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

NPC Cyber Monday special: 30% off of annual Ninja Parenting Community membership… Get on the waiting list (and get 7 of my best parenting resources – for free) by clicking weturnedoutokay.com/cybermonday!

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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 weturnedoutokay.com/304

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 copingskillsforkids.com/okay to check out Janine’s Coping Skills for Kids Cue Card Decks.

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

The best kind of learning

Happy Wednesday!

NPC Cyber Monday special: 30% off of annual Ninja Parenting Community membership… Get on the waiting list (and get 7 of my best parenting resources – for free) by clicking weturnedoutokay.com/cybermonday!

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I remember the moment when I cracked the reading code for the first time.

I was about five years old, reading a Disney book of jokes. (I think it might have been called Mickey and Donald’s Joke Book.)

All by myself, I read the following joke:
“What does Donald get when he drops his blue hat into red fruit punch?”
Answer: “A wet hat.”

I was so thrilled to have read that whole thing, not through memorization but through spelling out and sounding out each word.

Even though it was past bedtime I remember running out into our living room and reading the joke out loud to my parents.

I actually read something, all by myself! It felt so celebratory, and I remember my parents’ happiness too.
You’d think that the best kind of learning would be like that.
The fun kind.
That it would be where wonderful sparks are flying and illuminating and connecting.

And, certainly that is one important kind of learning. It’s just hard to be in that flow all the time. In fact, as a creative person, I think a lot of what I do – many of the routines that I try to set up for myself – point me in the direction of getting to the “fun” kind of learning.

But the reality of it is, the best kind of learning is not necessarily super fun.
That’s honestly an understatement.

Often the learning that sticks with us longest is the learning that feels hardest in the moment.

My guest this week on the We Turned Out Okay podcast is mindfulness-in-parenting expert Hunter Clarke-Fields (you can listen here.)

Hunter shares so eloquently about this kind of learning, which she talks about in the following way:

“Experiences are teachers.”

Even, and maybe especially, the negative experiences are great teachers, if we choose to look at them that way.

While it may not feel like the best kind of learning – because it’s not fun – these lessons are still super important.

– While potty training, we learned that wet or poopy pants felt terrible.

– When we said something mean and hurt someone’s feelings, we learned two things:
1. It is really easy to hurt someone.
2. We take care of the people we love. We do not hurt them.

– When we fell down and skinned knees, we learned that, though it hurts so much at first, we would heal.

– When we did that in front of a group of friends, and they teased us, we learned how much it hurt to be teased.

Every one of these experiences, and probably many more that you can think of, offer lessons that can be learned.

But – and Hunter speak so eloquently about this as well – often (understandably) we want to push those memories, and thoughts, as far away as possible.

Hunter also shares that “what we resist persists.”

Listening back, our conversation is helping me feel more mindful. It’s showing me that, if I choose, I can learn from my own moments of carelessness or stupidity.

While I can’t say I’m exactly “happy” from having experienced those moments, I do begin to see them as teachers.

It makes it a little bit more worthwhile to have gone through those experiences. Because I can learn from them instead of wishing I had never made that mistake or been careless. Or stupid.

For myself, I’m trying to be more forgiving when I screw up.
I’m trying to think to myself that “it’s all learning.”

How are you bringing this idea into your life, or even your parenting?
Does this idea resonate with you?
What do you think of as “the best kind of learning”?
I’d love to hear your thoughts. Just hit reply to this email and let me know : )

Thanks for reading!

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Keep reading below for What’s up on the podcast/In the Facebook group/in NPC…
Wishing you a wonderful parenting week!
Cheers!
Karen

What’s up on the podcast this week:
Talking with Hunter Clarke-Fields, the Mindful Mama Mentor! Hunter shares so much about how her own feelings of anger and aggression became her teachers, so she could learn from those feelings and take the lessons – as opposed to the anger and aggression itself – into raising her young daughters.
Click the link below to listen!
https://weturnedoutokay.com/303
What’s up in the We Turned Out Okay Facebook group this week:
This week’s Magic Words for Parents (a series I’ve been doing Mondays since 2018) is all about “raising resilient children.” Come check it out.
Click here to join the Facebook group (or jump into the group if you are already a member)!

