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10CBF: A Podcast for Blended Families

10CBF: A Podcast for Blended Families

By Joel W Hawbaker
"10CBF: A Podcast for Blended Families" is a show that provides tips and strategies that are immediately applicable to help struggling families while also sharing inspiring stories of blended family successes. Various experts and I will discuss issues unique to remarriage, coparenting, and other aspects of blended family life. Come and join the 10CBF (10 Commandments for Blended Families) community to help your family today!
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S3 E15 - "Stepparenting with Purpose: 3 Key Tips" with Karalee Katsambanis
Karalee Katsambanis is an accomplished Australian TV commentator, author, journalist, columnist and media trainer. She has worked across Australia’s mainstream TV, radio, newspapers, magazines and online for the past 25 years. She is a mother of 3 children and stepmother of 2 young adults. Her book “Step Parenting with Purpose – everything you wanted to know but were too afraid to ask” provides invaluable insights and advice to those beginning or already on their stepparenting journey. Quotes: "There's a right way to behave, and a wrong way to behave." "You can only control what you say and do." 3 Top Tips for Stepfamilies:  1) Your ex is YOUR ex, not your child's ex. 2) Stepparenting is NOT a competition. 3) You cannot change what you don't acknowledge. Consider how powerful this is for a stepparent to hear from a bioparent: "I know what you've always done your best." "You should be able to ask for help without being judged." "It's important to have similar rules for step and biological kids and also to honor the opinion of the bio parents." "We should all be on the same side: the side of the kids." Links: Personal Website: Book: Book (Amazon): Instagram: Facebook: LinkedIn: Twitter:
May 25, 2022
S3-E14: "Journey Beyond Divorce: Controlling What You Can" with Karen McMahon
Karen McMahon is a Certified Relationship and Divorce Coach and Founder of Journey Beyond Divorce. Karen leads a team of divorce coaches in supporting men and women around the world to become calm, clear and confident as they navigate divorce. Karen began divorce coaching in 2010 after recognizing that the pain of her divorce led her on a transformational journey into an incredible new life. During her three and a half year tumultuous divorce, Karen had a laser focus on healing and refining herself, she found her true voice, learned to set suitable boundaries, and surrendered what she could not control. As a result, her life began to improve exponentially.  Karen has since spent the last decade helping thousands of men and women navigate the emotional and practical difficulties of relationships, breakups and divorce. Karen is the host of the acclaimed Journey Beyond Divorce Podcast, co-author of ‘Stepping out of Chaos: Turning Pain to Possibility” and co-creator of JBD’s exclusive 12 Step Divorce Recovery Program. Her other accomplishments include work as a NYS Lobbyist, Health Advocate, Community Organizer, and Chairperson of a NYS non-profit organization, Director of Sales and Marketing, and successful small business owner. Quotes: "Nobody shows up as their prettiest self during a divorce." "Most of us have not been taught how to handle conflict." "Once you see a flaw, all you look for is more flaws. And in divorce, we've seen flaws." "We often listen to hear where we disagree." "As parents, it's often hard for us to transition with our kids as they grow up." "Every upset is a setup." "Four things influence how we respond to external data: 1) assumptions; 2) interpreting; 3) limiting beliefs; 4) inner critic." "Replace judgment with curiosity." Resources: Adversaries into Allies by Bob Burg: Journey Beyond Divorce support website: Journey Beyond Divorce Podcast: FREE Rapid Relief Call: FB Group: Instagram:
May 17, 2022
S3-E13: "Family Life Blended and Stepparenting Ambiguity" with Gayla Grace
Our guest today is the amazing Gayla Grace, of Family Life Blended! Gayla Grace serves on staff with FamilyLife Blended® as a writer and a speaker and desires to equip blended families for life together. She is the author of Stepparenting with Grace: A Devotional for Blended Families and co-author of Quiet Moments for the Stepmom Soul. She has a master’s degree in Psychology and Counseling and is a mom to three and stepmom to two adult children. She and her husband Randy have been married 26 years and are recent empty nesters residing in Conway, AR. Quotes: "Don't quit--it's normal to go through a wilderness." "In a remarriage, the non-bio parent comes in as a friend and should focus on building a relationship with the kids...Let them know 'I care about you.'" "Watch the cues from the kids and try to match that." "One obstacle is the ambiguity of the stepparent role, and that role will change over time." "Don't wear your feelings on your shoulder." "Hold onto the small victories and encouraging moments as a stepparent." "We don't realize the impact we're having on our stepkids' lives until they're old enough to realize it as well." "If someone has been a lousy spouse, we assume they're also a lousy parent, but that's not necessarily the case. We have to change our mindset about that person." "Make sure you are nurturing your marriage." Links: Facebook: Instagram: Websites: Gayla's Books: Email:
May 10, 2022
S3-E12: "Financial Infidelity and Blended Family Finances" with Heather Hetchler and Ed Vargo
This week's guests are the amazing Heather Hetchler and Ed Vargo! Heather Hetchler is an writer, speaker and certified life coach for stepfamilies since 2009. She is monthly contributor to StepMom Magazine and a co-author of Quiet Moments for the Stepmom Soul. Her upcoming book Stepmothering: A Cautionary Tale releases 2023. She is also a money mentor with enlightenHer where she helps women develop a healthy money mindset. She began partnering with enlightenHer in 2017 where she presented on Second Saturdays helping women navigating divorce. Given Heather’s focus is caring for a woman’s emotional well-being, adding the financial piece helps her guide women, including stepmoms, to navigate their money relationship which often grows more complex with stepfamily dynamics. Heather earned a BA in Communications from Miami University and a Masters in Applied Communication and Methodology from Cleveland State University and has 22 years of experience in family communications. You may know her from the work she continues to do at Learning2Step and Sisterhood of Stepmoms. She has a passion for educating, encouraging, and empowering women. She resides in Cleveland with her husband, rescue dog and the last of their six children who will launch 2022! Ed Vargo, CFP®, CLU®, ChFC®, AIF®, CDFA®, founder of Burning River Advisory Group and enlightenHer, grew up in inner-city Cleveland. During the Vietnam War, Ed’s father served as a sergeant military policeman in South Korea where he met and married Ed’s mother. Once back in the States, Ed’s mother faced the challenges of a being a first-generation immigrant who couldn’t read or write English or drive a car. This instilled in Ed a deeply personal commitment to women’s empowerment and is the powerful undercurrent running through Burning River and enlightenHer. Providing customized financial solutions with a compassionate and caring hand, he is committed to helping women achieve financial independence. Ed is a frequent guest speaker at companies, organizations, and conferences, as well as a regular contributor to various media outlets including the Associated Press, Money, CNBC, and Forbes. Ed and his firm, Burning River Advisory Group, have been awarded the Women’s Choice Award for Financial Advisors/Firms every year since its inauguration. They are honored in being recognized as one of the first 100 companies in the country to receive this prestigious award. Quotes: "Every stepfamily comes from a place of pain for someone." "Financial infidelity is lying to your spouse or partner about money, or hiding money decisions or habits, and it leads to a severe breach of trust."  "Financial infidelity tends to start small and build over time." "People aren't very good at talking about money. This topic should be an open book based on shared goals and values." "To get on the same page about money, the first step is to agree on 'guiding principles.'" "Sometimes you have to be the one who makes amends, and you encourage communication through compassion." "With money, start with values and what is important to you. Begin with a united front, and all money issues are easier." Emails: Links Facebook: @enlightenHer on Instagram: @YourMoneyMentors Instagram: @Learning2step Support
May 03, 2022
S3-E11: "'The Daily Stepmom' and the Power of Positive Focus" with Joslynn Flowers
Today's guest is the excellent and energetic Joslynn Flowers, better known as the host of 'The Daily Stepmom'! Joslynn is a mom of four, (three being her stepchildren) and a certified stepmom coach! Manager turned stay-at-home mom once Covid hit. In her time as a stepmom she has experienced the many struggles that come along with being a stepmom and the blending of a family. Feeling overwhelmed, misunderstood, and lonely in her role she began seeking a way to turn her stepmom experience from negative to a positive co-parenting experience, which hasn’t been easy! Dealing with many high conflict situations and multiple custody battles, ending with a CWS situation granting her husband full physical and legal custody, that almost broke her - to finally finding her place in her role as full time stepmom. She has even created a healthy working co-parent friendship with her stepchildren's mom. Joslynn loves to help other stepmoms do the same while creating healthy boundaries. Joslynn created and hosts a chart topping podcast called 'The Daily Stepmom Podcast.' There she talks about not just surviving but thriving in your role as a stepmom! Joslynn has been a featured speaker for The Stepmom Summit, The Ultimate Step Family Summit. She was named one of the Top 10 Podcasts in 2022 by SHE Magazine. She has been interviewed by Raise Parenting Magazine. She has also created a mini work book and an affirmation journal for stepmoms. She loves to connect with others via her Instagram account so find her at Dailystepmom. Quotes: "It's important to acknowledge our feelings and not feel bad about them...but also don't stay there." "Having different expectations can cause small issues to become larger issues. The key is to be able to have conversations about difficult topics." "Always show respect, especially to my kids' mom, both her role and as their mother...This is not always done in co-parenting situations, and it leads to problems." "You can't pour from an empty cup--time for self-care and reflection is critical for families." "Your feelings are valid, but it's not OK to take out your frustrations on the people around you." "One important thing for stepmothers to do is to find a community!" Links
