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Parenting Pickup Podcast

Welcome to the Parenting Pickup Podcast. With over 50 years of experience in early child care and education, we're here to share all things child-related. Every episode is designed for families' education and support from parenting tips and tricks, trending topics, fun activities, child development, and so much more! Special guests in early childhood and education will join our hosts Cara and Ashley, share their expertise and help answer some of the most challenging questions.


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Episode 1: Meltdowns

Children of all ages have meltdowns. There is no surprise there. But, many parents aren’t sure how to help their children when they have a tantrum or a meltdown. We sat down with Kate Wessinger, an expert on behavior and mental health, to give up beneficial advice.

Episode 2: New Siblings

Amanda Mason, New Horizon Academy’s Mental Health Specialist, talks about the steps to take to get your child ready for a new sibling and what to do once the new addition has made its appearance.

Episode 3: Conscious Discipline

Jessi Grittner, a Conscious Discipline Coordinator, shares how teachers, parents, and children can utilize conscious discipline every day to better understand the brain stages, feelings, communication, and intelligence through a self-regulation program that involves social and emotional learning and discipline.

Episode 4: Raising Caring Children

MiaLisa from ‘Doing Good Together‘ explains how important it is to instill caring and kindness in your child as character traits and values. She provides crucial facts, tips, and shares helpful resources on how to raise children to be kind.

Episode 5: Picky Eaters

We met with Jill Weldon, New Horizon Academy’s food and nutrition expert, to talk about one of the most asked questions, how to help children who are selective eaters. Resources mentioned include My Plate and Solid Starts.

Episode 6: Biting

It happens in every family. Your child bites, has been bitten, or both! So, what do you do? Kate Wessinger, our Early Childhood Mental Health Specialist, dives into why biting is happening, how to prevent it, and what to do.

Episode 7: Kindergarten Readiness

You want to ensure your children are ready for kindergarten regarding academic, social, and emotional skills. We chatted with Bev Bauman, New Horizon Academy’s Vice President of Staff Development and Education, about the different skill sets children should or are expected to have before they start kindergarten.

Episode 8: Building Cultural Awareness

Thuba Nguyen is an early childhood education advocate and teacher who is passionate about celebrating cultural diversity and multi-culturism and is the author of the book My Daddy Tells Me. Her children’s book is about a life-changing love between fathers and daughters, immigration, self-esteem, and positive affirmations.

With over twelve years of experience in the field, Thuba talks about how vital it is to have multiracial representation in all creative markets and education. Her work inspires future generations to break cycles of intergenerational trauma and oppression.

More resources can be found here.

Episode 9: Early Childhood Milestones

In this episode of New Horizon Academy’s Parenting Pickup Podcast, Anna Paulson, current Program Coordinator for Help Me Grow, a licensed teacher in the areas of Deaf/Hard of Hearing and Elementary Education, and a certified Early Childhood Education advocate, talks about helpful information and practical steps to take for families to understand and support your child’s early childhood development.

Resources mentioned in the podcast include: Help Me Grow, Learn the Signs – Act Early, CDC’s Milestone Tracker App, Help Me Connect, and Reach Out and Read.


Meet Our Team

Cara Johnson-Bader

Cara Johnson-Bader


Cara Johnson-Bader is the Vice President of Marketing and Parent Experiences at New Horizon Academy. She is the mother of two incredible and full of energy boys—Ben and Will. When not attending her sons’ snowboarding, skiing, and baseball sporting events, she can be found playing board games and reading with her boys. As one of the hosts of Parenting Pickup, she is excited to share helpful hints, tricks, and advice to help parents as the navigate the child-rearing journey.

Alex Dickison

Alex Dickison


Alex Dickison, the previous host, is now the podcast's producer. She has always been passionate about early childhood education, having a son of her own. Her main goal is to provide listeners with the best information, educate parents on trending topics, and bring awareness by producing the best episodes possible.

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