July 23, 2017

Do you have a favorite podcast? I have to admit that I haven’t really jumped on the podcast train, but I think I just had a change of heart.  This mother/son team from Arlington, Texas are podcasting their way through summer and enjoying some great bonding time producing this brand new podcast called “The Middle School Years” and it’s so charming and fun that I just had to share it with you.

The Middle School Years Podcast

This fun podcast broadcasts two new episodes each week and this mom/son duo launched with only 29 days preparation.  Episodes air on Mondays (with a mama and son talk) and Thursdays (Jennifer interviews a parenting expert) and can be found here. 

The mom, Jennifer Conner


told me that she was surprised at how difficult the transition from elementary school to middle school was for both her and her son. She wanted to share those lessons in a fun, funny and positive way with other families across the country.  Not to mention, she is setting her son up for success by giving him assignments for the podcast each week and he even gets penalized for reporting to “work” late.

Jennifer says:

I’m so excited to partner with my 11-year old middle school son on The Middle School Years Podcast. We’re using technology in a positive way to help spread the word about life in the middle. We hope that our lessons learned will help other moms and middle schoolers.”


Her son, Mekhi Leaks


is responsible for sharing his experiences in middle school each week and for helping with the behind the scenes production!  Instead of sitting around playing video games all week, he is practicing his public speaking skills, honing his organization and writing skills and building the executive functioning skills that are so needed in middle school.

Mekhi told me

The Middle School Years Podcast is amazing because I get to share my middle school experiences to help other kids with their middle school lives. I feel like a superhero.”

Podcasting Wins

How good does it feel as a mom if your child says they feel like a superhero AND they are giving back to the community during their summer break?  I just can’t get enough of this podcasting team.

But, you don’t have to start a podcast to capitalize on this summer bonding time.  Any team project that you complete with your child can help get your tween ready for the middle school years too.

Other ideas for parent/child bonding during the summer:

  • You might re-paint their bedroom or redo a furniture piece
  • Read a book together and have a discussion about it
  • Take a few lessons together in a new sport or hobby
  • Plan a staycation day in your town or a small road trip together (get them involved in the planning)
  • Try out a new recipe every week this summer and put them together in a family cookbook.

Final Thoughts:

If you have a child entering middle school (or returning to middle school), remember that they may not always find it cool to hang out with you anymore.  Use what time you have this summer to have experiences that they will remember even if they complain about it the entire time.

And, check out Jennifer and Mekhi’s podcast, “The Middle School Years” and let them know what you think about their podcasting bonding experience.

About the Author

Jen Taylor, LCSW-C, RPT-S is an EMDR Approved Consultant and Certified Journal to the Self Instructor.  She is a therapist specializing in complex trauma, an international play therapy teacher and a published writer of multiple play therapy chapters.  Jen is the creator of the original 2017 Play Therapy Summit and many other innovative programs for mental health professionals.  Jen uses writing therapy, play therapy and expressive arts for her clients and for other mental health professionals so they can lead more joyful and meaningful lives.  Jen encourages people to try new things and create daily habits that allow for incremental progress towards previously unimaginable results.   Jen is a travel enthusiast, an avid reader, and a girl who lifts weights and runs for fun.  

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