Guest Host Amber Leventry – Parenting Mistakes, Tips for Bedtime Routine and Celebrity Splits – Take it or Leave it Podcast Ep 38


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Amber Leventry of Family Rhetoric

Amber Leventry is a queer, nonbinary writer and advocate. They live in Vermont with their partner and three kids, one who is transgender. Their writing appears on The Next Family, Sammiches & Psych Meds, Babble, Ravishly, Longreads, and The Washington Post. They are a staff writer for Scary Mommy. They also run Family Rhetoric by Amber Leventry, a Facebook page devoted to advocating for LGBTQ families one story at a time. Follow them on Twitter and Instagram @amberleventry.

In Trending News – A psychologist shares the 7 biggest parenting mistakes that destroy kids’ confidence and self-esteem

Section Intro

Every parent wants their kids to feel good about themselves — and with good reason.

Studies have shown that confident kids experience benefits ranging from less anxiety and improved performance in school to increased resilience and healthier relationships.

Section Notes

1. Letting them escape responsibility

While you might think chores will weigh your kids down and add to their stress level, pitching in around the house will help them become more responsible citizens.

Doing age-appropriate duties helps them feel a sense of mastery and accomplishment. So whether you tell your child to help with the laundry or take the trash out, responsibilities are opportunities for kids to see themselves as capable and competent.

2. Preventing them from making mistakes

It’s tough to watch your child fail, get rejected or mess up on something. When this happens, so many parents rush in to save kids before they fall. But preventing them from making mistakes robs them of the opportunity to learn how to bounce back.

Whether your child forgets their cleats before a big soccer game or gets a few questions wrong on their math quiz, mistakes can be life’s greatest teacher. Each one is an opportunity for them to build the mental strength they need to do better next time.

3. Protecting them from their emotions

It’s tempting to cheer your kids up when they’re sad or calm them down when they’re angry. But how we react to our kids’ emotions has a big impact on the development of their emotional intelligence and self-esteem.

Help your kids identify what triggers their emotions and teach them how to self-regulate. Provide them with a framework that helps explain how they feel so they’ll have an easier time dealing with those emotions in a socially appropriate way in the future.

4. Condoning a victim mentality

Saying things like “we can’t afford new shoes like the other kids because we come from a poor background” reinforces to your child that most of life’s circumstances are out of their control.

Rather than allowing your kids to host pity parties or exaggerate their misfortunes, encourage them to take positive action (e.g., setting up a lemonade stand so they can save up to buy things they want or need). Kids who recognize their choices in life feel more confident in their ability to create a better future for themselves.

5. Being overprotective

Sure, keeping your child inside a protective bubble spares you a lot of anxiety. But keeping them insulated from challenges stunts their development.

View yourself as a guide, not a protector. Allow your kids to experience life, even when it’s scary to let go. You’ll give them the opportunity to gain confidence in their ability to deal with whatever life throws their way.

6. Expecting perfection

High expectations are healthy, but expecting too much has its consequences. When kids view expectations as too high, they might not even bother trying or they might feel as though they’ll never measure up.

Instead, give clear expectations for the long-term and set milestones along the way. For example, going to college is a long-term expectation, so help them create short-term goals along the way (e.g., getting good grades, doing their homework, reading).

7. Punishing, rather than disciplining

Kids need to learn that some actions lead to serious consequences. But there’s a big difference between discipline and punishment. Kids who are disciplined think, “I made a bad choice.” Kids who are punished think, “I’m a bad person.”

In other words, discipline gives your child confidence that they can make smarter, healthier choices in the future, while punishment makes them think they’re incapable of doing any better.

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Parenting Crap – 7 Tips to Get Your Kid Into a Solid Bedtime Routine by Murphy Moroney

Section Intro

With the go-go-go culture that comes with having kids, getting everyone into a consistent, functional bedtime routine can be especially challenging, especially with after-school activities, homework, and dinner. While it’s certainly true that children need a nighttime structure — particularly when school’s in full-swing! — it can be difficult to wrangle our kiddos at the same time each evening. Rather than leaving moms and dads to their own devices, we opted to tap the parenting community to see if they had any tips or tricks for getting little ones off to bed. Here’s what they suggest.

Section Notes

Ease into bedtime with books.

“I read books with my daughter in her room, and once she crawls into my lap, I know she’s ready to go into her crib. Then I just lay next to the crib until she falls asleep.” — Cynthia Puleo

Invest in a white noise machine.

“I have a nightly routine with my 3-year-old or he thinks it’s playtime! I give him a bath, put on his pjs, read him two books and then put on our sound machine which plays white noise. We’ve been using the same sounds since he was an infant. He’s the worlds lightest sleeper, so we need some buffer noise to watch TV without subtitles!” — Brooke Lipner

Time your children.

“Now with two kids in a room, it’s never easy. We have a general plan, which goes like this: going to the bathroom, washing their hands, putting on pajamas and their clothes in the hamper, brushing their teeth and drinking water, getting in bed, and reading stories. When things were really bad we even printed it out with pictures next to each item and they’d get a sticker for doing everything in order. I also started setting a timer and if they went over the allotted time, they wouldn’t get stories. It was highly motivating!” — Kate Schweitzer

Reinforce it’s bedtime and tell your kids you love them.