April 26, 2022
S3-E10: "Blended Families and 'The Go-Giver Marriage' with Ana and John David Mann"
Today's guests are the amazing Ana and John David Mann, co-authors of the best-selling book 'The Go-Giver Marriage,' and two of the most fun guests we've had on the show! John David Mann is coauthor of more than thirty books, including four New York Times bestsellers and five national bestsellers, including “The Go-Giver” (coauthored with Bob Burg), which has sold over 1 million copies and won the 2017 Living Now Book Awards Evergreen Medal for its “contributions to positive global change.” He is married to Ana Gabriel Mann and considers himself the luckiest mann in the world.  Ana Gabriel Mann, MA, holds a Master’s degree in clinical psychology and dance-movement therapy from Antioch New England, where she specialized in working with adults and family therapy. In addition to her work in family therapy and 5 Secrets marriage coaching, she has been clinical director for a program for people with Alzheimer’s disease, co-founded New England’s first college of Chinese medicine, and worked as a corporate consultant, speaker, trainer, and coach.  John and Ana have been dreaming about writing “The Go-Giver Marriage” together for nearly two decades. The book was released in March 2022. Full disclosure: I read this book before our interview and LOVED it!! I had previously read 'The Go-Giver,' (co-authored with Bob Burg) the book that kicked off the series and also loved it. This book was even better! Quotes: "No one escapes their childhood without emotional wounds." "Never bad-mouth the other parent in front of the kids, ever, ever, ever." "The most important thing you can do for your kids is to give them an example of a happy life." "The very things you needed as a child are the same things you need as an adult." "This is giving without the expectation of return." "'Allow' is a lot like grace. It is letting the other person be who they are. But this does not mean to enable or give up boundaries." "The opposite of appreciation is criticism." "If kids get everything they need when they're young, they become remarkable adults!" Links: John Ana
April 19, 2022
S3-E9 "Years of Experience in Blended Family Law" with Sabrina Shaheen Cronin
Today's guest is the excellent Sabrina Shaheen Cronin! Since 1993, Sabrina Shaheen Cronin has been practicing law and has been running her own full-service law firm for the better part of the last decade. A Family Law specialist, she’s also expanded her work into the realm of family coaching, offering workshops and personal counseling to families undergoing stressful changes. In particular, her work aims to provide families navigating the waters of separation, divorce, and co-parenting with a road map that they likely would not otherwise have access to. Sabrina is licensed to practice law in Michigan, New York & Illinois. Sabrina is a graduate of the University of Michigan and received her Law Degree and MBA at University of Detroit Mercy. Her extensive experience includes General Counsel for Professional Employer Organizations, and APA for the Oakland County Prosecutor’s office before establishing her own firm, which has organically grown into one of the top legal firms in Michigan. A true student of life, Sabrina continues to further her education, to better serve the ever-changing needs of her clients, both legally and supportively as an attorney, mentor, and coach. Quotes: "Your history makes up who you are today." "Our children's years are shorter so they feel things more impactfully--we need to be mindful of that." "It's important that all parents in a blended family are in alignment." "Your children need to feel safe talking to you." "Even when your children are resisting, being consistent and present are extremely important." "Ask your kids how you can love them better." "Don't take things personally." Resources: Sabrina's website: Cronin Law Firm Phone: 258-258-3500 Email: LinkedIn: Instagram: Facebook: The Four Agreements by Don Miguel Ruiz The Five Love Languages series by Gary Chapman
April 12, 2022
S3 E8 - "Dare to Heal: Helping Heal Fatherless Daughters" with Earnest James
Today's guest is the excellent Earnest James! Earnest James is the host of the Deal to Heal with E James Podcast. He is a man with a heart for people. As a minister, mentor, and speaker, Earnest has dedicated his life to inspiring and uplifting others. His mission is to help others heal from the wounds of their past and current situations. Earnest is an entrepreneur, business owner, an author, social media influencer, online course creator, and workshop instructor.  Earnest believes “If you must fail, fail fast and fail first. That way you can rebound and rebuild your life. Then help others do the same.” Earnest was raised in a two parent household, but recognized the effects of fatherlessness on his extended family and friends, who were being raised by single mothers. Earnest is determined to help heal families by helping fatherless mothers and daughters heal from their father wound and mentoring dads and sons. Earnest also is an advocate for education. After a few failures early in life, Earnest quickly rebounded to complete grammar school, finish high school in three years, and became a college graduate. Earnest has been a guest speaker on several podcasts as well as hosting his own. Earnest plans on sharing his message of hope and healing with as many people as will listen. Quotes: "Fatherless daughters often either don't let anyone in, or they let everyone in." "Common issues are 1) dealing with abandonment and its struggles, and 2) issues with loyalty to people even after they have shown themselves unworthy of that loyalty." "One of my favorite things is the relationship my daughter has with her stepmom." "Don't be afraid of what your relationship looks like now." "Take yourself (your emotions) out of the equation. Facts over feelings." Resources: Ron Deal's website: YouTube: Facebook: Tik Tok: Instagram: Tee- Shirts: Patreon: Podcast:
April 05, 2022
S3 E7 - "Five Challenges and the Danger of 'Easy Wrong Turns' for Stepfamilies" with Patricia Papernow
Today's guest is the amazing Dr. Patricia Papernow! Dr. Patricia Papernow has taught about “blended families” all over the U.S. and the world, sharing best practices for meeting the often-intense challenges that stepfamilies face.  Dr. Papernow has authored dozens of articles and book chapters on stepfamilies as well as two of the leading books in the field: Surviving and Thriving in Stepfamily Relationships: What Works and What Doesn’t, and, with Karen Bonnell, The Stepfamily Handbook: From Dating, to Getting Serious to Forming a “Blended Family.” Quotes: "In a first-time family, kids enter hard-wired for affection for their parents." "Stepparents enter as an outsider to the family." Five Challenges for Stepfamilies 1) Stuck insider vs. Stuck outsiders (stepparents are often left out) 2) Kids feel differently about stepfamilies than they do about first families (stepfamily adjustment is harder on kids than the actual divorce) 3) Parenting and stepparenting are different (best parenting style: authoritative parenting by parents) 4) Creating a new family culture when (at least) two cultures already exist involves making something new while respecting both us and them. 5) There IS another parent, living or dead, outside the household * The worst thing for children isn't divorce or remarriage; it's conflict. "A lot of stepfamily life is 'learning by goofing.'" "For kids, as the rate of change goes up, their well-being goes down." Suggestions: 1) Spend 1:1 time with kids/stepkids (connection before correction) 2) Kids don't want a replacement (via divorce or death), so make space for the parent that is already there Resources: Dr. Papernow's website: Dr. Papernow's books (Becoming a Stepfamily, and Surviving and Thriving in Stepfamily Relationships) : The Stepfamily Handbook (written with Karen Bonnell): Stepparenting the Grieving Child by Diane Ingram Fromme
March 29, 2022
S3-E6 "Stepfamily Architecture and Two-House Families" with Karen Bonnell
Today's guest is Karen Bonnell! From her website: Karen has over 30 years of experience working with couples and families facing transition, loss, growth and change. A graduate of the University of Michigan, she served on the faculty of University of Michigan, Eastern Michigan University & Seattle Pacific University before beginning full-time private practice in 1984. In 2021, she brought her psychiatric nursing career to a close, and now focuses strictly on coaching and mediation. She regularly writes for, speaks to and trains health care and legal professionals. Karen’s work as a Collaborative Divorce Coach spurred her determination to write “The Co-Parenting Handbook” with Kristin Little, Child Specialist. Parents learn the best ways to support their children, strengthen their co-parenting, and discover the necessary tools to skillfully create a two-home family. “The Parenting Plan Workbook” followed with contributor Felicia Malsby Soleil, JD. Karen and Felicia built a workbook and four-plus hours of coaching seminars (The Parenting Plan Workbook Video Series), which provide valuable access to the mechanics behind writing a strong, child-centered parenting plan. And most recently, Karen and Patricia Papernow, PhD released the newest handbook for parents ready to date and hoping to one day successfully create stepfamily, “The Stepfamily Handbook: From Dating, to Getting Serious, to Forming a ‘Blended Family’”. Quotes: "Teens are looking to get rid of the parents they've got; they're not shopping for more!" "A second-time family is a very different architecture than a first-time family." "If we don't do this well, the people who are going to suffer are the kids." "The truth without compassion can be abusive." "Stepparents are additive, not substitutes." Resources: The Stepfamily Handbook,204,203,200_QL70_&dpSrc=srch The Co-Parenting Handbook The Parenting Plan Workbook Karen Bonnell on YouTube
