One word

Usually on Mondays I teach a quick phrase – this week it was supposed to be just one word – in the WTOO Facebook group, but instead I was getting an MRI and so couldn’t get in there.

So I decided to use this space to teach it to you (many of you are in the Facebook group already, so this week you’re getting this here, instead of there: )


A few weeks ago, we Kolps had a problem.
Continue reading “One word”

When Your Spouse is Not On Board | Podcast Episode 274

As life partners, we all have some disagreements.
But what if you feel like your disagreements are interfering in family life?
That’s what this episode is all about, so if you’re worrying about any of this you’re in the right place!
I’ve got 3 ways to get your spouse on the same page as you are.

Plus: in Parenting News, we consider coding as one of the academic 3Rs.
Join us!

Go to weturnedoutokay.com/274 for:

  • A cheat sheet of the 3 ways discussed today
  • Links to a whole bunch of good stuff, including the key links talked about today and free potty training and temper tantrum free guides
  • The video of the week: “My spouse isn’t on board with how I’m raising our kids”

And thank you so much for listening!

Live Q&A and Open House Tour

Ever wished you could check out the private coaching community that I run for parents of young children?
Do you have questions about if it could work for you, even in your busy, insane life and with whatever technical skills you possess (especially if you feel like they’re not very good)?
You’re in luck! On Thursday, April 25 at 1 PM EST I am throwing open the doors to the Ninja Parenting Community!
I’m taking you right inside, and showing you:
– What our members love about it
– How the community helps parents turn family time into “the best time of the day”
– And I’m taking questions too!

It’s free… I’m so excited to bring you in and show you around!
It’s live… But even if you can’t be there live, signing up gets you the replay so you can rewatch as many times as you like.
It’s where my heart and soul is… because I get to work closely with so many amazing parents.

Don’t miss out on discovering this secret to happy parenting…
Click weturnedoutokay.com/tour to sign up!

Continue reading “When Your Spouse is Not On Board | Podcast Episode 274”

When I fight authority (a tool for handling temper tantrums : )

For whatever reason I’ve had this song by Jon Mellencamp playing in my head for the last few weeks… And it’s got me thinking on authority, and fighting it.

Today I share a tool with you that I hope you find useful in dealing with temper tantrums and other ways that your child “fights authority.”

If you’ve got young children,
you probably remember all too vividly those newborn days, where your new baby was the Authority.
When that baby said “jump!” you said “how high?”
And then the baby grew, and you were able to call some of the shots again…

But early childhood keeps the “authority” issue in the forefront.
Because toddlers and preschoolers want to BE the authority, but they are not quite sure HOW to do that.

That’s when the temper tantrums start.
To give you an extra tool in dealing with them, I want to share a method that came up recently in the private coaching community that I run, where a mom asked:
“At home during a temper tantrum at least I can get [my three-year-old] to his room, and put him down. But out in the world – what should I do? If I continue to hold his hand he yanks and bucks and throws himself on the ground. If I try to hold him on my lap he kicks and head-butts.”

Sound familiar? If you ever deal with that or similar, try the following:
1) Remember that tantrums are part of life. They are part of the game, in fact they are developmentally necessary… And when a child has a tantrum he is fully experiencing that. So kicking and headbutting may be a part of that “full experience.” Continue reading “When I fight authority (a tool for handling temper tantrums : )”

Actual, real happy families with returning champion Audrey Monke today, plus new “Parenting News” segment! Podcast episode 273

A conversation with Audrey Monke is always welcome, even more so when she’s written a book that can fix so many of the worries we confront on a daily basis. Which this one totally is!
If you’re worried about:
 – How to keep your kids close while giving them their independence
 – If they’ll ever make friends, and what might happen to them if they don’t
 – How in heck they will develop the skills necessary to make it in this world
You are going to LOVE our conversation!

Also: included in this episode is the first installment of Parenting News, a segment highlighting one news item that seems worthy of your attention.
Today’s is all about young boys and Fortnite, and if you should be concerned about video-game addiction.
Got some news that you want me to bring up in a future Parenting News? Click here and let me know!

Go to weturnedoutokay.com/273 for:

  • A cheat sheet of ideas from our conversation
  • Links, including a special one to Audrey’s book, Happy Campers
  • The video of the week: “How to help your child make a friend”

And thank you so much for listening!

Live Q&A and Open House Tour

Ever wished you could check out the private coaching community that I run for parents of young children?
Do you have questions about if it could work for you, even in your busy, insane life and with whatever technical skills you possess (especially if you feel like they’re not very good)?
You’re in luck! On Thursday, April 25 I am throwing open the doors to the Ninja Parenting Community!
I’m taking you right inside, and showing you:
– What our members love about it
– How the community helps parents turn family time into “the best time of the day”
– And I’m taking questions too!

