057: Facing Fears While Raising A Young Child – A Conversation with Dad and Teacher Bret Turner

IMG_2016Last fall, I posted a picture (that picture, right over there) on instagram, a quote from the movie After Earth: “Fear is not real. It is a product of the thoughts you create. Do not misunderstand me. Danger is very real. But fear is a choice.”

Today’s guest, Bret Turner, and I ended up having a fantastic, lengthy and deep conversation that started with this quote. I absolutely love instagram, and this kind of thing is why – without it, I would never have met this thoughtful first grade teacher and father to a 17-month-old girl.

I love these People-In-Your-Neighborhood conversations, with parents just like you, out in the real world, combining family and work in a balance that allows for contentment, positivity, and joy. Bret and I talk about all kinds of things, from why music is such a great transitional tool for young children to the positive lessons older kids and teens can take from Inara, the beloved prostitute on Joss Whedon’s short-lived gem, Firefly.

Click here go to weturnedoutokay.com and read more about my conversation with Bret!

Bret, his wife, and their daughter live in Berkeley, California, and Bret’s initial thoughts on my instagram quote from After Earth were that as a white, straight, middle-class American man, it seemed very privileged to him to go around talking about how “fear is a choice.” Sure, he could choose to fear or not – but does a Syrian refugee or a young black American man have that same choice?

A valid point. But when I came back in our instagram conversation and shared that, as a seven-year-old, I had been molested and really wish that I’d been introduced to the idea of fear-as-a-choice, because thinking of fear as something I can control would have helped as I grew up with the feelings of guilt and fear – the molester threatened my life if I ever told – and of course Bret completely understood where I was coming from.

So we had this really cool meeting of the minds, which seems to rarely happen in modern discourse, where we can each understand the other’s point and even agree with it, expanding both of our perspectives and helping us appreciate our different perspectives as well.

I hope that our conversation helps you face your fears, whether about the wider world or in your own home!

Key Links:

Watch this TED talk with conductor Ben Zander – seriously, right now. You’ll be glad you did!

Bret and I turn out to be fans of the same science fiction – we especially got into the SYFY channel redo of Battlestar Galactica, and Joss Whedon’s western set in space, Firefly.

I have not listened to this particular episode of This American Life, but Bret took a lot from it.

Download the free gift I made for you, the 9 1/2 Key Resources for Old-School Parents, here.

056: How to Handle Every Temper Tantrum

Today’s episode is a little different: I read a key chapter from my forthcoming book! The chapter, called Handling Tantrums With HEART, is going to help you keep your cool even while your toddler or preschooler is melting down. Here I share my method for dealing with tantrums, which I came up with to help you retain your sanity even when the tantrums are flying fast and furious in your home.

Today, I read it aloud because I want to know how you feel about it. What did I miss? What would help you more in dealing with your child’s temper tantrums?

Also, I tell you how you’ll be able to get the book – Positive Discipline Ninja Tactics – for free when it launches on April 3!

Click here to get the full show notes at weturnedoutokay.com/056.

In her article When It All Falls Apart: Toddlers, Tantrums and Turmoil, online at naturalchild.org, author Lauren Lindsey Porter shares: “The majority of tantrums last between 1.5 and five minutes, though they can be as short as 30 seconds or as painfully long as two hours.” I sure hope that your child’s tantrums are on the shorter end of that spectrum!

But whether they are or not, here is the condensed version of the HEART method of handling any tantrum:

Haven – create a safe place for your child to melt down, anywhere from your arms to her room

Empathy – try to communicate your understanding; everyone wants to be understood

Abide – just like Jeffrey “The Dude” Lebowski says, some things must just be endured

Reintegration – after it’s over, we need to help our kids return to the world

Trust – going through these steps, tantrum after tantrum, builds trust that our kids need to take them into their lives

“By using HEART, you are making this foundation of trust as firm and solid as your love is for your child. Managed properly, a tantrum is really a teaching tool, one that helps you know your child well and help get through the tough times. And that is the upside [to a temper tantrum].” – Karen Lock Kolp

Key Links:

I’m creating an infographic, something you can print out and put on your fridge so you have an easy way to remember how to handle a tantrum – best of all, you can point babysitters, grandparents, and older siblings to the infographic and say “this is how we handle a tantrum in our home.” That way, everybody’s on the same page!

