Despite being a fairly heavy consumer of podcasts (at last count, I’m subscribed to 16!) I’ve never dived into the world of parenting podcasts – at least until very recently.
It wasn’t a conscious decision to avoid them – the majority of the podcasts I listen to are comedy based, and those two genres don’t seem to mix very often, in my experience. That being said, my (generally unpopular) opinion that there are very few parenting “experts” (which often puts me at odds with other parenting bloggers!) probably meant I didn’t really seek any out.
However, all that changed when I dived into the Naughty Step Podcast, hosted by journalist Stuart Heritage and his partner and fellow-writer Robyn Wilder. I had recently finished reading Stuart’s book (“Don’t be a dick, Pete!”) and found myself particularly enjoying the parts of the book which focused on parenting. So, having seen Stuart mention the podcast a few times on Twitter earlier in the year, I decided it was time to give it a try.
And boy oh boy, I’m glad that I did. If you’re not already a subscriber, I can highly recommend giving it a try.
But don’t just take my word for it – I have actual proof. Here are 4 reasons why it’s one of my new favourite podcasts:
It’s the perfect length
Unlike many of the podcasts I listen to, which range in length between 45 minutes and upwards of 2 hours, the Naughty Step seems to average-out at around 25 minutes, which is an ideal length for the topic. My commute tends to last about 90 minutes each way, which means I can slot in a few episodes at a time – or use it as a nice book-end to another podcast. It also keeps the format nice and punchy – to coin a terrible phrase, it’s all killer, no filler.
They’re not the perfect parents
That’s not meant as an insult, I hasten to add – I don’t think the perfect parent exists. But that doesn’t stop a lot of personalities professing to BE the perfect parent, or aspiring too it. Robyn and Stuart seem perfectly comfortable in the knowledge that they’re just muddling along like the rest of us – which means you don’t feel preached-to or guilty when hearing their stories of parental woes or joys.
They don’t pull any punches
Stuart and Robyn have a LOT of opinions about the stuff parents are going to be familiar with – and they’re not afraid to tell you then. Whether it’s their alternative takes on the books you’ve probably read at bedtime (“Bedroom Book Club”) or the TV shows you’ve sat through such as Paw Patrol or In The Night Garden (“Watched Under Duress”), you’ll probably find yourself agreeing with more than you disagree with. But even when you don’t (best not to tell Stuart if you enjoy ‘Cards Against Humanity’) you’ll find yourself laughing along with their rants.
They make me feel like I’m doing okay
The trouble with reading stuff written by other parents is that I usually come away feeling guilty – whether it’s because I don’t spend enough time with my kids, or that my kids aren’t as impressive as other peoples, I usually come away feeling inadeqate. That’s the main reason I avoid reading most other parenting blogs – very few of them present the realities of parenting. Thankfully, the Naughty Step isn’t like that. One of the benefits of having a couple on hosting duties is you get to hear the sort of arguments and asides that you don’t get in a more polished production – and almost all of them remind me of conversations I have with my own wife.
If I’ve convinced you to give it a try, you can download it from the Acast platform, or indeed most other podcast providers.
The only caveat I should add is that I’m only up to episode 14 – so if they turn into awful dickheads later in the run, you can’t hold me accountable…