It’s free… I’m so excited to bring you in and show you around!
It’s live… But even if you can’t be there live, signing up gets you the replay so you can rewatch as many times as you like.
It’s where my heart and soul is… because I get to work closely with so many amazing parents.

Don’t miss out on discovering this secret to happy parenting…
Click weturnedoutokay.com/tour to sign up!

Continue reading “Actual, real happy families with returning champion Audrey Monke today, plus new “Parenting News” segment! Podcast episode 273″

Kids and Autonomy

“What did I care [about the future], if in the here and now you were alive, and well, and happy? I never dreamed that I would have such a person on my hands.” – Albus Dumbledore

My oldest child, Max, always hated timers.

From when he was really small, whenever I would set a timer and say “you’ve got two more minutes,” it sent him all to pieces.

He’d spend those two minutes staring at the timer, and crying as often as not. He just could not forget about it and go back to whatever he was doing.

I think it was just the idea of this clock ticking down: Tick. Tick. Tick.

So, we stopped using them very early on. It was not worth the struggle, especially as he did so much better when I would say “you need to be all done with that in two minutes” without the timer.

And then, in his tweens in early teens (he is 18 now, and has given me permission to share this story), Max confronted the scourge of the alarm clock.

He hates coming and going to the dictates of an alarm, an alert. It’s just too much like a timer for him.

But even though it’s like nails on a chalkboard, he has figured out how to use it.

He’s also figured out how to schedule his life, so he gets to class, and work, on time.
He gets himself and his brother to school on time.
He even schedules and gets himself to his own haircut appointments.

In short, Max is a very responsible 18-year-old.

A fact that I failed to see, and which has caused much conflict in our home as we try to figure out how to live together, 3 adults in one house.

“I need more autonomy.”

Early in the year Max asked for a meeting with his Dad and I.
He scheduled it to tell us that he wants “more autonomy.” He wanted us to help him figure out how to get that autonomy.

Together, the three of us figured out a system that would work.

And it was working, until I went and screwed it up this week by getting too worried.

I started obsessively tracking: what time did he get in last night?
How long did his alarm have to go off this morning before he shut it off and got up?
Did he eat anything before he left the house?
Would he get to his destination on time?

In talking to people whose opinion I really respect, such as my therapist, I decided it would be best to take a hard line:
“Max, don’t make your Dad and I ratchet back the hours you’re allowed to use OUR car.”

To us – maybe to you – this sounds eminently reasonable.
What I was really saying was “keep towing this line… Keep showing me you are safe. That’s how you can have your autonomy.”

But what Max heard and felt was very different. He felt that he could never just be private, keep his own hours and do what he wanted to do.

It turns out he felt that his Dad and I didn’t trust him.

So, what did he do about his feeling that we were keeping too many tabs on him?
Did he “show us” by staying out too late, deliberately?
Did he rail at us, and shout and yell?
Did he swear and scream and throw things?

No.
He did none of the above.
Instead, he did something that showed me how truly grown-up he really is:
He kept bringing it up with us. Even through tears and his obvious frustrations, even through his anger with us and his feeling that we don’t trust him.
He kept his part of this conversation open, and (maybe most importantly) he kept upholding his other responsibilities.

One thing that really resonated: he said “roommates don’t tell each other where they’re going and when they’ll be home.”

I suddenly realized, he’s incredibly trustworthy.
He doesn’t drive while intoxicated.
He keeps himself and his laundry clean.
He cheerfully chauffeurs his brother around.
He contributes to the chores around here.

Max engages with us in conversation even! He spends quality time with us. (To me, this is the most important one.)
He enjoys the banter around the dinner table, and loves to go really deep on a whole bunch of topics.
Max and his girlfriend came out to celebrate with us over the weekend, because younger brother Jay scored his first-ever soccer goal.

All this really came to a head in our most recent discussion just this morning. While we spoke I remembered how much he hated timers as a boy.

Max hates anything that he feels is a restriction on him.
And he always has.

This is so completely different from the way that I think. I like the security of a finite amount of time!

I like knowing when something will end, and when it will be time to move on to the next thing.

It never occurred to me that somebody would not like that.
But the next thought that followed logically was: just because you don’t want somebody looking over your shoulder, you don’t want to be timed, does that make you a bad person?
Does it make you untrustworthy?

Of course not.

As soon as I realized all this, like just a few hours ago, I knew what I needed to do. I needed to ease up on the restrictions that Max felt were most egregious, mostly about continually being in touch via text message.

