25. The Sex Talk

Sex seems to be THE taboo topic of taboo topics. Complicated, challenging and ever central to human psychology, "sex" as a topic has so many different implications for parents. From coming to terms with your own sex education and experience, to teaching your own kids (in a more effective way?), to even managing sex in your married life with kids - sex is central to parents... whether we talk about it publicly or not.

Why is sex so taboo? What kind of influence does it have on our lives & perspectives? What kind of historical environmental influences have made it this way? What does all this mean to our kids and rising generations as they start approaching the world? What about sex bots? The deep questions abound.

Throughout this podcast, we'll cover a serious gamut of different aspects of sex and how it impacts our daily lives as parents. From exploring our own sex talks (and their effectiveness), "free-will" as pertains to sexual desire, sex-bots, advertising and sexual desire and even masturbation.

Ultimately, our goal with this is to start un-earthing some of the bigger parenting topics that influence not only our parenting psychology, but our own daily lives and relationships. With sexual desire being one of the strongest influences on monogamous relationships we think coming to terms with some of these influences and scenarios can help us better understand the challenges and opportunities for engagement in our role as parents.

This podcast is a doozie. Who knows what kinds of future topics spawn from these discussions, but we hope this is helpful. As always, we appreciate your support and feedback and welcome comments/questions/concerns/future topic requests or ideas at jenny@save-the-parents.org. Thank you all for listening!

PS. In this podcast, unfortunately, there is a 10 minute gap at about 20 minutes in where we had to cut my microphone's audio because of recording atrocities. Super bummer, but hopefully we'll have this fixed before we record again. Yay learning the hard way... but thanks for your understanding nonetheless.

24. The 'Burbs

Livin' in the 'burbs is interesting. Built largely out of necessity for people looking to live within proximity to a city & community but unable to afford and manage kids in a more urban center the great suburbia landscape has really expanded in the past 50 years.

But suburbia life has unique challenges. With close proximity and decreased privacy, suburbia life seems to offer close geographical proximity to neighbors without necessarily mandating that neighbors build a personally-connected community. When people live 20 feet away from each other and fail to "meet" their neighbors, a unique phenomenon happens. Throw in an HOA organization to manage conflict resolution, renter bias and moral hazard and kids' need for space to play and explore... and you've got a rather interesting situation. You can discount these issues as "first world problems", but for many "first world" residents, these problems seem to pose very real threats and challenges to their well being and livelihood.

How is it, that with such close geographic proximity communities can feel hollow, cold and impersonal? How is it that parents within these communities can feel disconnected to the point of inaction? How is it that more neighborhood regulations within an HOA often seem to feel like they are ineffective and insufficient?

Whether your neighbors are 20 feet away or an acre, chances are you'll empathize with this cultural and social phenomenon that seems to ripple across neighborhoods around the country. But acknowledging and dealing with these issues seems incredibly necessary. With global populations continuing to expand with urban centers and requirements, rockin' life in the 'burbs will be a skill we all could stand to improve upon.

Save the Parents Podcast is a podcast by & for parents raisisng kids in today's crazy world. We're here thanks to the support of our Patrons and supporters, and welcome your reviews and feedback through www.patreon.com/savetheparents and via email at jenny@save-the-parents.org and within your listening app. Thanks for listening!

23. Should we HATE hate?

Election season has ads, fliers, volunteers, teams, friends, spouses, polling stations and propaganda (of whatever flavor you choose) spun up to the max. Yet much of this messaging is coming to us in a way of HATE - discounting competing candidates and voter shaming. With sides throwing punches left and right, pipe bombs, shootings, social media hate speech, and vocal polarization there's a large group of us left in the middle asking "what the fuck is going on".

For many of us as parents, we engage our kids to help them better cope with emotions. Do you really HATE your sister, or do you just Dislike her right now? Do you really HATE the Cowboys football team, or are you just upset that your team lost? Helping kids wrap themselves around their emotions requires perspective... but frequently perspective is reinforced by negative consequences.

And that's the tricky part. It's easy to say that you hate all the hate. Afterall, few people really LIKE it, so it's an easy conversation builder. But you need to Hate to appreciate Love. You need to know the bad before you appreciate the good. It sucks that you can't have(and appreciate) all Love, but the two seem to go hand-in-hand.

Politics is a mess, but your family life doesn't need to be so. Better understanding what hate is, what role it plays in emotions and development, and how best to channel it out in helpful and constructive ways will set you eons past the hate-fest of US midterm elections. And... if you can help identify hate within yourself, set better outlets for your kids and better utilize outlets for yourself... who else could you influence?