March 22, 2022
S3-E5: 'Struggling with Self-Identity and Special Needs in Stepfamilies' with Dr. Sonia Cann-Milland
Today's guest is Dr. Sonia Cann-Milland! In her own words: "I have my own private practice that offers education and counselling to all those who are a part of a stepfamily. Before the establishment of Renewed Beliefs, I completed my Ph.D. titled; Establishing Stable Stepfamilies: The Perspectives of Recoupled Parents, Educators and Family Services Professionals. I have three articles published in academic journals related to three different issues impacting stepfamilies. I love research and writing on this topic. More importantly I am passionate about utilizing research in a practical way. My ongoing goal is to continue counselling stepfamilies and offering education to churches, schools, and professional service providers to give them a greater insight into effectively working and supporting stepfamilies. I have been counselling for over thirty years now and during that time realised I needed a greater understanding of the complexities of stepfamily life. Of course, my research has been of great benefit in giving me greater insight into the lives of stepfamilies. Being a mother of 28 yrs. And a stepmother of 15 years in my own stepfamily has taught me so much also. I have learnt much about myself and the complexities that come with our beautiful family. My husband and I are also, proud grandparents of two beautiful grandchildren. I do not see my stepfamily as two failed nuclear families remarrying, but simply a family formed differently to a nuclear family in which I am very proud." Dr. Cann-Milland is based in Australia, where she lives and has her practice. Quotes: "Role confusion made life difficult...I was defining myself through everyone else's eyes." "Treasuring your couple relationship is important--remember that your couple relationship is younger than your parenting relationship, and so it needs to be nurtured purposefully and regularly." LOVE (acronym for better understanding): Listen to learn-What does your partner want you to understand? Oneness-Focus on the shared value that is under threat Validate-Let your partner know that you've heard them Embrace-acknowledge where your partner is currently Resources: Books by Ron Deal Surviving and Thriving in Stepfamilies by Patricia Papernow Facebook:
March 15, 2022
S3-E4: "Fathers' Rights and Responsibilities" with Mark Reel, Jr.
Today's guest is Mark Reel, Jr.! Mark Reel Jr. is an entrepreneur, lawyer, and media personality. He is Founder of Reel Fathers Rights PLC, a Southern California Family Law Firm dedicated to representing fathers throughout California. He is licensed to practice law in the state of California. His practice focuses on representing fathers in Child Custody, Divorce, Domestic Violence & other family court matters. On top of his legal practice, Mark also runs a strategic consulting company named Law Firm Launch, focused on developing & optimizing sales processes both in & out of the legal industry. Mark is very active in advocating in the Equal & Shared Parenting space, including hosting his own weekly show “State of the Family Courts”, which is presented by The Fathers Rights Movement & broadcast to their 1.2 million social media followers each week and is available on all podcasting platforms. He also regularly appears on industry shows including Divorce Matters Podcast, The Show Up Dad Podcast & has contributed to TFRM’s show “Live with Rosa”. Prior to practicing law, Mark spent a decade as a sports & fitness industry executive, working for Major & Minor League baseball franchises, as a player agent/advisor & in sales & operations in the fitness industry. Co-Author of the soon-to-be-released book, The War on Dad, set to be released May 1st 2022. The book discusses the plight of the American father & the broken family court system. Listeners can get on the pre-order list at Websites/Links/Recommendations You can find Mark on Facebook, YouTube, Tik Tok & Instagram at “The Fathers Rights Attorney” Can't Hurt Me by David Goggins Daring Greatly, Rising Strong, Braving the Wilderness, Dare to Lead by Brune Brown
March 08, 2022
S3E3: "Helping Stepmoms Heal" with Meg Burton Tudman
Our guest today is Meg Burton Tudman! Meg Burton Tudman is on a mission to support stepmoms in honoring their highest selves through coaching, writing and speaking. Her specialty is holistic coaching for superwomen empowering them to align their mind, body and soul, so they can live a life they love. Meg weaves mindset, meditation, yoga, and Reiki into her online coaching programs, wellness articles, workshops, and corporate events. She has been featured by StepMom Magazine, Xerox Women’s Alliance, Finger Lakes Yogascapes, and Go Love Yourself.  Quotes: "Stepfamilies are complex and need support." "Mindset is at the root of my help women identify their beliefs and thoughts that are causing you to feel stuck." "How do I want to respond, and how do I want to frame this?" "Self-care is a series of choices." "Let your partner know what you need." "Take care of yourself first--you can't care for anyone else if you aren't well cared for." Links: Website:  Instagram:  Facebook:  LinkedIn:  Insight Timer:  YouTube: StepMom Magazine:
March 01, 2022
S3-E2: 'Let Love Win: the Power of Forgiveness' with Kelli Calabrese
Today's guest is Kelli Calabrese! Kelli Calabrese has been a fitness, nutrition, wellness and lifestyle professional and entrepreneur for 35 years. She has spoken on stages internationally, has 3 best selling books and has appeared on all of the major networks. Today, Kelli empowers women to overcome the fear, grief and rejection of divorce so they can heal, become resilient and build a fabulous bonus life. Links: Quotes: "My lens for life is to let love win." "The ability to get back up matters." "Whatever is inside you comes out of you: anger or bitterness or peace, love, etc." "Imagine the year to come as if it's already happened, and allow yourself to dream: spend five minutes each day in the mirror; have an accountability partner; involve your kids as well." Resources: Chasing Failure by Ryan Leak Forgiving Forward by Bruce and Toni Hebel Boundaries by Dr. Henry Cloud and Dr. John Townsend Speed of Trust by Franklin Covey The Body Keeps Score by Dr. Bessel Van Der Kolk
February 22, 2022
S3E1 - "The Father Effect with John Finch"
Today's guest is John Finch! John Finch grew up the youngest of 3 boys in a suburb of Dallas where he lost his father to suicide at age 11. As a young man, John did anything he could to avoid confronting the wounds he suffered as a result of being fatherless. His craving for affirmation from a father who was not there to provide it, led him to  seek that affirmation from the world in many unhealthy ways. In an attempt to find value as a man, he created a false persona that left him completely unfulfilled. His life was based on the pursuit of money in order to prove his success and he became a social alcoholic as he strived to be the life of every party and gain the attention of those around him. It was only when John realized and dealt with the unresolved issues of his father wound that he was able to become truly fulfilled. On April 20th, 2009, he finally came face to face with the issues that drove him to seek approval from a father who was not there to give it to him. By forgiving his father and recognizing what it truly means to be a man by God’s standard, he became a new man, husband and father.     John seeks to break down the barriers that prevent men and women from addressing deep rooted anger and hurt from the wounds they have suffered in this life by candidly and openly sharing his story, his failings, and his path to a new way of life. John’s mission is to educate, encourage and equip men to become the fathers they were created to be, and to help men walk in daily awareness of their significant and lifelong influence as fathers. Through The Father Effect Movie, John shares stories and messages that will move viewers to a new awareness about the everlasting impact of fathers and the importance of forgiveness and openness in the relationships of this world. John has been married for 23 years. has three daughters and lives in Denton, Texas. He is the founder of The Perfect Father Ministries Inc, a 501(c) non-profit and, a community of people from all of the world who share short stories to encourage dads. Quotes:  "The way I love my wife is the way my daughters are going to expect to be loved." "We're all jacked up, flawed, imperfect individuals..." Resources:  The Father Effect YouTube Channel - UCYOtmtf0kO9e9FntnZ9ow6Q  The Father Effect GodTube Channel -  Twitter - @thefathereffect, @johnpfinch, @encouragingdads, & @_newlegacymedia  Facebook - The Father Effect Movie Encouraging Dads Project website (  Book Landing Page 9781478976868/ All Pro Dad - Dr. Meg Meeker - Raising A Modern-Day Knight by Robert Lewis - Fathered By God by John Eldridge -
February 15, 2022
S2-E15: "Me, Us, Them, and A Calamity of Confusion" with Franco Zavala, The Professional Stepdad
Franco is an actor, host of The Professional Stepdad podcast, 60-second storyteller, and stepfather of five, who loves sharing wisdom, insight, and anecdotes about fatherhood. Driven by his passion to affect real change, Franco is on a mission to challenge the current narrative around the meaning and purpose of being a Step-Dad in today’s world.  Franco and I had a thoroughly entertaining and enjoyable conversation, and I hope you learn from it and have as much fun as we did! Below are some of the key quotes and highlights from the episode. Also, be sure to check out all of the resources that Franco offers as well as others that we mentioned during our interview. "My job for the first few years is to get to know the kids." "The biggest challenge is always 'the others' in a blended family that think they know better." "We have to block out the negative noise; the only thing we can control is what happens within the four walls of our home." Importance of consistent base hits vs. trying for homeruns in every at-bat. "If you're patient, it'll pay off." Discipline is the Achilles heel of every blended family situation. "When we speak badly about the others, we poison the well, and no one wins." "Me, then us, then them." I need to improve myself, then work on us (the married couple) as a team, and then get to know them (the kids).  "Stepparents: we step up, we step forward, and we step through." It is important to set goals for our family. Contact, Franco's Resources: Recommendations, etc:
