The Parenting Junkie Show

By Avital Schreiber Levy

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Ashley McGinness
 Feb 21, 2019
Avital is a true blessing! She shares her approach to parenting and just life in general in such a gentle and easy to understand manner. She has helped me to completely change the way I parent. I am forever grateful!


Hi, I’m Avital. (pronounced Ah-Vee-Tal) I’m a mindful parenting coach, childhood designer, and mother. My work is dedicated to empowering intentional, imperfect parents (like you and me!) who face chaos, clutter, and conflict, through online tools to reclaim peace, presence and play for your family.

Episode Date
TPJ 13: The One Role You Should NOT Play in Your Children's Lives

In this episode you’ll discover a powerful way of viewing your parenting role so you can remove yourself from the drama of childhood and offer the meaningful support your children need.


[1:28] How much should we intervene and solve problems for our kids?

[8:11] Intro to the Story Framework.

[8:59] Basic structure of a story.

[12:48] What does this have to do with parenting?

[13:56] We are not the hero.

[17:32] We are the guide.

[23:02] We give them a plan.

[23:49] We call them to action.

[26:14] We help them succeed and avoid failure.

[26:58] Measure every situation against this framework.


Links & Resources


Show Notes:

Mar 21, 2019
TPJ 12: How to Like Your Child Even When You Really Don't

You’ll discover 3 potent techniques to get back on track to loving your kid so you can flip the script when you start feeling annoyed, irritated or out of love with your child. I’ll even share some personal truths that I don’t usually talk about.

  • [1:26] Giveaway winner!
  • [4:10] You love your child, but sometimes you don’t like them.
  • [6:52] You may not be struggling with this…yet.
  • [7:30] You might be burned out.
  • [9:35] There might be a mismatch in expectations.
  • [14:33] Pretend they are someone else’s child.
  • [17:40] Pretend you’re being watched.
  • [20:26] Pretend it's your last day on earth with them.
  • [22:44] Flip “I can’t” to “I can.”


 Links & Resources

Mar 14, 2019
TPJ 11: Is Sleep Training Cruel? Or Crucial?

I'm sharing my experience and thoughts on sleep training so you can hopefully feel calm, cool, and confident in offering your child the best sleep. I hope you can listen to this episode in its entirety, because this is a nuanced and triggering topic that deserves in depth conversation. I wouldn't want you to miss the full context of the ideas presented here.

  • [1:20] Giveaway winner!
  • [4:47] 2 Emails I received from concerned parents
  • [11:02] We’re all torn over the approach to helping our babies sleep better.
  • [21:00] Every child is different and much of their temperament is “baked in” (they’re born with it).
  • [23:59] Flaws with thinking that there’s only one way to do it.
  • [25:34] What does sleep training mean?
  • [27:45] What can be learned from nature?
  • [30:24] What does crying mean?
  • [39:34] Is sleep deprivation respectful?
  • [42:22] Is frustration bad?
  • [48:01] Is it all or nothing?
  • [49:48] The process with my last child.
  • [55:29] We have to trust ourselves.
  • [1:01:02] Summary
  • [1:05:19] What’s coming next week

  Links & Resources

Mar 07, 2019
TPJ 10: How to Raise Resilient Kids? (Antifragility)


We don’t want our kids to be stressed, but I think it’s safe to say we all want our children to be able to handle stress.

In this episode I discuss ways to help develop resiliency and anti-fragility in your children so they’ll be prepared to handle the stress of the “real world.”

  • [1:37] Giveaway winner!
  • [4:43] Stress is inevitable.
  • [7:15] Stress can be a positive thing.
  • [10:37] Too much stress can be damaging.
  • [12:42] Not enough stress can be damaging as well.
  • [15:39] Definition of fragile, resilient, adaptive, & antifragility.
  • [20:17] Don’t overprotect your children from information.
  • [28:07] Don’t overprotect your children from social discomfort.
  • [30:17] Don’t overprotect your children from risks.
  • [33:27] Don’t overprotect your children in their relationships with other adults.
  • [35:03] Don’t overprotect your children from their feelings.
  • [38:41] Don’t overprotect your children from responsibility.
  • [40:35] Share stories with your children (especially inspiring biographies).
  • [42:37] Label your children as strong and resilient.