Grab it by clicking this link, which takes you to positivedisciplineninjatactics.com. This will also get you on the prelaunch list, which means that you can pick up the book for free when it goes live on April 3, 2016!

To read Lauren Lindsey Porter’s full article, click here to go to naturalchild.org.

055: How Kids Look at Challenges: A Your Child Explained Episode

3D-bookshot-wo-borderIn this Your Child Explained episode, where we always try to get into the heads of our young kids, we look more closely at how kids face challenges. Today’s show digs more deeply into one aspect of episode 54, which dropped Tuesday and features mom and New York Times best-selling author Jessica Lahey. While episode 54 is not a prerequisite to today’s show, take a listen back if you get the chance because our conversation will really help you wrap your mind around the idea of what works – and what doesn’t – in helping your kids overcome setbacks and challenges.

For the full notes to today’s episode, click here click here to go to weturnedoutokay.com/055… If you’re listening on your iPhone and that link is not clickable, here’s what you do: tap the three little dots on the right, opposite the title of this episode, which pulls up a very useful menu. In that menu, click View Full Description, and that will make the links clickable. Enjoy!

Our young children face challenges every day. Learning how to walk is a challenge, as is learning to talk, creating an epic Lego scene, or cooking pancakes on the stove; all challenges, all opportunities for our kids to fail. At least, before they finally succeed! As Jessica and I talked about on Tuesday, humans must fail in order to learn and eventually succeed.

The first question we need to ask as we look at challenges from the perspective of our children is: is the challenge intrinsically or extrinsically motivated? When it’s a child-driven motivation, like learning to walk or talk, kids will take that challenge and run with it… Failures won’t feel like failures to them, they’ll feel like opportunities for learning.

When the challenge is extrinsically motivated – when, for example, we say to them “it’s time for you to learn to use the potty” and they are not ready – it’s much more difficult for them to find the motivation.

Our second question, once we’ve figured out if the current challenge is an intrinsic or extrinsic one, is: how do we see that challenge from their perspective? And if we can see that… How can we help?

We dig into Carol Dweck’s research here, on growth versus fixed mindset. We want to encourage the growth mindset rather than the fixed, and it’s in our everyday interactions with our children that we can make this happen.

A fixed mindset does not set our children up for success; it sets them up instead to try to be perfect. When you’re trying to be perfect, every challenge is an insurmountable obstacle because you can’t keep up perfection.

A growth mindset sets them up for success because, when we emphasize how impressed we are by the work they are doing (rather than by the outcome of that work), we communicate to them that it’s okay to make mistakes, it’s okay to fall down. Challenges become interesting and fun because, instead of trying to avoid mistakes, our kids are learning from them.

So, it’s much better for our kids when we say to them “wow, I can see you worked really hard on this drawing,” rather than “wow, what a perfect drawing!”

Key links:

My conversation with Jessica Lahey can be heard here.

Click here to check out Jessica’s book, The Gift of Failure.

My book, Positive Discipline Ninja Tactics, launches April 3! Click here to get on the prelaunch list, so you’ll know immediately when it goes live in Amazon (where for limited time you’ll be able to get it for free!)

054: Helping Our Kids Learn from Their Mistakes: A Conversation with Mom and New York Times Best-selling Author Jessica Lahey

Welcome!

To listen, scroll down to the bottom of this post and press the triangular “play” button.

About this episode:

Several years ago, today’s guest wrote what was for me an earth-IMG_1927shattering piece in the Atlantic Monthly (read it here). Jessica Lahey’s article discusses an experience she had as a middle school teacher, where she realized a student had plagiarized, called the student’s mom to discuss the failing grade the student would be getting – and the mom said “you can’t fail her… I wrote that paper for her, she has too much on her plate and couldn’t do it herself.”

My guest’s article talks about how, when your mom writes your papers, you are robbed of the experience. It’s one way in which you are not learning how to fall down – by writing a bad paper – and get back up again.

Fast forward to summer 2015, when I heard Jess on the wonderful podcast The Good Life Project, discussing both the article and her new book, The Gift of Failure: How the Best Parents Learn to Let Go So Their Children Can Succeed. Last December, I attended Jessica’s live presentation about The Gift of Failure, and she graciously offered to come on the podcast; today’s episode is the conversation we had a week or so later, and it’s a great one!

