085: Baby Blues, Kid Style – A Your Child Explained Episode

Today, I answer the second of two questions asked a few weeks ago by listener Suzanna; I answered Suzanna’s first question in a special bonus episode last Thursday about road-and-parking-lot safety with small children, which you can hear by clicking here.

Suzanna’s second question seems somewhat thornier, and will be familiar to anyone with more than one child (or who was more than one child growing up). She writes that she is concerned about “how to deal with the acting out the comes with the new baby in the family: hitting, potty training regression etc. So much is on how to physically intervene with hitting, but with an infant in arms this is often impossible.”

Click this link or go to weturnedoutokay.com/085 to read my response to Suzanna, and also for key links from today’s episode!

To answer Suzanna’s question, I drew off a few sources: the first is something that worked for my Mom, advice given her by our pediatrician when my younger brother stood at our youngest brother’s crib saying “I hate you… I wish you would go back where you came from.” Our pediatrician understood that my middle brother was hoping to be viewed as at least as important as the baby, and advised our Mom to, sometimes and not for a terribly long time, leave the baby in a safe place and focus on our middle brother. Finish out their game, or conversation, and know that the baby would be fine while she was hanging with our middle brother.

Secondly, I tapped into the mindset of the book Siblings Without Rivalry, my bible for raising young children and one that I hope you will run, not walk, to your nearest library or Internet book-buying spot and grab.
Adele Faber and Eileen Mazlish, the authors of this wonderful book, have a real knack for getting to the heart of what’s causing the sibling rivalry; they often focus on understanding where each child is coming from, or in this case where the jealousy around the new baby is coming from.
– With potty training regression, that might be coming from a desire to gain your attention by acting like a baby (I share here that I totally regressed when my younger brother came along… TMI? I hope not 🙂
– With the hitting, small kids can feel jealousy and just not know what to do with it; it’s important that we parents make sure our kids know that we love them for who they, themselves, are. There’s plenty of room for all our children in our hearts, and kids can understand that, so long as they know that they have an immovable place therein.

I recommend a wonderful book, On Mother’s Lap, about a little boy who is feeling somewhat jealous of his baby sister, and how their mom resolves this situation.
Not gonna lie: I got all emotional in today’s’s episode remembering this book. It’s wonderful, and there’s a link to it below if you cannot find it at your library.

Suzanna and all you other awesome moms and dads, I hope these responses help you in your parenting!

Key Links
If you haven’t had a chance, check out Tuesday’s conversation with Elizabeth Miller, caregiver extraordinaire and the woman who helps us understand how and why to take care of ourselves first, by going to weturnedoutokay.com/084 or clicking here.

Find Siblings Without Rivalry in Amazon here.

Listen to the podcast episode I did on that great book, called When Siblings Attack, by going to weturnedoutokay.com/007 or clicking here.

Find On Mother’s Lap in Amazon here.

If you’re looking for a boost of support that’s a level beyond what I can offer with We Turned Out Okay, check out the Ninja Parenting Community!

084: How – and Why – to Put Your Oxygen Mask On First: A Conversation with the Mom Behind happyhealthycaregiver.com, Elizabeth Miller

Do You you sometimes feel caught between competing demands in your life: work is pulling you one way, kids another, taking care of yourself a distant third?

My guest today, Elizabeth Miller of happyhealthycaregiver.com, knows your pain. In fact, a few years ago she added another demand on top of these when her father passed away and her chronically ill mother moved close to Elizabeth so she and her siblings could care for their Mom.

Elizabeth writes about that time in her life: “I was stressed, overwhelmed and often felt like I was suffocating by my never-ending to-do lists.”

After looking for a support network for others like her, caught in the middle as the so-called sandwich generation, Elizabeth created the support she needed by founding Happy Healthy Caregiver; now, she helps many others transcend the overwhelm she was feeling, while simultaneously caring for parents, children, and themselves.

Today, Elizabeth joins me to talk about how parents of young children – with all the work-life balance issues this stage of life brings – can enjoy family life and a great relationship with their children!

