334: How to raise anti-racist kids

I love this portrait of father and son, taken by photographer Blake Nissen and published in the June 7, 2020 edition of the Boston Sunday Globe.

“It’s as if we are going through the 1918 flu pandemic AND the Great Depression AND the Civil Rights era, all at once.” That’s what James Arthur said on his podcast, Minority Korner, in (and about) Spring 2020.
I think he’s right.
To get through it all we are going to have to work together!
That’s the spirit in which I bring you this episode. In this conversation on racial justice between my friend Shane Sams, and his friend Talaat McNeely, Talaat shares that we each must “Make change within our sphere of influence.”
Well, my sphere of influence is in teaching parents like you how to get your family going in the direction you want.
Today I link that idea up with getting this nation going in the direction we want: one in which everyone is treated fairly, and where parents don’t have to worry about their children being harassed, assaulted, or murdered because of how they look.
I hope this episode, all about raising anti-racist kids, will help you make these crucial changes within your sphere of influence.

FYI: Free live training course on raising good, kind kids –
This week I’m doing not one but two live trainings, teaching on how a parent can change a child’s bad behavior to good… and one common mistake that well-meaning parents often make when trying to raise good, kind kids. (In other words, something that ups the bad behavior, when they’re trying to reduce it. It’s not a mistake you want to make.)
Click weturnedoutokay.com/kind to sign up for the live trainings, this coming Thursday, June 11 and Sunday, June 14!

Because of my white privilege, I have been able to insulate myself.
I’ve been able to not see some important truths that have been right in front of me.
I have remained ignorant, when I should have been seeking education.

This week one of my friends, a white man from Kentucky, had an amazing conversation with one of his friends, a Black man from Chicago. Talaat McNeely and Shane Sams spoke for an hour and 45 minutes, and I was astounded and ashamed at the stories Talaat told.
Things that have personally happened to him and his kids, just because of the color of their skin.

I was:
– astounded by the differences in our experiences, Talaat’s and mine, which only came about because he happens to be Black, and I happen to be white. No one should ever, EVER be treated the way Talaat and his family have been treated.

– ashamed because I let it happen.
The simple fact that it is happening means that I have not done enough to stop it.

Talaat shares five key steps that we can take to stop racism.
(I don’t remember to bring up the first and most important one until we’re almost at the very end of today’s episode, so all along you’ll hear me talk about four key steps… But that first one is most important. Talaat brings it up right at the beginning of his conversation with Shane. It’s something you hear me talk about on the show again and again, and I still can’t believe it took me until the last part of this episode to talk about it in connection with stopping racism.)

There are about a million links today, so for those and a description of the five key steps we can take to stop racism – to raise anti-racist kids – click the following link: weturnedoutokay.com/334.

We need each other now, more than ever.
If you are reading this and you’re a person who (as the Black Panthers used to say) is Black or oppressed, you have my empathy, and my pledge to become educated instead of remaining ignorant about what has happened to you, and the part I have played in your troubles.
If you’re a person of privilege, I hope that like me, you’re open to moving forward on the path from ignorance, to education. And from there to support.
We will get through this together <3 Continue reading “334: How to raise anti-racist kids”

When a parent’s leadership skills really matter

“I feel so helpless.” This is something I’ve been hearing a lot from parents.
We can feel helpless within our own lives, our ability to control our children’s behavior. We can also feel helpless about world events, and what if any part we could play in alleviating suffering or injustice.

I am using today’s newsletter to share lots of resources that you may find helpful, both within your family and also regarding the wider world.
The path from feeling helpless, to feeling in control and as if you can contribute positively, comes down (in my opinion) to two words:
Leadership skills.

Recognizing that in our family, we are leaders, is a great first step in overcoming those feelings of helplessness.

I want to start this newsletter off with hugs. (And the request that perhaps you hydrate as you get ready to read… It’s a long one : )

And then, I’d like to ask you to take a deep breath – and consider the role that leadership skills play in creating a happy family, as well as in creating a world that is peaceful, joyful, and supportive of everyone. Continue reading “When a parent’s leadership skills really matter”

Two gentle and kind models for how to teach good values

I wanted to share a picture today, one that has been giving me hope:

I wanted to share the story behind this picture, of Officer Clemmons, played by actor and playwright François Clemmons, and Fred Rogers. It’s a still from a scene of Mr. Rogers’ Neighborhood in which Mr. Rogers invites his friend to cool off in the pool, on a hot day.

