‘Parenting GPS’: Former educator makes television debut

Former SUSD educator Kari Kling has recently made her on-camera debut with her talk show, “Parenting GPS,” on Your America TV’s streaming platform. (Special to Lovin’ Life After 50)

By Alex Gallagher

Throughout her 40-year career, Kari Kling has done much beyond teaching at Aztec and Hopi elementary schools.

She has been an educator and consultant with Scottsdale Unified School District as a lead teacher, counselor and parent coach as well as an author and a speaker. Now, she is adding TV personality to her resume.

Kling began devoting her life to childhood education in 1981, when she started teaching in the Kyrene School District.

But her work in education went beyond the classroom, including teaching people how to parent their children.

“I believe (parenting) is the most important role any of us could ever have, and nobody is prepared for every stage and every hurdle that may come their way,” Kling says. “And I think people feel guilty or a bit of shame if they feel like they have to ask for help. I want to remove that stigma.”

After years of working as a parent coach following her career as an educator, Kling began posting parenting advice on Instagram and eventually received an offer to reach a bigger audience by becoming a monthly contributor for Brainz Magazine.

One of her pieces came to the attention of TV show “Politics and Profits” host Rick Amato, who invited Kling to be a guest.

After becoming a semi-frequent guest on the show, Kling discovered that this media platform garnered a larger audience.

She was awarded her own show on the Roku streaming app “Your America TV,” called “Parenting GPS.”

“(Television) gives us accessibility to millions and millions of people globally, and it’s consistent in terms of the fact that it’s always there,” Kling says.

“Because people can see me, it becomes more of a feeling of trust when you can see the person,” she continues. “You can see the body language and you can get to know the person and know that it’s a trusted resource.”

“Parenting GPS” is currently in its first season and has 19 episodes available to watch.
The show runs in a talk-show style as Kling converses with behavioral health experts, authors and neuroscience experts to give parents deeper knowledge and simple strategies in regard to what it takes to raise a healthy, happy child in a complicated world.

Kling’s goal is to provide families with content, strategies and resources to “be the kind of parent that they always wanted to be.”

“We have a culture that really gears itself to get professional intervention once there’s a crisis,” she says. “I always say to people, ‘Don’t wait until there’s a crisis to get professional support.’”

Instead, Kling advises parents to monitor their child’s behavior for a few short weeks, and if there doesn’t seem to be signs of improvement, to seek help.
She feels her show can be a great place to start.

“My goal for my show is to become a resource for someone if they have a problem so that they don’t have to feel that shame or financial burden of going to one-on-one coaching, which I still recommend that people do,” Kling says.

Topics addressed on her show have ranged from mental health, to how to effectively co-parent, to dealing with physical illness.

Episodes include subjects like “I’m Just a Kid with an IEP,” “Building Better Brains,” “Autism and Chronic Illness: Recovery is Possible,” “Kidvestors” and “Why Can’t You JUST Behave?”
Kling’s most recent topic was a four-part series about helping children during their parents’ divorce.

New episodes air each week.

“Parenting GPS” is currently available for streaming on Roku streaming sticks via the Your America TV app, but Kling says it could soon be added to Amazon Firesticks and Apple TV streaming boxes.

She also expressed interest in one day hosting the show in front of a live audience.
But for the time being, she hopes that her show can become a top resource for parents who are struggling to manage their children’s behavior or want advice on how to be a better parent.

“It’s my hope that parents will recognize, No. 1, that they don’t have to know it all and they don’t have to feel badly if they don’t know it all,” Kling says.

“I hope that they know that no matter what situation comes to them on their parenting journey, whether it’s a hurdle to get over or something very positive, that they always have a place to turn to try to get more information.”

Parenting GPS can be watched on youramericatv.com/watch or karikling.com/all-episodes.