How do we handle big parental pressures? Talking with KJ Dell’Antonia, author of the forthcoming book How to be a Happier Parent (podcast episode 237)

Talking with returning champion KJ Dell’Antonia

is always a pleasure, and this episode is maybe my favorite conversation with her yet!

KJ has got a book coming out later this month, and if you’re feeling the pressures of parenting, you are going to LOVE her book, How to be a Happier Parent.

Like so many of my favorite conversations, this one zooms around and goes in directions that I didn’t envision when we sat down to talk.

And every direction offers something valuable for you to take into your parenting life.

We talk about:

  • Why parents need something of their own – something separate from your kids – to enjoy
  • How (and why) after-school activities and sports got so crazy
  • KJ’s two key steps to handling the big, bad pressures on us parents.

Go to for the TONS of links that come up in our conversation, and also to read more about KJ’s 2-step process to deal with those pressures…

And thank you so much for listening!

[Please note: Magic Words for Parents, our series of quick phrases to help you say the right thing even in the toughest parenting moments, is on vacation until September 10… Click here for the playlist of past Magic Words in YouTube, and click here for the EXTRA Magic Words videos … get exclusive access by becoming a We Turned Out Okay Patreon patron.]


Handling Parental Pressure

Remember when you were a teen, and all the concerned adults in your life talked about “peer pressure?” The idea being that, lots of the mischief teenagers get up to happens because of the mob mentality of a group of teenagers.

KJ and I talk about all the pressures that parents feel today, where all these pressures came from – and most importantly, what you can do about it when you’re feeling stuck.



Here is KJ’s 2-Step Process

1) Remember your values.
KJ shares in this episode that she is surprising herself by pulling her children out of school to get to hockey.
Because hockey tournaments now start on Fridays.
So KJ and her husband had to decide: which is more important in this instance, school, or not letting down the hockey team?
While school is a priority, on these rare occasions the “team player” value wins out for KJ and family.
But they could only make that decision, and stick by it despite pushback from the school, by first understanding their values.

2) Let kids make their own choices and their own mistakes.
How do we grow into competent, confident adults?
We try things, and screw up, and figure out how to fix our mistakes.

In today’s conversation KJ advocates for giving kids the chance to try this out.

It alleviates pressure on us, because suddenly we are not ultimately responsible, and also frees up our time because we are not micromanaging somebody else’s life anymore.

The earlier we start letting our kids make their own choices, the better they get at it – and the less pressure there is on us.

Key links from this episode – and there are a whole bunch! – just below.


What’s frustrating you right now in your parenting?

If you need help, come and join us in the Ninja Parenting Community, where work personally with parents to accomplish three things:
– Change your child’s bad behavior to good behavior
– Feel happy inside
– Truly enjoy family time in a way you never thought possible

If you need help feeling truly happy inside as you are raising your young children, come and join us in the private coaching community where I help parents like you change their mindset – and their child’s behavior – for the better every day.

NPC Parent Coaching Community Membership helps you through:
– Live, members-only calls where you get solutions to your toughest parenting challenges
– Courses on everything from stopping sibling rivalry to what to do instead of spanking
– Parent Coaching Calls that members call “the most helpful part of my Ninja Parenting Community membership”

With all that and more, we have got you covered!

Join the Ninja Parenting Community today and make the time you spend with your young children your favorite time!
Get Help in our Private Coaching Community Today


Key Links

KJ is a 3-time returning champion to We Turned Out Okay!
Click here for episode 140, KJ’s first appearance…
and Click here for episode 203, her second.

Get your copy of KJ’s free PDF of her 10 Mantras for Happy Parents by going to
That is also where you’ll be able to get her book, How to be a Happier Parent (or you can click here to order in Amazon).

We both love Marie Kondo’s book, The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up.
Click here to check out this book.

Click here for All Joy and No Fun, a book about how parenting got to be so crazy.

Click here for The Power of Healthy Tension, Tim Arnold’s book about how to navigate between two polar opposite ideas.

Click here for KJ’s wonderful podcast, #AmWriting, which she cohosts with New York Times best-selling author Jessica Lahey.

Click here for Jessica Lahey’s We Turned Out Okay appearance in episode 134.

Click here for the crazy hockey dad breaking the glass YouTube video. Twenty seconds of forehead-smacking stupidity.

Click here for Audrey Monke’s conversation on We Turned Out Okay, episode 224.

If you need practical advice to deal with your child’s bad behavior, check out my book.
It’s called Positive Discipline Ninja Tactics, and I wrote it especially to help parents handle kids’ tough behavior, because parents need to eliminate the bad before they can be happy at home.
It’s available in Amazon, but since you’re here – since you took the time to come visit – I want to give you a better deal than Amazon.
Click here for details on Positive Discipline Ninja Tactics!

Join the private WTOO Facebook group… Click here!

Click here for the We Turned Out Okay Facebook PAGE – where I do a Magic Words for Parents Facebook live each and every Monday at 10:30 AM! 
[Please note: Magic Words for Parents is on vacation until September 10… Click here for the playlist of past Magic Words in YouTube, and click here for the EXTRA Magic Words videos exclusively for We Turned Out Okay Patreon patrons.]

Click here for the Karen Lock Kolp page in YouTube, where you’ll find the ever-growing playlists of Magic Words for Parents. and other helpful videos (like this one on what to do when your child is jumping on the couch for your attention, at the worst possible time.)

To work closely with me and learn some fantastic Parent Ninja Tactics so you can change your child’s behavior from bad to good, feel happy inside, and truly enjoy family time click here.