Podcast Episode 180: The Dangers of Overscheduling – A Your Child Explained Episode

Welcome! To listen to today’s episode, scroll all the way down to the bottom of this post and hit the triangular “play” button. Enjoy the show!

It’s the beginning of the school year, if you’re listening in real time, and thus the time of year where we are all figuring out new routines, new bus routes, new sports schedules and after-school activities… Definitely a time where we can feel overwhelmed.

Today’s show answers Shelley’s question: “what are the hazards of overscheduling my kids?”

The way I see it, there are two big hazards in overscheduling.

It’s worth, whether at the beginning of the school year or whenever you hear this, understanding the dangers in putting too many items on our children’s schedules.

Only then can we understand the potential damage we’re doing, and begin to figure out how to reduce the overscheduling.

Today’s episode outlines the 2 big hazards in overscheduling, so hit play and listen in!

Please note: if you’re feeling overwhelmed about school day morning chaos, the Streamline Your Mornings 5-Day Challenge starts in less than a week! Registration closes on Sunday, September 3, so sign up for this FREE challenge now. (9/3/17: Click Here for the Waitlist.)
The challenge includes an email in your inbox outlining a step you can take to calm the overwhelm and streamline your mornings every day from Monday, September 4 through Friday, September 8. On that day you’ll also have access to my Facebook live, back-to-school Ask Me Anything, happening in the private We Turned Out Okay Facebook group.

For notes from today’s show, for key links, and to sign up for the free Streamline Your Mornings 5-Day Challenge go to weturnedoutokay.com/180! Continue reading “Podcast Episode 180: The Dangers of Overscheduling – A Your Child Explained Episode”

Why you need to join the Streamline Your Mornings Free 5-Day Challenge

If you’re struggling with these back-to-school mornings, sign up below for the Streamline Your Mornings Free 5-Day Challenge.

Welcome! (9/3/17: Click Here for the Waitlist, so you’ll know immediately when I offer this challenge again.)

And scroll all the way to the bottom of this post and hit the triangular “play” button to listen and find out why you should!

Are you feeling any of the following right now?

  • Worry about busy schoolday mornings, with the chaos of everyone trying to get up/get dressed/eat/get teeth and hair brushed/get lunches/get out the door/etc.?
  • Fears that, even though you’ve got a pretty good routine right now, that that could all change with one bad night or morning meltdown?
  • Guilt at being consistently – no matter what you try – super late out the door?
  • Helpless , as you send your child off into school, about “throwing your baby to the wolves?”

If so, I’ve got a way for you to feel better:

Join the Streamline Your Mornings 5-Day Challenge!
(It starts this coming Monday, September 4 and sign-ups close the day before, Sunday, September 3.)

This quick episode shares what the challenge includes and how participating in it will help you.

So give it a listen – and then click here to go to weturnedoutokay.com and click the picture to join the challenge!

Podcast Episode 179: How to Be a Parent AND a Creative Person (and also help your child be creative)

Today’s guest, Dan Blank; image from his website, wegrowmedia.com

Welcome! To listen to today’s episode, scroll all the way down to the bottom of this post and hit the triangular “play” button. Enjoy the show!

Today’s guest, author, artist, and speaker Dan Blank, knows an awful lot about fostering creativity. As dad to a six-year-old and a new baby, he also knows the struggles that creative people go through to retain their creativity – their sanity, even – while raising children.

For Dan it’s a foregone conclusion: the way we humans are, right down to our very core, demands creativity. It’s not something we can escape because it’s part of us – everything feels off when we don’t have a creative outlet.

But how do we accomplish that, while we’re caught up in the daily demands of work, and raising children, and everything else?

That’s what our conversation is all about today. I know you’re going to love it!