To read more about our conversation, click here to this episode’s notes page at weturnedoutokay.com.

During our 3D-bookshot-wo-borderconversation, I share that, as a parent, I tried really hard to make sure everything was perfect for my kids when they were little.

I ask Jess: why do we parents do this? She laughs – the sympathetic laugh of a woman who has been in my shoes – and talks about how we want what’s best for them, and we also want that jolt of oxytocin that comes with being depended upon… And then shares about how she moved from encouraging this kind of dependence to seeing her relationship with her kids blossom when she started encouraging their autonomy rather than their dependence upon her.

Highlights from our conversation include:

1) the work of Carol Dweck, a researcher who focuses on the difference between a fixed and a growth mindset; believe me, we want to encourage a growth mindset, the one in which our kids look upon challenges as fun and setbacks as learning experiences instead of a reason to give up

2) the relationship between these three words: autonomy, competence, and connection; one of the major themes in The Gift of Failure, Jess illustrates that as parents, our job is to foster these three traits in our children, they are the key to a good life

3) how to give our kids the gift of failure, without feeling like failures ourselves; there’s a real mind shift that must take place to go from “oh – let me do that for you” to “hey, great job – you worked really hard and did that for yourself!”

Overall, I love our conversation because it’s clear that Jessica Lahey sees both sides of this coin, understands this from the perspective of a parent who doesn’t let her children fall down and figure out how to get back up. In her book, her live presentations, and in this interview she provides a roadmap to give our kids the gift of failure – and understand what a true gift it is.

September 2016:

Announcing We Turned Out Okay’s First Online Class!

Want to: Have more self-reliant kids? Cut down on the day-to-day struggles in your home? Discover the #1 mistake parents can make?
Sign up for the FREE online class I’m teaching!

                                                                                  

Class date: Sunday, September 18, 2016
8:15 p.m. EST
Click the big question mark in the picture above to sign up. I’ll see you there!

053: Five Ways to Battle the Winter Blahs

IMG_2041Winter is, hands down, my favorite season – which makes sense, given that I’m Canadian by birth. And yet… when the kids were small it was such a killer! We would make plans and somebody would get sick; a simple excursion to the grocery store felt like preparing for a six week hike through Alaska; we’d all feel so cooped up all the time.

So today I want to help you handle wintertime better with your little kids that I did with mine!

This episode presents my five favorite ways to battle the winter blahs; click here to go to episode 53 at weturnedoutokay.com!

Here they are: 5 Ways to Battle the Winter Blahs

1) Play with your child; we talk about all different ways to just have fun with your littles, everything from playing dress-up, to play dough, to mixing up a favorite recipe of mine, cornstarch and water – mix about a cup of cornstarch with a few tablespoons to half a cup of water, and then just enjoy… my friend Heather Kempskie of episodes 20 and 27 co-wrote a book (with her twin sister Lisa Hanson) which will give you all kinds of ideas for kids and playing, called The Siblings Busy Book, if you’re looking for some great ideas

2) Make simple snacks and then eat them… together; ants on a log, homemade hot cocoa, favorite dip with carrots or celery – making and then sharing food together can be such a simple pleasure; for a fantastic homemade hot cocoa recipe I recommend the book Make The Bread, Buy The Butter by Jennifer Reese

3) Bring music into your day… whether it’s dancing up and down the hall together, singing, or playing musical instruments, music cheers everybody up; thanks to my friend De (whom you meet in episode 000), music became a huge part of first Max’s and then Jay’s lives from a very young age; a favorite song of ours to sing from even before Max could talk was The Ballad of Grace Darling by the Limeliters

4) Get outside; this may not be everyone’s first choice… But once you’re out there, all suited up and everything, it can be beautiful and just-what-you-needed; plus when you come back in from the cold it feels like you really went and did something; if you need something to do and you’re in a snowy area of the country, one thing that always amused us was to build a gigantic mountain of snow – gigantic to toddlers, anyway – which would give me something to do, and some exercise, and give the kids a focus for their play

5) Bath time!… A bath has a way of making everybody feel better; baths can enliven our spirits or have a really calming influence, and either way seemed to always help break up the day

Above all, I’d ask that you try to remember this: the days are long, but the years are short. Even in the toughest times in the bleakest midwinter, remembering that their childhood won’t last forever can help us focus on being in the present now.

