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Parenting34: Daniel on Dissociation, Sexual Abuse and Healing


What I did for today’s show was I pulled together a few clips that were cut out of other recordings, ones that all generally fit under the theme of ‘Parenting.’ Included are more thoughts about dissociation, abuse, and whether or not Daniel thinks that parents can heal.

I feel really proud of anyone who is willing to listen to Daniel talk about these things, and am proud that I have a podcast that attracts listeners who are up to such a deep and personal challenge.  Thanks for all your thoughtful comments; I hope you’ll keep sharing your thoughts and experiences with me and with each other along the way.

I’m not sure if all this “makes the world a better place” or if it just “makes the world a better place for me.”  But either way, I’m happier because of you – so thanks for that.


Parenting33: Daniel on Child Abuse and Spoiling


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Okay, are we all doing a good job with our deep breathing?  Good, good.

Daniel Mackler
has a message that (I think) is very important. It’s also a very painful one to hear. If you’re a parent (or a parent wannabe) and you’re willing to listen to what he has to say, you’re more humble and courageous than most, and I thank you.

All of Season Six (16 episodes) is dedicated to Daniel’s views about truth, the true self, trauma, healing and growing up. If you want to learn how this could become a truly healed and happy world, I hope you’ll listen carefully, breathe deeply, and find out what your own inner self has to say about it all.

In Season Six I’m playing  Daniel’s music.  In today’s song he sings:

I see parents having kids and then they break their little hearts,
They crush their perfect lives before they get a chance to start.
But still I know there’s hope because I see it in my sight,
That’s why I’ve come to spread the message
that it’s time to set things right.

When I heard Daniel’s vision for the world, it was the first time – ever – that I had a glimmer that maybe… maybe… there was something good about having hope.   I must admit I’m still awfully wary of the concept – but I’m open to changing my mind.  And if I do, you guys will be among the very first to know.  I’ll keep you posted.



Parenting32: Meryl Asks Me Some Questions


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Meryl and I have known each other since 5th grade and have had many (MANY) good times together since then.

<pause as I stare off dreamily remembering so many good times…>

Not to mention Meryl’s grandmother and my great-grandmother were cousins.  Pretty sweet.

But so anyway! Today Meryl asked me about really trusting children, watching TV, how to help kids with their feelings and what to do about siblings who bug each other.

Devon Sproule (who I called a “Philly favorite” because everyone in Philly loves her – but she lives in Virginia) graces us with the closing number today, Stop By Anytime.

So, that’s a big “ta da” for Season 5, wonder what we’ll come up with next?…..

‘Till then – xoAmy

Meryl's Grandmother and Amy's Great-Grandmother

Meryl's Grandmother and Amy's Great-Grandmother

Amy and Meryl and other 7th grade girls at the mountains

Parenting31: Kayla Asks Me Some Questions


Kayla has been studying different parenting styles, and wanted to know what I thought about the difference between being “firm” (which some say is a good thing) and being “controlling” (which some say is a bad thing).   Or something like that (I kept getting all the categories mixed up, but hopefully the editing will gloss over that part…)

Later I broke the season 5 rules, and asked Kayla if she’d be willing to say some words about my strengths and weaknesses as a mom, and she was, and she did.

And in case you were wondering, Alexandra Day’s new album Untangle is ready for you to buy it!

kayla and amy childs

I think this was taken about 10 years ago

Breathing in and out,


Parenting30: Nicole Asks Me Some Questions


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It was when I got a text from Nicole Martin that asked “Were you always the way you are?” that the idea for Season 5 was born.  Although I did my best to answer her questions (like “What were you like when you were tiny?”) I’m not sure if I really got to her main question, of how I got to be “this way.”  Oh well, we had fun anyway (y’know, that laughing/crying sort of fun….)

nikiah's bday

Nicole's food makes every day a special day

On Nikiah’s 17th birthday Kayla’s camera took some crazy pictures. This is kind of what my kitchen is like when Nicole is around, a colorful surprising chaotic beauty.


let the good times roll

Parenting29: the Philadelphia Free School


Michelle and Robert (Reb) Loucas, founders of the Philadelphia Free School, are incredibly passionate and knowledgeable about creating an environment where children’s natural curiosity can flourish with freedom and support. They, together with a few talented and committed others, are opening a school in South Philly based on the Sudbury Valley model of education in September 2011, and in today’s episode we get to hear more about it.

Michelle and Reb come with an impressive list of accomplishments and experiences, including things such as: teaching English, Spanish and Constitutional Law in a variety of high school settings; teaching English as a second language overseas; working for both Temple and Penn in the Education Departments; working for the city of Philadelphia and in a non-profit teaching and advocating for children; working for Sudbury Schools in California and Maryland; and being the parents of two adorable little ones.

