Podcast Episode 027: Mom and Journalist Heather Kempskie Returns for the RV Trip Postmortem!

“My editor, once in my early career when I lost a big story in my computer, told me this: everything is better the second time.” Heather Kempskie shares this story to comfort me as I’m apologizing for losing our original post-RV trip in my quest for the sound of cicadas… Click here to listen to that episode… And the cool thing is that I think she’s right! In this interview we talk about:

  • Heather’s big takeaways from their RV trip, which are 1) RVing is super fun, and you can have alone time even in an RV surrounded by your family and 2) it’s important to separate from Wi-Fi sometimes, if only to know who your true friends are
  • living for the moment, which really sounds quite hokey but is a great skill to have
  • Heather’s new way of bonding with her daughter, combining exercise, nutrition and personal development through a program offered by their local YMCA
  • the October 2015 issue of baystateparent’s cover model and Heather’s interview with a Salem ghost tour guide
  • baystateparent’s Extraordinary Extracurricular Guide, which you can sign up for right at their website, baystateparent.com

At least half this interview wasn’t even in the original interview; for my part, I’m glad we got to do this redo. I hope you agree!

Podcast Episode 026: 3 Ways to Make No Sound Like Yes

Did you know that, by the time we are five years old, we’ve heard “no” 40,000 times? And that in that same span of time, we’ve only heard “yes” 5000 times? (I learned that reading The Slight Edge by Jeff Olson, a great book by the way.)

While it’s true that “no” is important – for safety, if nothing else – this n-word can really bring us down… As Jeff puts it: “Eight times as many noes as yeses. Eight times the force holding you down, compared to the force lifting you up. Eight times the gravity against your desire to soar.”

Today, I share with you the primo ninja parenting tactic of them all… Make no sound like yes! Here’s how:

1) Actually say yes. When they ask “Mom, can I have an ice cream?” you respond “sure! Right after dinner.” If it’s “can we play play dough?” and if there isn’t time at the moment, you respond “absolutely – as soon as we get home from the doctor.” This works in so many situations, and have the added bonus of making us parents feel somehow lighter and happier… because no sucks and yes is nice.

2) Keep your cautions to yourself. If your mouth says “yes” but your body language, facial expression, and tone communicate fear and worry, your child won’t hear the yes. Worse, if you say yes and then come up with 10 reasons why your child shouldn’t climb that tree, or go barefoot, or eat the Halloween candy you just told him he could eat, are you really saying yes? Not really… This is where we need to be angels, not balloon poppers.

3) Use “yes, and…” A great turn-no-into-yes tactic for transitional times, try this one when your child wants to do one thing and you know that you need to do another… “Mom, can we play play dough?” “Yes, we can play now for a bit and will keep going with it when we get back from the doctor.”

If you take just one thing from this episode, I hope it is this: our words matter. The more yeses we can squeeze into a child’s day – more noes we can eliminate – the lighter and happier we will all be.

How are you changing “no” to “yes”? Please share! Either go to weturnedoutokay.com/contact or leave a comment right at the bottom of this post. I can’t wait to hear your innovations!

Podcast 025: YCE – Understanding What’s Going On In Your Kid’s Head

Your Child Explained: where we talk about what is going on inside your kid’s head! YCE episodes drop every other Thursday, always the same week as selected as last a guest interview episode. Sometimes a YCE episode will also be a Q&A, so if you’re child is doing something that is driving you nuts, please ask me about it – just go to weturnedoutokay.com/contact – but most often the YCE will be on the same topic the previous Tuesday’s guest episode.

Let’s dive into your kid’s head together!

Tuesday’s guest, Wesley Chapman of A HUMAN Project, gave you and I lots of ways to help our young children feel loved, appreciated, and an integral part of our families. If you didn’t get a chance to listen to our interview, I think you’ll love it – it’s Weturnedoutokay.com/024… The obstacles that Wes has overcome and the positive difference he’s making and the lives of thousands of families will blow you away.

For today’s Your Child Explained episode, we highlight the letter you in HUMAN: to Wes, U means Understanding. Today’s show, as we look into our young kids’ minds, we see a desperate need on their parts to be understood by the people they love most.

How do you communicate that you honor their ideas, that you “get” your child, no matter how young? Maybe it’s as simple as saying “I understand” sometimes; maybe it’s slightly tweaking your routine to honor your toddler’s preferences.

The best thing is that putting the letter u in Understanding can have great consequences! They can help you know your child better, it can help you laugh together… It can help you have more fun.

Do you Understand your child? If so, please share! Go to the contact page at Weturnedoutokay.com, or comment right here in this post – it took me years to be able to Understand each of my boys, I’d love to know how you do it. And, thanks for listening!

