Emergency surgery for our son

Hi Friends,
if you could direct some of your positive energy up our way here in Massachusetts, it would be much appreciated.

Our son has been in the hospital since Monday, and in 24 hours between yesterday and today, will have undergone three procedures (only one of which was a surgery, but all of which involve anesthesia and scopes.)

The third will be late this morning. And we are hopeful that it will once and for all solve the problem he is experiencing.

This newsletter was supposed to be about something else entirely, and I hope to bring you that newsletter over the weekend.
But in the meantime please keep us in your thoughts if you would.

Here are some positives from the last few days that I would like to share: Continue reading “Emergency surgery for our son”

318: Parenting-Style Smackdown

Welcome! To listen to today’s episode, scroll down to the very bottom of this post and hit the triangular “play” button. Enjoy the show!
Recently an NPC member brought up a hugely important issue, and it sparked a whole line of thinking for me that led us to this video!

Here’s the issue: “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 parenting your children.”

So let’s have a parenting-style smackdown:
Which is worse, Passive or Dictatorial Parenting?

The winner is… Both!
The worst parts of passive parenting – the lack of boundaries and having any expectations about our children’s behavior – and the worst parts of authoritarian (which here I’m calling dictatorial or autocratic) – exerting control, simply for control’s sake – both amount to a kind of neglect.

  • The passive parenting amounts to neglect because it is terrifying for children to not have any boundaries or expectations for good behavior.
  • The authoritarian parenting amounts to neglect because in this style, no thought is given to the child’s experience, thinking, or ability to reason.

What should we do instead?
We should try to hit the middle of the spectrum. Somewhere between the extremes of Passive, and Authoritarian, lies Authoritative, also called Wise. It’s the kind of parenting that will help you raise healthy and happy kids.
“The children of psychologically Wise parents,” Angela Duckworth writes in Grit: The Power of Passion and Perseverance, fare better than children raised in any other kind of household.”

We dive into all that today!
I hope it helps you garner the courage to make any necessary changes in your parenting style.

Links and notes at: weturnedoutokay.com/318
Special thank you to the ninja parent who asked this question. I hope this helps <3

Sign up for my Weekly Parenting Newsletter

Each week I send out a couple parenting newsletters, to help you stay sane while raising your kiddos.
I just wrapped up a series on “Kids gone sideways,” all about what to do when with meltdowns, disrespect, and potty training challenges…
Useful stuff!
Click weturnedoutokay.com/weekly so it zooms right into your inbox each week!

Today’s episode is sponsored by the amazing Janine Halloran, expert in teaching kids coping skills, who has created some great resources 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 “318: Parenting-Style Smackdown”

What direction is your family going in?

I didn’t feel like I had control over the direction our family was going in.”
– Jen, NPC member and Mom of two

When longtime NPC member Jen came on the podcast in spring 2019, I asked her the question “what do you like best about being in the Ninja Parenting Community?”

I thought Jen would say “I love the courses,” or “I get so much out of private parent coaching calls with you Karen,” or even “I love that your parenting e-books are included in membership!”

I thought Jen would share about some individual aspect of the community, some tangible piece that she found helpful.

Instead, her response showed me: it’s not just the courses, or the e-books.
It’s not just the private coaching calls.

The Ninja Parenting Community gives parents the ability to take control of the direction their family is going in.

That is SUCH a big deal!

Imagine having that kind of control.

Imagine knowing how to use positive discipline to get your child to:
– Stop writing on walls
– Speak to you respectfully
– Work out arguments with siblings (instead of screaming or lashing out physically)

Imagine knowing how to overcome issues with school or day care.

Imagine successful potty training.

Imagine knowing how to treat yourself with compassion, how to forgive yourself when you slip up.

These are all hallmarks of a family that is going in the right direction.

And, these are all the things that I work on every day with ninja parents.

If you’re struggling with the direction your family’s going, I hope you’ll join the community that helps parents truly enjoy family time.

Click here to join the Ninja Parenting Community today!

Let’s get you the control over the direction your family is going!
Cheers,
Karen
The quote I live by: “The opposite of play is not work. It is depression.” – Brian Sutton-Smith

When your child is disrespectful

This is the final installment in my series on “Kids gone sideways.” Click here for last week’s about handling your child’s temper tantrums (and why tantrums are developmentally necessary in the first place.)

Has this ever happened to you?

“Yesterday evening there was one typical example. We had just arrived home, were unbuckling and gathering our items so we could exit the car, and I reminded her to bring her backpack. She suddenly sounded offended and said “I *KNOW* Mom!”
I felt annoyed that she was so rude, started questioning myself about whether I should have reminded her and then mad that I’m letting this tiny human make me question something I know is perfectly acceptable!
I’m unsure what to say that won’t escalate into a power struggle and so I say nothing immediately. As she grabbed her backpack I said “ you need to speak respectfully to me.” She ignored me and kept moving into the house.

I fear that this way of relating to each other will become a well-worn path, where she’s disrespectful, I call her on it, and she shrugs me off.

I’m feeling the importance of looking for something I can do that she won’t shrug off.

