to parenting!

S9: Ep. 3 – Regulation in Stages
Does regulation look the same for kids of different ages? What exactly are kids “regulating” toward? Parents of toddlers intervene HOW OFTEN to manage behavior? Get all these answers in this week’s episode!

S9: Ep. 4 – Tuning In With Temperament
Why does one of my kids gravitate toward tranquility while another gravitates toward tantrums? Because temperament. This week, the cohosts look at temperament traits, their influence on kids’ regulation tendencies, and practical strategies to help kids with any trait.

S9: Ep. 5 – Establishing the Environment
Do you wish your home was more peaceful? Us too. This week, you might be surprised by some of the strategies for establishing a home environment that encourages kids and adults to practice self-regulation. 

S9: Ep. 6 – Relationships and Regulation
Have you heard of attachment theory? This week we will explore what it is (and what it’s not) and the role that our parent-child relationship has in regulation.

S9: Ep. 7 – All About Regulation
In the season finale, the cohosts give the run-down on key concepts and light bulb moments from the episodes on regulation. Plus, stick around until the end to hear a huge list of parenting strategies to add to your toolbox!


Remember you can listen to these episodes (and others) on Apple, Spotify, or your favorite podcast app! You can also follow us on Facebook or Twitter @scienceofparent. Or send us an email with a specific parenting question: parenting@iastate.edu

This institution is an equal opportunity provider. For the full non-discrimination statement or accommodation inquiries, go to www.extension.iastate.edu/diversity/ext

Mackenzie Johnson

Parent to a little one with her own quirks. Celebrator of the concept of raising kids “from scratch”. Learner and lover of the parent-child relationship. Translator of research with a dose of reality. Certified Family Life Educator.

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Season 8 Podcast: Guidance and Discipline

Some of the most common parenting questions are “how do I get my kid to listen to me?” or “What should I do about [insert challenging behavior]?”. The answer to both of these questions is related to the discipline strategies we use. In these episodes, the cohosts look at several factors that influence our discipline and share research-based, effective strategies for increasing the behavior we want from our children!

In the eighth season of the podcast, our cohosts, Lori and Mackenzie, explore research and reality of making discipline decisions to guide our children’s behavior. On this page, you’ll find an outline of the season’s content and a brief description of each episode.

S8: Ep. 1 – The Great Guidance and Discipline Debate
Discipline is one of the most requested topics we get as parenting educators. Learn how we define discipline, explore different types, and learn a straightforward flip to help your child meet your expectations more often.

S8: Ep. 2 – Unspoken Aspects of Discipline
Research tells us that there are influences on our discipline choices that are subtle and that sometimes go unrecognized. Take a moment to listen and reflect, and maybe have your own “a-ha” moment on what secretly impacts your choices.

S8: Ep. 3 – Emotions: The Good, Bad, and Ugly
I’ve got a feeling that emotions play a big part in our interactions with our children. The hosts discuss the emotional process, and they dig back out one of their favorite concepts to explain the effect our emotions have on our guidance and discipline.

S8: Ep. 4 – Recognizing the Parent-Child Relationship
We all hope we have a positive relationship with our child, but did you know the climate of that relationship is a major factor in how resistant or cooperative your child is with your attempts to shape their behavior? Listen in for suggestions on how to promote a warm parent-child relationship.

S8: Ep. 5 – Gauge By Their Age
What we use with our toddler won’t always work with our teenager (or will it?). This episode the hosts look at how to adapt and adjust our discipline strategies to meet our kids where they are developmentally.

S8: Ep. 6 – When My Child Misbehaves: Deciding on Discipline
It’s inevitable: our child won’t always behave in ways we love. This week Lori and Mackenzie look at specific parenting practices and situations to help you find effective guidance and discipline strategies.

BONUS: Choosing Positive Discipline
Guiding and directing children as they grow and develop is a serious endeavor for parents. We know family values are usually at the heart of all rules, boundaries, and limits that parents set for their children. Mackenzie and Lori discuss how we can guide our children using positive discipline, natural consequences, and logical consequences.