Click here or go to weturnedoutokay.com/084 to listen, and for key links, including to a fantastic meditation app and a book which has helped Elizabeth understand her loved ones better.

Key Links:

Click here to check out the Calm app, which Elizabeth swears by as a key way she’s found to enjoy life more and make everything easier.

Click here to go to the 5 Love Languages page in Amazon; this book helped Elizabeth understand her loved ones better, and I’m in favor of anything that does that!

Click here to check out Positive Discipline Ninja Tactics: Key Tools to Handle Every Temper Tantrum, Keep Your Cool, and Enjoy Life With Your Young Child at Amazon.com. It’s the book I wrote for you, if you are in the thick of raising young children and just need some good hacks and concrete tools to maintain your sanity and create a good relationship with your kids.

BONUS: How to Foster Your Kids’ Street Smarts – a Your Child Explained Q&A

Recently listener Suzanna got in touch with two great questions – so I decided to split the answers into today’s bonus Your Child Explained and next week’s regularly scheduled one.

Today I answer Suzanna’s first question: how can we keep our kids safe on roadways and in parking lots and other public places, while also giving them some independence?

My answer is twofold – click here to listen, read the show notes, and for key links talked about in today’s episode!

Suzanna writes: “I want to hear about how to deal with real safety issues: being on tricycles or scooters near streets and how to let kids be independent but also safely stopping before getting to the corner, etc. How to help kids understand the real safety “No”.

The way I see it, there are two important components to keeping kids safe in these situations:
– First: practice.
The more practice we can give kids in safely checking for cars before crossing the street, walking instead of running in a parking lot, and other situations they give so many of us parents nightmares, the less likely they are to get hurt.
I suggest a park or unpopulated street to practice on at first, and also playing that wonderful and fun game Red Light, Green Light to get them started. Then, gradually work up to giving a little more independence as you feel safe doing so.

– Second: Cultivate a special, loud voice that you only use in a dangerous situation.
We all yell sometimes, and need to forgive ourselves, myself included. But if we can keep shouting to a minimum, and then really only use that top volume when we see a kid running after a ball or if one of them gets away from you in a parking lot, it could save a kid’s life.

Suzanna, I hope that helps!

Key Links:
Check out the Ninja Parenting Community by clicking here. This is an online community I’ve been building, almost ready to open its doors! If you need an extra boost of support with your parenting, this is the place for you. I hope to see you in there!

083: Three Ways to Help Your Kids Understand Their Feelings (And Why It Matters)

Understanding our own feelings is the work of childhood – but sometimes this important work is not completed when it should be, and that’s bad for so many reasons. Today we look at what can go wrong, and talk about 3 ways to help kids understand their own feelings!
This Just You and Me episode functions as the second of two chapter studies of Positive Discipline Ninja Tactics: Key Tools to Handle Every Temper Tantrum, Keep Your Cool, and Enjoy Life With Your Young Child.
Click here or go to weturnedoutokay.com/083 to listen and get access to key links, including to your FREE guide outlining the bonus fourth way to help our kids understand their own feelings!

When figuring out our own feelings is not resolved in childhood, kids go into adolescence and young adulthood without a true understanding of themselves and their place in the world. This can result in anxiety, depression, and unresolved anger which could be turned inward on themselves, or outward on others. Very bad.

Here are three ways to not let that happen:
1) Start off by naming their feelings for them, early and often. Over time you’ll notice they start to name their own feelings, and as they understand these emotions better they’ll use their words instead of lashing out or melting down. It does take time, but it’s a really worth the investment of our time!
2) Read some favorite books that help kids name feelings – here are four of our favorites:
Glad Monster, Sad Monster by Ed Emberley and Anne Miranda
The Little Old Lady Who Wasn’t Afraid of Anything by Linda D. Williams and Megan Lloyd
Alexander and The Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day by Judith Viorst
Don’t Let The Pigeon Drive The Bus! by Mo Willems
(click there titles to go to the Amazon page for each; for my favorite secondhand book website, scroll to the end of these notes and click the Better World Books link, maybe you’ll get lucky and find a used copy)
3) Play feelings games:
Take turns making happy faces, sad or angry faces, frustrated, surprised… and then talk about what we can do when we experience each of those feelings for real.