June 08, 2021
S2-E14: "Stepfamilies and the Importance of Support Systems" with Laura Petherbridge, The Smart Stepmom
Laura Petherbridge serves couples and single adults with topics on women’s issues, relationships, stepfamilies, co-parenting, single parenting, divorce prevention, and divorce recovery. She is an international speaker and author of, When “I Do” Becomes “I Don’t”—Practical Steps for Healing During Separation and Divorce, The Smart Stepmom, co-authored with stepfamily expert Ron Deal, 101 Tips for The Smart Stepmom , Quiet Moments for the Stepmom Soul, a devotional and Seeking a Silent Night: Unwrapping a Stepfamily Christmas. Her most recent project is Stepfamilies of the Bible: Timeless Teachings for Today’s Family. Laura has spoken at numerous events including: The Billy Graham Training Center, Lifeway, MomLife Today, Hearts at Home, FamilyLife Blended, MOPS, and Iron Sharpens Iron conferences. Laura is a featured expert on the DivorceCare DVD series, which has equipped more than 16,000 churches worldwide. She and her husband of 35 years, Steve, reside in Atlanta. She has 2 married stepsons, and 2 grandchildren. Laura and I had an excellent and enjoyable conversation all about the complexities of blended families and how support systems and grace are needed in order to make them work. Below are some of the highlights of what she shared during our interview. After growing up in a blended family and being part of a blended family as an adult, "God just told me to teach others what I had learned and to try to encourage them." Her #1 plea to the church is to understand that the materials for a first-time marriage will NOT work for someone going into a remarriage. (She makes a wonderful analogy about this; listen for it!) Stepmoms NEED a strong and consistent support system. The #1 complaint she hears in blended families: "My spouse won't discipline their kids." People are often shocked at how complicated blended family life is. Parents often parent out of guilt, grief, etc., especially after a divorce. "You cannot parent more than the parent, and you should not try to."  There are perks to blended family life; just keep your eyes open for them. A question she often asks future stepmothers is, "Are you sure this is the life you want?" "Being a stepmom taught me more about how to love like Jesus--sacrificially--than any other experience in my life." "A chosen love is harder than a natural love." A common prayer for stepmothers is, "Lord, show me how to love unconditionally." Resources: Email: Website: Books, recommendations, etc:
June 01, 2021
S2-E13: "Self-forgiveness and Vacation with the Was-band" with Bobbi Brooks Wilcox
Bobbi Brooks Wilcox is the founder of Blended Families United, a published author, spiritual counselor, ordained minister, and a blended family coach. She assists blended family clients virtually online to improve their communication with one another, build trust, and strengthening their relationships so they can thrive and not just survive. Bobbi's book, RECONCILED, is about her search for peace after a painful divorce where she came across a university that taught Spiritual Psychology that brought her healing, transformation, and a Spiritual Awakening. As Bobbi applied the spiritual practices, skills, and principles she'd learned at the university in her life, she began mending her broken relationships with her adult children and her was-band where they reconciled and became friends which ventured into a blended family vacation together with their two families. She wrote her book to inspire others that blended families can be united and work together. After studying Spiritual Psychology for two years at the University of Santa Monica (USM), Bobbi started her own business teaching listening and communication skills through workshops traveling to different states. She became certified as a Christian Conflict Coach and Mediator and a certified Clinical Hypnotherapist to help deepen her work with her clients. Her passion for helping divorced parents as a DivorceCare ministry leader through her church then led her to teaching The Smart Stepfamily by Ron Deal small groups at her church. Knowing that God clearly called her to help blended family's, Bobbi started her own business, Blended Families United, where she continues to grow spiritually and expand her expertise in working with blended families. Bobbi currently speaks on various podcasts, FaceBook groups, and on YouTube. She has had the blessed privilege to officiate one of her client's marriage with their blended family. Bobbi also has a blended family of her own. She and her husband, Geoff, and their thirteen year old son live in Colorado Springs, Colorado. Bobbi is also the mother of two adult children from her first marriage and a grandmother to four wonderful grandchildren who all live in Las Vegas, Nevada where she visits them as often as she can. "Communication is key--specifically, learning to listen is crucial to moving forward." "Forgiveness and being able to talk about/with an ex from a place of love instead of a place of pain and bitterness...was an opportunity to start to heal." "Do the inner work of dealing with pain and guilt." "We understand the importance of getting along well, especially for our kids, even though they're grown." "Discernment and reflection is key, so we can invite God to help us begin to heal." Links Websites: and Resources:
May 25, 2021
S2-E12: "Understanding the Complexity of Blended Family Finances" with Adam Kol
Adam Kol, known as The Couples Financial Coach, helps couples go from financial overwhelm or avoidance to clarity, teamwork, and peace of mind. He also hosts the Couples Financial Coach Podcast. Adam is a Certified Mediator with experience as both a Tax Attorney and Financial Advisor. He received his law degree from Duke and a Master's in Tax Law from NYU. Adam is also an experienced social justice advocate and lifelong musician - you can find his Personal Finance Parodies on YouTube, LinkedIn, Facebook, and Instagram!   In this episode, Adam tells us about how many couples make common mistakes such as trying to go straight to the numbers rather than looking at them in the context of goals.  Money is one of the leading causes of divorce, especially in blended families. "You want to create a sense of trust and safety when talking about money." "The number one blended family financial mistake is trying to figure out everything all at once--instead pick one topic/priority and get clarity on that first." "When having these conversations, start with a common point of wanting what is best for the kids." Begin a money talk by sharing your experiences with money: what did you like/dislike? habits? etc. Then get clear on your financial situation. Finally, look at your financial goals and how to prioritize them. Links: Website: Free Diagnostic Quiz:
May 18, 2021
S2-E11: "Family Meetings and Why You Should Care What Your Kids Think" with Anna Seewald
Anna Seewald, M.Ed is a Parent Educator, Keynote Speaker, Author and Host of The Authentic Parenting Podcast. With a background in psychology and education, and having worked with children for 18 years, today Anna helps conscious moms and dads to become calm and connected to themselves and their children through trauma-informed education. She believes in helping children by helping parents. She has a private practice that specializes in parent education, where she provides one-on-one parent coaching, parenting, court-ordered, and co-parenting classes. Anna shared some extremely important information from her experience of helping parents who are divorcing or are divorced, and from helping people who are going through custody battles and/or are already in blended families. To her, the biggest challenges in blended families are communication and discipline. "If Scott and Stephanie can learn to co-parent, then I have hope that I can help ANY parents!" "Use your energy for healing as opposed to fighting and trying to punish each other. Shift your energy and things will shift." Anna ends her sessions by challenging each co-parenting partner: "Can you say 5 positive things that you admire about your coparenting partners?"  "Seeing the humanness in the other person...Have compassion and understanding for the pain of the other person." Resources and Links: Melissa Brown - Blended Family Podcast: Dr. Elizabeth Cohen - The Divorce Doctor: How to Stop Yelling -
May 11, 2021
S2-E10: "Unintentional Messages and Learning to Build Slowly" with Heidi Farrell
Heidi Farrell is a stepmom and mom of five, whose ages range from 22 down to 4 years old.  She and her husband have seen the full range of child development in their house...often all at once!  Heidi loves connecting with moms and stepmoms by coaching and encouraging them on their journey.  She writes about her experiences and provides practical strategies for stepmoms, and you can find her eBook about the joys and complications of adding an 'ours' baby on her website  Heidi and her husband have a full house and a full range of stepfamily experiences! As she shares during our interview, these experiences have taught her family some difficult but life-giving lessons, and so we're excited to share those same lessons with you.  "Find ways to build them up...and build a bridge..." "Sometimes we forget to laugh...and appreciate those silly, goofy moments during the day." "Those traits needed to be refined." "No matter how hard you work, sometimes your efforts are not well-received..." "Don't respond to absurdity..." "What do we want to have festering or blossoming in our hearts?" "When looking for help, find who resonates with you and continue to learn from them." Recommended Resources: Website: "How to Survive the Eyeroll Stage" (blog post) 'How to Add An Ours Baby' (ebook) Laura Pretherbridge: Ron Deal Connect with Heidi on social media: Facebook: Instagram:
