Family Matters Radio

Sundays 8-9 AM Eastern on CFRU in Guelph, Ontario

Change: new blog location

Posted by Wendy McDonnell on December 15, 2010

Family Matters Radio has moved to This is an umbrella site that hosts an array of resources and help for families, for parents.

Find out more about the show here:

Podcasts are here:


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Show 50 – Living with Teens

Posted by Wendy McDonnell on December 3, 2010

Aired live Sunday November 28th, 2010 on 93.3 FM in Guelph, Ontario

Rosemary Walker talks about how her relationship with her son went from frightening to satisfying. Focusing on peace and a positive relationship with her son was made easier with the help of the
The Association of Parent Support Groups of Ontario

The Guelph Support Group meets every Monday downtown from 7:30 to 9:00 pm Contact: Neil (519) 763-6186

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Show 49 – The Seventh Inning Sit: A Journey of ADHD with Karen Lowry

Posted by Wendy McDonnell on November 17, 2010

Aired Live on Sunday, November 21, 2010 8 to 9 AM Eastern Standard Time on 93.3 FM in Guelph, Ontario, Canada

Karen Lowry, author of “The Seventh Inning Sit: A Journey of ADHD” joins us.

After her son, Jonathan was diagnosed with ADHD at the age of six, Karen Lowry observed the school system was ill-equipped to handle the special needs of children with ADHD, and their co-existing disorders. Karen Lowry says, “I began to advocate for Jon, calling meeting after meeting, wanting to ensure academic success, and a healthy self-esteem for my son.  No one could really direct me to the necessary information that was needed to truly understand and support him.” 
Despite these obstacles, Lowry’s persistence led her to find answers. Karen Lowry is a mom with 4 children and a parenting advocate with a nursing degree. You can find her book on Amazon.

Her book depicts her own journey of frustration and discovery. She shares her journey to help other parents supporting a child with ADHD in the school system.

Here’s Karen’s 10 minute video interview on the Indie Media Show:

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Show 48 – Families in a busy world

Posted by Wendy McDonnell on November 16, 2010

Sunday, November 14, 2010 8 to 9 am Eastern on 93.3 FM in Guelph, Ontario, Canada

Jen Britton (Nurture by Nature: Postpartum Doula Services and Children’s Boutique) joins me as we discuss how to focus on what matters most when life’s busy. When she’s not at the Guelph Farmer’s Market on Saturday mornings, you can find Jen at the Two Rivers Neighbourhood group.

What parent doesn’t worry, from time to time, that they should know it all and be able to do it all. If you get caught up in the rat race, feeling pressured and overwhelmed, find out how to re-orient yourself toward your inner guidance system and family relationships.

“But”, you say, “I couldn’t ask for help!” and “there’s just too much to do everyday!”

“When we begin to know ourselves in an open and self-supportive way, we take the first step in the process that encourages our children to know themselves.” Daniel J. Siegel

Breathe. There’s no one-size-fits-all answer. Balancing needs and managing life is something everyone strives for. Life’s a matter of trying things out to find out what works. You know the feeling when you’re in the flow. When was the last time you were there?

Hire help.

Trade or share child care or tasks with another family to take the load off.


Invite all family members to join in, get things done, while having fun.

Use your imagination and stay focused on what’s important while letting the rest go.

“When we act out of reverence, instead of fear, our motivation is stronger, our inspiration boundless.” Kim John Payne, M.Ed., Simplicity Parenting: Using the Extraordinary Power of Less to Raise Calmer, Happier, and More Secure Kids.

Posted in Birth and Babies, Early Years, Working Parents | Tagged: , , , | Leave a Comment »

Show 47 – Empathy

Posted by Wendy McDonnell on November 10, 2010

Aired Live on Sunday, November 7, 2010 on 93.3 FM in Guelph, Ontario, Canada
8 to 9 AM Eastern Standard Time

Wendy McDonnell and Cathy Bucher explore empathy through discussion and demonstrations. Empathy is a way of opening our hearts to bear witness to another person’s experience. It is not necessarily something we do for another. It is a way of being with another. The pace of empathetic listening is often slower than the kind of communication we’re used to. Trusting in our capacity for self-connection and understanding leads to actions that are in alignment with our values.

