By Deb Silverthorn
Sitting in the carpool line just got less stressful thanks to Melissa Plaskoff’s pen to paper to social media success Carpool Talk Show, available on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Periscope, YouTube and on their own website.
“We are providing fun and informative positivity for the ‘dreaded’ carpool ride and while waiting for our children,” said Plaskoff, the wife of Bart and mother of Annabelle (2), Parker (7), and Hudson (10), who are in three schools with three separate drop-off and pickup times and locales. “When kids get in the car it’s so easy to be frustrated from the wait, or annoyed by the cars or people around us not moving ‘quickly’ enough.
“The carpool wait often is a time when people check their mail, they pay bills or they read — we want to provide a peaceful, sometimes funny and light, educational, and meaningful time,” Plaskoff said. “Whether it’s mom or dad, grandparents or a nanny who is waiting for their child to get in the car, we think everyone has something to learn, something to take away and share, or a new manner to act with our children. We can all relate better to our charges when they get in the car if we spend our time positively.”
Plaskoff co-produces and co-hosts the series with Sarah Crilley Hill, with guests of varying expertise from medical and camp advisory professionals to exercise and fashion gurus. From tips for the kitchen and great school lunches and afterschool snacks to road tripping with kids to tech support, Carpool Talk Show will have the answers.
With a resume that includes experience as a teacher and in the insurance and real estate industries, Plaskoff, who is affiliated with both Congregation Shearith Israel and Temple Emanu-El, spent a number of years as an at-home mom, then returned to work in business development at RealNewsPR. Not new to pushing the envelope to make creative ideas happen, Plaskoff and her husband, when engaged, had a Habitat for Humanity Couples Shower where guests brought the tools and manpower to make a difference. Thirteen years later, after voicing her idea in a company meeting, it was clear there was a space for Carpool Talk Show.
“Helping people figure out how to strike a balance and to highlight and give the carpoolers a voice is something I’m excited about and something we definitely wanted to support,” said Hill, who is the mother of Caleb (5).
“I’m thrilled to work with Melissa, who is dynamic as a mom, wife, professional, and I absolutely admire her transparency and enthusiasm for and about parenting,” said Hill, Speaker’s Bureau director at Real News Public Relations.
Carpool Talk Show, which premiered online Nov. 1 and will regularly post new episodes, has featured interviews with experts who have logged their own mileage in the carpool scene like author Jackie Waldman, body image specialist Dr. Mandy Golman, and OB/GYN Dr. Jay Staubb. Waldman, author of The Courage to Give, Teens With the Courage to Give, America, Sept. 11 — The Courage to Give, Teachers With the Courage to Give, and People With MS — The Courage to Give, who also contributed to the book Parent School: Simple Lessons from Leading Experts on Being a Mom and Dad, spent many years hitting the road as mother to Plaskoff and her brothers Todd and Michael, making sure her children got to where they needed to be, now filling in and helping out in her role as proud grandmother.
Dr. Golman, the mother of Grey (8), Judd (16), and Macy (19) — now a college freshman — believes she has important information to share for listeners, and she looks forward to tuning in to learn from others herself.
“Negative body image is something we deal with in our children really from the time they are very little and it’s not just our girls and their concern about their ‘fat thighs’ but the ‘buff’ image our boys worry about from younger and younger ages,” said Dr. Golman, Ph.D., M.S., MCHES, an educator, trainer, consultant and faculty member in Health Studies at Texas Woman’s University, whose work spans the health spectrum to include women’s wellness, parenting, adolescent sexuality, teen pregnancy prevention, nutrition, eating disorder prevention and the importance of positive body image. “We all live with it and our children watch and learn from us when we are getting dressed in the morning — they hear that ‘I feel fat’ comment we think we are keeping to ourselves, and they can be consumed with it. It’s important to move the conversation from our bodies to our minds, activities, hobbies, and life — and to really impart on them that we are so much more than the body we are in.”
The Carpool Talk Show team is also hitting the road, with listeners referring friends and family to a “Carpool Ambush” in carpool lines throughout the Metroplex to help clean out cars, provide mini-makeovers and more. Drink Daily Greens sharing juice and snacks, Petals and Stems donating flowers, and Mystical Coffee Club providing a caffeine jump are among those sponsoring the segment to help drivers wet their whistles while they wait.
Episode interviews, which are taped in the Real News Public Relations firm studio, include mindful parenting, striking a brighter spark with your spouse, 5-minute abs in the front seat, “not your ‘Grannie’s Granny’” — an ode to the many grandparents who are helping families with child raising — and fashion ideas including “how to turn workout wear into school-visit styling.”
“One carpool line at a time, we want to create a carpool community,” said Hill as the team is first focusing on the DFW arena, hoping to hit the road for many miles, “and take the pressure of drivers, which no doubt helps release the stress on our kids — in the car, and at home.”
Carpool Talk Show is available on the following social media sites: