353: Challenges with reading, ADHD meds, kids trying their best, and more: Ask the child development expert

Greetings! I’ve got a whole slew of awesome questions for you today (you can read the questions in their entirety just below : )

Here are the Key Links that come up in today’s episode, located at weturnedoutokay.com/353
You should go to that link above if you would like to see the video of this episode (instead of just listening in audio)…

Cheers and thanks for listening!

Links that come up today:

My free guide to raising happy readers: weturnedoutokay.com/readers

If you’d like to get useful tools and parenting ideas in your inbox each week, without the guide to happy readers: weturnedoutokay.com/weekly

Click here for one of the many wonderful Elephant and Piggy books by Mo Willems

Click here for a book that your family might enjoy with new readers, You Read to Me, I’ll Read to You

How NOT to teach your child to ride a bike: https://weturnedoutokay.com/092-how-to-teach-your-young-child-to-ride-a-bike/

Click the following link for one of the very early episodes I did, about how kids develop grit:

Click the following link for my conversation with Amy Anderson, about how to know if your young child is consenting:

Click the following link for my conversation with Carey Andersen, sharing her story of her child’s nonconsent to a bad kindergarten situation and what they did about it:

Click the following link for my conversation with Debbie Reber of the TiLT Parenting Podcast:

Okay, just below are the questions!
Thanks for reading and listening! Cheers!

Tish: What do I say to my 6 year old who can’t seem to keep his hands out of his pants?

How do I win when trying to get 2 6 year old(s) to practice reading and not lose my mind?  It’s a nightmare everyday. I’ve tried to bribe, threaten, prayed loudly, and I can’t seem to find anything that works. It’s not as bad when they are out of school and we can do it in the mornings but the evenings are a nightmare every. single. day.  Not doing it is not an option.  We’ll be further behind than we are now.
Whether we think this is “right” or not doesn’t mean they will change their policy.  We are on Book 4 out of 12 we have to read to go the 2nd grade.
Surviving… because this too will pass.
Anonymous: We are in the midst of struggling mightily on [my five-year-old’s] second med trial for ADHD.
This one is not making any difference at school except he’s even more talkative and then he’s having a huge emotional crash and sobbing meltdowns in the evenings.
Working with the doctor to figure out a new plan this week! Other than that just powering through end of year work chaos.
Trying to stay positive as I hear this is so common to have to try a few meds but it’s hard!

So we are in survival mode but going to make the most of the holidays!

[Karen:] FYI I have discovered some biases in myself, and as a result I’m going to do some more research into this whole issue – meds, ADD, ADHD, coping mechanisms both for kids and parents. This deserves at least an episode, and possibly a series. Stay tuned <3


Jen: My daughter, age 8 already, wants to ride a bicycle again. She had a typical bike fall a year ago (a scrape on the knee, just a run of the mill slow-speed fall that comes from learning how to balance) and has been avoiding the bike ever since. Typical for her high anxiety. She tells me she’s afraid of falling again and she wants to ride on the school running track, which we did one time when she was 5, before we knew it wasn’t allowed. She is also concerned that the training wheels send an unpleasant rumble into her body when she rides on asphalt. Uneven pavement or rocks or sticks make her afraid of falling. My concerns are the school rule, and driving 15 minutes or less. Our rural home has no paved areas at all, and so any riding involves packing up the car and driving to a safe place. But every time we talk about biking, and try to work out where we might go, she gets frustrated that nothing meets her criteria. We simply can’t use the running track. She understands that intellectually, and she isn’t asking me to break the rule. She’s hoping, I guess, that I have some amazing cushiony place where she can fall without risk of hurting herself. Since I don’t, she gets frustrated and cries that she’ll never be able to ride a bike. She wants to get good enough to remove the training wheels, because she sees her 6yo sister without training wheels having a ball, and she doesn’t want the unpleasant rumble that comes with leaning onto the training wheels. I’m at a loss here. How can I support her desire to practice, when the practice itself is too scary for her?

Mumma Bear: What’s in my mind is more emotional development tips and techniques. Im  still battling with somewhat ‘explosive’ outbursts from Lil Bear and I’d like a bigger range of tools for this moment in our lives. I feel like I’m pretty emotionally immature (although my best friend says, No way – listen to yourself!) and that I wasn’t really taught to process my feelings  (not a top priority  in the 1970s!) or really ‘deal’ with them. So I most frequently find myself thinking, “Just get a grip, kiddo!” So, for me, just keep those tips coming.
Celia: Once we can start doing “stuff” again, how do we make sure we don’t overdo it and still hold onto some of the unity and rhythm we’ve found as a family while we were isolated from other forces?
And… this year E turns 5 and “should” start kindergarten. She turns 5 in late august and our cutoff is sept 1. She’s already the “baby” in her preK class and I am assuming a lot of parents held their children back in 2019 since our district was virtual, so she’ll be likely joining kids who are already 6 and maybe even close to 7. How do we know if she is ready for kindergarten???

Thanks so much for all of your support this year! I have high hopes for your 2021 🙂


Q: “Perhaps we should be instilling resilience by still expecting them to try their best. Because being emotionally healthy and trying one’s best are not mutually exclusive during Covid.”



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