Remaining calm, even when they are throwing dirt at each other

Happy Wednesday!

Picture this: your children are facing up across the topsoil mound in your backyard. And they’re throwing dirt at each other.

You have no idea how it started, or who started it. All you know is, you sent them outside to play and here they are, hurling dirt.

Perhaps your first instinct is to lose it, and fly off the handle.
To shout, to send them to their rooms, maybe even to spank them.
It would feel so good… To show them who’s boss, and to make them listen to your authority.

And, maybe that would work in the moment. Maybe you’d end up with more obedient kids – in the short-term, at least.

But when a coaching client of mine experienced this exact scenario, she did something different.
She did something that, together, we had been working on:

A method to keep calm, and help her 4-and 7-year-old girls resolve the conflict that started the dirt-throwing. Continue reading “Remaining calm, even when they are throwing dirt at each other”

How to Help Kids Get Along: Masterclass | Podcast Episode 287

How does one mom handle it, when she finds her daughters throwing dirt at each other?

No matter the season, there’s always an opportunity for kids to come into conflict with other kids.

Whether siblings, cousins, classmates or just somebody at the playground, mean words, pushing, and other acts of frustration or aggression abound.

So, do we parents just have to live with it, put up with the bickering and hard feelings?

Nope!

This masterclass is a distillation of three months’ worth of work in the private, online community I run for parents of young children.
During April, May, and June 2019 we dove headfirst into the problems real parents really experience, and how to alleviate it when kids aren’t getting along.

Today I’m bringing you behind the scenes, directly into the Ninja Parenting Community, sharing the information you need to help your kids actually get along!

Some of these ideas may seem unconventional, and likely (unless you are a member of NPC) they are new to you, but they REALLY work.

In fact we finish out with a success story! How does one mom handle it, when she finds her daughters throwing dirt at each other?

Find out in this episode of We Turned Out Okay!

Plus in Parenting News: This article in the Atlantic, on Fred Rogers (of Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood) and how he approached speaking with children, is one of those articles I wanted to hug to my chest <3
I share why in today’s Parenting News segment.
Plus I read my recent review of Audrey Monke’s wonderful book, Happy Campers!

Join us!

Sign up for my Weekly Parenting Newsletter

Go to weturnedoutokay.com/287 for:

  • Notes from this Masterclass on How to Help Kids Get Along with Other Kids
  • The Masterclass video
  • Links to free guides on potty training, handling every temper tantrum, and more

And thank you so much for listening!

Today’s episode is brought to you by…
You, if you have purchased one of my parenting books! I write books that help parents truly enjoy family time, by sharing tools and formulas that you can use to change your child’s behavior from bad to good, and also that help you feel happy inside.
Go to weturnedoutokay.com/books to check them out!

Continue reading “How to Help Kids Get Along: Masterclass | Podcast Episode 287”

A Roadmap to Responsibility and Independence: Podcast Bonus Episode!

In today’s bonus podcast episode I answer WTOO Facebook group member Jennifer’s question about how to get kids to take responsibility without continually hovering around them and “politely interrupting” in order to get kids to clean up their messes.

I put this in the context of a roadmap, which includes three crucial steps to independence, responsibility, and guilt-free parenting.

(BTW: I share about a conversation I had recently on a wonderful show, Authentic Parenting. Click here for Anna Seewald’s conversation with me, in episode 185 of her show, all about how our childhoods impact our whole lives. (You should listen away from kiddos, there are some adult themes in this episode.)

Thank you so much for listening!

I’m offering a special program, “How to do less for your kids, and feel good about it: 21 days to Independence,” which starts this coming Monday, July 15.

Everything I cover in this episode – and it’s a lot! – has been a starting point.

This 3-week workshop is tailored specifically to your needs, very personalized (even includes videos that I make just for you each week!) and so helpful as you work to get your child to be independent and responsible.

Registration ends Sunday July 14, if spots don’t run out first! (I am strictly limiting enrollment, and there are just a few spots left now.)

Go to weturnedoutokay.com/indy to learn more about the program, watch a video overview, and to sign up!

If you’re listing after Sunday, July 14, 2019, and you want to learn how to get your child to be independent and responsible, I recommend that you join the private coaching community I run for parents.
Go to weturnedoutokay.com/workwithme to learn more!

A roadmap to getting your child to take more responsibility

Happy Wednesday!

Today I want to give you some concrete steps you can take, to get your child to take more responsibility.

The method below also helps your child become more independent.

FYI: Spots are filling up for the program I’m offering, all about how to do less for your child and feel good about that! Because I’m working so closely with participants I am strictly limiting enrollment. (As I write this there are just 4 spots left!) You can learn more and register by clicking weturnedoutokay.com/indy.

Independence is good for two reasons:

  • 1. When kids can do more for themselves, it is ultimately going to be helpful for them, all their lives.
  • 2. When kids can do more for themselves, we don’t have to do as much for them. We can be guilt-free as we enjoy more free time, maybe even do something that fills our soul.

But, it can be incredibly difficult to give our children independence. Just as it can be incredibly difficult to get them to take more responsibility.

This is for a variety of reasons, and it is something that I have struggled with as my kids have grown.

I’ve overcome this challenge, and I have helped others do the same. In fact all this quarter in the Ninja Parenting Community, our focus is on independence! If you are an NPC member, click this link to go directly to our Parent Quarterly Focus forum on Independence.

So, here is my roadmap to getting your child to take more responsibility, and also getting your child to be more independent! Continue reading “A roadmap to getting your child to take more responsibility”

What does – and doesn’t – matter in a child’s learning | Podcast Episode 286

What are the factors that matter – like, REALLY matter, over the long haul – versus those that don’t, in your child’s education?

(Quick heads-up: starting this coming Monday, July 15 I’m offering a program to help you do less for your child, and feel good about it! It’s called “21 Days to Independence for your child… and for you.”
In these 3 weeks we will cover: how to not be your child’s personal entertainer; how to stop hovering, for your benefit AND theirs; how to help them resolve conflicts, and more! The program takes place right in your inbox, so it’s super convenient as well as helpful.
Because I’m working closely with each participant, space is limited, and spots are filling up! Click weturnedoutokay.com/indy to learn more and register.)

I’m sure you’ll agree that getting a kid’s education right is critical.

It’s not just critical while they’re small. Screwing up a kid’s education can impact their whole lives.

And yet, it happens every day, when even well-intentioned and goodhearted people focus on the wrong stuff.

Because you listen to this show, I know that you are well-intentioned and goodhearted. So I’m helping you focus on the right stuff today.

Find out what really matters in your child’s education in this episode of We Turned Out Okay!

Plus in Parenting News: In this recent Education Week article, the idea of “growth mindset versus fixed mindset” is re-examined… We investigate in this week’s Parenting News segment.

Join us!

Go to weturnedoutokay.com/286 for:

  • A cheat sheet on what’s crucial to include in your child’s education
  • What does not matter.. what you can (and should) leave out of your young child’s education
  • Links to free guides on potty training, handling every temper tantrum, and more

And thank you so much for listening!

The show is sponsored this week by Julian Coffee, a unique and amazing coffee that comes from a family farm in Puerto Rico and that will help you start your day off right! Listen to today’s episode for the code that will get you 10% off when you go to juliancoffeepr.com or Julian Coffee’s page in Amazon.

Continue reading “What does – and doesn’t – matter in a child’s learning | Podcast Episode 286”

What kids can achieve

Happy Wednesday!

  • See below for my weekly “in training” update, on how I am doing with getting Educating Happy Kids, my forthcoming book, out to you in a timely fashion!
  • I am offering a FREE workshop in the We Turned Out Okay Facebook group on the topic of today’s newsletter, a whole week’s worth of videos on how to help your child be more independent, so you can be, too!
    • I want to make it easy on you to get started on the road to independence, which is why I’m offering videos each day, Monday July 8 through Friday July 12, on subjects like “how to train your kids to let you sleep in,” and “how to worry and hover less over your kids.” Click here to join the Facebook group!

 

I started out as arguably the most worrying and hovering mother you could imagine.

I was afraid to let my kids:

    • Crawl up the stairs as babies, lest they fall
    • Eat chunks of fruit, meat, a I about you when nd other foods, lest they choke (I worried about this long after there was a need to)
    • Play outside in the cold, lest they get frostbite
    • Play in water, lest they drown

 

I was afraid to let them do almost anything, to be out of my sight for almost any amount of time.

But they themselves showed me the way, pointed me in the right direction.

When I saw how curious about the world they were, how interested in everything, I knew I didn’t want to hold them back.

So no matter my own hangups, I had to find a way to let them quench their thirst for knowledge, confidence, and competence.

I am so grateful to them for showing me the way.

Not only has it meant that my sons are knowledgeable, confident, and competent; it also means they are independent, in the best way possible.

 

What does independence mean for you, and your family?

It could mean a few things… Starting with simple kitchen duty, a huge stressor in many homes (as it has been in ours).

Because of the work we put in, teaching these skills when our kids were young, they now feel confident and competent in their ability, for example, to cook meals and clean up after themselves.

In terms of education, it could mean achievement like you never thought possible. One of my sons learned all of high school math during this past spring semester; just graduated high school in the 90th percentile for mathematics; and yesterday enrolled in community college.
His major? Mathematics.

This is a kid who ran screaming from math all of his young life.

In terms of potty training and hygiene, one of our sons, who we used to feed entire donuts to so he would go poops on the potty, has spent the last year coping with a health problem that requires keeping scrupulously clean, at all times.

He’s handled it so beautifully, both the crazy-hygiene stuff, and also the mindset of “this is what I have to deal with right now, so I am going to buckle down and handle it.”

Both kids are accomplished musicians.

Both can mow the lawn, muck out the chicken coop, and know a weed from a plant-we-want-to-keep.
One is a skier, one is a snowboarder, and both are comfortable on almost any ski-hill terrain.

And it’s interesting, because all of this independence came through connection.

As Dr. Michael Reichert, this week’s podcast guest, shares during our conversation, “it’s not WHAT they’ll learn; it’s for WHOM they’ll learn.”

While I was getting up the guts to let our sons follow their interests, and learn about the subjects on which they were most curious, the people they met – teachers, mentors, grandparents, even sometimes myself or their dad – spurred their curiosity and interest, and also spurred them onto achievement in those subjects.

Not for the reason of “achieving.” Instead, they were spurred on to become competent, knowledgeable, in those things that most interest to them, so they could further the connections.

So they could spend more time with the people who were also into these things that they were into.

We still see this, even today, and speaking with Dr. Reichert really brought the point home to me.

 

In order to have kids who are independent, they must first feel the connection.

How can you help your kids, on the road to independence?

Foster that connection. Support them in their interests. Help them meet people who are also interested in those same subjects.

And celebrate the wins. (Thank you, for letting me celebrate some of the wins that my boys have recently accomplished, in this space today!)

And, jump on into our Facebook group if you are not there already! That way, you can be there for next week’s focus on getting independence for your child, and you…
Click here to join our Facebook group!

 

In-Training Update: I am working on the suggestions my editor recommended to make Educating Happy Kids: 9 Ways to Help Your Children Learn What They Need to Know a book that will help you and your family life!

And I’m also working on book covers so I can have a survey to you ASAP!

Also… I have made the decision to get the book up for preorder in mid August, and release it in September. And those dates are coming up soon, so I better get cracking : )

 

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

And for the picture of the week!
Wishing you a wonderful parenting week!
Cheers,
Karen
What’s up on the podcast this week:

My guest, Doctor Michael Reichert, is an expert on boys’ and girls’ lives, and I know you are going to love our conversation! Click the link below to listen:

https://weturnedoutokay.com/285

What’s up in the We Turned Out Okay Facebook group this week:
Each Monday in our We Turned Out Okay Facebook group I do a superquick Facebook live that I call “Magic Words for Parents”… And this week’s shares a concept that all kids need, regardless of gender.
Click here to join the Facebook group : )

Picture of the week:

This is a picture of my youngest, when he was two years old and just gaining confidence, experience, and independence on fun structures like playground slides.

It is nuts to think that this picture was taken nearly 13 years ago. While I am excited for what’s in store for my boys, I am also feeling a little nostalgic for times past.

And super grateful that I got out of worrying and hovering over my sons in time to enjoy at least some of their childhoods : )

Cheers!

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

Raising boys who are empowered, and not jerks: A Conversation with Dr. Michael Reichert | Podcast Episode 285

Raising two boys – pictured here at 5 and 1 years old – this conversation meant so much to me personally.

FYI: Next week I’m teaching a FREE workshop on independence, for your child and you, in the We Turned Out Okay Facebook group: click this link to take part or scroll down right here in your podcatcher to find out more!

 

 

 

When I first saw How to Raise a Boy,

the book today’s guest, Michael Reichert, PhD, wrote, I knew I was in for a treat. Dr. Reichert ‘s writing is a skillful blend of personal stories and relevant, amazing research, and before I knew it I was highlighting, marking pages with Post-it notes, and pumped to speak with Dr. Reichert!

And, our conversation does not disappoint.
If you’ve got questions about:
 – Your son turning into a “mama’s boy”
 – How to (in the words of one of our WTOO Facebook group members) “empower boys to be their best selves without being jerks”
 – Or even if you have questions about why – if you’re raising girls and not boys – you should care;
You’ll find this conversation relevant and compelling.

I’m so thankful to Dr. Reichert for coming on the show today, and I hope you enjoy our conversation, and learn from it, as much as I did.

Plus in Parenting News: I’ve just learned of an amazing new resource for parents, the Revive Show, a live Internet radio show, and you need to hear about it too. I learned of it when I was invited on as a guest, and I think you will love the show!

Join us!

Go to weturnedoutokay.com/285 for:

  • A cheat sheet on highlights from this wonderful conversation
  • Key links we talk about in this episode
  • The video of the week: OFF this week for the July 4 holiday, returning July 11, so hang in there : )

And thank you so much for listening!

I am teaching a FREE, weeklong workshop on how to get your child to be more independent so they don’t have to rely on you!

We will address: how to stop being a helicopter parent, how to get kids to amuse themselves, independence with potty training and hygiene, food issues, and more, so join us if you need help with any of this!

This free workshop takes place all next week, July 8-12, in the We Turned Out Okay Facebook group… Click here to join the group!

Continue reading “Raising boys who are empowered, and not jerks: A Conversation with Dr. Michael Reichert | Podcast Episode 285”

Can you teach your young child social skills? Yes. Here’s how.

Happy Wednesday!

Heads up: spots are still available in the free online parenting class – How to Help Your Kids Get Along with Other Kids – that I’m teaching TOMORROW, Thursday, June 27. Click here to register for this free class, so you can learn how to handle it when your kids aren’t getting along!

In-training update: edits to the book I am currently drafting are back from my editor!! I will be speaking with her today, and I’m excited because it’s another step on the path to getting Educating Happy Kids: 9 Ways to Help Your Children Learn What They Need to Know out to you ASAP.

As always, thank you so much for your positive energy and messages as I keep going with this huge project of finishing a book. It means SO much.

How to teach social skills

When a coaching client of mine shared that her kids’ teacher had told her “there is no way to teach social skills,” I wondered how many people have this mistaken assumption. I knew I wanted to write to you about it, in case you had also received the same message.
Social skills can totally be taught! In fact they are a natural part of being human, we are teaching them all the time.
3 things you can do to teach your child social skills:
1) Expose your kids to other kids.

If our children are going to learn how to be social, they need that exposure first and foremost. Playgrounds and parks, libraries, fast food play places… I’m sure you can think of many more, but these are the first that come to my mind as places you can bring your young children and just raise their social-exposure-time.
2) Let them play.

Open-ended and screen-free are the operative words here. Participating in a planned activity/class, or watching something on a screen alongside other kids, doesn’t count because our kiddos need time and space to spontaneously connect.
3) Play WITH them.

Participate in some of the many different kinds of open-ended, screen free play in the world:

Indoors:

  • Run warm water and soap into the sink; add spoons, ladles, or plastic containers and use a smock or something to protect clothing, and just play. Be sure to wipe up, especially the floor, after the play is finished.
  • Put out drawing materials; watercolor paints; or craft sticks and glue out on a table, and again just play! Explore the materials. Listen to your child’s exclamations and questions, and enjoy this time of hanging out and talking together. As with the water, if it’s something messy dress your child in less-than-best clothing and layer newspaper on the table to prevent damage to furniture.
  •  Place play dough out on a table, along with (if you’d like) rolling pins or molds. Doesn’t have to be fancy, just a selection of objects that you and your child can use with the play dough.

Outdoors:

  • Take a short walk, stopping to let your child marvel at (to us) commonplace things like puddles, or frost, or interesting plants or flowers
  •  Let your child explore in an age-appropriate way; if it’s appropriate, take off shoes and wiggle your toes in the grass. Talk about the sensations you feel, and respond when your child does the same.
  •  Bring out a selection of different sized balls, and just see what happens; a favorite memory of mine was when my youngest, at about 2 years old, would arrange two stability balls so that he could take a running leap and roll over both of them, landing on his tummy in the grass, and just lying there giggling.
  • Turn on the hose and fill a few pails or buckets. See what happened if you drop balls, rocks, or other objects into the water. Does the water from the hose feel cold? Or warm?

Just explore together, and talk as you do so.

It’s hard to believe that you’re teaching social skills while you do this. But it’s true.

Ultimately, teaching social skills means being social.

Talking with kids, hearing their questions and responding to them. Giving them the opportunity to engage, socially.

That’s it.

That is the work here.

 

Regardless of whether you “teach,” you’re always teaching something.

When I was about three years old my mom got into an argument with my uncle, who told her “F–k you!” Before my mom had a chance to respond, I snapped back “no, f–k you!” Which caused both of them to laugh, quickly settle their argument, and reign in their language.

Kids are always watching us for cues about how to behave. This is true whether we acknowledge it or not, which means that kids take on behaviors we don’t necessarily wish they would.

We are always teaching something. The best we can do sometimes is to try and be mindful of that.

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

And for the picture of the week! Which is of a place where I learned tons of social skills!
Wishing you a wonderful parenting week!
Cheers,
Karen
What’s up on the podcast this week:

We’re exploring this question about how to teach social skills more thoroughly on the podcast this week! Click the link below to listen:

https://weturnedoutokay.com/284

 

What’s up on my YouTube channel this week:
Extending on this theme, the live YouTube (I do one every Thursday) is called
“Can I teach my child social skills? If so how?” and it is available at the link just above! Or,
Check out my YouTube channel by clicking here.

What’s up in the We Turned Out Okay Facebook group this week:
Each Monday in our We Turned Out Okay Facebook group I do a superquick Facebook live that I call “Magic Words for Parents”… And this week’s was all about one phrase you can use to teach social skills.
Click here to join the Facebook group : )

Picture of the week:

This is the view of one of my favorite places in the whole wide world, the reservoir in the town where I grew up, attended camp, and spent countless hours soaking up nature as a kid.
Ben and I got married at this reservoir, too!
It’s got lots of great memories and I know for a fact that I learned tons of social skills in the water swimming, sailing or canoeing on the reservoir, and engaging in tons of activities around it as I was growing up.

Cheers!

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

True or False: There is no way to teach social skills | Podcast Episode 284

Heads up on 2 counts:
First, I’m teaching a FREE Online Parenting Class I’m teaching this Thursday, “How to Help Your Kids Get Along with Other Kids!” Scroll down to read more and sign up!

Second, soon I am teaching a FREE, week long workshop on how to get your child to be more independent so they don’t have to rely on you!
I’m teaching this workshop in the We Turned Out Okay Facebook group. Click here to join the group!