May 04, 2021
S2-E9: "Accepting Your Baggage and Knowing Your Triggers to Build A Better Blended Family" with Terrie Vanover
Terrie is a Divorce and Relationship Strategist. Her dynamic, vibrant, inspirational talks for both men and women motivate and educate audiences. Terrie-who is divorced- has overcome abandonment, poverty, and childhood sexual abuse. She uses the trials and her triumphs in her coaching practice, Choosing to Rise. Terrie coaches men and women to overcome their setbacks, create healthy relationships, and find happiness and peace of mind. She is the co-author of two women's empowerment books. Terrie and I had an amazing conversation about the importance of both personal responsibility and grace in overcoming challenges and setbacks in the life of blended families. Terrie brought lots of issues from childhood into her adulthood and marriage, and she made the conscious decision to accept her circumstances in order to heal and become the best version of herself. "Know your own triggers!" "You have to see what baggage you are bringing into the situation and how they affect you." "Life presents you with people and circumstances that will show you where you still need to heal." "The biggest challenge is differences in parenting." Learn the difference between a request and a complaint when thinking of blended family communication. "How you show up in your blended family helps shape how others show up as well. "On the other side of pain is peace, and on the other side of fear is freedom." "You can't solve internal problems with external solutions."  Resources:  FB Group for stepmoms: Also look for Men Rise Above Divorce and Women Rise Above Divorce Facebook groups Website: Tunisica O., The Empowered Stepmother StepMonster
April 27, 2021
S2-E8: "Caregivers, Surge Protectors, and Different Types of Blended Families" with Brock Sellers
Brock Sellers, LICSW, PIP, is an Alabama native with strong roots in the social work field. He obtained both his BSW and MSW from the University of Alabama and is now beginning his 19th year of working in the field of child welfare. Brock serves as APAC’s Training Coordinator where he implements statewide training, webinars, online training, and live conferences with leading experts in the field of foster care and adoption for the benefit of Alabama’s clinical professionals. Brock is also the co-founder of Innate Health Solutions, where he works in the private sector as an consultant and trainer, working with individuals, families, and various service agencies to achieve overall healthier functioning. He is a nationally recognized TAC trainer, the newly accredited Training for Adoption Competency, and he’s facilitated training at conferences locally and internationally. He lives in Hoover, AL, with his beautiful wife and his very active boys, ages 10 and 8. Brock was kind enough to be part of my 10CBF Online Conference back in the summer of 2020, and he was also generous with his time and wisdom in this interview! He and I talked about his experiences in a blended family as well as his professional work which has seen him help many families throughout Alabama and the world.  "Every family is multicultural because of the varying backgrounds of its members."  "You can't take the dye out of the water." "Choose to believe the can't choose it if you don't see it as an option." Links Private Sector work:  APAC Training website:  LinkedIn: 7 Core Issues in Adoption and Permanency by Roszia and Maxon: The Relationship Handbook by George Pransky: Children's Aid: Children's Aid Training and Resources: APAC Online Training:
April 20, 2021
S2-E7: "Forced Family Fun and G.A.S. in a Blended Family" with Scott and Mindee Hardin
Scott & Mindee have been together for ten years this month, married for six and a half. Scott is a Software Engineer at Intel for twenty-five years and Mindee is a twenty-year entrepreneur (Inventor of the popular children's product Boogie Wipes). Scott brought two girls and a boy to the marriage, while Mindee brought two boys and a girl - very Brady. The kids are currently 18, 17, 15, 15, 13, 12. They rely on Jesus, Coffee, Exercise and the Sunday afternoon NapFold...which you will have to ask them about! Our Blended Family Ministry is called Merge, we run it through @B4 Church in Beaverton, Oregon In this episode, Scott and Mindee share their 'Brady bunch' story and how it has helped them encourage and minister to other blended families, especially in their church in Oregon.  "The chief cause of failure and unhappiness is trading what you want most for what you want at the moment." - Mindee's dad "Focus on creating opportunities for cooperation and working together to create friendship and fellowship." Resources: "Who's Who In the Family Zoo?" by Gary Smalley Ron Deal 'Courageous Parenting Podcast' 'Truth, Love, Parent' The Smart Stepmom - Laura Petherbridge Joyful Christian Stepmom - Facebook group 'Through the Word' (also available as an app in most app stores Facebook and Instagram: @scottandmindee @mindeemama @scotthardin11
April 13, 2021
S2-E6: "What I Learned from Three Decades of Stepparenting" with Claudette Chenevert, "The Stepmom Coach"
Claudette Chenevert, AKA “The Stepmom Coach” works with stepmoms who are striving to create a cohesive family life. She holds a BIS in Psychology of Communication from George Mason University, focusing on stepfamily dynamics and is Certified Coach with Results Coaching System, a neuroscience based program. Claudette helps stepmoms build and create strong and healthy stepfamilies by helping stepmoms focus on what they want as a woman, a partner and a parent. She has over 30 years of experience as a stepmom and 37 years as a mother. She understands what it’s like to be in your shoes and teaches the best strategies to make life as a stepmom more harmonious. Claudette offers online support, self-study programs, and one-on-one coaching. She is also an author and writer for Stepmom Magazine as well as the producer and host of The Stepfamily Summit 2021. In this episode, Claudette shares the wisdom and lessons she has learned in over three decades of being a stepmom and working with other stepmoms.  "Understanding the power of listening and asking insightful questions is part of creating a cohesive family." "Creating a blended family can be a lot like merging two businesses, hopefully bringing in the best parts of both and creating a third thing together." "Parents need to keep contact with the kids and keep the communication open as much as possible." "Structure and consistency are key for kids." "People are often afraid to ask for help because they don't want to be seen as weak." Website Facebook: Twitter: Instagram: Resources: Stepmom Magazine - The Stepmom's Book of Boundaries  by Claudette Chenevert The Essential Stepmom Podcast Stepfamily Summit 2021 Stepmom Coaching Community: The Structure of Belonging by Peter Block
April 06, 2021
S2-E5: "A Different Kind of Blend...and what NOT to do" with Bob Brumm
Bob Brumm is a professional award-winning Speaker, Author & Encouragement Engineer serving corporate, collegiate, sales, youth organizations and individuals with encouraging keynotes or workshop presentations. Bob guides audiences to achieve personal and professional growth with positive encouragement and action plans that combat the negativity that inundates our daily lives. Bob is a top selling author of eight books and has been a guest on internationally recognized media outlets regarding his encouraging positive perspective, action-oriented strategies. Bob also created his own podcast, “Encouragement Engineering” to reach out to listeners to combat the negativity that inundates our daily lives with a positive perspective and positive actions. With his diverse professional background in Accounting, Business, 25 years in the IT/Telecommunications and as a husband and father of three boys, Bob can relate to many audiences through his personal and professional struggles and successes. Bob has presented positive, encouraging messages for many organizations and as a direct result, has been recognized for encouraging work efforts that have led to both time and money savings for many groups. For more information on Bob’s books and other information or to schedule Bob for your next event, go to to see how he can help you or your organization. Bob is based in St. Petersburg, Florida. In this episode, Bob and I discussed his experience as a "red-headed stepchild" (his words!) and what it was like to grow up in a blended family that was not always easy. He shared the lessons that he learned as well as how being in that type of family helped him become who he is today. "Be willing to learn and accept each others' differences and grow from them." "Just be decent to each other." "What can we learn from the past that will help me and encourage me in the future?" Links: Website –  LinkedIn -  Facebook -  Podcast – Instagram - Zig Ziglar -
March 30, 2021
S2-E4: "Baggage, Brokenness, and the Process of Becoming a Family" with Kristie Carpenter
Women’s author, speaker and mentor Kristie Carpenter, aka The Blended Family Mom, has been a blended family/step mom since 2004. Her blended family currently includes four children and four grandchildren. Her books The Blended Family Mom and Blended Mom Moments are both available on her website at  In this episode, Kristie and I discussed her journey from wife to widow to stepmother/stepgrandmother in under a decade and the many lessons she has learned along the way.  "Your mindset going into marriage will make or break it." "Be consistent every day." "In your blended family, your priority is your spouse." "As a stepparent, you have to keep trying different things." Links: Facebook: Twitter: Instagram: Resources: Ron Deal Dr. Gary Chapman: Laura Pretherbridge Kingdom Marriage by Tony Evans Marriage365 
March 23, 2021
S2-E3: "Stressful Conversations Don't Have To Suck" with Ali Wilks