22. Get your facts straight... if you can find them

Bullshit is a wonderfully flexible word - spanning the realm of something jovial you do with friends, to frustrating misinformation. Regardless of the context used though, this "engagement" touches on the greater topic of influential information and what seems to trigger us to respond to other people's actions. Better yet, it's an opportunity for us to dive into what bullshit is, why we perceive it this way, why we often prefer it this way, and what it means to us as small businesses, marketers and people trying to get information out in a noisy world.

So what does this mean for us as parents? Everyone - exceptionally parents with limited time to put toward news, information, product research and greater conversation - is privy to environmental influences, reinforced cognitive dissonances, and information wars whether you think you're susceptible or not. As parents, we're inherently tasked with both modeling "good citizenry" to our kids, and helping to battle forces today that will be cumbersome and problematic for our kids tomorrow. Often times we as parents (managing work, kids & life) have exceptionally limited time to concern ourselves with this... but in this case our over-drive lifestyles often make us even more susceptible to sway.

How can we navigate around this? Part of it, is recognizing what's going on and acknowledging that you're inclined to be influenced whether you're a mental ninja or not. Secondly, changing your habits and questions surrounding information verification, gathering and discussion can be helpful. Thirdly, perhaps unplugging altogether to reset a bit might even be a good call.

In this podcast, we’ll discuss the works - you know us. We sincerely hope you enjoy our “bullshit”, and welcome questions or inquiries at jenny@save-the-parents.org. Thanks for listening!

21. Guilt, Shame and Conditional Morality

Guilt and shame can be powerful motivators, de-motivators and depressors in both raising kids, and governing your own life. Founded deep within our desire to assimilate with our "tribe", these emotions might drive more than we know.

As parents, guilt and shame are emotions we likely feel a lot - no matter how confident you may be in your approach, decisions or network. Turns out, we're only human... and as such we're privy to these emotions and their cascading effects on our lives and decision making. With no ONE way to do things, and often no clear immediate "correct!" response coming from our actions a lot of our decisions as parents get made, executed and repeated with long-term implications that we frequently don't have time to consider.

Although shame and guilt are often conditional, situational, dynamic and temporary in nature these emotions tie into a greater topic - conditional morality and ethics. This conditional morality comes from our own theory of mind, and how these big emotions of shame and guilt play into our own view of the world. Depending on what we're trying to do, these morals and ethics have a way of changing and being manipulated by immediate environment to enable assimilation with other people, or upholding your own priority.

But I guess that's the thing. Everything's flexible and dynamic whether you want it to be, or not. Things change - constantly - including to some degree your morals and ethics... and chances are a survival situation would highlight this best of all. Knowing that these drivers are flexible though can help you better navigate this "grey". Knowing that the guilt you feel for doing/not doing something is a natural, human feeling as a result of trying to best assimilate with your closest group. Additionally - the shame you feel for not better assimilating with a group (ex. work) at the cost of another group (ex. family), is also a human response. Having the theory of mind, self awareness and empathy to work around these will help you better maintain your ethical and moral code and find solace in all of these emotional pulls. But.... then it will all likely change!

Enjoy the podcast, and as always share comments, questions, recommendations, topic requests and all through this Patreon page at www.patreon.com/savetheparents, or by emailing me directly at jenny@save-the-parents.org. Thank you!

20. The Paradox of Efficiency

With the continual integration of AI into our lives and work, we're often faced with efficiency breaks that will help us complete our current scope better, faster and more effectively. As pattern recognition software can help expedite mundane tasks, our attention is freed up. But for most parents, these breaks in efficiency aren't necessarily a "go home early" ticket, or path towards a reduced workweek. In fact, what we more frequently recognize is the opposite.

Although we can get more efficient in our work, we can't rush innovation. And innovation - big, world changing, market changing innovation - has never been more important to the salvation of our careers. But as everyone seeks to make themselves more efficient in their roles (to ensure their own marketability and family's stability), we get faced with what feels like ever more work. And not just easy stuff - the big, hard tasks that don't have clean, easy endings. Why? Because if it was an easy efficiency, the machines would do it.

Instead, we get faced with the requirement of generating big innovations - and that's the hard part. Staying ahead of the big innovation curve by really applying your creativity to transform businesses and processes will be the goal - and that's not easy, time constrained or predictable.