I realized that I needed to change my current relationship with him. He’s no longer a child.

He’s a trustworthy man, who can be responsible for his own schedule, sleep, and life. I must support him in that – but not by monitoring.

“I never dreamed I would have such a person on my hands.” Albus Dumbledore said those words about this child that he loved.

But when he said those words, the child was no longer a child. And in that scene Dumbledore’s mistake (as he shares with Harry) is the mistake of an older person, trying to control a younger person by messing with his autonomy.

I wanted to share the story with you today, because you may have a child who hates timers.
Or not – maybe it is you who hates the timers, and your child loves them. And maybe you cannot understand that.

Even if you don’t understand your child’s preferences, do your best to keep those lines of communication open.

Because someday your child will be no longer a child.

What’s up on the podcast this week:

If you’ve ever struggled with less-than-quality childcare, whether in daycare or in a school setting, today’s episode is for you!

Because you are not alone. I’ve been working closely with people whose childcare providers do inscrutable things – one mom tells of an “aggression journal” her 3-year-old son’s childcare teachers are keeping about him! – and another who found her most recent parent-teacher conference frightening and overwhelming.

Which is why today I’m bringing you, in audio format, the class I taught just last week, all about “How to get quality childcare.”

Click the link below to listen:
https://weturnedoutokay.com/272

What’s up on my YouTube channel this week:

Extending on this theme, the live YouTube (I do one every Thursday) is called
“3 crucial factors for quality childcare”
Check out my YouTube channel by clicking here.

What’s up in the We Turned Out Okay Facebook group this week:

Each Monday at 10:30 a.m. EST, I do a superquick Facebook live that I call “Magic Words for Parents”… And this week I share one single question you can ask a child care provider, in order to ensure that your child is getting good quality childcare.
This, and all the back episodes of Magic Words for Parents are available 24/7 in the We Turned Out Okay Facebook group, so  click here to view or (if you haven’t yet) join!

Wishing you a wonderful parenting week,
Cheers!
Karen of https://weturnedoutokay.com

Continue reading “Kids and Autonomy”

How to get quality childcare: A masterclass | Podcast Episode 272

If you’ve ever struggled with less-than-quality childcare, whether in daycare or in a school setting, today’s episode is for you!

Because you are not alone. I’ve been working closely with people whose childcare providers do inscrutable things – one mom tells of an “aggression journal” her 3-year-old son’s childcare teachers are keeping about him! – and another who found her most recent parent-teacher conference frightening and overwhelming.

Which is why today I’m bringing you, in audio format, the class I taught just last week, all about “How to get quality childcare.”

During this master class I share:
1) The three most important keys to finding the best childcare
2) One crucial factor that can hold you back from getting quality childcare
3) The questions you should – and should not – ask potential and current childcare providers
4) An Open House Tour of the private coaching community where quality childcare has been our in-depth focus for the last 3 months
5) A Case Study of one class attendee, Amanda, and her 3-year-old son’s struggles with nap time at daycare

I hope it’s super helpful as your child moves out into the wider world, in daycare, preschool, or school!

Go to weturnedoutokay.com/272 for:

And thank you so much for listening!

Temper Tantrums and Potty Training:

Today I share about two helpful free guides I offer.
While the podcast is long-form – your opportunity to look into the mind of a child development expert – the free guides are super quick.

You can watch the video, read the checklist, and immediately handle the temper tantrums or get started with potty training (depending on which guide you choose : )

  • Click here for the FREE video and checklist to handle every temper tantrum
  • Click here for the FREE video and checklist to successfully potty train your child
  • Want to receive valuable ideas and tips on parenting, without either free guide above? Click here for my weekly parenting newsletter!

Continue reading “How to get quality childcare: A masterclass | Podcast Episode 272”

Resiliency is about more than barfing

Hail and well met!

I can say that now, but over the weekend there was much barfing in our home.
We’ve been traveling, and visiting family and skiing in the Rocky Mountains of Colorado.
And despite our best efforts, we brought home the most unbelievable bug from the plane!

I spent Friday in the ER, I’ve got one teen who is still in bed today, and poor Ben – who didn’t even travel with us – is also still recovering.

As we are all in various stages of recovery it’s got me thinking on how much easier it is for kids to recover.

And how much less they care about being sick. They just don’t seem to have the same dread of it as we grown-ups do.

I’ve seen this extend out into other kinds of recovery as well, and I got permission from my now-18-year-old to tell the story of the leg surgery he needed when he was just five years old.

I used to think of Max as my little baby Roo,

if you remember the small kangaroo from the Winnie the Pooh series. (His mom was “Kanga,” and I always loved their names.)