For the full show notes and key links – and to sign up for the FREE Streamline Your Mornings challenge, which will help you get a handle on the school day morning chaos and starts this coming Monday, September 4 – go to weturnedoutokay.com/179. Continue reading “Podcast Episode 179: How to Be a Parent AND a Creative Person (and also help your child be creative)”

Podcast Episode 178: Three steps to more responsible kids

Welcome! To listen to today’s episode, scroll all the way down to the bottom of this post and hit the “play” button. Enjoy the show!

Do you ever wish your kids took on more around the house? Does the prospect of getting to that point seem so overwhelming that you give up before you’ve even started?

Today we’re talking about the how to foster responsibility in kids – not an easy task!

The way I see it, there are 3 things we can do to encourage responsibility in our kids.

Listen to today’s show to find out what they are and how to put them into practice!

Go to weturnedoutokay.com/178 for key links and notes to this episode, and to sign up for the challenge. And have a great day! Continue reading “Podcast Episode 178: Three steps to more responsible kids”

5 Ways to Talk to Your Kids about Racism


A lot of parents in my area of the country – Boston, Massachusetts – are worried because the white supremacists are having a rally on Boston Common tomorrow (Saturday, August 19, 2017).

Wherever you live, there are chances for your young child to hear about, or even see, scary and upsetting images and video in which racists do horrible things, or say horrible things.

As parents, sometimes it’s really hard to know how to address our kids’ worries, and we can feel so helpless thinking about such a big, scary subject.

If you’re wondering where to begin, you’ve come to the right place!

I’ve got 5 ways for you to talk to your kids about racism – and, I’m posting the YouTube video I made just above these words.

5 Ways to Talk to Your Kids about Racism:

1) Help your child feel safe.
When they see scary things in the news, kids automatically worry about their own selves and their own loved ones – will Mama be hit by a car when she goes to work?
Make your child feel safer by listening to his or her questions, and using reassuring words and simple language. Continue reading “5 Ways to Talk to Your Kids about Racism”

Podcast Episode 177: Ever Tempted to Spank Your Child? Here’s Something that Works Better. (A Your Child Explained Episode)

If you need a life preserver, today’s episode is for you.

Hello! To listen to today’s episode, scroll all the way down to the bottom of this post and hit the triangular “play” button. Enjoy the show!

“My wife doesn’t want me to spank them, I get it – I don’t want to either but what else can I do?” These words come from a listener’s email, a desperate plea to figure out how to discipline kids and keep order during the daily grind.

This listener goes on to say “I got spanked, and turned out okay… I got more than spanked to tell you the truth, and I know what the constant barrage of words being screamed at me feels like. To be honest, I’d rather have had the spanking.”

This listener deftly identifies two things that do not work with kids:
1) a “constant barrage of words”
2) spanking.

So, what do you do instead?

Listen to this episode to find out!

Go to weturnedoutokay.com/177 for key links. Continue reading “Podcast Episode 177: Ever Tempted to Spank Your Child? Here’s Something that Works Better. (A Your Child Explained Episode)”

Bonus: How to feel less helpless about racism, or Building a World Without Racism

Back in the early 90s, when I was a preschool teacher, I worked with two 4-year-old best friends, “Stacy,” who had lovely chocolate brown skin and eyes, and “Kim,” who had blonde hair and blue eyes.

One day, as these two best buddies waited together in line for the bathroom, Kim innocently looked up at me and said: “I don’t like black people.”

I was speechless – she’s holding the hand of her best friend, who IS a black person, telling me how she doesn’t like black people… It just did not compute.

Until I realized that she did not think of Stacy as a black person; Stacy was her best friend.

She did not know who “black people” were. When she said those words she was parroting the adults in her life.

Metaphorically, I threw up my hands. I felt terrible, but I just did not know what to do. Should I talk to Kim’s parents? Should I talk to Stacy’s parents? Should I try to persuade Kim that she shouldn’t feel that way about black people?

In the end I did nothing, I said nothing. While I spoke of this with my fellow preschool teachers, I never took it any further than that.

But it stayed with me all these years (Kim and Stacy are now in their 20s.)

Maybe you watched just a few days ago with horror as a white supremacists plowed his car into a peaceful protest, killing one and injuring many – and terrifying all.

Maybe you wondered what kind of a world you’re raising a child in.

Maybe you threw up your hands and said “what can I possibly do about this?”

If so, then this bonus episode is for you.

I just finished recording. I couldn’t stop thinking about Kim and Stacy, and also a song from an old musical, South Pacific:

You’ve got to be taught before it’s too late/
Before you are six or seven or eight/
To hate all the people your relatives hate/
You’ve got to be carefully taught!

I was thinking about you, and about how you maybe feel like throwing up your hands and shouting “what can I possibly do about this?”

And I was thinking about Stacy, wondering how many times in her twenty-something years she’s gotten the message from our society that somehow, just because of the way she looks, she is wrong, or bad, or “other.”

And, I was thinking about a We Turned Out Okay listener, named Kerri, who wrote back in May (when We Turned out Okay turned two) with a question:
“I would like to know as a white person what I need to do to be sure my children are not contributing to the racism that is hurting so many.”

I recorded this episode to give us – myself, as much as anyone – a roadmap, some steps to take to build a world in which racism has no part.

Four steps, to be exact; four steps we can take to build a world without racism.

Four steps to help you counter the fear and negativity, four steps to help you help your child understand what racism is, and why it needs to die.

Along the way I talk about a whole bunch of stuff, like a favorite Dr. Seuss book, wise words from several friends of the podcast, and child development theory to help you understand your child better.

Click here to read about the four steps to a world without racism and to get links to the people and podcasts and books I reference during the episode – and thank you very much for listening, for not throwing up your hands and concluding there’s nothing you can do.

Because as the parent of a young child, the key to ending racism is in your hands. Continue reading “Bonus: How to feel less helpless about racism, or Building a World Without Racism”

Podcast Episode 176: On Interracial Marriage and Parenting – A Conversation with Poets and Actors Ingrid Alli and Hamilton Graziano

Welcome! To listen to today’s episode, scroll all the way down to the bottom of this post and hit the triangular “play” button. Enjoy the show!

When We Turned Out Okay turned 2 several months ago, I asked you all for ideas about what you wanted me to address on the show.
Listener Kerri said “I would like to know as a white person what I need to do to be sure my children are not contributing to the racism that is hurting so many.”

Today, I speak with married, interracial couple Ingrid Alli and Hamilton Graziano, in possibly one of the most moving conversations I’ve been able to bring you yet.

Ingrid and Hamilton are newlyweds, just starting out in their married life and, as yet, do not have children.

They want kids, though – and they come on the show today to share their thoughts on what it’s like to be part of an interracial couple, what it was like growing up for Ingrid, as an African-American, and their hopes about race in this modern world.

Notice: I did not say “hopes and fears about race”… Ingrid and Hamilton are curiously, delightfully fear-free. They know what’s at stake, they live every day in a divisive America, and they take the positive stance that love wins.

They’re performance poets, and I know you’ll love, as I did, their award-winning performance of their poem, “The Lovings,” about an interracial couple who fought nine long years for the right to marry in their state of Virginia.

Ingrid and Hamilton got their marriage license 50 years to the day, in Virginia, from when the Lovings got theirs. (Click the link below for the full show notes to this episode, where I’ve embedded YouTube video of Ingrid and Hamilton’s performance of this poem.)

Ingrid and Hamilton have also got great advice in response to Kerri’s question, and it’s the sort of answer that transcends today’s conversation about race. Their answer to Kerri’s question is also the answer to worries about parenting, feeling good inside ourselves, and alleviating that guilt that many of us carry around – vague, uncertain, but there nonetheless.

I hope you enjoy this episode. It won’t be the last one about race and parenting – Kerri’s is a two-part question and once the back-to-school mayhem settles down, we’ll return to this issue.