Happy winter!

Key links:

Enjoy The Siblings’ Busy Book by friend-of-the-podcast Heather Kempskie, co-written with her twin sister Lisa Hanson

For an interesting take on food, you want to read Make The Bread, Buy The Butter

To find out how I became a podcaster, listen to episode 000, made with my four dearest friends on a night with laughter, tears, and perhaps a shade too much wine

It is in Sherry Turkle’s book, Reclaiming Conversation, that she recounts her fascinating story about the dad who has such different memories of bath time with his older daughter when she was a baby, and bath time now with his younger daughter – at least, it was in reference to this book that I heard Sherry tell that story

My forthcoming book, Positive Discipline Ninja Tactics: Key Tools to Handle Every Tantrum, Keep Your Cool, and Enjoy Life With Your Young Child, launches on April 3! Click here to sign up for your free anti-tantrum chapter 🙂

052: “… then we are all in a bad mood because we had to yell.”: A Your Child Explained Episode

Today, listener Lindsay channels the thoughts we all have on those days in which our kids refuse to listen. Lindsay writes “it’s not like after a few asks we don’t make him do it; we do and then we’re all in a bad mood because we had to yell. It’s stuff like getting dressed or coming to eat dinner. What is an old-school way to get him to just do what he has to do? Or is this just what parenting is all about?”

In this Your Child Explained episode, where we always try to understand what’s going on in the minds of our young kids, we jump into how to give our kids a sense of independence and control over their own lives – so they don’t end up living in our basement when they’re 35 – while preserving our sanity.

Click here for the full notes on this episode!

Lindsay’s questions are, I’m sure, questions that you’ve had; they were certainly questions that I had when my two boys were small. (Okay, still do sometimes.)

I think it helps to remember that all kids do this, it’s a developmental stage, necessary to becoming an independent and capable adult. Childhood is a marathon, not a sprint, and here is my virtual hug to you as you support your young children through this marathon!

Lindsay specifically mentions “getting dressed or coming to eat dinner;” two of many transition times during a child’s day. Kids have very little knowledge of how time works, and – just like anybody – really hate to be interrupted when they’re engaged in something that they love. Here are two ideas for helping ease the transition times:

  • try and put the upcoming transition on their horizon; in the case of getting ready for dinner, this works really well if you ask them to do a job that they love to do that has something to do with getting ready for dinner; my kids always loved to peel garlic and would come running from wherever they were in the house to do this beloved job
  • use the ninja tactic First, Then: go to them, get down on their level, and say something along the lines of “first, it’s time to get dressed, and then you can get back to playing with the Lego; which shirt would you like to wear, this one, or that one?”
    • In this episode I give detailed instructions for how I’ve made a First, Then chart, which requires clear contact paper, a few pieces of printer paper, and Velcro adhesive tape; my goal is to make a video of this so you can see how I do it, but for now if you listen to the episode at least you can hear how I do it 🙂

Remembering the long game (marathon, not sprint), that kids assert themselves because they must, even though it’s rarely pretty, and that you are not alone can help keep your spirits up. We old-school parents are all right there with you!

Key Links:

To listen to episode 51, with awesome guest Joel Boggess of the Relaunch Podcast, click here.

Here’s the link to download a free chapter of my forthcoming book, Positive Discipline Ninja Tactics, at positivedisciplineninjatactics.com! You are going to love this book, because it’s all about the ninja tactics we talk about in the podcast; in fact it came up today because of First, Then.

Also, I made you a present! Click here to find the link for the 9 1/2 Key Resources for Old-School Parents.

051: Joel Boggess of The ReLaunch Show is All About Healing and Forgiveness

joelsoloradioWhen today’s guest was five years old, he fell off a railway bridge and landed on hard ground 30 feet down. He spent weeks in a coma, and years healing; at the time a doctor wrote into his chart “don’t expect Joel to lead a normal life.”

Well, that statement certainly turned out to be true! Joel Boggess of The ReLaunch Show is living a downright extraordinary life, getting a degree in counseling psychology and then combining that with his background in radio to cohost – along with his wife, dentist and business guru Dr. Pei Kang – the ReLaunch podcast. Joel’s written an Amazon bestseller, Finding Your Voice, and he and Pei work together as entrepreneurs, podcasting and coaching.