Stepfamilies have to contend with extra stressors, deeper and more complex layers that just do not apply to first-time families. Ali is well versed in the challenges that stepmoms and stepcouples face in 'blending' together. Ali Wilks MSc is a certified successful stepfamily strategist and couples coach. Driven by her own feelings of doubt and insecurity, she turned her passion to help into her purpose and created the Successful Stepmom Retreats and Successful Stepcouple Retreats. She is also the owner and developer of The Soulful Stepmom where she shares her soulful insights, embraces her otherworldly gifts, and teaches about her heart-earned lessons that came as a result of her stepmom struggles. She can be found on the usual social media platforms as well as, Stepparent Magazine as their Wellness Editor, and on the groundbreaking Stepmomz App. On top of it all, Ali offers transformational coaching programs to stepmoms and stepcouples because she believes stepfamily stress can be turned into stepfamily success and stepcoupples can be an unstoppabble team. As the bio mom of two smart and sassy daughters, the wife to her husband of 13 years, and the stepmom to three awesome adult stepkids and two adorable grandkids, she is well on her way to having the groove in her stepmom game. FINALLY. She’s been featured in DivorceForce, Divorce Magazine, YourTango. StepMom Magazine, coParenter app and of course, Stepparent Magazine. She is a recent add to International Bestselling Authors on Amazon for her contribution to the Book BluTalks Series 2. Ali brought some amazing wisdom and insights to our interview, so be sure to check it out! "Start your day with 'How can I make your day better?'" "Communication is one of the pivotal aspects of having a successful relationship." "Have a plan for conflict. Know your triggers to avoid, and be willing to ask what others need so you can support them in the midst of conflict." "Myth to bust: don't go to bed angry." "You can be right, or you can stay connected." "Gratitude is transformational." Email: Facebook: Instagram: Twitter: Links: Stepcoupling by Susan Wisdom and Jennifer Green Adversaries Into Allies by Bob Burg Stepparenting Magazine The Gottman Institute (information on relationships, especially conflict resolution):
March 16, 2021
S2-E2: "Consistency In Co-Parenting IS Possible? Really?" with Melissa Brown
Melissa Brown, is an entrepreneur who runs several businesses. For over 14 years she has run a successful cleaning company along with her husband. They also have a business in the finance industry, where they train and develop financial advisors, as well as educate people about how money works, so that they can achieve true financial freedom. Additionally, she hosts the Blended Family Podcast, a weekly show about the many challenges and struggles today's blended families face. Having a blended family of her own for well over 10 years, she is now using her experiences to help others.  She lives with her husband, their four children, her mother in law, and two English bulldogs in the state of Florida. In this episode, Melissa and I discuss her blended family story, what she's learned from over a decade of experience in a blended family, and how one of her many goals is to encourage and inspire other families as well. Melissa was kind enough to have me on her show some time ago (, and I am thankful that she was kind enough to return the favor and come on 10CBF! We had an excellent time, and I hope that you enjoy our interview as well! "Take it easy with the kids because they develop feelings quickly." "Become a master at shifting your perspective...consider what the other person might be feeling." **Melissa also offers free blended family financial coaching, so be sure to contact her about it today!** Website: Facebook: Facebook Group: Twitter: Itunes: Newsletter:  Instagram:
March 09, 2021
S2-E1: "What On Earth Are NACHO Kids?!" with Lori and David Sims
Blended family coaching team, Lori and David Sims are the creators of the Nacho Kids® method and the Nacho Kids Academy. After Lori and David found a way to come back from the brink of divorce and better their blend, they had to share it with the world! As a team, they bring both the male and female perspective to blended family issues. Their mission is to reduce the percentage of failed blended families by empowering stepparents with tools to save their relationship and their sanity by effectively using the Nacho Kids method. Their Nacho Kids method has been a blended family lifesaver for thousands of stepfamilies around the world!  In this interview, Lori and David share with us their story of the origins of the Nacho Kids concept and the Nacho Kids Academy. They tell some of their struggles (including coming back from the very brink of divorce and also Lori's never-ending patience with David's "button-pushing" habits) as well as how they overcame then using the Nacho method. They also share some heartwarming stories of encouragement and inspiration from their blended family. Finally, we laughed a TON while recording this interview! If you're in a blended family and you're looking to laugh and learn, then this interview is an absolute must-listen! "We can create our own happiness, or we can create our own misery, and I'm creating my own misery..." "Relieve the stress first, then take steps to move forward and create better relationships." "The goals: identifying triggers, relieving stress, and creating a better blended family through the Nacho Kids method..." "Let the child lead the re-engagement relationship." "Do things with the kids that they enjoy, and build each other up to the kids." "Don't ever do anything once in your life that you wouldn't be willing to do for the rest of your life." Website: and Facebook: Instagram: Podcast: Contact: Links mentioned in the episode: Family Life Blended (Ron Deal, author of The Smart Stepfamily): Laura Pretherbridge, author of The Smart Stepmom (with Ron Deal):
March 02, 2021
S1-E16 (Bonus Episode) 'Eucatastrophe and the Gospel'
This episode is different because it is actually a talk that I gave at my high school for our Midweek (chapel) program recently. In this episode you'll hear an explanation of what 'eucatastrophe' is as well as a few stories that illustrate the concept. Finally you'll hear how the Gospel is the great eucatastrophe of history as well as some encouragement from the book of Romans. I hope that you enjoy it and find it both challenging and encouraging! I also hope that you will reflect on your own life's journey and seek to recognize the eucatastrophic moments in which your story went in an unexpected and positive direction.  Also be on the lookout for the beginning of next season as we'll have another amazing lineup of guest experts who are going to share wisdom, humor, and insight into how you can help your blended family!
February 07, 2021
S1-E15 "Doing the Hard Tasks and Parental Influence in Blended Families" with Judy Graybill
Judy Graybill is a Relationship Healer, Certified Stepfamily Coach, and Executive Director of her company, Sensible Steps. Her formal degrees are in Psychology and Sociology, and she has earned her certification as a Stepfamily Coach from The Stepfamily Foundation. For nearly 12 years, Judy has been a guest speaker on tele-summits, radio shows, and podcasts like 'Reclaim Your Life After Divorce', 'Constructive Uncoupling', and 'The Father Show' With Mike Thompson; as well as having been quoted in periodicals, including alongside Drs. Patricia Papernow and Richard A. Warshak at  In this interview, Judy discussed a number of different ways to improve your blended family dynamics, starting with doing the hard work necessary to make your family function in a more cooperative way. We discussed how both stepparents and bio-parents can have a positive influence on the family and why both are necessary to help a blended family reach its potential. Finally, she shares why it's important to seek out resources that speak to your unique family situation and dynamics. Enjoy the conversation and help your family grow! "Find what the bio-parent doesn't want to do, and be willing to do that." "Choose to believe the best--this is one of the hardest things for ex-spouses to do because they're worried the other parent is going to screw up their kid." "Focus on being a more positive influence; kids know and form their own opinions." "Understand what is unique about your stepfamily and find resources that speak to those aspects of your family." Connect with Judy: Resources:
January 19, 2021
S1-E14 "Knowing Our Roles and Growing Through Conflict" with Dr. Brittne Murray
Dr. Brittne Murray is a  licensed Professional Counselor trained in clinical psychology with over 20 years experience in the field. She received her PhD in Transpersonal Psychology at Sofia University (formerly The Institute of Transpersonal Psychology) in Palo Alto, California, and her postdoctoral education at Liberty University in Lynchburg, Virginia. She was also trained and received a fellowship degree at Tulane University in Early Infant Mental Heath. She began her therapeutic journey in Denver, Colorado, working in a residential facility and as a therapeutic case manager. She later moved to Lake Charles, Louisiana, where she held several roles such as Clinical Director of the Children’s Advocacy Center, EarlySteps interventionist, and clinical counselor treating children, teens, adults, and couples.  Dr. Murray began her private practice in 2010, consistently working with divorced families,  struggling with coparenting and stepparent integration in both Louisiana and Texas, while working with Tulane University,  behaviorally assessing children in daycare settings. In 2018, she returned to Colorado and began a new practice,  mainly focused on using EMDR to assist individuals in working through current and past traumas.  However, she was always felt a call back to the families.  In this desire, Dr. Murray created a  new organization called Be Better Step-parenting, where she offers a 5-week online course for those attempting to navigate the step-parent waters.  She hopes to educate and bring improved support to the marital couple,  so that they can avoid the high statistical probability of divorce, and help the child(ren) avoid another break in their family system. Dr. Brittne Murray's next blended family course begins February 2! "Conflict is where we grow...conflict isn't aggression." "The only way out is through." - Jung "We need to know our roles and be clear about them." "To teach our kids respect, we need to model that and show them what it looks like." "Consistency is a big struggle for blended families." Connect with Dr. Brittne Murray: Resources:
January 12, 2021
S1-E13 "Trust Issues and the Danger of 'Marrying the Outcome 'in Blended Families" with Jay and Esther Hutchinson