To read the advice Ingrid and Hamilton share about how to help make sure our children aren’t contributing to the racism that hurts so many, go to weturnedoutokay.com/176! Continue reading “Podcast Episode 176: On Interracial Marriage and Parenting – A Conversation with Poets and Actors Ingrid Alli and Hamilton Graziano”

Podcast Episode 175: “How can I get my kids to listen to me the FIRST time I ask?”

Welcome! To listen to today’s episode, scroll all the way down to the bottom of this post and hit the triangular “play” button. Enjoy the show!

Today we take on one of the toughest issues of all: getting our kids to listen to us.

This is something every parent deals with and in recent weeks I’ve been asked about it more than once.

Stephanie says “they seem to have come to me without the ability to listen;” Jocelyn says she struggles with “kids not listening and obeying the first time I ask (or the first ten times)”…

Is this you? Do you find yourself standing in the kitchen sometimes, with your son or daughter in the next room, and your voice is getting louder and louder and you’re clenching your fists and rolling your eyes… And still you’re not getting the response you need?

Well then, today’s episode is for you.

Listen by going to weturnedoutokay.com/175 . Continue reading “Podcast Episode 175: “How can I get my kids to listen to me the FIRST time I ask?””

Podcast Episode 174: Feeling Responsible for Our Kids’ Bad Behavior, The Dreaded “No!” and Other Tough Parenting Conundrums in this Your Child Explained Episode

Hello! To listen to today’s show, scroll all the way down to the bottom of this post and hit the triangular “play” button. Enjoy the show!

It’s time for NPC member Jen’s parent-coaching call, and it’s a doozy: Jen was feeling guilty about being “responsible” for getting her kids into situations where they were overtired and/or frustrated. She took their misbehavior as her fault, and in this episode I help her figure out a more productive way to frame the situation.

We also dig in to several other issues, and by helping Jen resolve them on-air, I also get to help you figure out what to do when:

  • Your child screams “no!” In those moments when you need her to do what you’re asking her to do instead of what she wants to do.
  • You’re trying to figure out how far to push your child in interacting with strangers.

Listen to this episode for detailed answers; to read my suggestions and check out the key links for this episode, go to weturnedoutokay.com/174… Enjoy the show!

The bottom line on who’s responsible for the children’s behavior, even when they are overtired and/or frustrated… It’s the children who are responsible for their own behavior. Always, even when they’ve been dragged into a situation that isn’t ideal.

When you think about how many times, as a grown-up, you feel stuck in a frustrating situation, sometimes when you haven’t had enough sleep – chances are good that you don’t turn to the person behind you in line and say something mean, or start an argument with them (I hope not : )

Even when we know it’s our fault, we need to hold children to the expectation that ultimately they are responsible for their own behavior. The earlier we do this, the better they get at it.

When they scream “no”:
During our conversation, Jen made a discovery – her daughter only screams like this when it’s time to finish up, very specifically, with screen time. Armed with this knowledge, we discuss how she can make this particular transition go more smoothly.

When they’re not friendly to strangers:
I share the problems that can crop up when parents insist on their children “saying hello” or thank you to people whom the children don’t know.

We discuss ways to model “friendliness with strangers,” and how much more effective it is to give our kids time and space to get comfortable before interacting in their own way.

Key Links:

Are you worrying about the insanity of back-to-school time? Join WTOO’s Streamline Your Mornings challenge, where we’ll spend five days in early September making your mornings better! Click the Streamline Your Mornings Challenge picture in the sidebar to the right for details.(9/3/17: Click Here for the Waitlist, so you’ll know immediately when I offer this challenge again.)

Jen is a member of the Ninja Parenting Community – that’s how she got this parent-coaching call! To become a ninja at parenting just like Jen, click here .

If you love the show, please rate and review us in iTunes… That’s how so many people find us. Click here to rate/review, and thanks so much!