Joel graciously agreed to come on We Turned Out Okay a few weeks previously, spent the morning of our interview at the emergency room for treatment of a busted elbow, and still came through with our chat. Talk about going above and beyond!

Our conversation ranged from Joel and Pei’s two golden retrievers, retired therapy dogs, to some great advice to help us help our kids through tough situations.

Click here to continue reading the show notes for episode 48!

At the time of Joel’s fall from the railway bridge, his parents were separated, and not in the best position to support each other. They found a way through, though, and support sometimes came from the most unexpected places: Joel’s mom was studying to become a nurse, and her classmates convinced the administration that she should be able to substitute written work for some of her clinical work, so that she could care for Joel and still get her degree.

Joel’s accident and subsequent experiences with getting better, relearning to walk and overcoming balance problems influenced him in one profound way:

“It sucked” going through it, he tells. But going through those sucky things and coming out the other side taught him patience and persistence, key qualities to getting what you want out of life!

Joel learned not just to get through problems, but to understand that setbacks have something to teach us, a core idea in Finding Your Voice. As we talk about the book – which I’m currently halfway through and loving immensely – other childhood experiences come up, especially concerning the abusive boyfriend Joel’s mom lived with during his younger years. Joel shares that recently he’s forgiven both his mom and the abusive boyfriend for their actions when he was a child, and how that’s helped him, Joel, be able to move past the events of his childhood.

While not one himself, Joel has two pieces of wonderful advice for us parents:

1) when our children are going through something tough, whether physical or mental, be there for them… we must give kids our time

2) as parents, it’s our job to help our kids find their own voices; it’s not about what we want for them or how we want them to live their lives, it’s about what they want for themselves

We’ll talk about the best ways to do that – to help our young kids’ true voices come out – in Thursday’s Your Child Explained, episode 49!

050: How to Make New Year’s Resolutions that Work Both for You and Your Young Child

IMG_1995Today’s episode is a real milestone: Episode 50! I can’t believe we’re already here, 50 episodes in. I really wanted to do something special today, to mark the big 5-0, and since it’s so close to the first of the year I got to thinking about New Year’s resolutions.

Then an instagram follower, writtenandbound, got in touch to ask me how she could best help her three-year-old daughter overcome a huge fear and go in the ball pit at gymnastics, and I knew that goal-setting and New Year’s resolutions needed to be our topic today!

To read about my 2015 resolutions and how I did with them – and for the advice I gave to writtenandbound – click here to go to this episode’s show notes.

At the beginning of 2015, I heard an episode of Mike Vardy’s podcast, The Productivityist, In which he and a guest outlined their goals for 2015 and, more broadly and incredibly usefully to me, they discussed how to think about goals in general.

People really struggle with setting goals and then failing to follow through; it produces guilt and sadness and a feeling of not being able to complete something even if it’s very important to them. (I know this firsthand, and I bet that maybe you do too.)

Mike and his guest suggested thinking differently about goals, and in a way that really resonated with me: they encouraged me to think about the roles I inhabit on a daily basis, my life goals for each, and what I can do about each in the coming year. So, that’s what I did!

Today I read out each of the roles I inhabit, my life goals for each, and my goals within each for 2015. Then I share about how I did, and finally I share a few of my goals for 2016.

Here are my 2015 goals and how I did with them:

  • my life goal for my role of Self: Physical is to be strong and healthy, able to do all the activities that are most important to me, like skiing, walking, hiking and swimming, knitting, tech use, writing, cooking and baking
    • in 2015 I wanted to: STOP overdoing it on the tendons and soft tissue; while I have not completely achieved this goal, I have made some progress
    • take joy from what I can physically do now, especially skiing, walking, and strengthening; I have achieved this goal and I’m so grateful for all the things my body allows me to do (in the 4 1/2 years since I developed my Mystery Tendon Disorder)
    • eat well, emphasizing high-quality protein, vegetables, healthy fats; this is another toughie that I have not completely achieved, although I do have a better relationship with food than I have in the past
  • my life goals for my role of Self: Mind is to love and accept myself as I am, and to always be a learner
    • in 2015 I wanted to: smile – instead of scowling – in the mirror; this was such a challenge, and I’m happy to say that, for the most part, I’ve achieved this goal
    • recognize self-criticism and change it to be more positive and supportive; this is been possibly the most important goal that I’ve set and achieved in 2015, because it’s made me feel so much better about me and my abilities… If you set just one goal for 2016, I would ask that you consider this goal, it’s been so helpful!
    • keep learning through books and deep conversations, two of the best things in the world; one of the best things about We Turned Out Okay is it’s given me the opportunity to have fabulously deep conversations with people I would never have met or spoken to in my pre-podcast life, this was a fun goal to achieve in 2015
  • my life goal for my role of Family: Wife is to be a true partner to Ben, giving love and support to him always
    • in 2015 I wanted to: contribute my brainpower for everything that Ben is doing now as a substitute for me with my mystery tendon disorder – the cooking, the cleaning, the homemaking in every sense – I want to contribute through planning, organization, corralling of children, striving to lighten his load and make these tests more pleasant for him; I’m certainly a lot better at the end of 2015 with this goal than I was at the beginning! I’m calling it achieved, and working to improve in this goal in 2016
    • give Ben time to pursue his favorite things, like fishing and carpentry; I was not able to give him as much time as I wanted to, but things are better in this category than they were at the beginning of 2015; I will keep working in 2016 to give him more and more time for his favorite things
  • my life goal for my role of Family: Mother is to help the boys grow up to be strong, creative, and joyful
    • in 2015 I wanted to: give them opportunities for classes, social gatherings, and alone time, which I did achieve and continue to do
    • really listen to them, help them know that their ideas matter, which again I did achieve and continue to do (and we have a great relationship as a result)
    • spend time with them, exercising, talking, playing around, laughing; we’ve always done these things with our boys and continue to, to our benefit as much as theirs
    • try to be a good example for them about how to overcome challenges and find joy; I can only hope I’m achieving this goal, will have to wait a few more years yet to find out 🙂
  • my life goal for my role of Family: Daughter, Sister, In-law, Family-I-have-chosen is to spend quality time with these people that I love
    • in 2015 I set the goals of: cheering on the young people at their sporting events, which I’ve achieved, in that I went to more of their sporting events than ever before – but I want to do better at this in 2016
    • hike, camp, ski – be out in the world together; this one I did achieve, and have a goal of continuing to work on in 2016 because I believe you can’t do too much of this stuff with the people you love
    • go to and host gatherings with these special people; be so thankful that they are in my life! Always, always.
  • my life goal for my role as Entrepreneur: to create a successful business that helps people and supports my family
    • in 2015 I set the goals of: starting a fun, supportive podcast for parents of young children – which, done 🙂
    • remember to take tiny steps, just a few each day, and be patient – I can only go at my body’s pace; despite some setbacks, I have achieved and continue to work at this goal

Looking back, 2015 was a wonderful year, and setting these goals and working towards achieving them is a big part of why it was a wonderful year.

I hope that my goal-setting exercise helps you as you are dreaming about what 2016 could be!

And now for writtenandbound’s question of how to help her daughter overcome her fear of the ball pit; first of all, I love that three-year-old Lauren (I started calling her Lauren, just for giggles and because I thought I had read that name over at writtenandbound’s website) asked her mom “I want you to help me jump in the ball pit.” That truly is Lauren’s goal, and I love that her mom’s response is to help in any way she can!

In this episode, I suggest creating a book about a girl named Lauren who gets up one day, goes to gymnastics class, jumps in the ball pit more than once and is so happy… as a preschool teacher and then as a mom, I found that when a child can read a book about him or herself – or look at the pictures and have it read to her if she’s preliterate – that child will begin to see herself as a person who can do this. Plus, they just love to read stories about themselves!

I recommend a website called toondoo.com if Lauren’s mom wants to create a graphic novel of the story, and I ask her also to remember that done is better than perfect; even just a few pages of printer paper folded over, with a sentence on each page and a few stick figure drawings is so helpful.

Writtenandbound, if you take my advice, please drop me a line and let me know how it goes! Best of luck in helping Lauren achieve her goal of jumping in the ball pit 🙂

Key Links:

For Mike Vardy’s podcast, The Productivityist, click here.