Bonus 4) Download your free guide to making 5 different feelings books! Several of these were great fun to make when my boys were small, in addition to helping them understand their own feelings.

– Please note: in today’s’s episode I give a website address which is clunky and annoying to try to remember and type in. So, instead of putting you through that kind of torture, I’ve made it much easier for you to get this guide: just scroll to the bottom and click the picture. A little box will pop up, type your name and email in there, and the Feelings Books guide will win its way over to your inbox 🙂

To get the guide, click the picture below to sign up!

Key Links:
Click here or go to weturnedoutokay.com/080 to listen to the first chapter study from Positive Discipline Ninja Tactics, about a favorite hack of mine to implement when you are at your wit’s end with your young child.

Click here or go to http://amzn.to/1WE8DOA to check out the Positive Discipline Ninja Tactics page at Amazon.com.

Click here or go to betterworldbooks.com to visit my favorite secondhand book-purchasing site on the web!

Click this picture to download the Guide to Making 5 Feelings Books:

082: Helping Marla Streamline Busy Mornings with Six-Year-Old Gracie: A Your Child Explained Episode

20160502_174044_resizedDo you wish your mornings could be a little bit less stressful? It can be really hard to get out the door with young kids, and that was Marla’s situation with her kindergartner, Gracie.

Recently Marla wrote with the following questions: “how can I pull her out of the “I will not and you can’t make me!” mindset and nudge her back into “if I do this we can all have a good time” mindset? When she has her battle armor on, she will argue with me about everything… she will sometimes yell and sometimes I yell. I try to get to her level and talk about it, but sometimes I’m not sure what to say. We just need to get ready to go. You know?”

For Marla, the situation is a little bit more complicated as Gracie has Down Syndrome. But I was so happy that we could record our coaching call – EVERY young child gets that battle armor sometimes!

Today I’m thrilled to bring you my parent coaching call with Marla. Like you, she is a parent who loves her child fiercely and and yet also struggles with the day-to-day issues that every child can bring up. When I checked in with Marla recently she had really great news about streamlining their busy mornings, and you’ll hear about that towards the end of this episode.

Click here or go to weturnedoutokay.com/082 to check out Marla’s beautiful schedule board, created for Gracie based on the advice I was able to share, and also for key links to today’s episode!

Like so much else in life, the struggles that Gracie was having in the morning felt to me like transition issues. When we say to our kids “it’s time for you to stop doing what you want to do… and come do what I want you to do” they often hate to be interrupted (as do we ourselves!) Well, when we must interrupt them and they have to come do what we need them to do, that’s a transition.

I suggested that Marla create a schedule board so that Gracie could see, in a very concrete way, what has already been accomplished, what’s coming next, and can feel a thrill at the idea of progressing along the schedule board.

Marla changed the language that she uses with Grace, incorporating positive goals and very small wins into each day. She writes: “I also have been trying harder to give her a positive goal like, “we need to get ready for school so you can go on the field trip today.” Or “we need to hurry and brush hair if you want to wear your sparkly shoes.” I’ve been trying to make it possible to offer one positive goal every morning, even if it is listening to a Lion King song in the car.”

Marla finishes her note: “mornings are going much smoother these days.”

When I read Marla’s email, saw the schedule board she made for Gracie – so beautiful, and so useful as well! – I had a smile on my face for the whole rest of the day.

The ability to help people like Marla, like you, is one of the true thrills in my life.

Behind the scenes here at We Turned Out Okay, I’ve been working hard on a way to more intensively help you, a way that I can get to know you and your situation personally and offer ideas, support, and advice especially for you.