Podcast 024: What Kids Need to Thrive with Wes Chapman of A HUMAN Project

A look into the mind of today's guest.
A look into the mind of today’s guest.

Today’s guest has had a lifetime of unplanned adventures… Abused and abandoned during his young childhood, simultaneously a troublemaker and a bullied kid all through school… Wesley Chapman developed an entrepreneurial spirit at age 8, when his grandmother became disabled and he started going door to door selling flowers from her garden.

The entrepreneurial spirit stuck with Wes, who found that his strength lay in being an entrepreneur, and then helping other entrepreneurs… And in more recent years helping thousands of children and teens through their own private battles.

We talk about all that in today’s episode:

  • how Wes’s growing up helped him become the man he is today
  • how his philosophy went from “I’ll prove them all wrong” to “I’ll prove myself right”… And how this philosophical shift affects Wes and the people around him every day
  • what the acronym HUMAN means, in Wes’s A HUMAN Project click update
  • how you can help your young child thrive

If you take just one thing from this episode, I hope it is this: our children deserve our time and our positive thinking. These two elements are what will cause them to thrive!

Podcast 023: School Rules – 5 Ways to Make This a Great Year for Your Young Child

Today’s episode is probably almost exactly the opposite of what you think of when you think of school rules. In fact, it feels a little subversive… The truth is, I think that schools are getting some important things wrong. These rules for you to follow can right some of these wrongs.

Let’s jump in!

1) Get into the mindset that school exists to help your child. We often feel like, especially if our kid does not fit the mold, that we are somehow in trouble – that our son or daughter is to blame for holding up the class, or poor test scores. It’s important to remember that, like the police who protect and serve, school teachers are there to nurture our children, to help our children achieve their dreams. It’s not the other way around!

2) Formulate a goal for what you want your child to get out of his or her school year. I know that this sounds like a weird one – aren’t goals for executive boardrooms, or job reviews, or at the very least high school? – but going into your child’s preschool, kindergarten, or first grade with an idea of what you hope she’ll learn will help her have a better year. It gives you a parameter, and if you don’t feel like this goal is being met it gives you a way to speak up about it.

3) Don’t worry about testing. Tests should be the absolute last thing on a parent of a young child’s mind; when they are young, our job is to nurture their creativity, help them get along better with other kids, help them spend time doing the things they love… The best way to have kids (of this age) (eventually) do well on tests is to not worry about them yet! Leave the test prep to the teachers.

4) Subject matter matters! It is much easier to help a young child on the path to, say, learning to read if what they are reading about is really important to them. The best teachers help their students learn by having them learn about what they love. If, unfortunately, your child doesn’t have one of these best teachers, it becomes even more crucial for you to help them learn about what they love. Luckily, this is fun for everybody; the best learning with kids this age result in a lot of laughter.

5) If you see something missing, ASK for it. Meaning, if you want something for your child that you don’t see happening in the classroom, you must respectfully ask for it… And then expect results. Fortunately we have the four C’s’s – remaining calm, being confident and courageous, and following up with consistency – to aid in asking, because it can be pretty scary to ask for stuff!

I hope these five School Rules help you help your child have a great school year. I’ll leave you with a fifth C – community – to add to the other four… Because if schools exist to serve our children, if we think of them and ourselves as existing in a community, then as part of that community we have the right to respectfully ask for change.

What kind of change would you like to see in your child’s school? Please share! Either in the comments here, or you can fill in the contact form at Weturnedoutokay.com… I can’t wait to hear from you!

Podcast 022: YCE – Your Child Explained – 3 Ways to Help Kids Declutter

Your Child Explained: where we talk about what is going on inside your kid’s head! YCE episodes drop every other Thursday, always the same week as selected as last a guest interview episode. Sometimes a YCE episode will also be a Q&A, so if you’re child is doing something that is driving you nuts, please ask me about it – just go to weturnedoutokay.com/contact – but most often the YCE will be on the same topic the previous Tuesday’s guest episode.

Let’s dive into your kid’s head together!

Simplicity expert and professional declutterer Miriam Ortiz Y Pino of morethanorganized.net really got into our heads this past Tuesday in Episode 21 (weturnedoutokay.com/021).

But what happens in your child’s mind when it’s time to give something away? If yours are anything like mine, giving things away does not come naturally. Here are three ways to de-clutter and simplify, even while living with young children:

1) Go into stealth mode. Clean out while they’re not around, or while they’re asleep… As you do this, be sure to bring out toys, clothes, or art supplies that they haven’t seen in a while and then put the emphasis on those, while stealthily handing off the stuff you want to say goodbye to.