My jaw was on the floor recently during a parent coaching call with one of our Ninja Parenting Community members, when she revealed that her child’s teacher told her “there is no way to teach social skills.”
Immediately I knew I wanted your thoughts on this… and if this is also your belief, I’d like to use today’s podcast episode to change your mind.

Because of course we can teach social skills!
In today’s episode I offer three ways to do so.

Please learn them, heed them, take them into your heart.

Because without these crucial skills – without humans passing them on to our offspring – our society breaks down.

And also life is a lot less fun!

Plus in Parenting News: I’m sharing about a new favorite podcast of mine, An Arm and A Leg, a podcast about the insanity of healthcare in the United States. It’s a great show because it tells amazing stories, and finds a lot to be optimistic about, in a part of American society that I was feeling increasingly frustrated with… turns out I am not the only one.

Join us!

Go to weturnedoutokay.com/284 for:

  • A cheat sheet on the 3 ways you can teach social skills to your young child
  • Key links we talk about in this episode
  • The video of the week: “Can I teach my child social skills? And if so how?”

And thank you so much for listening!

How to Help Kids Get Along with Other Kids: FREE Online Parenting Class!

Does your child struggle to get along with siblings, classmates, cousins, or at the playground?
Do your kids push, hit, or even bite to get their way?
Let me help… Sign up for the Free Online Parenting Class I am teaching Thursday, June 27!

You’ll learn:

  • What’s most important when thinking about kids dealing with siblings or other kids
  • The 3 keys to good child and sibling relations
  • How to overcome one crucial factor that impedes a child’s ability to get along with other kids
  • Which principles to adopt – and which to drop – in helping kids get along

Sign up to watch it live at 2 PM on Thursday, June 27 OR sign up to catch the replay at your convenience.
Start summer off right by learning how to help your kids get along with other kids. Sign up at the link below!
weturnedoutokay.com/siblings

The show is sponsored this week by Julian Coffee, a unique and amazing coffee that comes from a family farm in Puerto Rico and that will help you start your day off right! Listen to today’s episode for the code that will get you 10% off when you go to juliancoffeepr.com or Julian Coffee’s page in Amazon.

Continue reading “True or False: There is no way to teach social skills | Podcast Episode 284”

YouTube is a dangerous place. Here’s how to protect your child.

Happy Wednesday!

Heads up: a week from tomorrow I’m teaching a FREE online parenting class, “How to Help Your Kids Get Along with Other Kids!” Learn more and register for the class by clicking here.

Training update:

While I did get 2 advanced chapters of Educating Happy Kids: 9 Ways to Help Your Children Learn What They Need to Know into the Ninja Parenting Community, I had high hopes of getting a cover survey to you this week… But I was unable to do that.

I’ve experienced a flareup of my tendon condition, and cover creation, while super fun, requires a lot of clicking.
I haven’t been able to do it.

And I am sorry about that.

It hurts to get in here and report that I wasn’t able to do something for you that I had set out to do.

But I am pressing on! Hopefully within the next week I will be able to share covers and get your input on the one you like the best.

The dangers of YouTube and how to protect your child from them

YouTube is simply a tool.
Tools can be used for good purposes – like learning how to knit using short rows, or clean the inside of your car’s windshield. But tools can also be used for nefarious purposes.

During a discussion in the private coaching group for parents that I run, one mom questioned my idea of focusing on YouTube as one of the most dangerous places on the Internet.

In response to an Educating Happy Kids advanced chapter, she wrote into our forums: “I think “YouTube is Dangerous” was well done, but you neglect to explain that your example is just that, an example. It’s not the only place where those problematic algorithms live.”

This mom has a great point.
Probably like you, I love YouTube and use it frequently. But it does have its dangers, and they are problematic for this very reason: just about everyone uses YouTube.
Including our kids. With so many millions upon millions of children using YouTube, it represents a huge danger, and thus is worthy of consideration all by itself, in a blog post like this.

YouTube is also all about rabbit holes. In the last few weeks I have been pulled down a rabbit hole of investigating YouTube as a tool. Continue reading “YouTube is a dangerous place. Here’s how to protect your child.”