Don’t Forget! You can take our workshop on Positive Discipline. Learn about this class and see when it’s offered next here (Upcoming Events section): https://www.extension.iastate.edu/humansciences/scienceofparenting


Remember you can listen to these episodes (and others) on Apple, Spotify, or your favorite podcast app! You can also follow us on Facebook or Twitter @scienceofparent. Or send us an email with a specific parenting question: parenting@iastate.edu

This institution is an equal opportunity provider. For the full non-discrimination statement or accommodation inquiries, go to www.extension.iastate.edu/diversity/ext

Mackenzie Johnson

Parent to a little one with her own quirks. Celebrator of the concept of raising kids “from scratch”. Learner and lover of the parent-child relationship. Translator of research with a dose of reality. Certified Family Life Educator.

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What I Bring to the Table: Feeding Styles

Which feeding style do you bring to the table? Listen to hear about the four styles. Plus, learn one of our cohost’s favorite food strategies!

Mackenzie Johnson

Parent to a little one with her own quirks. Celebrator of the concept of raising kids “from scratch”. Learner and lover of the parent-child relationship. Translator of research with a dose of reality. Certified Family Life Educator.

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Season 7 Podcast: Temperament Across Ages

So every kid is different every stage of parenting has different tasks AND my child has different types of development? Then how do I know what is temperament and what is just “a phase”? These episodes answer that question and more by giving examples of what temperament traits might look and sound like at different developmental stages. And, of course, you’ll hear helpful, trustworthy strategies for how to meet your child’s unique needs based on their age and temperament gifts!

In the seventh season of the podcast, our cohosts, Lori and Mackenzie, explore research and reality on temperament traits at different ages. On this page, you’ll find an outline of the season’s content and a brief description of each episode.

S7: Ep. 1 – What is Temperament?
Our temperament is given to us genetically at birth. As we grow, our environment begins to form around our temperament. At each stage of growth, our temperament can shape how and when we reach our developmental milestones.

S7: Ep. 2 – Infant Inclinations
An infant’s temperament has an impact on early behaviors such as sleep, stranger anxiety, and overall general mood. Parents can learn their child’s temperament and create environments that play to their child’s natural tendencies instead of fighting against them.

S7: Ep. 3 – Toddler Tendencies
Biting, temper tantrums, and overall general mood…all affected by a toddler’s temperament. This week our hosts discuss each trait as they pertain to toddlers and how we can use that understanding to navigate tough behaviors… like those tricky tantrums!

S7: Ep. 4 – Preschooler Predisposition
Temperament impacts preschool behaviors such as play groups, physical activities, independence, and following directions. Parents can learn their child’s temperament and create environments that play to their child’s natural tendencies instead of struggling with them.

S7: Ep. 5 – School-ager Set Point
School-agers face many things that may bring out – or go up against – their natural set point. Homework, teacher/child interactions, friendships, organized activities… all times when their temperament can be noticed! Learn ways to help your 6 to 11-year-old navigate life through a temperament lens.

S7: Ep. 6 – Teen Traits
How do temperament traits play out in teens and pre-teens? They face hormone changes, friend drama, risk-taking, and more… all while dealing with their “factory settings.” Hear how we can help our teens balance their temperament with their daily environment!

S7: Ep. 7 – Speaking on Special Needs & Temperament
Children with diverse abilities or special needs have temperament traits too.  Many techniques that work for adapting to diverse needs can be used to work with your child’s temperament too (and vice versa)! Goodness of fit is important!


Remember you can listen to these episodes (and others) on Apple, Spotify, or your favorite podcast app! You can also follow us on Facebook or Twitter @scienceofparent. Or send us an email with a specific parenting question: parenting@iastate.edu

This institution is an equal opportunity provider. For the full non-discrimination statement or accommodation inquiries, go to www.extension.iastate.edu/diversity/ext

Mackenzie Johnson

Parent to a little one with her own quirks. Celebrator of the concept of raising kids “from scratch”. Learner and lover of the parent-child relationship. Translator of research with a dose of reality. Certified Family Life Educator.