I guess that’s why I was asking for consequences I could impose.
But at the same time I know she needs to internalize her own reasons to be respectful; my expectations and my consequences won’t be enough for her.”
That was one ninja parent, a mom who had been frustrated for years with her daughter’s disrespect.

From these frustrated beginnings, this mom has mastered (and taught others in the community) a new ninja tactic!

Continue reading “When your child is disrespectful”

317: What kids need today with guests Dr. Rob Reiher and Wayne Yercha of the Live Above the Noise podcast

Welcome! To listen to today’s episode, scroll down to the very bottom of this post and hit the triangular “play” button. Enjoy the show!

Will you be my Valentine? I have a special gift exclusively for newsletter subscribers… Click here to read my most recent newsletter (all about Valentine’s Day) and to subscribe!

“Schools are way, way behind the times when it comes to what kids need today,” one of today’s guests, educational psychologist Dr. Rob Reiher, shares during our conversation.
Rob and his podcast cohost, Wayne Yercha, teamed up because they saw a disparity not just in schools, but in children’s entertainment.

 

 

So they created two shows! Live Above the Noise is the “for parents” show about helping kids find, and listen to, their inner voice – and speaking personally, it’s a show that survived my 2019 digital reset because they give real insight into how we can best raise our little kids.

Their other show, Shieldstar Knights, debuts this week! It’s an action-adventure show for kids ages 8 to 12, and differs from most other kids’ entertainment by solving problems in other ways besides violence. (It’s definitely geared towards kids between eight and 12, it would be pretty scary for younger children! Maybe listen, before you introduce it to your kids, just to be sure : )
We dig into both, and lots more, in this episode of We Turned Out Okay.

Join us!

Click weturnedoutokay.com/317 for everything we talk about in today’s episode : )

Sign up for my Weekly Parenting Newsletter

Each week I send out a couple parenting newsletters, to help you stay sane while raising your kiddos. (This one is about enjoying Valentine’s Day when you’ve got littles running around and includes the link to become a subscriber yourself.)
I just wrapped up a series on “Kids gone sideways,” so you can learn what to do when even the basics are a challenge!
Useful stuff.
Click weturnedoutokay.com/weekly so it zooms right into your inbox each week!

Click here for the We Turned Out Okay Facebook group.

And if you need some extra support for the tough parts of your parenting journey, join the private coaching community that I run! Click here to find out more, and to join.
Continue reading “317: What kids need today with guests Dr. Rob Reiher and Wayne Yercha of the Live Above the Noise podcast”

Valentine’s Day with kiddos

Valentine’s Day is a bit different when you have little ones running around, isn’t it?

In my dating years I was never a fan of Valentine’s Day. I was much more likely to band together with a gang of college buddies and listen to a lot of Melissa Etheridge…

Until I met Ben (the 22-time winner of the Husband of the Year award – that’s how you’ll know him if you listen to my show.)

The first Valentine’s Day we were dating, I was offered a housesitting job in a sweet, tiny little hill town in western Massachusetts.

Mostly, I was dog sitting, for this great big dog named Susie. Before the owners left they told me “we’re expecting snow, so feel free to crank up the wood stove, use the snowshoes in the mudroom, and if you’re dating somebody they are totally welcome too!”

The expected snow turned into a massive blizzard – and somehow, Ben found his way through it, driving all the way from Boston, scraping snow off street signs in the tiny little hill town, and ultimately finding the house’s dirt road by almost sheer luck.

And we had the most romantic, fun, and memorable Valentine’s Day!

Fast forwarding a few years and two kids, it got a little harder to cultivate that same sense of romance.

But we enjoyed the heck out of our Valentine’s Days with little kiddos, and I wanted to share some of what we did, so that you can enjoy your Valentine’s Day, with your family!

1. Make it as un-commercial as possible.
Try to get yourself back to the basic elements of fun time with family: the coziness of spending time together, snuggled up and reading books on the couch in pajamas. Or bundling up and spending time outside together, in a snowball fight or snow fort building, or just a walk to a favorite place in nature (if you don’t have any snow).

2. Bake something together.
Heart-shaped pretzels, banana bread, sugar cookies, or something else that feels a little celebratory.

3. Put the kids to bed early.
One great thing about little kids: they totally can’t tell time! So if 730 is their usual bedtime, back it off by an hour and give yourself some extra grown-up time, whether with your honey, with old friends listening to Melissa Etheridge, or cozy and quiet time with yourself.

I wanted to get you thinking about Valentine’s Day a little early, so you’ve got a chance to plan.
Because if you don’t plan, oftentimes a special day feels rushed, or is gone before you know it.

Also! This coming week I have a Valentine’s Day gift for you!
I will share details in the midweek newsletter. I am very excited about it and I bet you will be too : )

Wishing you a great weekend!
Cheers,
Karen

PS – Will you be my Valentine? I have a special Valentine’s gift exclusively for newsletter subscribers… You can get newsletters just like this one directly into your inbox, too, and it’s all free… Click here to subscribe!

Mistaken beliefs about temper tantrums

Happy Wednesday!