Links & Resources

Feb 28, 2019
TPJ 9: Parenting Myths You Probably Believe (DON'T!)

We’re bombarded by society (our culture, parents, neighbors, friends, religious institutions, schools, movies, magazines, internet, etc.) with all sorts of inputs and directives about how we’re supposed to raise our children.

It’s time to dispel some common myths about parenting and relieve the pressure of trying to be the “perfect parent.”

Myths we’re busting:

  • You are in control of your children.
  • There’s one right way to parent.
  • Harder is better.
  • Parents aren’t sexy or interesting.
  • Raising children is boring.
  • You should do it alone.
  • The days are long, but the years are short.
  • Parenting is a “job.”

Links & Resources:

Feb 21, 2019
TPJ 8: Can We Use Consequences as "Peaceful" Parents? How?!

Have you ever had thoughts or conversations about natural consequences, logical consequences, punishments, rewards, positive or negative reinforcement, etc., and felt like there was something missing – like there’s a deeper level to it all?  

Today we’re going to dive into these terms and get some clarity on what consequences really are, how we can apply them mindfully, and common pitfalls to avoid.

What I cover in this episode:

  • Why you should avoid punitive consequences and positive/negative reinforcement.
  • How natural consequences are good, but often aren’t enough.
  • Extend yourself grace. You won’t get it right 100% of the time. I don’t always get it right, and neither will you.
  • 3 types of consequences you probably haven’t heard of

Show notes:

Learn more:

Feb 14, 2019
TPJ 7: How to Be a Peaceful Partner

You might have been reasonably happy in your marriage before kids came along – but we all know that going from two to three is a major life change and some marriages don’t survive it very well.

It’s really hard to go from wife to mom, or husband to dad. Although parenting is hard, many find that it’s easier than marriage. And so we get stuck in our parenting role and neglect our marriage role.

You may feel you have more control, influence, and even love for your kids, which can make you feel more and more disconnected from your partner. If any of this sounds familiar, there’s hope!

What you’ll hear in this episode:

  • How just like mainstream parenting advice is no longer working for families today, mainstream marriage advice is failing us. A new approach to relationships is needed.
  • How it’s possible to have a type of home life dynamic where:
    • We can all become extremely content and even in love with exactly what we have as we have it.
    • We can manage conflict with relative ease and experience high levels of connection and presence with our partners even with very young children.
  • How you don’t fix or find a soulmate you BECOME a soulmate.
  • Peaceful partnering – creating a loving, lasting, sustainable, and synchronized marriage.
  • 3 secrets behind the Parent In Love method.

Show notes:

Watch "How Peaceful Parenting RUINED My Marriage and How I Saved It":

Feb 07, 2019
TPJ 6: Meredith's Story - from Frustrated Wife to Peaceful Partner

It doesn't take two to tango.

Do you ever feel frustrated, disconnected, or misaligned with your spouse or partner? Does it seem like the spark and passion you once had is gone?

Have you ever thought that maybe your relationship has run its course, and it’s time to go separate ways?

If so, I've got good news for you! There is hope for you, AND change is possible, even if you have to work on it without your partner.

Free Masterclass: “How Peaceful Parenting RUINED My Marriage...and How I Saved It.”

In this episode, I interview Meredith. Things we discussed:

  • How she felt overwhelmed by the demands of life, the unrealistic expectations of society for partners and parents.
  • She was so tired of how everyone paints this [phony] picture of what life is supposed to look like, and how it can make us all feel like we’re missing the mark.
  • How Meredith and her partner were on the verge of splitting up.
  • Not completely miserable, and they had their up moments, but there were a lot of down moments, and it was wearing on them.
  • She knew that something needed to change. She was tired of trying to figure it out on her own by reading articles, asking friends for advice (who often ended up reinforcing the negativity), etc.
  • They were having the same fights over and over.
    • Budgeting and money.
    • Misaligning over approaches to parenting.
    • Arguments over where they should live.
  • How as partners, we’re supposed to fill each other up, not deplete each other.
  • Remember you have choices (own your own choices). Just because you feel it doesn’t make it true. You can always choose how you respond. Don’t let your emotions rule you. You can take a break, clear your head, and come back with a fresh perspective.
  • Stop saying yes to everything. Prioritize your time. It’s ok to say no and spend more time with your family. Give yourself permission to say no, to have some downtime, to just be.
  • Instead of shoving everything down, putting on the game face, dig in and investigate when you’re feeling angry or stressed.
  • Outsource/delegate to give you more time.
  • Crystal clear communication (learn to really listen and not take what your spouse is saying personally).
  • Think about what kind of memories you want your children to have of you, of their childhood. (what helped her decide to go through the course).
  • Investing in the course is a no brainer. We all want our children to grow up to be amazing adults, and feel connected to us.
  • The course not only helps you learn how to improve your relationship with your partner, but also helps you deal with other people.
  • It doesn’t take both parents. Change is possible even if only one partner is working on it. 

Links & Resources

Show Notes:

Free Masterclass: “How Peaceful Parenting RUINED My Marriage...and How I Saved It.”

Jan 31, 2019
TPJ 5: How to Be Present (actionable and practical - not woowoo)

Deal with distractions, enjoy them while they're young and bring peace and calm to your mind.

In this episode I’m going to give you actionable ways to bring more presence into your life so that you can experience regret -free living, enjoy your children (even while they’re young) and feel satisfied that you’re living life to the fullest.

Here’s the best part: It takes less than a minute a day.

In this episode you’ll hear:

● What presence is (and isn’t).

● How you’re not the only one who’s constantly feeling distracted. We all are!

● Why you shouldn’t wait for the “perfect circumstances” to be present, avoiding the “I’ll be present when...” trap.

● Why this is crucial for everyone (even if you think you’re already present or think it’s not for you).

● How to parent a child who grows up thinking “my parent connected with me and was there for me.”

● The 5 simple ways you can pull yourself into any moment and be present.


Links & Resources:

● Show notes:

● The Top Five Regrets of the Dying: A Life Transformed by the Dearly Departing by Bronnie Ware

● Sponsorship:

● Parent in Love Course:

● Facebook Community:

Jan 24, 2019
TPJ 4: How to Overcome Anxiety as a Parent (weird but works!)

Show notes:

Jan 17, 2019
TPJ 3: Child Centered VS Adult Centered
  • Show Notes:
  • Sponsorship:
  • Empathic Limits Course:
Jan 10, 2019
TPJ 2: A Week In My Life (homeschooling, wahm of four)

Links & Resources:

Dec 31, 2018
TPJ 1: How To Do It All (work, marriage, self care and awesome parenting?)

Do you ever wonder how some people make it look so easy and seem to “do it all?” They homeschool their kids while also growing a business. They’re highly productive, yet spend time with their loved ones and are fully present and engaged.


People often ask me how I do it all; run a business, homeschool my children, take care of our home, take care of myself, my spouse, etc. In this episode we’re going to dive into the topic of how I do it all.


First, it’s important to dispel the myth that any of us can do everything.  


  • You can do anything, but you can’t do everything.
  • I believe in doing all of the IMPORTANT things, then outsourcing, reducing, and/or eliminating the rest.
  • I believe in working and taking action and accomplishing things, but I don’t believe in busyness.


How to do it all:



  • Don’t do it all!

    Get help! Get as much help as you can. As your situation allows, outsource things that other people can do to enable you to do the things that only you can do. Outsource things you don’t enjoy doing. Things that take you away from things that bring you joy and fulfillment.  

    It takes a village! You need other people in your life. There are people who will help for free. Drop your kids off to play with your friend’s kids so you can run some errands. There are people who’d love to come play with your kids so you could take a break or work on some other things.

  • Multi-task.

    It’s not for everyone for every time. In caregiving times and other times when I need to be present and engaged, I’m not multitasking. But while I’m driving, walking, or doing other things that are autonomous where you could be listening to audio books, podcasts, etc.
  • Routine & rhythm.

    We have a predictable weekly and daily flow. It drastically cuts down on power struggles throughout the day (getting out the door, meal times, getting to bed, etc). And because it’s so predictable, I have blocks of time where I know I can get my work done and schedule in my self-care.
  • Declutter like your life depends on it...because it does.