2) Overtly discuss. Talking about the good that somebody else will get from our stuff can be revelatory, even for young children. They do have generous hearts, and knowing that, when they say goodbye to these things they’ve outgrown, they are helping somebody else can make the transition that much easier.

3) Go gently. It can be super hard to give away things you still love! We know and understand that as adults, and communicating to your son or daughter that you know how he or she feels can make a huge difference.

There is kindness and generosity in your child’s head. Appealing to that can help get past the instinctive “mine!” grab… plus, showing that you understand how tough it can be when something has to go is so supportive for your child.

How have you helped your child through the process of giving up stuff? Please share! Go to weturnedoutokay.com/contact, I can’t wait to hear from you!

Podcast 021: How to Get Organized with Simplicity Expert Miriam Ortiz y Pino

Did you ever think about the relationship you have with your stuff? Today, my guest and I talk about all the different ways that our stuff is a barrier to our enjoyment of our time, possessions, and especially our relationships.

Miriam-Ortiz-y-Pino

Miriam Ortiz y Pino of morethanorganized.net has built a great business to help break down these barriers. When she was 11 years old and was given her first job, alphabetizing the merchandise in the business of a family friend in Santa Fe, New Mexico, she started the very beginnings of a life of helping others organize. In more recent years she not only helps us regular people clean out our dressers and closets, she also helps organize bigger things, like political campaigns or restaurants.

Today, she talks to me about organization and decluttering, not just of stuff, but of emotions.

Listen for:

  • how to better utilize an area of your home by thinking NOT about the bins and containers you’ll use to store stuff, but instead of what that space will be used for
  • decluttering by choosing mostly gadgets that do more than one thing
  • figuring out the emotional ties to an object in order to decide what to do with it/about it – during this part of our conversation, Miriam helps me understand a decades-old argument with my husband!

If you take just one thing away from our conversation today, I hope it is this: we can be ruled by our stuff, and is up to us to master our (emotional and physical) clutter.

Podcast 020: Summer Family Time – RVing for Newbies with Mom and Journalist Heather Kempskie


Today’s episode is special, not just because it’s the last in our Summer Camp series but because it’s more than just a single interview; it’s an ode to summer, told in parts. On recent camping trip I took my fun little recorder, the Zoom H5, and today I’m bringing you some of my favorite stories and sounds from that trip. Amazing producer (and 18 time winner of the Husband of the Year award) Benjamin Kolp has woven together these, plus my two-part interview with mom and journalist Heather Kempskie, making for a Summer Camp wrap-up that you will love! So before we jump back into fall, grab yourself one final summertime adult beverage, curl up in your favorite camp chair, and enjoy!

A favorite thing I got to do this summer: take a ride on a sailboat out of Newport, Rhode Island! The sun was just setting as I took this picture while we docked at the end of the trip.
A favorite thing I got to do this summer: take a ride on a sailboat out of Newport, Rhode Island! The sun was just setting as I took this picture while we docked at the end of the trip.

 

In addition to her day job as the Multimedia Editor of baystateparent.com, today’s guest has always been a real adventurer in terms of her vacations – in 2014, her family swapped houses with a Danish family for a month! – but their plans for this summer were daring in a different way: she and her family spent two weeks traveling together in a motorhome RV.

In this unusual episode, we spend the first part talking with Heather Kempskie about plans for the RV trip with her family… And then after the trip is over we have a postmortem right here on the show!

Listen for:

  • Heather’s enthusiasm for the upcoming trip, in which the family travels from the Boston area and down along the East Coast, heading inland to the Appalachian Mountains before returning home
  • what she is concerned about (for example, how do you have any alone time in an RV with three other people?), and how she handles those concerns
  • her favorite vacation so far – it was that one to Denmark – and how this one stacks up against that one
  • what the trip was actually like versus her expectations of the trip

If you take one thing away from this episode, I hope it is this: being open to seemingly crazy ideas can make your life much more fun!

A doggie note about this episode: when we recorded part one, we had our beautiful little Shi-Tzu-poodle mixes for less than 48 hours; by the time we got together to record the second part of Heather’s interview, care of the dogs had become too much for me. I had a relapse of the condition I’ve been living with for four years, called tendinosis, and we had given the dogs up and I was back to 30% use of my arms. You can hear the whole story in Episode 17, where I share four ways to help your young children cope with challenging situations.

IMG_0008

Guest Post: Children on the Line (or Fishing With Kids), by Mark McKay of Wicked Fishah

Today’s post – the last in our Summer Camp series – comes from my friend Mark McKay, a writer for WickedFishah.com, so you know that he is serious about his fishing! Today Mark shares with us what we need to start fishing with our kids. So pour yourself a cold one, settle back in your camp chair, and envision the fun you’re going to have catching fish with your kids!

