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Early Childhood Ed Director Erin O’Connor Launches Parenting Podcast


Parenting Understood breaks down contemporary research for everyday parents.

A microphone in the foreground with a blurred computer screen behind it showing audio recording metrics in purple.

Erin O’Connor, EdD, professor of education and director of Steinhardt’s Early Childhood Education program, has launched a podcast called Parenting Understood, aimed at helping parents become more confident and relaxed in their parenting through evidence-based resources.

“I decided that a podcast would be a great way to reach a broad audience, and a way to have conversations with researchers and learn about their work in an interactive manner,” said O’Connor.

Launched on May 19, 2021, Parenting Understood is co-hosted by Michelle Tangeman, LMFT, BCBA, who has a background in behavioral health and therapy. The hosts interview a variety of researchers and practitioners in the field, as well as parents, teachers, and clinicians.

“We know that parents are pressed for time, so we aim for every episode to be 30 minutes or less,” said O’Connor. “We discuss current research in an approachable way, and we ask every participant to give us two or three takeaways that listeners can think about or put into action.”

Parenting Understood episode topics so far have included self-regulation in early development, maternal and child stress, and combating the summer slide. Guests have included several Steinhardt connections, including Natalie H. Brito, assistant professor of applied psychology, and Ashley Fallon (’20 PhD, Early Childhood and Childhood Education), director of Mansfield Children’s Center in Massachusetts.

Creating the podcast is informing me as a researcher, because I’m talking to experts who are outside of my everyday realm of work,” said O’Connor. “It’s also great to interact with parents who are outside of the bubble of New York City and hear how everyone’s parenting struggles are different. I think it’s good to broaden your understanding of the world.”

New episodes of Parenting Understood are released every Wednesday and can be found on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Stitcher, and other major podcast directories.

Erin O'Connor

Professor of Education & Chief of Education at Cooper