He had the cutest little gallop!
Max always ran with the right foot in front, from the time he started running. Which he did fairly late, he didn’t walk until he was well over a year old. And when he did, he fell. A lot.

It didn’t slow him down at all. We’d just see him galloping along and then all of a sudden – boom! – he’d be down. And then up, and off once more.

We didn’t view his little gallop as anything unusual, but his grandmother, a retired orthopedic nurse, most certainly did. Her concerns led us eventually to a wonderful doctor at Children’s Hospital Boston, who patiently showed us how the bones in his right foot were being deformed, and how a surgery would be necessary to fix that.

Max had always been a sensitive boy. He couldn’t tolerate the feel of denim, preferring sweatshirt material against his skin. He couldn’t tolerate loud noises (unless he himself was making them :-), and he always has possessed a heightened sense of atmosphere. If somebody’s upset or worried, he would instantly know that and translate it into something he himself had done, even if that wasn’t the case.

I worried, how will he get through something like a surgery? He’s so small. How would he withstand the pain – and it would be a very painful recovery, involving the reconstruction of his Achilles tendon.

The doctor heard my concerns and reassured me: “you won’t believe how quickly he will be up and about. The one thing I ask, the day he forgets his crutches, don’t let him actually run in the cast. Try to keep his activity to a dull roar.”

He said all this with a wonderful twinkle in his eye. Clearly a guy who has spoken with concerned parents like me before, and who has seen their children shine post-op.

But still I worried.

I shouldn’t have. Max came through the surgery with flying colors. He understood and used the pain scale, appropriately telling us when he needed pain relief medicine.

There was definitely some barf though!

Children’s Hospital has this policy, where patients can order any food they want off a menu, at any time they feel like it.

Max ordered Froot Loops, and bacon, at least twice each over the forty-eight hours he spent in the hospital.

He ate nothing else! And, we got him home and settled on the couch with the quilt I made him a few years previously, his favorite stuffed animals and comic books around him…

He brought back up all the Froot Loops and all the bacon!

That was the end of cereal enjoyment for him. He still likes bacon though… Somehow that survived LOL

Joking aside, all through his recovery I was amazed at Max’s resilience.

First with the pain scale, then with adapting to a cast (for the first 3 months) and then a walking boot for the next 3 or so months.

I couldn’t believe it when, one night as he brushed his teeth about two weeks out from surgery, the doctor’s prediction came true – he forgot his crutches! Just left them in the bathroom.

Minutes later we found him, cast and all, jumping on his bed.

As he recovered he took on all the physical therapy that was asked of him. He submitted to massage, to keep the tissue from scarring. He learned exercises and stretches, and cheerfully did everything his physical therapist asked of him.

He was recovering right before my eyes!

I saw my child in a new light.

And that’s why I wanted to share the story with you.
I want you to see your child in a new light. Maybe you’ve never had the fear of watching your child go through a surgery.
But just like every kid throws up at some point – and recovers – so does every kid take those hard knocks of childhood.

Being misunderstood. Getting feelings hurt. Feeling frustrated, or worried, or sad… These are all things children feel.

Maybe one of the best ways we parents can help them through it is to express our understanding for what they’re going through. And to tell them how proud we are of them.

“This is a really tough thing you’ve just come through! I’m proud of you.”
How glad would you be to hear this sometimes?

I know how glad I was to hear it from my husband today, as we commiserated over these last many days of illness and sadness and barf.

Barfing is a part of life.

Thank heavens, so is resiliency.

What’s up on the podcast this week:

What’s your go-to approach for getting work done?

Do you view something difficult as an exciting challenge, or a way to prove to yourself and others – once again – how crummy you are at difficult stuff?

Today, we look at how our own mindset impacts our children’s eventual success.

Take a listen, and I hope you enjoy the show this week!

Click the link below to listen:
https://weturnedoutokay.com/271

What’s up on my YouTube channel this week:

Extending on this theme, the live YouTube (I do one every Thursday) is called
“What is a good mindset for learning? How to get my child the best educational mindset”
Check out my YouTube channel by clicking here.

What’s up in the We Turned Out Okay Facebook group this week:

Each Monday at 10:30 a.m. EST, I do a superquick Facebook live that I call “Magic Words for Parents”… And this week’s was all about how to foster a growth mindset. I shared a quick phrase to help you do exactly that!
This, and all the back episodes of Magic Words for Parents are available 24/7 in the We Turned Out Okay Facebook group, so  click here to view or (if you haven’t yet) join!

Wishing you a wonderful parenting week,
Cheers!
Karen of https://weturnedoutokay.com

PS Good news! I am accepting people once more into our private community for parents!