Whether you’re a fishing aficionado, or a novice, getting your kids involved in the outdoors is a rewarding activity. Ensuring that the next generation will enjoy and respect nature and all it has to offer is something I strive to do as often as possible. This article will focus on fishing with children. We’ll discuss the basics and how to get your kids involved in an outdoor activity that will last a life time.

As you can probably guess, the basics of fishing are simple. A pole with a line and hook are a simple as one can get. For the basis of this article, we’ll keep it simple so you and your children can get out and begin enjoying fishing right away. You’ll need a few things to get started….

A fishing rod for you and your child.

A selection of small hooks.

Live bait or a selection of lures designed to catch your target fish.

A good pair of needle nose pliers or medical forceps.

A net (Certainly not required but it can be helpful).

Your fishing license. Depending on your state, a fishing license is not required for children. Be sure and check local laws.

Probably the easiest type of fishing, and the most rewarding for young kids will be fishing for “Sunfish”. Bluegills, Red Ears, or Shellcrackers, as they’re called are a small, easy to catch fish that inhabit almost every body of water in the country.

Bluegill

Fishing for Bluegills is, in it’s simplest form, as easy as shooting fish in a barrel. A small hook with a piece of earthworm will almost always be an irresistible snack for these voracious eaters. Attach a small hook (I use a #6 or #4 with my kids) directly to your line. Place a float about 6” up from the hook so the kids can see when a fish takes the bait. We prefer to use small pieces of earthworm, freshly dug up from the yard. There are alternatives to live bait if that’s something you don’t want to do. Berkeley Fishing makes a line of Power Bait that can be molded to your hook and should work just as well. Once your hook it baited toss your line into the water a few feet from shore. If the Bluegills are there, it shouldn’t take long before your bobber goes under! Gently “set the hook” by lifting the rod tip up in a swift motion, and it’s FISH ON!

You and your child have caught a fish. Now what? Here’s where the pliers and/or forceps come in. If you don’t want to handle the fish, which isn’t uncommon, you’ll use the pliers/forceps to safely remove the hook from the fish and return it to the water. Grab the shank of the hook with the pliers, and turn it so the point of the hook faces down. A slight jiggle over the water should be enough to get the fish off and swimming safely back to it’s finned friends.

These are the most basic instructions on how to fish with your kids. There are a myriad of resources available on the web if you want to take your fishing to the next level. I sincerely hope that this short article opens up a world of outdoors to you and your family.

Tight lines and tread lightly,

Mark McKay

Podcast 019: Raising Successful, Happy Daughters with Ashley Milne-Tyte of The Broad Experience

Welcome to another great Summer Camp episode! Today’s is more of an evergreen topic, because we care about the successes of our children in all seasons. It’s true that this interview is not solely about summer; but as we head back into the school year, it’s also a good time to think about how to help our kids in life. And maybe, not even just our kids – but us! I’m looking forward to sharing this great show with you, you’re going to love today’s guest.

Do you go through a daily struggle to balance your work time with your family time? Have you ever wondered if your gender plays a part in how successful you are at work, how much money you earn, whether you get a big promotion – or watch it go to someone else? Today’s guest and I talk about all things women and workplace, the subject of her very successful podcast with a great name: The Broad Experience.

Ashley Milne-Tyte grew up in London, riding public buses and then the London Tube, both by herself, to school. She spent her summers in rural Pennsylvania enjoying the kind of independence that kids used to take for granted, riding bikes or exploring the woods with friends and really only being required to “be back home for meals.” Our conversation starts with differences between childhood then and now, and progresses to where her expertise helps you – and your kids – enjoy successes both in work and life.

Listen for:

  • how the myth that “having babies” is the only thing that holds women back in the workplace is completely wrong; women have difficulty climbing as high in the corporate world as men for lots of reasons, and knowing these reasons can help women be more successful
  • what can be learned from two of my favorite books – and two books on my Fabulous Five list of books that help us be better parents – Free Range Kids by Lenore Skenazy, and Cinderella Ate My Daughter by Peggy Orenstein
  • a great piece of advice for anyone of any gender: develop the ability to advocate for yourself; to help with this Ashley recommends the book, Ask for it: How Women Can Use the Power of Negotiation to Get what They Really Want, by Linda Babcock and Sara Laschever, which is winging its way to me from the library as I write 🙂

Ashley Milne-Tyte’s expertise lies in storytelling, and in today’s episode we really get a sense of that, as she shares stories from her own childhood, work experiences and setbacks. You’ll finish the episode with a huge smile on your face, both because you’ll have a better sense of how to be successful yourself and how to help your children be successful in the workplace when they are all grown up. You’ll also have a huge smile on your face because you’ve got so many Broad Experience episodes to listen to in your future!