Cover art for podcast Conversation Balloons

Conversation Balloons

44 EpisodesProduced by Conversation BalloonsWebsite

Host Leah Farish interviews experts and friends about all things generational.No matter your age or stage, whether you're growing or growing old, you wonder at, fume at, or love someone in another generation. It might be workplace issues, raising kids, or caring for an elder--We're here to bring und… read more

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43. Parenting Your Parents? w/ Kim and Mike Barnes

November 21st, 2023


Aging-care mavens Kim and Mike Barnes partake in an informative and heartwarming discussion about how to help our parents in the last stages of their lives.  

Additional resources:

--The …

43. Does Your Child Have A Signature? w/ Linda Shrewsbury

November 1st, 2023


Linda Shrewsbury--Harvard graduate, entrepreneur, educator, and dear friend of Leah--explains why handwriting is important, and recounts her …

42. Parenting in Persecution, Part 2: Father Abraham

October 18th, 2023


A father describes the hardship of raising kids in a region where his religion is harshly persecuted.  His teenage daughter speaks up about how she …

41. How to Talk to Little Kids w/ Julie King

October 5th, 2023


Parenting coach and communication expert Julie King gets specific and practical on effective talking with squirming, distracted, disgruntled young …

40. Parenting in Persecution, Part 1

September 20th, 2023


What's it like to raise kids in a persecuting culture?  We interview a charming and courageous couple in North Africa and then reap keen insights …

39. Tradition or Transition? Gender Transition According to a Pediatrician w/ Dr. Julia Mason

August 30th, 2023


Physician Julia Mason describes the medical steps of gender transition for children, explaining to your astonished host why she opposes each one.  …

38. A Principal's Principles w/ Will Parker

August 23rd, 2023


A day (and evening) in the life of a school principal
and insights into how to relate to your child's principal. Teachers
too will benefit from this …

37. Classical Learning for a Change w/ Jeremy Tate

August 9th, 2023


Jeremy Tate of the Classic Learning Test expounds upon the virtues of classical education and the new college entrance exam that is shouldering out …

36. Educating for the ages w/ Dr. Julianne Romanello

July 26th, 2023


When you get a young philosopher on your show to talk about education, you just might discuss Rousseau, TV advertising, the panopticon effect, Nazis, Aristotle, and tech lash.  

Additional resources: 

35. Horses Helping Humans w/ Katie Rogers

July 12th, 2023


Equine therapy for kids is having a moment, and Katie Rogers of Boston Mountain Youth Ranch is especially clear on how and why she facilitates these amazing connections.
Additional resources:

34. Future Cities w/ Dr. Julianne Romanello

June 28th, 2023


Our kids and grandkids will be shaped by urban plans. What will their cities and neighborhoods look like?  Who will decide?  Are 15-minute cities and smart cities brilliant and humane, or the latest form of corporate …

33. Brain Plus Heart Equal Words w/ Brian Farish

June 14th, 2023


Leah talks heart-to-heart with speech and language pathologist Brian Farish in this chat about nurturing the elderly and those recovering from brain …

32. Freeing Kids from Anxiety w/ Beth Mishkind Roth

May 31st, 2023


Anxiety in children and teens: Here's a compassionate and practical dialogue about it with Beth Mishkind Roth, a mother and expert in child and …

31. Hoarding / Compulsive Acquiring: A Professional Organizer Lays it Out w/ Lauren Williams

May 17th, 2023


Lauren Williams, a certified professional organizer, sorts it all out for Leah: how hoarding relates to OCD, depression, and dementia, how it begins, and how declutterers help hoarders and their families.  She even …

30. Juvie: Thirteen is the New Thirty w/ Kathy

May 3rd, 2023


13 is the new 30 (years old) in Juvie. Hear a juvenile detention nurse depict the emotional and physical needs of her city's toughest kids over the …

29. Let's Save Our Sons w/ Michael Gurian

April 19th, 2023


It's time we discuss how boys are stigmatized, ignored, and villainized in schools and workplaces.Michael Gurian heads the Gurian Institute, writes …

28. Big Character for Littles w/ Ruchi Koval

April 5th, 2023


Parenting coach and author Ruchi Koval expounds on fostering character in youngsters, while Leah eggs her on.  They discuss the deep principles of ancient Jewish wisdom as applied to kids having tantrums, saying …

27. Nonprofit or Unprofitable? w/ Colin LeCroy

March 22nd, 2023


Help for women facing unwanted pregnancy is a hot political topic; some nonprofits combating abortion have been the focus of criticism and …

26. Parenting Gen Z w/ Tim Elmore

March 8th, 2023


Tim Elmore, expert on Millennials and Gen Z, founder and CEO of Growing Leaders, who has appeared in media such as CNN, Washington Post, Wall Street …

25. Adult Sleep: Gen Zzz and Beyond w/ Dr. David Gozal

February 22nd, 2023


One of the nation's foremost experts, Dr. David Gozal, describes sleep, and common challenges to a good night's rest, in all stages of adulthood.  …

24. Should Seniors Reverse-Engineer Their Faith to Suit Their Kids? w/ Robert Petterson

February 8th, 2023


Best-selling author Dr. Robert Petterson describes his daughter's faith journey, from Peace Corps to Presbyterian, and Leah suggests that asking for grace from others is the key in fraught relationships.  Both have more …