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Raise Your Voice – October 24 and 31, 2010

Posted by Wendy McDonnell on October 22, 2010

To celebrate Raise your Voice – CFRU’s annual funding drive:

Part One, October 24, 2010:

Rebecca Anstett talks about one of our most popular topics, Step Parenting. She speaks about how she integrates herself into a family and invites them to join into what she loves to do.

Isabel Hershaw will talk to us about listening: Why is listening important? What do we listen for? How can we improve our listening skills? Taking the time to listen is one of the most important things you can do for your relationships.

Part Two, October 31, 2010 Sharon Lewis and Managing Conflict:

I bet this sounds like a heavy topic. It could have been a VERY scary show for Halloween. It’s not! We talk about how we can see conflict as a way to creatively solve problems.

Raise your Voice – CFRU’s annual funding drive’s goal is to raise $15,000 to:

  • build capacity for spoken word content
  • build a new website, buy new portable recorders, and having funds for special programming and a user-friendly production board

CALL: 8 to 9 AM Sundays October 24th and 31st and donate. Our request line is 519.837.2378 (CFRU).

Donate online: or email me at wendy (at) and I’ll thank you on the air with a special gift!

Why donate?

The station gets no corporate funding. All programmers, including me, are volunteers. Family Matters is a unique show helping you create Family Relationships that you love!

When you contribute, you get these gifts in gratitude for your support:

$5.00 Sticker (new design!) and a button
$25 – $49 CFRU Membership and a CD of your choice
$50 – $89 CFRU Membership, CFRU t-shirt (NEW DESIGN!), choice of a CD
$90 – $124 CFRU Membership,CFRU hoodie (NEW DESIGN!), choice of 2 CDS
$125 – $250 CFRU Membership, Choice of Hoodie or t-shirt, choice of 4 CDs  and special prizes!!!

When you support Family Matters, you also get a soft Frisbee (you can use in the house) and or change purse graciously donated by CIBC (Clair and Gordon in Guelph).

1.Initial Consultation with Alexandra Verge (Kura Naturopathic Clinic), valued at $160, for a donation of $175

2. “That All May Read” (DVD) for a donation of $20

3. One hour of empathy with me, valued at $150, for a donation of $160.

4. A CD of an interview I’ve done OR I’ll arrange and record an interview with someone you want to get to know better.

Past Shows on topics of Step Parenting and Listening:

Posted in Blended or Step Families, Parents | Tagged: , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

October 10 to 31, 2010

Posted by Wendy McDonnell on October 9, 2010

October 10th, 2010: Shows are preempted this weekend for the Spanish Days of Programming on

October 17th, 2010: A break from regular programming to plan for future shows.

October 24th and 31st, 2010: Raise Your Voice funding Drive

Join us for fun and a variety of topics and speakers. Returning and new guests are available to answer questions.

Call us: 519.837.2378 (CFRU) to ask a question or to make a pledge.

Please donate!

Email wendy (at) your pledge and I’ll thank you personally on the air.

Community Radio offers programming you’ll never hear anywhere else. Many of our guests are not polished speakers. When I interview guests, I ask them to talk about how they overcame challenges in their own family and what motivates them to share their talents with families. I look for raw stories from real people. Some people feel nervous on air and this doesn’t always come across. However, my hope is to share that we’re all human, living together, making mistakes, and learning all the time.

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Show 44 – Empathy Call In Show

Posted by Wendy McDonnell on October 3, 2010

Aired Live: Sunday, October 3, 2010 on 93.3 FM, Guelph, Ontario, Canada from 8 to 9 AM Eastern Time

This is a call-in empathy show with Wendy McDonnell and Cathy Bucher.

Adults or children, call in with any concern or celebration you have about your family life and we’ll hear it. We intend on doing this on the first Sunday of every month.

Call-in for Empathy Support 519.837.CFRU (2378)

While you’re on the air with us, please turn the volume down on your radio or computer and listen to us through your phone.

We discussed what Empathy is and what Empathy isn’t. Thank you Casey and Meme for calling in and sharing your stories with us. Thank you to the others who emailed us later and said you tried to call and the line was busy. Please join us on November 7th when we do our next Empathy Call-In Show.

Family Heart Camp:

The Center for Nonviolent Communication:

Empathy is the honour of listening for feelings and what people value in the present moment however they express that. Nothing is broken. There is no urgency to fix anything. We trust people’s innate wisdom to know themselves and follow their own path.