Perhaps the most disheartening part about this podcast, is there really isn't a good, positive takeaway for parents or their kids. Businesses, people and countries will continue to compete for scarce resources, and the role of people in these endeavors is, and will continue to, change. The more efficient you get today, the more the weight of innovation will rest on your shoulders tomorrow. But the competitiveness of your market, shareholders and company a lot on these changes, because if they don't integrate, they'll face being left behind.

So is there a way to break this cycle? Sadly, we don't know of one. But knowing the paradox is afoot can help you better maintain long-term and big-picture perspectives on your work, market and business. Knowing that efficiency brings more work and requirement will aid your efforts in the "race to the top" offering more to your markets and customers.

19. What's Your Gig?

Specialists used to work for businesses. Now businesses work for specialists.

There. We said it. Hello Gig Economy.

We're not here to sugar coat the changes coming to the business world - whether you find it scary, daunting or unfathomable. The gig economy is flourishing, and from our experience & insights we think this isn't just going to be a big facet of business here over the next 20 years, but the crux of it.

That's why we, as parents, need to consider this. Part of our job as parents is to ensure our family's basic needs are met. In this context, that means crafting, planning and managing our career to be both resilient and flexible. If we want to ensure our kids have a "good" start once they fly the coop at 18, we need to ensure (to the best of our abilities) that we're able to 1) provide for their basic needs until then and 2) set a good example of what resilient careers look like so they can better find their own.

In this podcast, we'll discuss not just the gig-economy and what it means to migrate our skill set into a contractor role, but how we can "be comfortable being uncomfortable" throughout these transitional years. Additionally, we'll focus on how we as parents can help build our kids now to step into a gig-economy based market that looks little like the employment progression of which we've become familiar.

Save the Parents Podcast is a podcast by & for parents with a dedicated interest in envisioning and preparing our kids for the dynamic future that lies ahead. Touching on various science, technology, political, cultural and economic issues facing our kids' generations we look use our own experience, education, research and understanding to craft a unique inspiration of the work ahead. None of this content would be possible without our beloved Patreon supporters. Thank you to everyone who has, and will continue to support these initiatives! Check out our Patreon page at www.patreon.com/savetheparents to learn more.

18. The Lies We Tell

If you've been a kid anywhere in the past 50 years, chances are you've encountered your fair share of tooth fairies, Santa stories and countless other fictional characters. Bringing enhanced excitement, joy and suspense, we all likely have good (and perhaps disappointing) memories growing up with these fictional friends.

As parents though, you've probably come to the realization (if not far before) that these characters are all, well, lies. They're grand stories told to us by our families, friends and communities that enhance our perspective, peak our excitement and focus our attention to where others think it should go. And as parents, it's on us as to whether, or to what extent, we tell our own kids these stories.

But, honestly, that's on you. And you'll do whatever your core belief structure and community dictate. We're human after all, and prone to influence. So - let's talk about something extremely interesting, that we really can postulate, consider and discuss - "useful lies" and the tactical implementation of these to influence your own, and your kids'' behavior.

As we discuss in the podcast, these "useful lies" are often stories we tell ourselves with temporary duration that can eventually lead us to believing or accepting a greater truth. These "useful lies" can get integrated in all kinds of ways - both in what we as parents tell ourselves, and what we tell our kids to solicit (or stop) a particular behavior.

They're powerful influences, and once you start to recognize what these useful lies are that surround our generation, you can try to postulate about what we'll eventually look back upon in future generations and determine are today's useful lies. What are we believing today that's not actually true? Because here in 20 years when kids have flown the coop, these will be the realities of their day.

After all, we live in dynamic times. Seeing the lies of today, can help us see the realities of tomorrow.

17. Hello Mr. Robot!

The continuing integration of Artificial Intelligence (AI) into our lives can often solicit fear and uncertainty. Changing the job, workforce, home and education landscape - likely a LOT - is tremendously important. For parents though - we're interested in this revolution in a variety of ways - not just for our own careers and financial planning but for our kids' future. How can we prepare ourselves to stay flexible and marketable throughout these industry and environmental changes? How can we develop our kids to be a part of this movement - equipped with the skillet to make a meaningful impact in spite to changing environment?

These are all big, loaded and highly speculative topics. With an onslaught of research coming out trying to postulate what the world will look like, weeding through these forecasts can be half the battle. Throughout this podcast, we'll attempt to do this. Reflecting on changing environments, timeless skillets, and ultimately understanding that the future 20 years from now that we want our kids to be a part of... is in our own hands. We're the ones responsible for both our kids' own development, as with our professional ambitions to craft the world into an environment you would want for them. As we look around and see broken systems, and potential overhauls - it's on us as parents to identify, prepare and correct. 
It's a big task, but together we're up for it. With that, let's get started!