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Season 6 Podcast: Family Resilience in Tough Times

Every family goes through ups and downs, but sometimes the tough times can feel especially difficult to guide our children through. As parents, we might feel completely overwhelmed, inadequate, or just unsure of how to help our child while we might be struggling too. These episodes discuss skills and strategies parents can use to help raise resilient kids, even when going through a tough time.

In the sixth season of the podcast, our cohosts, Lori and Mackenzie, explore research and reality on family resilience – for our kids, ourselves, and our whole families. On this page, you’ll find an outline of the season’s content and a brief description of each episode.

S6: Ep. 1 – Resilience in Tough Times
Even through tough times, parents and kids can grow their skills and strengths to end up “bouncing forward”.  Explore the concept of resilience and how we can raise kids with this important trait.

S6: Ep. 2 – Risk and Protective Factors
Research says that certain characteristics can help kids and parents be more resilient. Learn what those qualities are and how you can help your whole family get through tough times!

S6: Ep. 3 – Leaning Into Relationships
When things get tough, relationships can too. Luckily there are research-based strategies to help strengthen and preserve these connections!

S6: Ep. 4 – Utilizing Rituals and Routines
When everything around us feels chaotic, there are a few tasks we can utilize to helps us find some consistency and connectedness. Come hear how rituals and routines can help families find a sense of normalcy!

S6: Ep. 5 – Renegotiating Rules
As our circumstances morph and change, so can our rules and expectations. The cohosts offer some tips for finding the balance between flexibility and consistency with rules during tough times!

S6: Ep. 6 – How to Repair
When family stress is high, patience can run low. Reconnecting and repairing with our children after we’ve lost our cool is essential. Hear a four-step process for repairing in this week’s episode.

S6: Ep. 7 – Reflecting for Resilience
This week the cohosts reflect on what it was like parenting through the pandemic – both research and reality. Take a moment to listen, relate, and reflect on your own experiences through tough times in this episode.


Remember you can listen to these episodes (and others) on Apple, Spotify, or your favorite podcast app! You can also follow us on Facebook or Twitter @scienceofparent. Or send us an email with a specific parenting question: parenting@iastate.edu

This institution is an equal opportunity provider. For the full non-discrimination statement or accommodation inquiries, go to www.extension.iastate.edu/diversity/ext

Mackenzie Johnson

Parent to a little one with her own quirks. Celebrator of the concept of raising kids “from scratch”. Learner and lover of the parent-child relationship. Translator of research with a dose of reality. Certified Family Life Educator.

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Kids & Food: Why We Eat What We Eat

When it comes to food, so many factors influence what we (and our kids) eat. Come explore those influences and meet a new face on the podcast!

Mackenzie Johnson

Parent to a little one with her own quirks. Celebrator of the concept of raising kids “from scratch”. Learner and lover of the parent-child relationship. Translator of research with a dose of reality. Certified Family Life Educator.

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Season 5 Podcast: Child Development Milestones

Our kids are constantly growing and changing – sometimes too quickly! As our children achieve new milestones and grow through different stages, our roles as parents slightly shift to a new focus too. Staying caught up with their development and knowing what to expect and encourage at each stage can be tricky! These episodes provide information about your child’s major milestones at each age group, and we explore how to encourage healthy development!

In the fifth season of the podcast, our cohosts, Lori and Mackenzie, explore research and reality of parenting children at each age and stage of child development. On this page, you’ll find an outline of the season’s content and a brief description of each episode.

BONUS – Changes to the CDC Milestones
Since season 5 was recorded, the CDC updated their milestones, which we reference in this season of podcast content. With the recent changes to the CDC’s milestone checklists, we know that some parents have had questions about what changed, why they changed them, and what it means for their family. Check out our bonus podcast episode to get more in-depth answers and information!