(This picture is actually from 24 years after the original segment aired on Mr. Rogers Neighborhood in 1969, when Mr. Clemmons and Mr. Rogers re-created the scene; click here for a lovely video, featuring François Clemmons sharing about his experiences as Ofc. Clemmons, and working with Mr. Rogers on the show and in which you can view footage of the original segment.)

You most likely remember Fred Rogers, and many of your kiddos probably love watching Daniel Tiger, a creation of Mr. Rogers’, on PBS.

But you may not know actor and playwright François Clemmons.
And you may not know the significance of this picture, taken from a video segment of Mr. Rogers Neighborhood, in which Mr. Rogers – in real life an ordained minister – washes the feet of Officer Clemmons, played by his friend and colleague Mr. Clemmons.

Continue reading “Two gentle and kind models for how to teach good values”

333.5: When you feel small, helpless, and afraid, listen to this.

(FYI: about 10 or so minutes in, I use the word “jackass” once or twice… it’s not enough for an E-rating, but I want you to be aware just in case you want to listen away from sensitive ears.)

Hi Friends,

I had planned for, and drafted, a very different kind of post today for you (I got about a dozen spider bites while sleeping Saturday night, and we’ve got a very large ant invasion going on in our kitchen; my abandoned draft was largely about these.)

But as I wrote I realized how truly small and insignificant these concerns of mine are.

There is a lot going on in the world, and a lot going on in the news.

And I wanted to start the week off with a simpler message.

I wasn’t sure what that message would be, except somehow I wanted to transcend the fear, the worry, and the struggles that we are seeing in the news, and even in our own homes.

My family and I just finished virtually attending the closing ceremonies for the year at my son’s school, and the Executive Director George Popham teared up saying the following:

“If there’s one important thing we should be doing, it is to put good, kind people in the world.”

Immediately I knew that that was the message I wanted to share. Continue reading “333.5: When you feel small, helpless, and afraid, listen to this.”

333: How are you holding up? 3 ways to keep going

I chose this picture for today’s episode because, for some reason, the idea that butterflies have no idea that we’re in a pandemic is helping me feel better about the whole thing

“I feel like I’m completely alone trying to meet completely insatiable needs for days on end.”
That is what one of the moms in my online coaching practice, the Ninja Parenting Community, wrote early last week.

She’s not the only one. Not by a longshot!
In this week’s episode I share my best ideas for getting through a crisis.
Even a slow-motion, simultaneously-terrifying-and-tedious, pandemic-induced crisis like the one we’re in now in June 2020.

If your energy, patience, and/or well-being is flagging, first of all let me offer HUGE hugs!
Listen to this episode for some practical things you can do to get through the toughest of these tough times.

Join us!

Links that come up today:

Parenting Masterclass
For the all-summer-long live Masterclass series, “Parenting in Place,” which features lots of WTOO beloved guests and friends, like Audrey Monke, Jessica Lahey, and Devorah Heitner, click here! (I’m signed up for it, and I hope you’ll sign up too!)

Continue reading “333: How are you holding up? 3 ways to keep going”

Overcoming anxiety about transitions

Happy Wednesday!

FYI: NPC Grand Reopening sale : )
I have been working hard behind the scenes, creating a 5-module course on “How to keep going” and a training on “how to handle your child’s angry outbursts,” not to mention spring cleaning in the Ninja Parenting Community… the response from NPC members has been wonderful!

I’m excited to reopen NPC registration so you can get the help you need coming through the pandemic <3
Details below!

_______________________________________________I wrote the following in the NPC forums last week.

I am putting the whole post here in its entirety, for a few reasons:

– I wanted to show NPC as a place where everyone – even me – can feel safe to share their challenges

– I wanted you to be able to see the depth of learning, and how it happens on so many levels, from the smallest interaction with a child, to the biggest most overarching worries members may have

– I wanted to share a success! Just in case you’re feeling like they are pretty thin on the ground these days
(NPC Members: click here to celebrate this success with me in the community forums: )

Okay, here goes with my post:

Continue reading “Overcoming anxiety about transitions”

332: Helping your child through the pandemic, with preschool teacher Tricia Tomaso

I am so excited to bring you this installment of OkayCon 2020 with beloved guest, special needs preschool teacher Tricia Tomaso!

Tricia helps us:
– Work out a routine to make our days a little easier right now
– Help our kids through what they’re struggling with
– Keep going, even when we feel like we kinda can’t

I hope you find our conversation as helpful as I did!