From the Sudbury Valley website:
“Trust and respect are the keys to the school’s success. Students enjoy total intellectual freedom, and unfettered interaction with other students and adults. Through being responsible for themselves and for the school’s operation, they gain the internal resources needed to lead effective lives.”

So that’s pretty cool.

And now it’s time for a holiday commercial: If you’re looking for a great gift idea for the music and freedom lovers in your life, what about a copy of Free To Be You And Me?  Let’s show the world that the idealism of the 70’s is still goin’ strong!


Parenting28: Robin Grille and Parenting for a Peaceful World


Do you remember when my facebook status quoted Kayla saying “Nikiah and I are making our own bible, but we decided not to rush it.” (Well okay maybe nobody remembers that, but it was funny.)

Anyway, the reason (it turned out) that they didn’t want to rush it was that they realized it was going to take some time to gather and compile all the important works and quotes into the bible of their dreams.  So far, they have identified the following as key elements of their bible:

Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy,
Search for Signs of Intelligent Life in the Universe,
– things by Pema Chodron,

and – Parenting for a Peaceful World by Robin Grille.

All that is to say that for me today, it was kinda like I was interviewing Moses.

Here are all the links we mentioned in the show:

Robin Grille’s website

Robin Grille’s blog

If you want to find out more about being an activist for young people’s rights, look here, here and here.

And Robin wants everyone to know about Paul Hawken and his book Blessed Unrest – so check it out! (‘Cause Moses said so.  And also because it is pretty cool…)

Alexandra (oops I called her Alex on the show) Day sent me the tune that you’ll hear today.  Thank you Alexandra!

And thank you again to Robin Grille for taking the time to write a great book AND talk to me on my show.  A super lucky combination for us all.


PS – For those who prefer it, here is the link for Parenting For a Peaceful World on Kindle.

Parenting27: When Kids Divorce Their Parents


It seems that an important part of a human being’s development, as one goes from being a dependent person to an independent person, must always involve some kind of “divorce” from his or her parents. A lot of parents (myself included) have struggled to find their role in this healthy yet painful transition. How do we support someone whose job it is to reject us?

I do think this sticky business is in fact part of a parent’s job, and how well we do the job undoubtedly influences whether we’ll be lucky enough to get to hang out now and then with our kids once they don’t need us anymore.

Thanks Jim Boggia for reminding us of the possibility that “There’s Nothing Wrong With Me.”

(And also for the part that goes “Whoop de do!” I like that.)


Parenting26: Interview with Sandra Dodd


Unschooling is creating an environment in which children can learn easily and naturally all the time.” – Sandra Dodd

I’ve relied on Sandra Dodd‘s enormous “prairie dog village” of a website in my own unschooling journey, and have referred dozens if not hundreds of people to check it out as well.  Since it (both unschooling, and the website!) can be overwhelming at first, new unschoolers are recommended to start here or here.   If you want to talk live with other unschoolers  you can join Sandra’s online chats; if you want a regular hello from Sandra you can subscribe to her daily message at Just Add Light and Stir; and if you want something made of paper that you can carry in your purse with you at all times, you could buy one of her books: Moving a Puddle or The Big Book of Unschooling.

And as Sandra mentioned in her interview, Joyce Fetteroll’s website Joyfully Rejoycing is another must-read for every new (or old! or wannabe!) unschooler.

And finally, don’t miss Ryan Tennis’s Album Release Party at Yards Brewing Company on October 23rd – good music, good friends, good beer, good times.


Parenting25: Interview with Daniel Mackler


Today’s guest, Daniel Mackler, is a trained psychotherapist, a filmmaker and a musician, but the reason he came into my awareness is because he has a website that tells people exactly what he thinks – and I happen to think he’s on to something.

So I posted his essay “Eleven Situations in Which it Is Not Appropriate for You to Have Kids” on facebook and asked him if he would talk with me on my show.  He cheerfully agreed.

Even though we talked for well over an hour, by the end I felt that we’d hardly begun.  If you want to hear more of our conversation than this half-hour episode allows, click here to download the MP3 or listen here

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  to hear a longer version.  But like I said – if you ask me, even an hour is just the tip of the iceberg.

After admitting that I do think that bringing three precious people into this insane world (and to be raised by insane parents) was a kind of criminal act on my part, playing Bar Scott‘s “Confession” seemed an appropriate way to wrap up the show.  And then I lay down on my bed to breathe for a good long time.

Forgive me children, for I knew not what I did… or something like that.

Peace and love,