How to stop school from screwing up your young child, Part 3 | Podcast Episode 304

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“Fortunately the children have no words to define the panic and anger they feel at constant violations of natural order and sequence fobbed off on them as quality in education.” – Jon Taylor Gatto, Dumbing Us Down

Everyone likes to know what is going on, we like to have some context in our lives.

So do our kids! In this installment of our “How to stop school from screwing up your child” series, we discuss what aspects of school can sew confusion in children, how detrimental that truly is, and what we can do about it.

Cheat sheet on helping kids feel secure, sure of themselves – as well as the key links that come up in today’s episode – are available at

Plus in Parenting News:
This fantastic documentary about the life of Fred Rogers. As I share here, I couldn’t understand why it would be rated PG-13. And then I started watching it.
(Here is the newsletter I wrote about this documentary: How I frightened my three-year-old.)

Ninja parents: I mention in today’s Parenting News segment that I just created a forum post in NPC inviting you to share a piece of news that you would like to see featured in this space. Click here to read the post, and to share your Parenting News!

Join us!

Today’s episode is sponsored by the amazing Janine Halloran, expert in teaching kids coping skills, who has created a great resource to help your child handle it when the going gets tough!
Listen to today’s show to find out how to get 15% off your order, and then
Click to check out Janine’s Coping Skills for Kids Cue Card Decks.

How to stop the confusion

1. Help children understand context.
I believe that human beings are working to make meaning, from the moment we arrive in this world. A huge part of that is context.
You’ll have a better-behaved child if you can communicate the context of something that doesn’t make sense to them.
But most importantly that is also helping kids feel secure, and sure of themselves.

2. If something doesn’t make sense to your child, stop and help them figure it out.
This means:
– Answering their questions
– Letting learning and understanding happen at their pace
Connect with your child, bond with her, by creating a shared meaning between the two of you.

As part of this, I talk in today’s episode about Chief Inspector Gamache, a fictional hero of mine from the mind of brilliant author Louise Penny. Gamache shares 4 things his agents can say, to get to the heart of any situation:
I need help.
I don’t know.
I’m sorry.
I was wrong.
Today I ask you to incorporate those into your life with your young child.

Key Links:

Click here for episode 298, Part 1 of this series, on how schools can stop children from caring.
Click here for episode 301, Part 2 of this series, on how to develop emotional and intellectual independence in your child.
Click here for my book, Educating Happy Children, which comes up in today’s episode.

Click here for the TED talk about hands that I mention in today’s episode.

Need help staying sane while raising kiddos? Work with me!

If you need some extra help and support while encountering the challenges raising your children brings, work closely with me!
Go to to find out more.