FYI: This is the fourth newsletter in my “Kids gone sideways” series, about how we can get back on track when our kids drive us crazy .
Click here for the first in the series, about the intersection of our own self-worth and our children’s hangry meltdowns, and click here for the story of my second-worst day of potty training ever. Next week we will dive into dealing with disrespect in the final installment, so stay tuned!
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What do you believe about temper tantrums?
I wouldn’t blame you if your answer was: “I believe they should not exist!”

It is super frustrating that temper tantrums are a thing in the world.

It feels as if they do no good at all.
They are an intrusion into a happy family life, right?

But here’s the thing, temper tantrums are stepping stones on the way to a happy family life.
They are developmental necessities, key milestones in the social and emotional development of children.

I know that’s hard to believe, but it’s true.

Consider what’s happening in your child’s development, when the temper tantrums really get rolling:
– A tremendous increase in understanding of the language spoken around them
– The acquisition of new vocabulary words at a seriously rapid rate
– A much larger ability to take in information, than the capacity to express themselves using language

It’s that last one that I want to bring your attention to. Continue reading “Mistaken beliefs about temper tantrums”

316: Beliefs create reality. So, what do you believe?

Welcome! To listen to today’s episode, scroll down to the very bottom of this post and hit the triangular “play” button. Enjoy the show!
What we believe influences everything: our thoughts, our interactions, our relationships, and in the end our reality.
But it can be really hard to nail down what we actually believe.
In today’s episode I take you into my beliefs, show you how I figured out what they are, and most importantly help you clarify your own.
It’s a master class in getting the reality that you want most – both as a parent and as a person. I hope you find this episode helpful!

Click weturnedoutokay.com/316 for a cheat sheet on how to define your beliefs, and on the links that come up in today’s episode.

Also – Throughout February, in Instagram, I am posting my beliefs!
Click Instagram.com/weturnedoutokay (or find @weturnedoutokay in the app) to see them!
Thanks for listening!

Sign up for my Weekly Parenting Newsletter

Each week I send out a couple parenting newsletters, to help you stay sane while raising your kiddos. (In today’s episode I talk about the most recent newsletter, on the role kindness plays in improving my health, as I have lived with a tendon disorder for eight and half years.)
We’re doing a series right now on “Kids gone sideways,” so you can learn what to do when even the basics are a challenge!
Useful stuff.
Click weturnedoutokay.com/weekly so it zooms right into your inbox each week!

Today’s episode is sponsored by the amazing Janine Halloran, expert in teaching kids coping skills, who has created some great resources 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 “316: Beliefs create reality. So, what do you believe?”

Kindness and conversation from the perspective of a curmudgeonly Bostonian

I should revise the title… but “formerly” curmudgeonly Bostonian seemed like something of a mouthful 🙂

This Parenting Newsletter is about the value of kindness, and how kindness has changed my life in ways I could never have foreseen.

I started thinking about this thanks to Robin Abrahams, the Boston Globe Magazine columnist (who writes under the alias Miss Conduct, and has been a guest on my show as well).

Recently Robin wrote “How to be kinder in Boston, America’s 5th rudest city,” an article I got a lot out of, and I highly recommend you go and read!

One part especially was compelling to me, about how conversation – simple conversation with the people around us – can make us feel better.

Robin’s essay helped me extend my thinking in a different direction: the importance of being kind to ourselves.

I have a tendon disorder. I’ve lived with it for eight and half years, and it started with my right leg.

I used to tell that leg mean, horrible things.
I would say how much I hated that leg. I would tell it how useless I thought it was.

And much worse.

But what I failed to see was that my poor leg was just doing the best it could!

It was only when I started treating my right leg well, treating it kindly, that I started to feel better.
Continue reading “Kindness and conversation from the perspective of a curmudgeonly Bostonian”

No respect, or, the basics of successful potty training

Happy Wednesday!

FYI: This is the third in my “Kids gone sideways” newsletter series, about how we can get back on track when our kids drive us crazy .
Click here for the first in the series, about the intersection of our own self-worth and our children’s hangry meltdowns, and click here for the story of my second-worst day of potty training ever. And stay tuned for next week’s where I’ll share a critical tool for handling those meltdowns!
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“Mom… You’re always making me!”

That’s what 3-year-old Jason said to me one day while he was potty training.

We were at a big family gathering, and he was resistant to the idea of coming to “try” on the potty.

I couldn’t understand why it was such a problem for him – his big brother had been fine with trying!

Why couldn’t he just amiably come to the potty, have a seat, and see if any potty action happened?

This had been going on for weeks, me bringing him to the potty to try, and him being very unhappy about it.

Even if he succeeded at trying, the being made bothered him to no end. He hated that I could assert that kind of authority over him.

At this particular family gathering, I was stressed out. I had these horrible visions of Jason, wetting one of the immaculate dining room chairs – or heaven forbid even the carpet – amidst all these people.

I worried for little Jay’s feelings of embarrassment and humiliation.
But I mostly worried for my OWN feelings of embarrassment and humiliation.

All I could think was, if the worst happened, who would be to blame?
The parent, that’s who.

Hence the “trying.” Continue reading “No respect, or, the basics of successful potty training”