Today I have a big announcement: the Ninja Parenting Community is opening soon, on or about June 20, 2016!

It’s a community for parents of young children, moms and dads who want more access to my knowledge of kids and how to keep them from driving you nuts; I’ll be in the forums nearly every day, answering questions and engaging with parents just like you.

But it is SO much more than that – it’s a place where parents can share resources, vent in the Parent Meltdown Corner and know that a virtual hug and some kind words are coming their way. Starting this summer, each month we will have a live call, so you can ask your questions and I can answer them, live and in person!

It’s also in beta right now, which means two great things for you:

1) when you join, it’s your ideas that make this community exactly what you want it to be – if there is a training or a class you want me to create around any aspect of parenting young children, just ask me in the forums and I will get working on it!

2) joining the Ninja Parenting Community is half the cost of what it will be in the future. Right now, a month of fun, support, and advice costs about the same as a couple of pizzas, and will remain that way as long as you’re a part of the community (even though future members will be paying a higher price.)

Click this link or go to weturnedoutokay.com/calm-cool-ninja-parent to learn more!

081: What I Learned In Helping My Parents While My Dad Had Emergency Brain Surgery Last Month (Yes, This Really Just Happened)

About three weeks ago, my father required brain surgery to fix a subdural hematoma that he sustained while skiing two months previously. My husband Ben held the fort here at home while I flew out to be with my folks; today I’m sharing what I learned during the ten days I spent with them. (Dad is doing very well and on the mend.)
This episode comes in three parts: first, I share about what I learned during the ten days I spent with Mom and Dad surrounding Dad’s surgery.
Next, we are rebroadcasting the father’s day bonus episode from June 2015, my conversation with my Dad; finally, we are rebroadcasting the mother’s day bonus episode from May 2015, my conversation with my Mom (my favorite part: when she describes her Stuffed Zucchini Theory of parenting young children 🙂
Today’s episode is unusual, and not what I was planning at all – sometimes life intervenes, and that’s just, well, life. I bring it to you in hopes you can learn something from my experience. I hope it resonates with you, dear listener, and helps you remember how important family bonds are.

080: An Awesome Parent Ninja Tactic for When You Are At Your Wit’s End

Today, I share possibly my all-time favorite ninja tactic for parents! This is the one to bring out when you are ready to go and have a meltdown of your own.

Instead of doing that… Do this: use the First/Then ninja tactic to make transitioning your child from what he wants to do to what you need him to do easily understandable – and a lot smoother!

Today’s episode is the first of two chapter studies, where we focus on one chapter of Positive Discipline Ninja Tactics: Key Tools to Handle Every Temper Tantrum, Keep Your Cool, and Enjoy Life With Your Young Child.

I hope you get a lot out of this study of Chapter 5: Use First/Then, a tool I used all the time to keep sane when my boys were small.

Click here or go to weturnedoutokay.com/080 to listen, and click here  or go to weturnedoutokay.com/episode-80-first-then to download your FREE guide, all about how to create a First/Then chart to bring out when you need a concrete tool to help you help your child!

079: Why Teach Kids to Help Others? A Your Child Explained Episode

In this Your Child Explained episode, we consider what helping others looks like from inside our kid’s head!

This past Tuesday, I spoke with a mentor of mine, a man who shaped my thinking on how helping others makes us happier and builds a better world. Click here or go to weturnedoutokay.com/078 to listen to my conversation with No Impact Man Colin Beavan.

Today, we riff on that conversation to discuss why it’s important to teach our kids to help others. Plus I get to read from one of my favorite books, To Kill A Mockingbird by Harper Lee!

Click here or go to weturnedoutokay.com for key links and to listen.

Key Links:

Click here for Colin Beavan’s latest book, How to Be Alive, and click here or go to weturnedoutokay.com/078 for our conversation.

Click here to read To Kill A Mockingbird.

Go to weturnedoutokay.com/contact to share about how your child is helping others (or to share your favorite part of To Kill A Mockingbird… or just to say hi 🙂