“When my kids were little we had a specific routine. They had a snack 30 minutes before bedtime and then we gave them a bath. Afterwards, they got into their pajamas, brushed their teeth, and were read a story. When it was lights out, I’d remind them to close their eyes — believe it or not they don’t understand that to sleep the eyes need to be closed! — and remind them that I love them and to have happy dreams. We’d also say, “no coming back out” unless they were sick or there was an emergency. None of this going in and out of their room business and delaying sleep!” — Sandy Rogers

Sign off with a little bit of face time from a parent.

“Books, snuggles, and a daily promise of one-on-one face time with my husband or me! We made it a joyful time rather than a power play, it’s a great time to talk to your kids and parent!” — Tracy Mattei

Consider incorporating music or a light show into your routine.

“Get into a bedtime routine ASAP. We started with bath time and read a few books before having the kids lay down with a monitor that played music and a light show on the ceiling.” — Melanie Feretich

Stick with the routine, regardless of how difficult it may be.

“Follow through and don’t give in! Be consistent. Even when they’re less than a year old they understand structure and anticipation of what comes next. Keep doing the same thing and they catch on fast.” — Emmanuel and Kathi Rodriguez

Grove Collaborative - Cleaning with a "Friend"

Grove Collaborative – Cleaning with a “Friend”

Do you Grove Collaborative? I do, and so does Tiffany...I mean Sharon ? Try Grove's new fall scents and when ...

In Love and Marriage – Celebrity Splits of 2019

Section Intro

Why do people care so much about celebrity divorce?

Section Notes

Zooey Deschanel and Jacob Pechenik

The former couple confirmed to Us Weekly on September 6 that they split after four years of marriage. “After much discussion and a long period of contemplation we have decided we are better off as friends, business partners and co-parents rather than life partners,” the statement read. “We remain committed to our business, our values and most of all our children. Thank you for respecting our privacy at this time.” Deschanel and Pechenik, who wed in 2015, share a daughter, Elsie, and son, Charlie.

Rachael Harris and Christian Hebel

The Lucifer star filed for divorce from her husband of four years on August 21.

Larry and Shawn King

Us Weekly confirmed that the TV icon filed for divorce from his wife of 22 years in August 2019. The former couple, who wed in 1997, once separated and filed for divorce in 2010. However, they later reconciled. Shawn was Larry’s seventh wife. They share sons Chance and Cannon.

Mary Lynn Rajskub and Matthew Rolph

The 24 alum filed for divorce from her longtime love in August 2019. According to documents obtained by TMZ, their date of separation was listed as June 2019. The actress exchanged vows with the personal trainer at Las Vegas’ Planet Hollywood Resort & Casino in 2009. They welcomed their son, Valentine, in 2008.

Katie Holmes and Jamie Foxx

Us Weekly confirmed in August 2019 that the twosome called it quits after six years together. The breakup news came days after Foxx was spotted out with two different women in Los Angeles.

Miley Cyrus and Liam Hemsworth

Us Weekly confirmed on August 10 that the couple, who wed in December 2018, had called it quits. The pair dated on and off for 10 years after meeting on the set of The Last Song in 2009.

Antoni Porowski and Trace Lehnhoff

News of the Queer Eye star’s split from the Flipping Out alum broke on August 6, with a source telling Us Weekly that the relationship “ran its course.” The duo started dating in 2018 following Porowski’s split from Joey Krietemeyer.

Adrianne Palicki and Scott Grimes

The Orville actress filed for divorce from her costar on the Hulu comedy in July after two months of marriage, according to TMZ.

Teddy Geiger and Emily Hampshire

The singer-songwriter and the Schitt’s Creek star reportedly went their separate aways, having announced their engagement in December 2018. A source told The New York Post’s Page Six on June 10 that the couple is “over” and will not be getting back together.

Bradley Cooper and Irina Shayk

Us confirmed on June 6 that the A Star Is Born actor-director and the supermodel broke up after more than four years together. A source revealed that Shayk is “still staying” at Cooper’s house for the time being as they figure out splitting custody of their daughter, Lea.

Joey Fatone and Kelly Baldwin

After a period of separation, the ‘NSync alum filed for divorce from his wife of nearly 15 years on May 13. “I was, at one point, married, and now I am separated, going through a divorce,” he told Us Weekly at the Critics’ Choice Real TV Awards in June.

Adele and Simon Konecki

The Grammy winner and her husband of two years announced their split on April 19. “Adele and her partner have separated,” the songstress’ rep said in a statement to Us Weekly. “They are committed to raising their son together lovingly. As always they ask for privacy. There will be no further comment.” The pair share son Angelo, 6.



  1. Love you both. Thank you for just being real. So much fakery on social media and it leaves us feeling like shit people in comparison. Thank you for making my life and me as a mom feel better about myself. ??

  2. Absoulutly love both of you. You ladies get me though the bad days because I have Lupus and R.A. and am stuck in bed a lot. I have 5 kids and can relate to everything you guys talk about.


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