Dr Justin Coulson's Happy Families

Dr Justin Coulson's Happy Families

The Happy families podcast with Dr. Justin Coulson is designed for the time poor parent who just wants answers now. Every day Justin and his wife Kylie provide practical tips and a common sense approach to parenting that Mums and Dads all over the world are connecting with. Justin and Kylie have 6 daughters and they regularly share their experiences of managing a busy household filled with lots of challenges and plenty of happiness. For real and practicable advice from people who understand and appreciate the challenges of a time poor parent, listen to Justin and Kylie and help make your family happier.


June 13, 2024 12 mins

Kylie is away on a kid-free adventure with a friend...and loving it! Has Justin been surviving without her? Listen in to hear the challenges, the fun, and the lessons they are both experiencing during this extended time apart.

In this episode:

  • A girls week away
  • Friendships
  • Pressures of family life
  • Importance of stability and routine


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This Week In Parenting: why Australian parents are more open to smacking children than other countries, and how we can reduce peer pressure for kids and for parents by joining forces and creating community.

In this episode:

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Journalist and author Susie O'Brien chats with Justin about the current situation in schools regarding student behaviour and classroom management, with a recent senate inquiry suggesting that it's time to go back to basics and teach children how to behave at school.

In this episode:

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June 10, 2024 14 mins

Three-year-olds are exhausting! Energetic, emotionally reactive, and uninhibited—all the things that can make a parent begin to question if their child has ADHD! Today, Dr Justin looks at the developmentally normal behaviours of a three-year-old and shares four things they need in order to learn, grow, and thrive.

Plus, three tips for neurodivergent parents trying to hold it all together while navigating the chaos of family life a...

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June 9, 2024 12 mins

Are you overthinking family meals? Do you want a little more peace and a lot less chaos at the dinner table? How can a family dinner fit in amongst work commitments and extra-curricular activities? We take a look at the research behind what was once considered the norm - family dinners, and share some tips to ease the pressure.

In this episode: 

  • San Remo market research
  • Chaos of mealtimes
  • YOYO (You're On Your Own) night
  • ...
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June 6, 2024 12 mins

We know that giving children access to social media and devices is not in their best interests. Our children deserve—and need—a play-based childhood. Join the village today and “Unplug Childhood” with us!​ 

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In between homeschooling, 7 seasons of House, and a lot of travel, Justin and Kylie still managed to do some reading this month. Listen in to hear reviews of a classic children's book, a terrifying, heartbreaking YA novel, a disappointing flop filled with falsehoods, a warts and all memoir, and a contender for book of the year!

    Kylie's books:

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    Life can be really challenging for neurodivergent kids growing up in a world where they don't seem to fit in. Justin speaks with two authors about their fabulous books, and why representation in literature is so important for our children.

    Square Me, Round World by Chelsea Luker is a collection of short stories describing what life can feel like when you are a person growing up in a world not built for you and Wonderfully Wired by...

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    June 3, 2024 11 mins

    Screen struggles are something that every family is dealing with - and not just with the kids!  We share some small changes you can make to help you find a healthier and more balanced relationship with your phone.

    Does it feel like your child knows exactly which buttons to push to trigger you? News flash:  YOU are the only one that can choose how YOU respond! Learn how to increase your competence (and confidence!) in holding perso...

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    June 2, 2024 13 mins

    Dr Justin’s 3 E’s (explore, explain, and empower) are the pillars of autonomy-supportive parenting. But there are times when they just do not work (we are all only flawed humans after all!). Today's tips will help you calmly and confidently navigate through the heat of these challenging moments.

    In this episode:

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    May 30, 2024 13 mins

    Connecting with your teenager on their terms gives you the opportunity to engage with their world in a meaningful way. Being on the same digital platforms as your child allows for greater understanding, better conversations, and stronger connections, keeping them safe along the way.

    In this episode:

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    May 29, 2024 13 mins

    'Gentle Parenting' is a mindset with an emphasis on the child’s feelings. It may sound lovely and calm, but in reality, this "way of being" has a tendency to indulge emotions at the expense of effective family functioning, leaving parents feeling like they are hanging on for dear life—exhausted, incompetent, and emotionally drained!

    Justin and Kylie share four essential steps for parenting gently in a way that ensures our children...

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    May 28, 2024 13 mins

    Reflecting on 1000 episodes of Australia’s leading parenting podcast, we cover the highs and the lows of family life, from farewells to celebrations and everything in-between.

    Today’s episode is a celebration of Kylie's big heart, Justin's big brain, the best of some really bad jokes, and of course, you, our wonderful listeners—our Happy Families family!

    (With a special appearance from Hamish Blake!)


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      Anonymous asks, "My 3-year-old is asking questions about his absent father. How do I answer in a way that supports my young son's mental health and self-esteem?". Justin gives examples of a healthy and developmentally appropriate response to this difficult situation in a way that honours the father, supports the child, and also advocates for our anonymous listener.

      Lisa, from Canada, is concerned that catching the school bus will ...

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      May 26, 2024 16 mins

      There is a growing movement to commit to giving our primary-aged children unplugged childhoods! Dr Justin shares four things you can do NOW to give your children a play-based childhood, free from digital distractions and social media. 

      Subscribe to the Happy Families newsletter for more details!

      In this episode:

      • How would an enforcement even work?
      • Censorship
      • Age-verification for social media
      • Importance of holding platfo...
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      May 23, 2024 11 mins

      Justin reads a personal letter aloud to his children, sharing insights into what life was like for him growing up. 

      In this episode:

      • Sharing childhood memories with your kids
      • Pets
      • Give your child roots
      • Benefits to keeping a journal
      • Rituals of connection
      • To a child, love is spelled T.I.M.E


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      Study 1: Is your child feeling unhappy, pressured, or teased about their weight? Navigating growing up in a society so focused on physical appearance is difficult, but there are practical steps parents can take to decrease the risk of internalised stigma and other challenges around weight.

      Study 2: So, you think you can read a baby's cry? Think again! 

      Study 3: The secret to getting your teen to listen to you can be found in the ...

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      Most families have screens in their home, which means a steady stream of movies, TV shows, games, apps, and more! How can parents know what content is or isn't appropriate for our children, when ratings are so broad and arbitrary? 

      In today's interview with Prof. Elizabeth Handsley, President of CMA, we explore why it is so hard for parents to navigate the current classification system, and share some helpful resources and advice ...

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      May 20, 2024 15 mins

      On Tuesdays, we answer listener questions about making your family happier!

      Separation anxiety at school drop-off is a daily struggle for many families, including Kirsty and her 5-year-old son. Justin shares some helpful tips that will make saying goodbye easier for both the parent and child. 

      Mum of 3, Michala, is dealing with constant sibling rivalry and conflict. Listen in for some important, ongoing conversations to have with...

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      Andrew Tate's harmful ideology is infiltrating schools. Boys, broadly speaking, are big fans, and their behaviour in the classroom is reflecting this.

      Dr Stephanie Westcott (researcher and lecturer in the School of Education, Culture, and Society at Monash University) shares her research on the experiences women are having in educational settings across Australia, looking at the influence of misogynistic ideology, how algorithms o...

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