 

What’s up in the Ninja Parenting Community:
One of our members, Mama Llama, recently posted a whole bunch of postpartum depression/postpartum anxiety resources! I plan to highlight them at our live, members-only call this week, as well as helping you NPC members resolve your current parenting challenges

(If you’re not a member yet, but want to become one, click here.)

 

PS – If you’re enjoying this Weekly Parenting Newsletter, click here so you can sign up to receive it in your inbox, or forward it to a friend who needs a parenting boost today.

“What we resist persists”: Talking with Mindful Mama, Hunter Clarke-Fields | Podcast Episode 303

We talk with the Mindful Mama Mentor, Hunter Clarke-Fields, in this episode of We Turned Out Okay!
Hunter is a parent coach who found real solutions to her own anger and frustration with meditation and mindfulness.
She is a force for good, and I am so excited to bring her on the show!

The title of this episode was very nearly “Mindfulness: A Cool Parental Brain Hack,” which is how today’s guest characterizes this state of mind in the latter part of our conversation.
I love this idea, that mindfulness can help us wrap our brain better around child-rearing and everything that comes with it.

I hope you get tons out of this conversation with Hunter Clarke-Fields, of the Mindful Mama Podcast. I know I did!

Plus in Parenting News:

I plan to be at an event that might interest you, if you can be at the Newton Community Farm in Newton Massachusetts on Saturday, November 9: A movie screening, and author signing!
Ken Danford, author of Learning is Natural, School is Optional, a book I am currently reading and loving, will be on hand to sign copies! And us attendees also get to see a movie about self-directed learning and how cool it is.
Hope to see you there! (Click here to sign up for the event : )

And we talk about social-emotional learning in schools, and how it’s positively impacting not just the kids, but their families, teachers, administrators, and guidance counselors.

Join us!

Sign up for my Weekly Parenting Newsletter

Each Wednesday I send out a Parenting Newsletter, to help you stay sane while raising your kiddos.
Past editions have included remaining calm even if your kids are throwing dirt at each other, and helping when your child is frightened.
Useful stuff.
Click weturnedoutokay.com/weekly so it zooms right into your inbox each week!

Here is the link to this episode: weturnedoutokay.com/303

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 copingskillsforkids.com/okay to check out Janine’s Coping Skills for Kids Cue Card Decks.

Continue reading ““What we resist persists”: Talking with Mindful Mama, Hunter Clarke-Fields | Podcast Episode 303″

The parent lottery

Happy Wednesday!

Recently a parent I work closely with mentioned:
“It would be interesting to hear some data/facts on how harmful NOT disciplining your kids can be.
So many times we focus on the negative effects of discipline – spanking, timeouts, etc., but what’s easy to forget is just how dangerous it is to take a backseat to parenting your children.”

(NPC members: click here for the video training module I just posted in our community, in direct answer to this member’s comments and questions. If you are not a Ninja Parenting Community member but would like to become one, click here.)

The short answer is, NOT disciplining your kids is every bit as harmful as using negative discipline (spanking, verbal threats of aggression, etc.)

Both are forms of neglect.

Not disciplining – failing to establish any boundaries or communicating any behavioral expectations – is neglectful because the parent fails to share a clear understanding of what behavior is okay, and what is not. This is frightening and makes the child feel unsafe.

Negatively disciplining – implementing the rule of law, without taking into account any of the child’s thoughts, abilities, or preferences – is neglectful because it contains no warmth or loving kindness.

There are three styles of discipline:

  • Passive, in which there are no boundaries and no expectations
  • Authoritarian, in which all is cold control, with no sense of loving or acceptance, and in which the child has no say in their own decisions
  • Authoritative, also called Wise, which sits somewhere between the poles above, bringing in loving/acceptance, and firm limits/behavioral expectations

Which was used most by the family into which you were born?

To me, this is the absolute bedrock basis of whether a child wins “the parent lottery,” or loses in that lottery. Continue reading “The parent lottery”

Why does my young child talk about killing and death? | Podcast Episode 302

“This morning we were reading a space book and [my three-year-old] was talking about how he was going to kill the astronauts. Aggressive talk really freaks me out.”

When one of the parents I mentor in the Ninja Parenting Community posted this recently, I knew that you might be hearing “aggressive talk” with your child as well.

Why DO kids seem to talk and think so much about death, and killing?