(Scroll down in this post for the YouTube version of this conversation – and/or click the following link for all the OkayCon 2020 Free Virtual Summit presentations –
weturnedoutokay.com/OkayCon2020 : )

Here are a few other ways I can help you hang onto your sanity, both during and after the pandemic:
Continue reading “332: Helping your child through the pandemic, with preschool teacher Tricia Tomaso”

331: How to handle your child’s rage

“My biggest struggle is with my five-year-old. When she is angry she scratches, bites and sometimes hits. She also yells very loudly. I would love some advice on how to get her to stop.”

A listener wrote in with this question, and I knew it would probably resonate with many listeners.

Like us adults, kids are experiencing lots and lots of angry feelings – more so than pre-pandemic, without the usual outlets or often even the ability to leave the house and get a change of scene.

It can be difficult for adults to deal with our own rage, after years and decades of experience… It’s so much harder for kids to deal with their rage.

They need our help! Today I share a 3-part formula that I hope you find helpful in handling your child’s angry outbursts.

We’ve also got an impromptu Parenting News, featuring the following:
The Forge article “Your Only Goal Is to Arrive,” about how only one thing really matters right now in bringing our families through the pandemic.

A new book – Why are You Still Sending Your Kids to School? – from friend-of-the-podcast and expert in raising self-directed learners Blake Boles. I share the Amazon link here, but Blake asks that you consider purchasing it through “local bookstores, which could certainly use the business right now.”
(I share about this book both in the Parenting News, and also in the main part of this episode. I think it’s required reading, not just in handling your young child’s rage, but also in raising resilient and happy kids. Highly recommended!)

Join us!

Notes, including tons of links and a cheat sheet of the 3-part formula to handle your child’s angry outbursts, are at weturnedoutokay.com/331 : )

Also: I have been working hard behind the scenes, creating a 5-module course on “How to keep going” and a training on “how to handle your child’s angry outbursts,” not to mention spring cleaning in the Ninja Parenting Community… and in this episode I share when registration opens once more for NPC!
The response from NPC members has been wonderful, and I’m excited to open up the community for those of you who want the extra support coming through the pandemic.
Listen in to this episode to find out when registration opens, if you need that supportive community, and help from an expert in child development.

Join the We Turned Out Okay book club!

I wrote a newsletter recently on how to handle it if you’re feeling anxiety in the pandemic (and after). Click the link below to read it:

To watch the Free Virtual Summit I created in response to the 2020 coronavirus pandemic go to:

We will get through this together <3

Continue reading “331: How to handle your child’s rage”

Instilling values, throwing rocks, and how I screwed up with the WTOO Book Club

Hey Friends,

WTOO Book Club: I screwed up last week, and prevented some of you from being able to attend last week’s Book Club meeting.
My error was due to the administrative nightmare I created, trying to move as quickly as possible to get the book club open and get you the link, if you wanted to be a part of it.

I am SO sorry!

If you want to be a part of the WTOO Book Club – even if you attended last week – please click this link to sign up for this week’s, and future meetings:

This week’s WTOO Book Club chapter is all about “the Why of the parent ninja.”

It’s about values, and how we instill them in our children.

In this week’s meeting I’ll share a story about the time I was invited to throw a rock through one of my school’s plate glass windows, and how the values instilled in me shaped the way I acted that day.

(To read a little more on my thinking around instilling values in children, read on.) Continue reading “Instilling values, throwing rocks, and how I screwed up with the WTOO Book Club”

It is normal to be anxious when everything is changing.

Happy Friday!
As the world reopens, the parents I work closely with are feeling all kinds of different ways about it.
But mostly how we are all feeling – myself, and my family included – is anxious.

Just as we started to figure out how to get through days and weeks in lockdown, everything is changing. Again.

Here’s one thing I know: if anyone can survive this change, and make it through, it’s you.

Parents of young children are (I feel anyway) uniquely positioned to handle the most extreme, uncomfortable, simultaneously-tedious-and-terrifying circumstances:

  • You’ve been barfed on.
  • You’ve carried screaming children through malls and gyms and restaurants.
  • You’ve encountered judgment and scorn and shame.
  • You have worried about your kids, at the same time as your heart has been breaking with their cuteness, or silliness, or kindness, or a demonstration of their love for you

Through all the change and anxiety, you have persevered.

The aftermath of the pandemic represents a step into a new and different kind of reality.

And I am so in awe of you, as you have come through this whole thing.

In my heart I feel that you are going to not just make it through, but thrive. And I know you will also help your kiddos to thrive.

You have got this!

Here is what some of the parents I work closely with have been doing, to get through:
Continue reading “It is normal to be anxious when everything is changing.”