Jay and Esther Hutchinson are an amazing multicultural blended family that resides in Florida, and they have been married for eight years. Together, they are the parents of six boys and one girl ranging in age from 5 to 20. In addition to being part of a blended family, Jay and Esther also enjoy the challenges and rewards of being part of a multi-cultural family. Esther is originally from Haiti, and Jay hails from the state of Ohio. Esther and Jay have a heart for marriage and family. One of the missions of their website and YouTube channel, This Big House (, is to encourage families and individuals of all ages and cultures to love one another by offering practical, real-life tactics to help navigate through the maze of married and blended family life. In this episode, Jay and Esther Hutchinson discuss their (unrealistic) expectations going into their blended family and how those changed as they moved forward. They share some of their struggles and some of their favorite blended family moments and memories, as well as some amusing stories about why people look at their family funny when they go out. Finally, they share the wisdom they've learned from having a large, complex, multicultural family and how important it is to stick together through the difficulty if you want to see the joy on the other side. "I married the outcome before I started the journey..." - Esther Hutchinson on the expectations she had going into marriage with Jay "Get educated on blended families--it's different than in a traditional family." Connect with Jay and Esther: Resources:
January 05, 2021
S1-E12: "Acknowledging and Overcoming the Struggle" with Laura Gertz Hernandez
Laura Gertz Hernandez and her husband have ten (yes, TEN) children, a combination of biological and foster children. Laura is a homeschool mom to her biological children, and all four of their foster children have special needs. Laura is also the creator of, a website designed to help busy moms bring peace to their homes through putting systems into place that create calm out of chaos. Her website offers online courses, coaching, and a lot of free resources including articles, blog posts, and more. In this episode, Laura is extremely vulnerable and shares some of the difficulties and struggles that their family has faced, and she also shares how her family has tried to address and overcome the struggles that they have faced. She says, "Gratitude is the key to being able to love on kids when it's hard," and "That's been our journey: learning that it's just different, and that's ok." Her big tip to help anyone who is struggling is to have great community around you: make friends who either know the same struggles or can help you through yours, who will encourage you and challenge you, and who you can also help and encourage. No matter what kind of blended family you're in, this interview will help you understand that the difficulties you face are not insurmountable, and that if your blended family is different than others, or different that you expected, that's ok too. Find out more about Laura and her work at:
December 29, 2020
S1-E11 "Drama and Tragedy of Parental Alienation" with Tracy Poizner
Tracy Poizner is a certified life coach who leveraged 20 years of professional training and expertise in alternative healthcare to help herself and her family find their way through the wilderness of stepfamily life. She says her dream job is helping other stepmoms find their way to the light at the end of the tunnel so they can feel useful and appreciated in family life, grounded and confident in their personal life. She’s living the dream from her home in small-town Canada where she produces The Essential Stepmom Podcast, heard in 64 countries around the world. In her spare time, she helps the dads of the family learn to parent from a place of leadership so they can make the impact they truly want in the lives of their kids. Tracy and I had an excellent conversation in this episode, discussing some of the causes and effects of parental alienation and how blended families can help cope and overcome it. She talked about her personal experiences as well as her professional work with other blended families, and I strongly encourage you to also check out her podcast called The Essential Stepmom. You can find her at: Email: Free gift: Resources: Nacho Kids Academy:
December 22, 2020
S1- E10 "New Traditions and Reverse Engineering in A Blended Family" with Monica Tanner
"I'm Monica Tanner, married to my best friend, boss mom to 4 small humans, weekly podcaster at On the Brighter Side of Marriage and relationship and intimacy expert. I get it, entrepreneurship and marriage are HARD...they both take work. There are lots of ups and downs and sometimes it all just feels like TOO MUCH. But can I let you in on a little secret? It's easier than you might may just need some simple, time-saving, life-saving skills and strategies. That's where I come in... I firmly believe that there are no two people on planet earth who love each other more than me and my husband and I would love to help you believe that about your own marriage as well. I help Passionate Female Entrepreneurs prioritize their marriage while crushing their business goals. My goal is to help you embrace your unique femininity and gain courage, confidence, communication and connection skills enabling you to create a marriage that supports your business and a business that supports your marriage.  I'm here to help!" Monica is an amazing guest, and in this episode we discussed the importance of purposefully creating new traditions to help your family blend, and we also talked about how to reverse engineer your family to help it become what you want it to be. She shares her story as well as stories from her work as a relationship expert, and she dropped some amazing bits of wisdom in our episode. Check them out, along with links to her work, below: "Don't take the little things for granted because they make up the fabric of your life." "Remember that your kids are always watching you." "You can always control how you choose to experience a situation." "Life is not about waiting for the storm to pass, it's about learning to dance in the rain." Curiousity + vulnerability = creativity Website: Instagram: Freebie: 5 Things I Do Everyday to Keep My Marriage Sizzling Hot -
December 15, 2020
S1-E9 "Secrets and Boundaries in Blended Families" with Michelle Perry
As a bi-racial woman growing up without a father, Michelle Perry struggled with identity and self-worth issues. Poor choices led her down a path leading to academic failure and a lack of purpose. Until January 2, 1992, when one experience changed her life forever, propelling her into purpose and service to others. Michelle established herself as a subject matter expert over the course of her career as a clinical social worker that spanned over 20 years. She then transitioned into the corporate world where her leadership and coaching skills were refined, producing results in all that she works with. As an Empowerment Coach, podcast host, speaker, and online course creator, Michelle contributes to the journey of others by supporting them to see results and experience an increase in confidence and momentum in their lives. Michelle is an absolutely amazing woman with a powerful story, and in this episode we discussed how one of the biggest issues facing blended families is the keeping of secrets. We also discussed the importance of how to pay attention to non-verbal clues in addition to the actual words being said.  Her favorite blended family resources included the Bible and some goofball named Hawbaker. Michelle and her work can be found at all the following links: Newsletter signup landing page Website: School: Podcast: Facebook: Instagram: If you would like to be a guest on the Successful Diligence™ Podcast, work with Michelle or book her to peak, you can Schedule a meeting with me
December 08, 2020
S1-E8: "Stranded Strangers and Trapped Teammates" with Mike and Kim Anderson
Mike & Kim Anderson have been coaching and supporting step-couples for almost two decades and they host a weekly podcast called The Blended Family Coaching Show.  Mike grew up in challenging stepfamily dynamics and when Mike & Kim were married in 2001 — they formed their own stepfamily.  Mike and Kim have experienced the joys of 'blending' as well as deep valleys of pain and struggle.  They are passionate about helping step-couples to experience breakthroughs, overcome challenges and thrive in their unique blended family dynamics.  They reside in the Pacific Northwest and are grateful for their three beautiful children, Annika (25), Phoebe (17) and Jacob (16). In this episode, Mike and Kim discuss what it's like to address and overcome a variety of blended family challenges by "connecting through conflict" and working with each other instead of against each other, even when it's difficult. They suggest an exercise designed to help you clarify and begin creating the type of family that you want by focusing on the values you want to teach your children. And they encourage listeners to go and learn as much as they can about blended family life, the challenges you'll face, and how to have realistic expectations for your family. Find out more about Mike and Kim and their work at: They also strongly recommend the following book by Dr. Patricia Papernow: 'Surviving and Thriving in Stepfamily Relationships: What Works and What Doesn't'. You can find it below:
December 01, 2020
S1-E7 "Complexity and Resiliency" with Dr. Lisa Pion-Berlin