We get into that today, and I share 3 ways you can address what might seem an unhealthy obsession with the macabre.

Plus in Parenting News:
We discuss this recent Boston Globe article, about young schoolchildren not being given enough time to eat their lunch, the problems parents are seeing as a result, and what they are doing to try to make it better.

Also! I plan to be at an event that might interest you, if you can be at the Newton Community Farm in Newton Massachusetts on Saturday, November 9: A movie screening, and author signing!
Ken Danford, author of Learning is Natural, School is Optional, a book I am currently reading and loving, will be on hand to sign copies! And us attendees also get to see a movie about self-directed learning and how cool it is.
Hope to see you there! (Click here to sign up for the event : )

Join us!

Sign up for my Weekly Parenting Newsletter

Each Wednesday I send out a Parenting Newsletter, to help you stay sane while raising your kiddos.
Past editions have included remaining calm even if your kids are throwing dirt at each other, and helping when your child is frightened.
Useful stuff.
Click weturnedoutokay.com/weekly so it zooms right into your inbox each week!

Access the cheat sheet on the three ways to help when your child seems overly excited by death and killing; plus links to everything we talk about today, by clicking weturnedoutokay.com/302

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 copingskillsforkids.com/okay to check out Janine’s Coping Skills for Kids Cue Card Decks.

Continue reading “Why does my young child talk about killing and death? | Podcast Episode 302”

How I frightened my 3-year-old

Happy Wednesday!

I’ve been enjoying diving into the world of Fred Rogers recently.
I watched Won’t You Be My Neighbor?, the documentary about Mr. Rogers’ life and work, helping children confront the problems of childhood – and feel valued – through his television show, Mr. Rogers’ Neighborhood.

When the movie started I noticed it was rated PG-13.
Why, I wondered, would a documentary about the guy who created Mr. Rogers’ Neighborhood be a PG-13 movie?

It was not long before I discovered why.

I was thinking of this show as “for kids,” and therefore dismissed it as being light. Or unserious.

But it was the exact opposite.
In the first week that the show aired, in 1967, Mr. Rogers and crew dealt with the topic of war, extremely apropos as the country was steeped in the Vietnam conflict at the time.
The show incorporated guns, paratroopers, the closing of borders, and many other concepts that children might be hearing about in their lives, as their parents watched the news or talked about it.

So we see King Friday, decreeing that he was closing the borders of Make Believe, and that he would exert total control, and that he was “against change.” We see Henrietta Pussycat and X the Owl discussing guns. X says “there’s nothing to worry about until they start shooting!”

Interspersed with scenes like these, the documentary placed footage of real war. Footage of what young children might catch in the news, and almost certainly heard the grown-ups in their own homes discussing.

It is downright chilling.
It made total sense that it would be PG-13!

Why would Mr. Rogers DO this? Continue reading “How I frightened my 3-year-old”

How to Not Let School Screw Up Your Child, Part 2 | Podcast Episode 301

There are lots of reasons why we want our kids to become independent, in their actions and their thinking. (If for no other reason than, when our kids are independent, we do less for them. This means we are happier, and also it helps help our children understand the joys of being part of a system in which we all work together.)

Today’s episode is about how, if we’re not careful, we might be teaching in the opposite.

Today we discuss the possibility that simply attending school could make our children dependent on others for their intellectual and emotional well-being – and how truly dangerous that is.

Plus in Parenting News:
My latest book, Educating Happy Kids: 9 Ways to Help Your Children Learn What They Need to Know, is available for you to buy! And it has the CUTEST cover!
If you want to learn about educating your child in the way that will help them be happiest, click here and read this book.

Join us!

Sign up for my Weekly Parenting Newsletter

Each Wednesday I send out a Parenting Newsletter, to help you stay sane while raising your kiddos.
Past editions have included remaining calm even if your kids are throwing dirt at each other, and helping when your child is frightened.
Useful stuff.
Click weturnedoutokay.com/weekly so it zooms right into your inbox each week!

Access the cheat sheet on fostering your child’s inner intellectual and emotional development, plus links to stuff discussed in this episode, by clicking weturnedoutokay.com/301

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 copingskillsforkids.com/okay to check out Janine’s Coping Skills for Kids Cue Card Decks.

