4 Ways Kids Aren’t Like Submarines – The problem with Zero Tolerance | Podcast Episode 266

What’s your biggest parenting challenge?
I really want to help you with it! (For context, listen to this recent quickie bonus episode : )
Click weturnedoutokay.com/contact to go to my contact page and share what’s toughest for you as a parent. Thank you sooooo much!

How do you react when your child makes a mistake, does something wrong, mouths off?

If you respond to bad behavior with lesson-teaching/consequences mode engaged – in other words, if you have “zero tolerance” for your child’s transgressions – you’re doing your child a disservice.

Even worse, you’re doing your relationship with your young child a disservice.

That’s what this episode posits, anyway. Take a listen and see if you agree!

PS The title and subject of today’s episode came from conversations with my therapist.

“We can’t have zero tolerance when we’re talking about kids,” he often says; “zero tolerance is for submarines.”

If these two concepts seem completely unrelated to you, and your daily life with your young child, I encourage you to listen in to today’s episode! All will become clear : )

Go to weturnedoutokay.com/266 for:

  • A cheat sheet on the 4 ways kids are not like submarines – and what works better than “zero tolerance” when they do something wrong
  • To share your biggest parenting challenge, and/or sign up for one of our free guides
  • The video of the week: “How to handle your child’s bad behavior”

And thank you so much for listening!

Temper Tantrums and Potty Training:

During today’s break I share about two helpful free guides I offer.
While the podcast is long-form – your opportunity to look into the mind of a child development expert – the free guides are super quick.

You can watch the video, read the checklist, and immediately handle the temper tantrums or get started with potty training (depending on which guide you choose : )

  • Click here for the FREE video and checklist to handle every temper tantrum
  • Click here for the FREE video and checklist to successfully potty train your child
  • Want to receive valuable ideas and tips on parenting, without either free guide above? Click here for my weekly parenting newsletter!

Video of the Week:


Cheat sheet on the 4 ways kids aren’t like submarines:

1) Kids make mistakes.
2) Kids continually test us, because they need to understand the structure in which they live.
3) Kids use poor judgment.
4) Kids have very little impulse control.

3 Things that work better than zero tolerance:

1) Recognize: kids don’t do what they do out of malice.
Their behavior is a reflection of where they are in their thinking and development. They are doing the best they can.

2) Let experience be the best teacher.
It’s hard enough to be a kid, in a world where you’re told “no” five times as often as you’re told “yes.” As long as we’re making sure our children are safe, it’s much better for our kids to learn “when I spill milk, it goes everywhere and I need to clean it up,” as opposed to “when I spill milk, I get yelled at and/or spanked.”

3) Talk about our own mistakes.
To your child, you are this shining and perfect entity who never ever makes mistakes. When they learn that you don’t make mistakes anymore, because of your experiences with (for example) pouring milk – where you spilled milk everywhere and that’s how you learned what to do, to stop that from happening, when pouring milk – they can think “there will come a day when I don’t make these mistakes anymore either. Just like Mama or Daddy.”


Key Links

My first book, Positive Discipline Ninja Tactics, comes up in today’s episode.
Click here to check it out!

Click here for episode 223 of the podcast, titled “is spanking ever okay?”

Click here for The Slight Edge, referenced today because of the no-yes ratio. And also just a pretty awesome book.

For you Ninja Parenting Community members, click here for the forum post all about when your child runs away from you at the playground. Not a member yet? Click here.


In the WTOO Universe

Join the private WTOO Facebook group… Click here!
The Facebook group is where I do our Magic Words for Parents Facebook live every Monday 🙂

Click here for my channel in YouTube, where you’ll find 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.)

My latest book, 10 Secrets Happy Parents Know, is officially out!!
Click here to read more!


Mind-blowing (if not free) resources for you:

Potty training little kids is never easy. That’s why I created a complete course, Successful Potty Training Under Pressure, to help!
This course gets you ready for potty training with:

  • Gear recommendations, both essential and nice-to-have
  • Scripts so you know exactly what to say when your child has accidents or other struggles
  • Fixes for common problems – like if your child doesn’t care about sitting in a wet or poopy situation, or if you’re struggling to work well with your child’s school or caregiver

I created this course to give you everything you need to successfully potty train your child.
Click the link below to check it out!


“I am feeling able to handle this! I truly cannot thank you enough.”
– NPC Member & Mom of 3YO Boy

What’s frustrating you right now in your parenting?

Kids cut us in so many ways. But change is possible! Learn to truly enjoy family time by joining the Ninja Parenting Community!

Membership in our exclusive parent coaching community 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, including the complete Successful Potty Training Under Pressure course

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


Awesome FREE Resources…

If potty training is getting you down, let me send you – completely free – the first lesson of my course on how to potty train successfully, even under pressure!
Click here to receive Lesson 1: How to Make This Take the Shortest Amount of Time Possible.

Click here for the free 5-part podcast series on how to get good weeknights with kids.

Click here for the We Turned Out Okay Facebook page.

Click here for the Karen Lock Kolp page in YouTube, where you’ll find 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.)