In contrast, Empathy isn’t fixing, advising, or comparing another’s story to our own. Empathy isn’t trying to change the other person’s situation or feelings. It isn’t sympathy, where we share the same feelings as the other person.

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Show 43 – Mindful Parenting with Laura-May Culver

Posted by Wendy McDonnell on September 26, 2010

Aired Live: Sunday, September 26, 2010 8 to 9 AM EASTERN on 93.3 FM in Guelph, Ontario, Canada

Laura-May Culver is a single mom of 2 boys ages 5 and 8 years. She is a registered Social Worker with over 17 years of varied social service and clinical experience, including working with adults with co-dependency, addiction and mental health needs, adolescents, children and families. The Upper Grand District School Board uses her as a  Personal Transformation Consultant with a Mindfulness focus. She offers private counseling and coaching services. You can find out more about Laura-May by visiting her website at

What is Mindful Parenting?

It is the spiritual practice of parenting: the practice of being, noticing, and responding to each and every present moment when you can, consistently and persistently.

How do we parent mindfully?

Our bridge to staying present is our breath.

When we’re having a temper tantrum, breathe.

Before grabbing that morning coffee, breathe.

When our child is yelling “I hate you!” or having a temper tantrum, breathe.

Breathe. Practice. Breathe.

Laura-May’s top Mindfulness Links:

Alliance for a New Humanity:

Planetize the Movement:

Daily Primordial Sound Meditation:

Inter-professional Certificate Program in Applied Mindfulness Meditation at the University of Toronto:

Sophia Center for Culture and Spirituality in Oakland, CA:

Upper Grand District School Board in Ontario, Canada:

To be a Mindful Parent, you need your own practice. Kids see through the teacher that doesn’t actually practice!

Be the Change, do your own Practicing! There are so many resources out there for you!

Eckhart Tolle: A New Earth-Awakening to your Life’s Purpose on Oprah!:  and

Wherever you Go, There you Are—Mindfulness Meditation in Everyday Life by Jon Kabat-Zinn:

Love based family centred approach, Bryan Post:

Love Never Fails, Heather Forbes:

Everyday Blessings-The Inner Work of Mindful Parenting by Jon Kabat-Zinn:

Posted in Parents | Tagged: , | 2 Comments »

Show 42 – Adoption

Posted by Wendy McDonnell on September 19, 2010

Aired live on Sunday, September 19, 2010 8 to 9 AM Eastern on 93.3 FM in Guelph, Ontario, Canada

Jenny Emerson and Luke Hill talk about both the joys and challenges of adopting children. We discuss adopting, being adopted, open adoptions, and how to initiate the adoption process.  An anonymous mom shares a story about her experiences about being adopted and giving up a child. What supports are needed to help with the transition of welcoming a new person into your family?

Jenny has been involved in the Family and Children’s Services training Pride Program for four years. She talks about adopting her own children: one as a baby and one as a three and a half year old.

Luke is a trainer and Resource Parent for Family and Children’s Services. He has one adopted child and one birth child. His family is currently on the list to adopt another child.

A mother writes: My friends in school would talk about the time when they were born, their weight etc. I always answered I don’t know. Then I had to explain that I was adopted. Some kids would say things like ” Oh. Your Mother didn’t want you so she gave you away “. Those kinds of comments are very hurtful. I thought that thought on my own. I also wondered who I looked like, where I get my height from, my eyes etc. Why didn’t my Mother love me? What did I do wrong? I found these times very difficult.

During the last month of my pregnancy, I stayed at a home for unwed mothers. Even then, things were kept secret. After I gave birth, I had the choice to see my baby or not. I was allowed to hold him and feed him. We had a very special bond. He was the first thing in my life that I was truly related to by blood. He was mine. He was my son. Two days later I left the hospital without him. I felt as if I was abandoning him. That was the hardest thing I have ever had to do in my life. I was walking away from my own child. Some people consider that to be a very selfish act. I’m not sure about that. Giving a child what is best for them is an act of love. I realized in time just how much my Mother must have loved me in order to have given me up for another family to raise.

Adoption is not a bad word or a bad thing. It comes from a place of pure unselfish love. Every one involved in this process, whether giving up or bringing in a child, needs support and understanding both during and after the process in order to heal. It doesn’t matter if you are related by blood or not. A family is chosen by our hearts.

Posted in Adoption, Birth and Babies, Early Years | Tagged: , | 1 Comment »

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