Click here to visit Michael O’Neal’s podcast site, solohour.com

Want to make a graphic novel about or with your child? Click here to go to toondoo.com.

I made you a present! Grab my free 9 1/2 Key Resources for Old-School Parents here, on my website.

049: Parents ARE Leaders: A (Revisited) Conversation with Dr. Bob Nolley of The Labrador Leadership Podcast

Happy New Year!

During the first two weeks of January, we are revisiting favorite, helpful conversations from the very beginning of We Turned Out Okay. These are episodes that listeners really responded to, right from the start, and as I’m planning the next several months of what the podcast will be, it seemed like a great time to go back, re-listen, and remember.

Today I’m so happy to bring you my conversation with college professor and leadership expert Dr. Bob Nolley, who helped me be a better parent by thinking of myself as a leader with his podcast Labrador Leadership.

Click here to read the notes to this episode at weturnedoutokay.com!

Do you think of yourself as a leader? Maybe not, but as parents, the decisions we make every day – resolving conflicts, allocating money, making decisions that involve our kids – call us out as leaders whether we think of it that way or not.

I used to think of leaders only in a public or corporate sense; the president’s a leader. Heads of corporations are leaders, but certainly not me! Dr. Bob Nolley’s Labrador Leadership Podcast completely changed my views on leadership when I first heard him in January 2015, helping me realize that to lead has much more to do with our hearts than the size of the group we lead.

Listen for:

  • the Big Rocks exercise (Dr. Stephen Covey’s idea) to help you figure out what’s most important to you
  • how to make a list that will help you relax while also getting done what needs to be done
  • two examples of leaders in unusual places: one runs a quick-oil-change shop in Richmond, Virginia, and the other is Dr. Bob’s cohost on Labrador Leadership
  • conflict resolution and the art of apologizing

if you take only one thing away from today’s episode, I hope it is this: you are a leader! Thinking of yourself that way will help you both support the people in your life you care about most, and enjoy the life that you share with those people more.

048: How Do We Learn What We Need To Know? A (Revisited) Conversation with Dad and Author Daniel Wolff

Happy New Year!

During the first two weeks of January, we are revisiting favorite, helpful conversations from the very beginning of We Turned Out Okay. These are episodes that listeners really responded to, right from the start, and as I’m planning the next several months of what the podcast will be, it seemed like a great time to go back, re-listen, and remember.

Today, to start your new year off right, I know you’re going to love listening to award-winning author Daniel Wolff, who wrote one of my all-time favorite parenting books: How Lincoln Learned To Read. In fact, I loved this book so much that it is one of the 9 1/2 Key Resources for Old School Parents (which you can get by clicking here.) During our conversation, Daniel shares one of the most valuable pieces of advice for parents that I’ve ever heard.

Click here to read this post’s notes at weturnedoutokay.com!

Today’s guest Daniel Wolff has, among many other things, produced a documentary about Hurricane Katrina, been nominated for a Grammy, and written 10 books on all different subjects including the one that we spend most of our time discussing today, How Lincoln Learned To Read. Written in 2009, this book is a go-to for me whenever I need to make big decisions about about the boys’ upbringing; because Mr. Wolff tells the stories of the childhoods of many prominent Americans throughout history, I learn something different from each one. Plus, a great read that’s fun, interesting, historical – and makes me feel a little smarter each time I pull it off the shelf.

During today’s’s show, listen for:

  • the importance of fun in education; all these years later, we may think of Ben Franklin as old and stodgy, but almost right from the moment he could read, Franklin was quite the mischief maker
  • how author and scientist Rachel Carson’s girlhood, during which she stayed home often from school to play and walk in the woods, helped her grow up into the advocate for national environmental change she became
  • a great piece of parenting advice – my guest shares that decisions became much easier for him when he to “think like a grandparent”

Key Links:

Daniel Wolff’s author page at Four Way Books; here is his new book, The Names of Birds

How Lincoln Learned To Read, a great read that has helped me be a better parent

Amazing poet-for-children-of-all-ages Shel Silverstein

If you take just one thing away from today’s show, I hope it is this: we parents must play a crucial role in helping our children understand about fighting hard for what they want to become; there will always be someone around to knock an idea down, or discourage our kids… for them to truly succeed in life, we must be their true support.