Continue reading “How to Not Let School Screw Up Your Child, Part 2 | Podcast Episode 301”

When your child is frightened

Happy Wednesday!

As we move into October it’s common for kids to be fearful about lawn ornamentation and creepy/ghostly products for sale in many stores.

But they can also be frightened any time of year, by factors such as:
– The dark, which changes the appearance of common everyday things like a closet or under the bed
– Taking a fall or colliding with another object or person
– Frightening noises, such as smoke detectors or fire alarms

(To that list I would add something that you may not have thought of:
Kids become frightened when a trusted adults acts unpredictably.
That is going to be the subject of next week’s newsletter, so stay tuned.)

For today we’re focusing on how to help kids feel better when they are frightened (by forces other than the behavior of their trusted adults.)

Often, we can be most helpful by doing the opposite of what is top-of-mind. Continue reading “When your child is frightened”

Episode 300 Extravaganza!

We’re celebrating today, 300 episodes of We Turned Out Okay!
I am super excited to welcome back beloved guests Tricia Tomaso, preschool teacher extraordinaire, and Janine Halloran, coping skills expert, for a roundtable discussion talking about social and emotional learning, and if schools actually do screw up kids… And we’re also answering your questions in this tri-centennial episode!

Join us!

Go to weturnedoutokay.com/300 for the bazillion links we discuss today…
And FYI Parenting News, and Magic Words for Parents, will be back next week.

Sign up for my Weekly Parenting Newsletter

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 copingskillsforkids.com/okay to check out Janine’s Coping Skills for Kids Cue Card Decks.

Continue reading “Episode 300 Extravaganza!”

Feeling good about parenting when the going is really tough

Happy Wednesday!

This is the third in a 3-part series on what to do when you feel like you just can’t win as a parent.
Click here for part one, all about getting perspective on your child’s behavior, so you do not feel overwhelmed.
Click here for part two, about how to create conditions that will get good behavior from your kiddo.
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Recently a mom in my private coaching community posted in our forums: “I feel like I just can’t win.”
In the previous week her child:
– Ran from his childcare classroom multiple times
– Slapped a teacher
– Spit, kicked, and hit multiple people, multiple times, including the mom herself
– Shouted, screamed, and melted down, mostly in public
– Bit a child at the playground

In short, her three-year-old had a tough week. As a result, so did she.

There was real despair in her writing, and my heart just went out to her.

I created a video for her, outlining 3 critical tools to get out of that negative space, despite all of the negativity.

And today I want to discuss that 3rd critical tool:

Finding the Positive, Even – Especially – On the Toughest Days

If you reread the multiple bad things that happened to this mom, in a very short period of time, it’s tempting to dwell on those negatives.
You can bet I have, in my own versions of that day.

But tucked in among those negatives, there were also positives.
In our forums she writes of:
– Snuggling up and reading with her son
– Sharing enjoyable meals and playground visits and trips with him
– The many times when childcare pickup is a pleasant experience
– The big questions her son asks
– The kindness he shows, both to her and others
– Her son’s wonderful hugs
– His generous and joyful nature

When we are in the worst of our children’s bad behavior, it’s tough to see those positives.

But they’re there.

On the toughest days, remembering the positives can be the most valuable thing you do.

What positives are you seeing in your child’s behavior today?
Accentuate the positive by creating a list, even just in your head. Or write to me and share your list (I would love that : )

Want to see this tool, along with the first and second? You can view the video I made for my coaching client by going to:

Parenting Tools


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Keep reading below for What’s up on the podcast/In the Facebook group…

Wishing you a wonderful parenting week!
Cheers!
Karen

What’s up on the podcast this week:
We’re asking the question “Is it ADHD or normal behavior?”
In this episode I offer 5 ways to deal with your child’s impulsivity, aggression, lack of focus, and other frustrating (hint: perfectly normal) behavior.
Click the link below to listen:
https://weturnedoutokay.com/299

What’s up in the We Turned Out Okay Facebook group this week:
We talk about magic pills and quick fixes, and whether they are really a thing, during the weekly Magic Words for Parents.
Click here to join the Facebook group!

PS – If you’re enjoying this Weekly Parenting Newsletter, click here so you can sign up to receive it in your inbox, or forward it to a friend who needs a parenting boost today.