S5: Ep. 1 – Parenting in Stages
Whether you’re a new parent or in the middle of the teenage years, discover insights into their specific stage and what to expect next. Our new season covers the milestones from pre-child planning to early adulthood.

S5: Ep. 2 – Oh, Baby!
To some, babies and infants are the most challenging stages in parenting. Learn to embrace all the growth in this first year with our advice for developing a strong parent-child connection.

S5: Ep. 3 – Toddlers
The toddler years will be a ride! Tap into your child’s curiosity by rediscovering common experiences your child will find magic—like a bus ride.

S5: Ep. 4 – Preschoolers
Embrace your preschooler’s growing confidence by giving them some responsibilities—like putting away toys and pulling on their own socks.

S5: Ep. 5 – School-agers
For school-age kids, learning is more than math and reading. Help make your child well-rounded by finding time for play, sports, and new challenges outside of school.

S5: Ep. 6 – Preteens
As your child grows into a preteen, help ease the transition with an honest, direct approach. Learn how to embrace this ultimate transition period.

S5: Ep. 7 – Teens
Though they make look like adults, teens are still developing in all areas. Be a positive role model and keep the communication flowing as they keep growing up.

S5: Ep. 8 – Emerging Adults
As your child-parent relationship grows up, learn how to co-exist with your young adult.


Remember you can listen to these episodes (and others) on Apple, Spotify, or your favorite podcast app! You can also follow us on Facebook or Twitter @scienceofparent. Or send us an email with a specific parenting question: parenting@iastate.edu

This institution is an equal opportunity provider. For the full non-discrimination statement or accommodation inquiries, go to www.extension.iastate.edu/diversity/ext

Mackenzie Johnson

Parent to a little one with her own quirks. Celebrator of the concept of raising kids “from scratch”. Learner and lover of the parent-child relationship. Translator of research with a dose of reality. Certified Family Life Educator.

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Season 4 Podcast: The Parent Job Description

We all have common responsibilities in caring for our children, but what exactly are those jobs? Regardless of your child’s age or your family values, we can utilize the RPM3 research-based parenting model to learn key tasks of effective parenting! These episodes dig into those key tasks and share practical ideas to practice them in your daily life with kids.

In the fourth season of the podcast, our cohosts, Lori and Mackenzie, explore the research and reality around five essential parenting tasks. On this page, you’ll find an outline of the season’s content and a brief description of each episode.

S4: Ep. 1Parent Self-Talk: Beyond Good and Bad
Self-talk is one of the most important conversations parents can have. Set yourself up for success with strategies to reframe your inner self-talk that sets the tone for how you respond or react to your children (and the entire family)!

S4: Ep. 2 React vs Respond
Do you react with your gut or respond with your brain? Use some of our strategies to help you slow down in challenging moments and respond with intention to your children.

S4: Ep. 3 Protect and Prevent
By anticipating what’s coming, parents and caregivers can help prevent problems and risky behaviors.

S4: Ep. 4 Monitoring: Keeping Tabs
Monitoring children is not about being in total control. It is a way to guide and communicate reasonable limits and expectations.

S4: Ep. 5 Mentoring: Setting the Stage
Growing and developing is hard work! Mentoring kids along the way helps them learn about desired expectations and behaviors so they can reach their full potential.

S4: Ep. 6 Modeling: Actions Speak Louder
Children learn as much, if not more from your actions as they do from your words. Our parenting pros discuss how modeling with our own words and actions can show children about desired behaviors.

 

Remember you can listen to these episodes (and others) on Apple, Spotify, or your favorite podcast app! You can also follow us on Facebook or Twitter @scienceofparent. Or send us an email with a specific parenting question: parenting@iastate.edu

This institution is an equal opportunity provider. For the full non-discrimination statement or accommodation inquiries, go to www.extension.iastate.edu/diversity/ext

Mackenzie Johnson

Parent to a little one with her own quirks. Celebrator of the concept of raising kids “from scratch”. Learner and lover of the parent-child relationship. Translator of research with a dose of reality. Certified Family Life Educator.