Recently parents in our community have been getting help with:

  • A 4-year-old’s very disrespectful behavior
  • An overwhelming and insensitive parent-teacher conference
  • An “aggression journal” kept by one 3-year-old’s daycare teachers (!)

Whatever your struggle, come and be part of our supportive, caring and above all helpful group!
Click here to read more about working with me and what it can mean for you.

 

Get blog posts just like this delivered to your inbox each Wednesday by joining the We Turned Out Okay email group…
Click here to join!

3 Ways your mindset works either for – or against – your kids’ success | Podcast Episode 271

What’s your go-to approach for getting work done?

Do you view something difficult as an exciting challenge, or a way to prove to yourself and others – once again – how crummy you are at difficult stuff?

Today, we look at how our own mindset impacts our children’s eventual success.

Take a listen!

Go to weturnedoutokay.com/271 for:

  • A cheat sheet on getting your best mindset for your child’s success
  • Key links from today’s episode
  • The video of the week: “What is a good mindset for learning? How to get my child the best educational mindset”

And thank you so much for listening!

How to Get Quality Childcare: Free Online Class!

Learn:
– The keys to finding the best child care for your young child
– To avoid one crucial factor that can derail your efforts to find good childcare
– Which questions to ask – and which not too – to assure your child thrives in others’ care

We cover this and more in the FREE online class I’m teaching on Thursday, March 28!
Sign up today – even if you can’t be there live, the replay will be available for several days after.

Get the best child care for your kiddos by taking this class, for free! Sign up here and I will see you on March 28: )

Continue reading “3 Ways your mindset works either for – or against – your kids’ success | Podcast Episode 271”

Creativity: crucial for all ages. My conversation with Dan Blank (rebroadcast) | Podcast Episode 270

Today’s guest, Dan Blank; image from his website, wegrowmedia.com

 You may have heard that creativity is important to our children’s developing minds.
But have you ever thought about how important creativity is for yourself?

Today’s guest, Dan Blank, not only helps us understand how important it is… He helps us figure out ways to incorporate creativity into our busy parenting lives.

I hope you enjoy today’s conversation, whether you heard it when it was originally broadcast about 18 months ago, or if this is your first listen. Cheers!

Go to weturnedoutokay.com/270 for:

  • Favorite ideas from our conversation
  • Dan’s answer to a question that didn’t make it into the interview
  • The video of the week: Off this week, returning Thursday, March 28

And thank you so much for listening!

How to Get Quality Childcare: Free Online Class!

Learn:
– The keys to finding the best child care for your young child
– To avoid one crucial factor that can derail your efforts to find good childcare
– Which questions to ask – and which not too – to assure your child thrives in others’ care

We cover this and more in the FREE online class I’m teaching on Thursday, March 28!
Sign up today – even if you can’t be there live, the replay will be available for several days after.

Get the best child care for your kiddos by taking this class, for free! Sign up here and I will see you on March 28: )

Continue reading “Creativity: crucial for all ages. My conversation with Dan Blank (rebroadcast) | Podcast Episode 270”

Why does my child ask the same questions over and over? | Podcast Episode 269

Last summer, the two-year-old son of a Ninja Parenting Community member was in a car accident. Thankfully no one was injured. But the car was totaled.

And this little boy kept asking the same question, over and over:
“Why did Daddy crash Daddy’s car?” The accident was not Daddy’s fault. But you couldn’t convince the boy of that!

Everyone just wanted to move on.

But this little boy struggled to do that.

Maybe your child hasn’t recently been in a car accident, and so this isn’t the question that keeps getting asked.

But I bet, if you’ve got a toddler or preschooler, or even an elementary school kid, you know this phenomenon very well.

Today: what to do about it, when your child asks the same question again and again!

Go to weturnedoutokay.com/269 for:

  • A cheat sheet on how to handle it when your child keeps asking the same question over and over, and it’s driving you nuts
  • Key links from today’s episode
  • The video of the week: Off this week, returning March 28

And thank you so much for listening!

How to Get Quality Childcare: Free Online Class!

Learn:
– The keys to finding the best child care for your young child
– To avoid one crucial factor that can derail your efforts to find good childcare
– Which questions to ask – and which not too – to assure your child thrives in others’ care

We cover this and more in the FREE online class I’m teaching on Thursday, March 28!
Sign up today – even if you can’t be there live, the replay will be available for several days after.

Get the best child care for your kiddos by taking this class, for free! Sign up here and I will see you on March 28: )

Continue reading “Why does my child ask the same questions over and over? | Podcast Episode 269”