The Count of Three is a podcast from Texas PTA, hosted by President Suzi Kennon. As a parent, Suzi was raising her children like the rest of us — by trial and error, with a lot of laughter along the way.
Each episode invites a special guest to discuss something on nearly every parent’s mind (and search engine). Season one topics include deciphering our parenting style; taking a vacation from guilt trips; navigating the health foods aisle; and much more.
A parent’s role involves having some awkward but essential conversations with their children as they mature. Michelle Icard, (author Fourteen Talks by Age Fourteen: The Essential Conversations You Need to Have with Your Kids Before They Start High School) says 14 is the new 18! Join her and host Suzi Kennon for a lighthearted look at how to navigate those not so light conversations on puberty, body changes, and more in a positive way.
From the Episode: "Fourteen Talks by Age Fourteen" by Michelle Icard
An alarming one in four children and young adults are vaping and usage is increasing. E-cigarettes contain nicotine and other dangerous ingredients that solidify in the lungs and can cause short and long term health risks. So why are children doing it, parents turning a blindy eye? More importantly, what can you do to help your children stop, or never start vaping? Join host Suzi Kennon and guests Diane Beneventi, Ph.D. and Jennifer Cofer (M.D. Anderson, Tobacco Control) to learn the facts and explore resources for you and your children.
Resources: MD Anderson Tobacco Control; American Lung Association Vape Talk; This is Quitting
The saying is true -you can’t pour from an empty cup! Adults who prioritize their mental and physical wellness are better caregivers for their kids. Join host Suzi Kennon and returning guest Demi Austin-Thomas as they explore tips to help parents and caregivers make self-care a non-negotiable, even with busy schedules. Self-care looks different for everyone and changes with the phases of parenting and life. Still, we must plan for it, create routines around it and absolutely be intentional with our self-care time.
From the Episode: Connect with Demi
Child and teen suicides are becoming more and more commonplace. Join host Suzi Kennon and guest Robyn Hussa Farrell, CEO & Co-Founder of Sharpen, as they explore the sad reality of child and teen suicide and ways in which families experiencing this issue can identify warning signs and obtain help.
Find Robyn at sharpenminds.com or firstname.lastname@example.org
Robyn also recommends these resources: https://sprc.org/ and https://afsp.org/
Is COVID the reason your son is unmotivated or underperforming? Is the pandemic why your daughter seems anxious? Not so fast! Research says changes at school, video games, and a toxic “cult of fame” culture are actually to blame. Join host Suzi Kennon and guest Leonard Sax (author Boys Adrift, Girls on the Edge) as they explore the research and discuss how to beat this epidemic.
Read Boys Adrift, Girls on the Edge
Join host Suzi Kennon and guests Booke Grona Robb (Assistant Attorney General) & Cara Pierce (Human Trafficking Section Chief) who are lead prosecutors with the Texas Attorney General, for a candid conversation about an alarming topic. What is human trafficking? How prevalent is it today? Is your son or daughter at risk? What can you do?
Emergency? Call 9-1-1
Report suspected human trafficking at iWatchTx, download app, or call 844-649-2251
National Human Trafficking Hotline 888-373-7888
Email guests at email@example.com
Remnants of the pandemic and social causes we’ve faced over the last few years continue to challenge the emotional health of our families and communities. Today’s youth are faced with an onslaught of unfiltered and constantly changing information through the internet, social media, chat, texting, and the list could go on. So, how do you raise children who are prepared to thoughtfully evaluate all that information? Join host Suzi Kennon and guest Julie Bogart (author Raising Critical Thinkers) to learn how.
From the Episode: Raising Critical Thinkers Book
Many parents tend to shield their children from difficult things—deciding they’re too young to understand something—or feel unequipped to talk about the issues themselves. Guests Jordan Thierry (author, A Kids Book About Systemic Racism) and Shimon Cohen (social work educator and podcaster, Doin’ The Work: Frontline Stories of Social Change) discuss how all families can start this important conversation at home.
From the Episode: A Kids Book About Systemic Racism
Parenting styles come in all shapes and sizes, but there is one we hear about all the time that can be bad for parent and child. We’re talking about helicopter parenting. Guest Julie Lythcott-Haims (author, How to Raise an Adult) will help listeners identify whether they fall into this parenting style and what to do to finally “land the helicopter.”
From the Episode: How to Raise an Adult
For many parents, vaping may seem like a far-off problem, but the reality is that e-cigarettes can easily sneak into our homes and schools under the watchful eye of adults. Guests Meredith Berkman and Dorian Fuhrman (co-founders, Parents Against Vaping e-cigarettes) discuss the tell-tale signs of vape use and what we can do for our kids.
From the Episode: Parents Against Vaping e-cigarettes
We’ve all heard someone say, “Just wait until they’re teenagers!” Hitting double digits seems to amplify problems for our kids, which can be especially overwhelming for families with children with developmental disorders like Autism. Guest Dr. Holly Harris (developmental pediatrics, Texas Children’s Hospital) discusses what families can expect during puberty and how to start the conversation early.
From the Episode: Vanderbilt Healthy Bodies Toolkit
So many moms and dads don’t cut themselves any slack. To make matters worse, the pandemic has thrown everyday guilt we harbor as parents into overdrive. Guest Paul L. Underwood (father and writer, incl. The New York Times and Esquire) makes a case for why parents need to be kinder to themselves.
Many different things can contribute to a child’s predisposition to substance abuse. But topping the list is a parent’s own relationship with drugs and alcohol. Guest Jessica Lahey (author, The Addiction Inoculation) discusses the genetic legacy parents can pass on to their children, plus risk factors attributed to school and home life to look out for.
From the Episode: The Addiction Inoculation
Nowadays a lot of parents are hitting social media hard, rivaling what our tweens and teens are up to. But this endless stream of content isn’t always the best depiction of real life. Guest Rebecca Fox (parent educator and public speaker) discusses how to scroll social media with a grain of salt.
Explosive crying, screaming, kicking – all because a parent forgot to cut crusts off a sandwich? Our small kids have big feelings, and how we handle them in the moment matters a lot. Guest Dr. Tina Payne Bryson (co-author, No-Drama Discipline) discusses the anatomy of a tantrum and the best way to help kids through mega meltdowns.
Parents want to feed their families the very best, but sometimes grocery shopping isn’t so cut and dried – especially for produce. Organic or conventional? Frozen or canned? Guest Shreela Sharma, Ph.D. (UTHealth School of Public Health) discusses how families can shop healthy and smart with confidence.
From teachers to grandparents and even babysitters, there are a lot of people involved in raising children – people we rely on every day. So it’s important we maintain healthy relationships with them. Guest Demi Austin-Thomas (family dynamics coach) discusses ways to build a better rapport for the sake of the kids.
Every day is a new adventure in parenting! Hosts Suzi Kennon, Kyle Ward, and special guest co-host Carolyn Brown (public speaker and Honorary PTA Life Member) will share very real and personal parenting stories from listeners. That crazy thing your kid did the other day — hear how you’re not alone!
From the Episode: Find Carolyn Online
The views and opinions expressed in these stories are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the opinion of Texas PTA.