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Season 3 Podcast: All About Temperament

One of the gifts (and challenges) of parenting is learning about your child’s unique characteristics and special qualities! If you have more than one child, you’ve probably already noticed every kid is different. Part of your child’s individuality is related to their temperament, which is a specific set of traits they are born with! These episodes dive into different temperament traits and offer trustworthy and practical strategies for tailoring your parenting to each unique child.

In the third season of the podcast, our cohosts, Lori and Mackenzie, explore the research and reality around temperament. On this page, you’ll find an outline of the season’s content and a brief description of each episode.

S3: Ep. 1Temperament: It’s in Their Nature
How your child reacts is about their innate temperament (or the core of their personality). Learn how working with his or her temperament traits will boost your ability to respond.

S3: Ep. 2 Sensitivity: It Makes Sense
Your child’s reactions to stimulus such as loud noises and bright lights are completely predictable. Use your powers of observation to help you guide their reactions to stimulus.

S3: Ep. 3 Intensity: (Maybe) Not So Calm and Collected
Did you know taking a drink of water or cracking a silly joke can prevent a meltdown? Discover these tricks to helping kids keep their cool.

S3: Ep. 4 Persistence: Celebrate It!
Have a child that gets super-focused and frustrated when asked to switch tasks and loves to “do it myself?” Learn how to support and embrace their persistence (and maybe even quiet your own frustration).

S3: Ep. 5 Activity: It Takes Energy
Do long car rides give you pause because of fidgety kids? Or maybe vacation days when the kids are dragging due to too many activities? Learn to strike a happy medium by doing a deep dive into how natural energy affects behavior.

S3: Ep. 6 Temperament and Sleep ft. Macall Gordon
Our experts dish on how temperament affects the way our kids catch their ZZZs. Featuring Macall Gordon.

S3: Ep. 7 Adaptability: My Way or Another Way
Adaptability takes shape in numerous ways. For kids who are planners, it’s following a schedule and setting them up for change. And for the adventurous types, it’s giving them a long leash to explore. Try these tips to tap into your child’s natural reactions.

S3: Ep. 8 Distractibility: It’s in the Details
Did you know simple tricks like making eye contact, written notes and clear commands can aid in your child’s concentration levels? Try out some of our pro tips to help his or her focus (and maybe even your own).

S3: Ep. 9Approach: Caution or Curiosity
Does your child approach a new situation carefully, or do they jump in feet first? Lori and Mackenzie discuss how quickly your child might leap based on their temperament.

S3: Ep. 10 Temperament & Difficult Behaviors
Study these six basics to determine how you can develop an action plan for a child with difficult demands. Plus, how to determine if you need to call in the pros for help. Featuring Dr. Sean McDevitt.

S3: Ep. 11 Regularity: Got Rhythm?
Although we cannot always control our children, we can influence their environment. Find out how temperament impacts pivotal moments throughout the day.

S3: Ep. 12 Mood: Silly or Serious?
Work through your child’s moodiness (hello whiny toddler or aloof teen) by focusing on the positive through your words and actions.

S3: Ep. 13 Fearful Temperament: Shy or Slow-to-Warm? ft. Rob Coplan
Learn how taking small steps and embracing a lifelong approach can help alleviate stress for kids who are shy.  Featuring  Robert Coplan.

S3: Ep. 14 Flexible Temperament: About Those “Easy” Kids
Many children are go-with-the-flow types, but these kids have specific needs, too. Learn how to teach them how to express their own voices to create their own break-out moments.

S3: Ep. 15 The Spirited Temperament ft. Mary Sheedy Kurcinka
Check in with author and expert Dr. Mary Sheedy Kurcinka on her best tips for parenting spirited and feisty kids and learning to love their energy.