23. Behind the Smokescreen w/ Jordan Davidson

January 25th, 2023


16-year-old Jordan Davidson got wisdom beyond his years the hard way: fighting his marijuana addiction. Now age 22, Legislative Affairs and Youth …

22. A Pro-Life Activist Backs Up w/ Colin LeCroy

January 11th, 2023


Our guest began activism with fighting abortion--now he confronts root causes such as poverty, "marriage deserts," and housing problems.  Colin …

21. Are Walkable Cities Right for All Ages? w/ Jeff Speck

December 28th, 2022


Are walkable cities ableist utopias?  What about strollers on subways, baby seats in Ubers, and Grandma's walker on the bus?  …

20. George MacDonald's Intergenerational Short Story

December 14th, 2022


This episode can be found on YouTube in video form here:

Our Yuletide surprise is a poignant short …

19. Sleeping Like a Baby w/ Dr. David Gozal

November 30th, 2022


Sleep expert Dr. David Gozal gives us a good-natured look at sleep in the stages of infancy, childhood, and adolescence.  He enlightens us on topics …

18. When "OK, Boomer" Hits Different w/ Robert Petterson

November 9th, 2022


How can grandparents stay close and connected to grandchildren who are being raised with different values?  Legacy Imperative, headed by Dr. Robert Petterson,

inspires and guides grandparents in maintaining warm …

17. Faith @ work w/ Tom Lutz

November 2nd, 2022


Tom Lutz hangs with Leah to talk about Millennials in the workplace, why people of no faith should listen to him, burnout and vision, why Pope John …

16. Making Hash of Our Kids w/ Ken Finn

October 19th, 2022


Medical marijuana and recreational cannabis are big business, and they want your kids to consume.  Ken Finn, MD, a board-certified pain management …

15. How An Old Church Building Helps Young Souls w/ Blake Schwarz

October 5th, 2022


It's estimated that $4 trillion of church real estate will be distressed in the next 40 years.  About 70 churches close every week. But Blake Schwarz, a former Presbyterian church staffer, sees rich opportunity to …

14. Connection and Closure w/ Jessica Moffatt

September 21st, 2022


A megachurch pastor shares practical wisdom about visiting the elderly and ill, deriving joy and benefit from times that many people find uncomfortable.  Skills for such times with the aging, infirm, or dying can be …

13. A Global View of the Generations w/ Dr. Peirong Lin

September 7th, 2022


Dr. Peirong Lin is Deputy Secretary General for the World Evangelical Alliance.  Fortunately for our show, she's also a humble and wise conversationalist.  Peirong talks about her upbringing in Buddhism, her view of …

12. Yummy or Yucky? w/ Callie Farish

August 30th, 2022


Award-winning national culinary consultant Callie Fowler Farish talks about the many factors that combine to make a school lunch what it is. In …

11. Are You Wiser Than a 5th Grader? w/ Kids

August 10th, 2022


Three 10 to 11-year-olds reveal what they think about bad teachers, getting scared at night, forgiveness, Greek mythology, graphic novels, Kindles, …

10. Career Compass: Steering Students into Their Ideal Vocations w/ Tami Peterson

July 27th, 2022


Tami Peterson evolved from high school guidance counselor to a life architect.  From her deep experience in charting college plans and beyond, Tami …

9. A Poet from the Projects w/ Lennell Haley

July 13th, 2022


Lennell Haley recounts a life story that includes molestation and assault, but also hope and beauty.  If you want to hear what a Black woman's heart …

8. Good Taste: Influencing Our Kids Through The Meals We Feed Them w/ Callie Farish

June 29th, 2022


An award-winning chef and kitchen designer gets personal with Leah about food, family, and table manners.  In this episode, Callie Fowler Farish of …

7. No One Trafficks Trash w/ Kristin Weis

June 1st, 2022


Fighting the trafficking and sexual exploitation of our precious children: this is Kristin Weis's mission at the Demand Project.  She and Leah talk …

6. God, Grades, and Graduation w/ Ilana Horwitz

May 18th, 2022


Professor of Jewish Studies Ilana Horwitz's recent book God, Grades, and Graduation looks at whether students do better in school when they believe …

5. Unfriendly Wager: Gambling on Our Kids w/ Les Bernal

May 3rd, 2022


What do the state of Michigan, ESPN, Indian tribes, LSU's sports program, and Caesar's in Las Vegas have in common?  According to Les Bernal of, they want you and your kids to gamble.  He …

4. Seniors on Sunday w/ Jessica Moffatt

April 20th, 2022


Pastor of a Methodist megachurch, Jessica tells stories about and muses upon the elders among her congregation.  Leah asks how older Christians are …

3. The Multi-Generational Workplace w/ Tim Elmore

April 20th, 2022


Leah picks the lively brain of Tim Elmore, founder and CEO of Growing Leaders, an Atlanta organization taking leadership principles to the next generation.  We get vivid portrayals of Gen Z, Millennials, and Boomers: …

2. Emerging Adults and Babes in Keyboardland w/Diane Beals

April 20th, 2022


Diane Beals, PhD, a specialist in childhood language acquisition, and Leah reminisce about studying emerging adulthood--whether males age 18-21 feel …

1. Millennial Pachyderms w/ Josh Lewis

April 20th, 2022


Josh Lewis, host of Saving Elephants podcast, which connects Millennials to conservative ideas, joins Conversation Balloons to bring us up to speed on conservatism's younger adherents--and why there are not enough of …

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