Save the parents podcast is a podcast by & for parents with a dedicated interest in envisioning and preparing our kids for the dynamic future that lies ahead. Touching on various science, technology, political, cultural and economic issues facing our kids' generations we look use our own experience, education, research and understanding to craft a unique inspiration of the work ahead. None of this content would be possible without our beloved Patreon supporters. Thank you to everyone who has, and will continue to support these initiatives! Check out our Patreon page at www.patreon.com/savetheparents to learn more.

15. Painting the Parenting Picture

While integrating our listeners' feedback, we've decided to put a bit of a twist on our kitchen table podcast. Why? Because the world is filled with so much noise... and we don't want to be part of it. We want to take less of your time, and pack it with more meaningful information on stuff that has the highest relevancy to your role as a parent. Sound intense? Kinda feels like it.

Here's the crux of it. Our global society, economy, technological rate of change and political uncertainty leaves us as parents scratching our heads. What worked for our generation (ex. watching TV) no longer really applies to kids... but when you start trying to figure out where to focus their own skill development (or even how to better manage yourself and your family throughout dynamic times), we quickly get lost. How can we teach kids about AI, polarizing political forces, societal shifts, technological rates of change, changing job & education structures, etc when we don't really know what to say or recommend? It's damn near impossible.

Not to mention, we as parents have our own biases clouding our judgement. SHOCKING INDEED! From our own preconceived notions, cognitive dissonance, perspective and interpretation of the world around us... seeing things from multiple angles takes extra attention. Although we can't guarantee you'll like all angles of every topic discussion, we'll share it anyways.

Afterall... That's why we're here. From here on out, we're going to start unpacking some of these big, meaningful topics and help you both get a better understanding for their significance and implications... and better communicate this to your kids. We'll bring in experts whenever possible, and do our research when not. Ultimately though - we're hoping to unearth this future of parenting by figuring out what exactly we need to be concerned with in this next 5/10/20 year perspective as we try to launch our kids forward into society.

As always, our goal is to spend our time sharing stuff that matters, to you. We would love feedback on these changes and welcome it either here, or via email at jenny@save-the-parents.com. We look forward to this next chapter, and of course, couldn't do this without your tireless support!

The Save the Parents podcast (thanks to the support of our patrons) iis a podcast by & for parents like us who appreciate candor, humor and stuff that isn't just noise. Hosted over our kitchen table, Adam & Jenny Thuen share their views, beliefs and comments to help you and other parents rise to the challenge of raising responsible kids amid today's societal challenges. Questions or comments? We would love to hear them. Check out our Patreon page at www.patreon.com/savetheparents to share. Thanks for listening!

16. Humans 2040

The world will change a lot between 2018, and 2040. With societal, political, economic, technological and militaristic changes... who knows what kids in 22 years will deal with. Yet - for us as parents looking to prepare our kids and send them off to the world with a higher likeliness of success, we care a lot about this. We may not be able to put much time on a daily basis to thinking about this... but the conversation has never been more important.

So what skills will functional members of society need in 2040? Many of these will sound familiar, as they're TIMELESS skills (not "soft" skills - thanks Adam). From being flexible and adaptable, to learning how to think creatively and critically - these timeless skills will benefit both parents and kids to be emphasized. 

Yet, our education system doesn't necessarily cultivate a strong solution to these critical requirements. Although changes along the way can help keep these public school systems up to speed, there's plenty that parents like us can do on the side. Whether it's learning new skills ourselves, helping our kids solve their own problems, or fostering an ability to survive change through flexibility and adaptability - it's on us. 

Want resilient kids who can survive changes with ease? Let's first look at how we react to change, and work on our own perspective. Want to help your kid become a critical thinker who's not scared to ask questions? Let's first look at ourselves, how we act around our boss (and other people of authority), and see how we can be more effective... then teach our kids to do the same. It's frustrating, because with busy schedules it's so tempting to just "subcontract" out parenting to schools, teachers and day cares.... but it's truly on us to take ownership.

But - here's the good news. 2040 is 22 years away - meaning we have over 8,000 days left to offer daily nudges, challenges and opportunities for our kids to develop. One minute a day, one question a day, one conversation a day - you can help inspire burgeoning minds and encourage their development through tactical engagement. 
So, with that, we encourage your listening and enjoyment. Hit us up with questions, suggestions and feedback - we're all ears. Thanks for listening, and as always THANK YOU to our Patrons! TO learn more, please visit our Patreon page at http://www.patreon.com/savetheparent