Dr. Pion-Berlin is a passionate and compassionate leader and expert in resiliency, shared leadership®, family strengthening and prevention with more 38 years of research, advocacy and program implementation focusing on Evidence-Based Services and Initiatives. Fondly called Dr. Lisa, she is also an experienced clinician and Clinical Hypnotherapist working with Parents, Adults and Children of all ages to address their underlying emotional issues, change behaviors and reduce anxiety, fear and loss just to name a few. She has a Ph.D. in Social Work from Ohio State University, Masters in Social Work & Masters in Public Administration from University of Denver, and Bachelors of Science in Psychology from Georgetown University. Dr. Lisa believes Asking for Help is a Sign of Strength® and she envisions a just society where all Parents, Children & Youth thrive in resilient families and communities. She is also the President and CEO of Parents Anonymous, Inc. "Your first reaction is usually an emotional over- or under-reaction. Take a breath." On our show, Dr. Lisa shares a number of strategies designed to help the adults in blended families take care of themselves so that they can take care of others. She says each day it's important to laugh out loud, smile, and meditate, and she also talks about how important it is to ask for help and continue asking until you get the help you need. She also discusses how crucial it is to acknowledge our children's feelings and then helping and encouraging them in solving problems.  Find out more about Dr. Lisa and her work at: You can also get help by calling the National Parent Helpline at 1-855-427-2736
November 24, 2020
S1-E6: "Healing from Pain and Helping Dads in Blended Families" with Dr. Michelle Watson Canfield
Michelle Watson Canfield, PhD, LPC, is a national speaker, author, professional counselor of 24 years, and founder of The Abba Project, a nine-month group forum for dads whose daughters are in their teens and twenties...and she's straight-up awesome!!! She writes guest articles for various online and print journals and magazines, hosts her own radio show/podcast called The Dad Whisperer, and she and her husband Dr. Ken Canfield are soon going to re-launch the Father-Daughter Summit and a Let's Talk curriculum for dads of daughters. We had such a great time chatting today about blended families and her work with dads of daughters. Recently married for the first time, she just realized that she is part of a blended family tribe of twenty-four (24!!)! Michelle shared with us wisdom from her family and from her work, and she gave us numerous immediately practical strategies for helping build better relationships between dads and daughters. We discussed a variety of books and resources that she recommends (links below!), we shared some laughs, and she even graced us with a song at the end (in addition to everything else, she has a great voice and has been a worship leader for years). Michelle has written two books that are specifically aimed at helping improve communication and connectedness between fathers and daughters, and they're both going on my Christmas list! Below are some of the quotes from the episodes as well as links to her work and to the various resources that were mentioned during the interview. Be sure to connect with her, reach out to her, and go get a copy of her books! Contact Information: Email: Office Phone: 503.244.6160 Website: Podcast: The Dad Whisperer Facebook: Instagram: michellejwatson Twitter: @mwatsonphd Let's Talk: Conversation Starters for Dads and Daughters Dad, Here's What I Really Need From You: A Guide for Connecting With Your Daughter's Heart Other Resources: Love and Respect by Dr. Emerson Eggerichs Blessing of the Father ministry with Pastor Ed Tandy McGlassen
November 17, 2020
S1-E1 "The 10 Commandments for Blended Families" with Joel W. Hawbaker
Mae l'ovannen! Welcome to the 10CBF Community, and thanks for joining me for this inaugural episode of 10CBF: A Podcast for Blended Families! In this episode you'll learn about: 1) the 2 Pillars for Blended Families 2) the 5 Discussions Every Blended Family Needs to Have 3) the 10 Commandments of Blended Family Life Be sure to check out the blended family resources listed below and also come and connect with me on social media. If you'd like a free copy of my Complete Blended Family Toolkit, just email me at or send me a message on social media. Facebook:               Instagram: Twitter:                                     LinkedIn: Also, for more information about blended families and the work I do, please check out the following websites:
November 14, 2020
S1-E4: "Forgiveness and Minding Your Own Business" with Tuniscia O.
Tuniscia Okeke is a mom and stepmom, an international speaker, the author of 'The Empowered Stepmom', and just an all-around amazing human being. She shares today about her experiences with blended families, both personally and professionally. She tells us about the importance of forgiveness as well as the necessity of sometimes just minding our own business. She tells an amazing story about her family and its journey, and she shares some powerful nuggets of blended family wisdom. You can find her at, and you can find her book at You can also connect with her on social media at and at . Be sure to go and follow Tunisca to be both challenged and encouraged! As always, you can get a free copy of my Complete Blended Family Toolkit by emailing me at, and you can check out more of my blended family work at, at, and at Full bio for Tuniscia: Tuniscia Okeke is the CEO and Founder of Blending Our Love, Inc.™️, and Creator of The Forgiveness Lifestyle Movement. A global keynote speaker and transformational coach to executive women in Fortune 500 companies and business owners. She’s the author of a #1 Amazon bestseller Empowered Stepmother: Grow, Glow, and Thrive Harmoniously In Your Blended Family, and host of an international vlog “Tea with Tuniscia O,” where she interviews celebrities and influencers and shares secrets to success for keeping a positive mindset to accomplish goals amid all adversities. From speaking at Tony Robbins’ “Date with Destiny,” and “Unleash the Power Within” to speaking, training and coaching students in Paraguay, South America with John Maxwell in addition to training businesswomen in Nigeria on, “How to Build Wealth through Forgiveness,” her infectious personality and passion to motivate, inspire and empower mothers is her guiding light. One of her favorite interviews was with Pastor Sarah Jakes Roberts and Toure Roberts on how they successfully blended their family. Her passion and mission to empower billions of mothers around the globe to transform their pain into paychecks through healing and forgiveness which is what birthed the global talk tour, “A Time to Heal Motherhood.” Which was in three continents (Africa, North America and Europe) in 2019. As a result of the strategies, techniques and heartfelt work provided to empower mothers and stepmothers around the world, tens of thousands have had mindset shifts to go from suffering in silence to thriving harmoniously while owning their brilliance within their marriages, families (traditional and blended), and businesses. She’s an avid reader whose most creative thoughts occur while in “couch potato mode.” As a wife and mother of three children, two of whom are adults, Tuniscia’s most cherished moments are family time together at home or on vacation, a hot pepper eating contest, making up new funny songs or movie night. Spending quality time with her deliciously handsome husband is by far her favorite extracurricular activity. “When women come together, we can heal anything.” -Tuniscia Okeke
November 03, 2020
S1-E3 "Two Interviews for the Price of One" with Joel and Maryellyn Hawbaker
Mae lo'vannen! Welcome and well-met! In this episode, you're in for a treat because my wife joined me behind the microphone! She was kind enough to interview me (so we avoided a Gollum-like situation, with me conversing with myself), and then she really was gracious because she allowed me to interview her (she's a super-introvert, so I'm thrilled she agreed to do this; plus, she NAILED it)!  We share some of our experiences as bio-parent (me) and stepparent (her) and talked about some of our favorite memories as well as things we've struggled with, looking at differences even within the same household. I apologized for being presumptuous at one point (because I've never been a stepparent), and we also laughed a lot (which is pretty normal for us). This episode followed the pattern that most future episodes will follow in being an interview format, with questions and responses, along with follow-ups and general conversation about the topic at hand. Maryellyn shared some excellent wisdom about being a stepparent, and I am already excited about trying to get her to join me again on a future episode. I hope you enjoy listening to this one as much as we enjoyed recording it, and be sure to join us for the next episode where we'll begin doing interviews with other guest experts! Below you'll find links to some of the resources we mentioned as well as social media links if you want to connect with either of us.  Ron Deal and his ministry Gil and Brenda Stuart Tuniscia Okeke (The Empowered Stepmom) Sarah Pendleton Mike and Kim Anderson Jay and Esther Hutchinson If you'd like a free copy of my Complete Blended Family Toolkit, just email me at or send me a message on social media. Facebook:          Instagram:       Twitter:                                     LinkedIn: Also, for more information about blended families and the work I do, please check out the following websites:
November 01, 2020
S1-E2 "My Blended Family Story" with host Joel W. Hawbaker
Mae lo'vannen! Welcome and well-met! In this second episode of 10CBF: A Podcast for Blended Families, I take some time to share my blended family story, beginning with my parents' divorce when I was in middle school, through my first marriage, my divorce, and then my remarriage back in 2014. I share some insights and stories about what caused my mindset to shift, and I also share some of what I've learned about blended families. Thanks for joining me on this journey, and I hope that you are encouraged, challenged, and inspired by what you hear! If you'd like a free copy of my Complete Blended Family Toolkit, just email me at or send me a message on social media. Facebook:               Instagram: Twitter:                                     LinkedIn: Also, for more information about blended families and the work I do, please check out the following websites:
November 01, 2020
10CBF Preview Episode
Welcome to 10CBF: A Podcast for Blended Families! In this special preview episode, you'll learn a bit about your host Joel, as well as what the podcast structure will be like. You'll hear key words and phrases that will be used repeatedly throughout the show, and you'll also learn what you can expect from future episodes once they go live beginning on 11/1/2020. Thanks for joining the 10CBF community, and we hope you're ready to learn, laugh, and be encouraged about your blended family!
October 20, 2020