S3: Ep. 16 Temperament: The Big A-Ha
In this season finale, the cohosts summarize the temperament season and share a-ha moments along the way.


You can also find a list of the resources mentioned in these podcast episodes here.


Remember you can listen to these episodes (and others) on Apple, Spotify, or your favorite podcast app! You can also follow us on Facebook or Twitter @scienceofparent. Or send us an email with a specific parenting question: parenting@iastate.edu

This institution is an equal opportunity provider. For the full non-discrimination statement or accommodation inquiries, go to www.extension.iastate.edu/diversity/ext

Mackenzie Johnson

Parent to a little one with her own quirks. Celebrator of the concept of raising kids “from scratch”. Learner and lover of the parent-child relationship. Translator of research with a dose of reality. Certified Family Life Educator.

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Season 2 Podcast: Parent Self-Care

Raising kids is important work, and sometimes it’s exhausting or particularly stressful. In order to continue offering loving, patient, and intentional affection and attention to our children, we have to take care of our own needs and have strategies in our toolbox for managing stress. These episodes offer trustworthy strategies and suggestions for how you can realistically take care of your needs while also caring for your children.

In the second season of the podcast, our cohosts, Lori and Mackenzie, explore the research and reality around the superpowers of self-care as parents. On this page, you’ll find an outline of the season’s content and a brief description of each episode.

S2: Ep. 1 – Being Both a Parent and a Person
Being a parent is just one “hat” you wear – you are still a person with your own needs. See what the research says about different ways we can practice self-care.

S2: Ep. 2 – Getting After Stress
Flip the switch on stress by learning how to gain resiliency. Learn how to pull stress apart—it might be as easy as switching to paper plates.

S2: Ep. 3 – Accentuate the Positive
Do you know your strengths as a parent? Check out our 12 characteristics to discover your parenting strengths, then learn how to make a plan for utilizing them.

S2: Ep. 4 – How to Find Balance
Discover these three strategies for learning how to find the right household balance for today—and tomorrow.

S2: Ep. 5 – Define Your Philosophy
Parents influence and define the character and values of their kids—and as a result how they behave as adults. See how these traits can help you shape your kids’ behaviors, whether it’s an emphasis on hard work, independence or creativity. 

S2: Ep. 6 – Embrace Your Support Network
Everyone’s support system looks different when it comes to their relationships, especially when it comes to parenting. We’ll talk specifics of your support system in our judgement-free zone.


Remember you can listen to these episodes (and others) on Apple, Spotify, or your favorite podcast app! You can also follow us on Facebook or Twitter @scienceofparent. Or send us an email with a specific parenting question: parenting@iastate.edu

This institution is an equal opportunity provider. For the full non-discrimination statement or accommodation inquiries, go to www.extension.iastate.edu/diversity/ext

Mackenzie Johnson

Parent to a little one with her own quirks. Celebrator of the concept of raising kids “from scratch”. Learner and lover of the parent-child relationship. Translator of research with a dose of reality. Certified Family Life Educator.

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Season 1 Podcast: Parenting Foundations

Have you wished you had more strategies for navigating challenges with your kids? Do you want a quick little refresh to refocus on your parent-child relationship? Maybe you are looking for some trustworthy information to do things differently than how you were raised? Wherever you are in your parenting journey, these episodes offer trustworthy and practical strategies for parenting children of any age!

In the first season of the podcast, our cohosts, Lori and Mackenzie, explore the research and reality around common parenting questions. On this page, you’ll find an outline of the season’s content and a brief description of each episode.

S1: Ep. 1All Things Parenting
Have parenting questions? Our Human Sciences experts—­moms with kids from babies to young adults—are here to help with all your parenting needs.

S1: Ep. 2 It’s Not About Being Perfect
The balancing act of parenting isn’t always easy. Our pros dig into the latest research and current realities facing today’s families.

S1: Ep. 3 Take a Break and Take a Breath
Use our stop, breathe, talk approach to help your kids (and yourself) keep emotions in check.