    Declutter both physically (in your home, office, etc) and in terms of your time/schedule. There are many things that don’t happen in this season in my life: I don’t answer every email, I pursue every project that comes along, and I say no to a lot of things.

    Everything that comes into your home and schedule needs to earn it’s place. It needs to be deserving of the energy it takes.  

    If there are things in our home that aren’t serving us, that are adding to the clutter, I get rid of them.

    If there are relationships that are draining and not bringing me joy, I let them slip away.

    This helps me bring my full energy and enthusiasm to the things that I’m doing and keeping in my life.

    I don’t watch much TV (maybe 45 min a week). I don’t go out much. I try very hard to reduce or eliminate mindless scrolling on social media.


  1. Supreme self-care.

    If you want to bring your best to everything you do, you need to take care of yourself. Our bodies and minds need time to rest and rejuvenate. Running yourself ragged is a recipe for burnout and depression.

    Once you feel rested, nourished, and taken care of, then everything else flows and you can give in a way that is never a sacrifice. It just flows from you naturally.

    There will be days that are hard and you’ll fall into a victim mindset. But you’re responsible for your own self-care and well-being, and when you take care of yourself, the bad days will be few and far between instead of normal.  

    You need to stop putting yourself last. Stop putting everything and everyone else before your own well-being. When you leave your self-care for last, there’s never enough time and energy. Start making self-care a priority and schedule it in first. Then take care of others with whatever time and energy is left.


I would love to hear what you’re saying “no” to so that you can say “yes” to self-care. Take a screenshot of this podcast episode and tag me on Instagram. Tag me (@parentingjunkie) and use the hashtag #parentingjunkie, and let me know what you’re doing to reclaim self-care.


One final tip: Focus on being relentlessly optimistic! Focus on gratitude, abundance, and resilience. See challenges and problems as opportunities to grow; rather than being something done to me, they’re opportunities for me.  


Links & Resources:


  • Show notes at
  • Note: You mentioned bluetooth earbuds. Do you want to include a link to them? Do you have an amazon affiliate account (or whatever it’s called) where you can get a small commission on the sale of anything purchase from your links?
  • Note: You mentioned they can listen to episode 2 to get an outline of your weekly/daily routines. Link to episode 2?
  • Sponsorship:

Dec 28, 2018
TPJ 0: Love Parenting And Parenting From Love (the philosophy that will set you free)

Do you struggle with feeling like you’re not good enough, or that you don’t measure up? There are so many different parenting philosophies out there: Attachment, RIE, simplicity, unconditional, Montessori, Waldorf, Reggio, gentle, respectful, conscious, peaceful…but which one is right for you?


Join me as I dive into this topic and reveal my parenting philosophy.


The problem:

  • Every book, expert, & philosophy seems to contradict the others.
  • It can make you feel like you don’t measure up when you can’t or don’t 100% follow a particular philosophy.
  • Some of these groups can be so judgmental and unsupportive when you don’t fully stick to their philosophy.
  • There’s so much out there and it’s hard to decide what will work for you.

The solution (and my philosophy):

Love parenting and parent from love.

  • Love Parenting
    • Parenting should be enjoyable.
    • We should feel good about the way that we parent.
    • No one benefits from you being a martyr (including your children).
    • Not that it’s always easy. There are definitely hard times in parenting. But overall, you should not parent in a way that feels like constant suffering & misery.
    • Design a life that you love.
    • You could go through your entire life…many people have and are currently doing so…not enjoying life.
    • Keep your cup full and spill out onto others.
    • What would make parenting fun for you? Minimize/reduce/outsource as many of the negative things as possible.

  • Parent from Love
    • When you’re truly motivated from a place of love & care, you’ll find the right words & actions (vs. operating out of fear or anger).
    • Holding your goodness to light. Self-compassion. Do things that are kind. Trust your intuition. Break down old paradigms.
    • Keep it flexible enough and use as a clear guideline. It liberates you from attachment parenting or from mainstream parenting. PERMISSION to LOVE parenting, permission to parent from LOVE.


Links & Resources:

  • Show notes at
  • (FB Group)
Dec 12, 2018