S1: Ep. 4 Slow Down
Help kids gain self-awareness and minimize emotional outbursts with our favorite technique to keep stressful situations in check.

S1: Ep. 5 Defining Parenting Styles
Are you tapped into your kids’ feelings or wanting to always be in charge? Our experts dish on a few parenting types.

S1: Ep. 6 How to Manage Meltdowns
Do you know what is contributing to your child’s meltdowns? Learn tips and tricks on how to anticipate and prevent some of the stress!

S1: Ep. 7 In the Heat of a Meltdown
Fill your parenting toolbox with techniques for when emotions are high to help move kids from meltdown to calm down.

S1: Ep. 8 Keys to Cooperation
What does it take to get cooperation from our kids? We discussed this and more LIVE!

S1: Ep. 9Practice, Not Perfect
Have a plan to manage your emotions using the 4As of communication: accept, acknowledge, apologize, adjust.

S1: Ep. 10 Just Say No to Judgement
Criticism can get the best of us as parents (and people). Learn to trust yourself as the expert of your own family.

S1: Ep. 11 Enjoy the Joys!
Celebrate the journey of parenting by focusing on the good stuff. Embrace your child’s unique personality and his or her evolution as a person.

S1: Ep. 12 What Have We Learned
In this season finale, we went live on Facebook where we discussed the first season of The Science of Parenting podcast, parenting foundations, and what we have learned!


Remember you can listen to these episodes (and others) on Apple, Spotify, or your favorite podcast app! You can also follow us on Facebook or Twitter @scienceofparent. Or send us an email with a specific parenting question: parenting@iastate.edu

This institution is an equal opportunity provider. For the full non-discrimination statement or accommodation inquiries, go to www.extension.iastate.edu/diversity/ext

Mackenzie Johnson

Parent to a little one with her own quirks. Celebrator of the concept of raising kids “from scratch”. Learner and lover of the parent-child relationship. Translator of research with a dose of reality. Certified Family Life Educator.

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Changes to CDC Milestones

With the recent changes to the CDC’s milestone checklists, we know that some parents have had questions about what changed, why they changed them, and what it means for their family. We will give you the overview here, but check out our bonus podcast episode to get more in-depth answers and information!

What happened?

  • In 2004, the CDC’s Learn the Signs. Act Early. program developed free milestone checklists that included developmental warning signs, messaging to “act early” to addressing concerns; and developmental tips/activities. These materials were developed to help parents recognize typical development, improve conversations between parents and professionals about a child’s development, and support developmental screening at recommended ages and additional screenings when there are concerns. 
  • In early 2022, the Center for Disease Control released changes to these long-standing Developmental Milestone Checklists. The purpose of these checklists has always been to help doctors and parents keep an eye on children’s development and to facilitate ongoing conversations between doctor and the families they serve. It’s not an official screening tool that would be used to help determine if a child would qualify for additional services or therapies – it’s a starting point for a conversation between doctors and families!
  • The changes made to these checklists were based on research and recommendations of an expert working group from the American Academy of Pediatrics. According to the article that group published in the peer-reviewed journal, Pediatrics, “The goals of the group were to identify evidence-informed milestones to include in CDC checklists, clarify when most children can be expected to reach a milestone (to discourage a wait-and-see approach), and support clinical judgment regarding screening between recommended ages”

What are the changes/updates?

  • The updated checklists no longer list a milestone at more the one age (this caused a lot of confusion before)
  • Eliminated vague terms like “children may begin to…”
  • Removed the “warning signs” section on each checklist
  • Direct citations to research studies that support them (yay!)
  • Based on more studies that look at development from more diverse and cross-cultural groups
  • Added a checklist specifically for the 15- and 30-month ages (as these are common ages for well-child checks in America that previously did not have a milestone list associated with them)
  • Suggestions for open-ended questions for doctors to use with families
  • Finally, the biggest change – moving the milestones to the age where 75% of children would be expected to achieve the skill. This was a change from the previous standard of 50%. In most cases, this meant moving milestones back to a slightly older age.

Why did they make these changes?

  • The change from 50% to 75% has some people confused or frustrated, so let’s start with some of the reasoning provided for this change. According to the article in Pediatrics, there were several justifications for it.
  • When the milestone was listed at the age when 50% of kids could do a task, doctors often would tell concerned parents to just wait and see because some kids simply had to be in the later half. This experience often left parents unsure and unheard. On the flip side, pediatricians knew that waiting until the age where 90% of children could do the task would likely delay the opportunity for children who do have a developmental concerns to get a diagnosis or support services. Therefore, the team landed on 75% as a benchmark to balance these two things.
  • These new checklists can also prevent worry for children older than the average age of attainment of a milestone but not likely to be at risk for delays (aka late bloomers)
  • In a direct quote from the article, authors said “[the previous checklists provided] insight into typical development but [did] not provide clarity for parents, pediatricians, and other early childhood professionals  about when to be concerned or when additional screening might be helpful
  • Another change that people had a lot of questions about was why crawling was removed from the checklists. According to the article in Pediatrics, the age range varies greatly for this milestone, and some typically-developing children never crawl at all.
  • A common misconception was that this move was related to the pandemic, but the criticisms, the thought process, and the planning were underway to make these changes long before the COVID-19 pandemic occurred. (Fun fact: I actually wrote a paper in graduate school on developmental milestones, and I read papers criticizing the original milestone checklists that were published in 2007, 2013, and 2019.)

What’s this mean for you and your family?

  • Continue to have conversations with your family doctor about your child’s development. If you have concerns, share them with your doctor. Keep trusting your parenting instincts when things don’t feel right. If necessary, build your skills for assertive communication and advocating for your child!
  • Download the CDC’s Milestone Tracker app, and answer the questions related to your child’s age. You will answer Yes/Not Sure/Not Yet to specific questions about your child, and then you’ll get follow-up feedback. You can use this tool to communicate with healthcare professionals or therapists you may work with.
  • Keep engaging with your child in through conversations, play, and simple daily routines!

The majority of the content referenced in this episode can be found in this American Academy of Pediatrics journal article – they also have a short video abstract from one of the authors you can watch. https://publications.aap.org/pediatrics/article/149/3/e2021052138/184748/Evidence-Informed-Milestones-for-Developmental

Mackenzie Johnson

Parent to a little one with her own quirks. Celebrator of the concept of raising kids “from scratch”. Learner and lover of the parent-child relationship. Translator of research with a dose of reality. Certified Family Life Educator.

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Revisiting ‘Missing Out on the Big Moments’

Earlier this spring, when the word “pandemic” was still relatively new to our vocabulary, our team released a bonus episode on Missing Out on the Big Moments. We were hearing about the emotional toll that missing out on events and rites of passage was having on our kids. Now, several months down the road, this concept of missing out because of COVID is a common experience for kids and adults alike.

In the midst of a pandemic and the holiday season, the research around “missing out” and family rituals from this episode is still incredibly relevant. In this episode, you hear our co-hosts define rituals as events that are symbolic, emotionally affective, and having meaning across generations. Many of the holiday traditions families practice meet this definition! We know that tough conversations and emotions can be apart of our family interactions during the holidays in this pandemic as we all try to adjust.

In this episode, you’ll hear about ideas to adjust family rituals. Even if you already heard it this spring, we hope you’ll consider listening with a new perspective. Now that we have been in this pandemic a little longer you may have new insights and questions. Also, you may want to focus more on your own emotions around adjusting these family rituals.

Please join us in revisiting the topic of Missing Out on the Big Moments by examining research around family rituals!

Mackenzie Johnson

Parent to a little one with her own quirks. Celebrator of the concept of raising kids “from scratch”. Learner and lover of the parent-child relationship. Translator of research with a dose of reality. Certified Family Life Educator.

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