349: Kindergarten Evals, Parent-Teacher-Conferences, and Lessons I learned from being hospitalized last week

As a child development expert one of the most important jobs I have is to give parents permission to disagree with teachers or other authority figures in their children’s lives.
Starting at around the 50-minute mark we talk about that. It’s coming up for many podcast listeners and Ninja Parents right now, and it’s important to discuss!

But first, I share three super important lessons that I learned the hard way recently, by ending up in the hospital with diverticulitis. It’s the illness I had nine years ago that brought on the tendon condition that I lived with ever since, so there was some serious PTSD in getting it again!
It was no accident that I got it now, in the pandemic with pressure mounting societally, in our home, and with the families I serve.

I got it by failing to adhere to these lessons, which I will list for you right now:

1. On the Human-Dehumanized Axis, stay close to the Human side.
Maybe it means unplugging, but it definitely means connecting more on a human level.
Be sure that, when connecting with folks having to do with your child, that they are very human too.

2. Remember that sugar is an inflammatory food.
What we need is good nutrition! I’m a living example of what happens when you don’t get that.

3. Understand your own worth.
How you think about yourself matters. I forgot that, and had to undergo a very painful and scary illness as a result.

Most of all, in thinking about these three lessons I want you to think about where you are “coming from” with regard to them.
This isn’t about me telling you “here’s a list of stuff you need to do.”
It’s about coming from a place of human connection.
It’s about coming from a place of good nutrition, most of the time, without worry or pressure.
It’s about coming from a place of feeling worthy – both for ourselves, and for what we model for our children.

Here are the links that come up in today’s conversation:

I am a featured speaker in the  Virtual Summit, which you can enjoy for free by clicking here:

Click here for episode 279, my conversation with picky eating coach Jacky Lemenzo

For the first time since creating the We Turned Out Okay Playbook, as a result of my hospitalization I’m doing it myself (instead of just writing it for others)!
Click https://weturnedoutokay.com/playbook to learn more about the Playbook!

Click here for episode 270, my conversation with creative coach Dan Blank.

Thank you for being along on this journey with me! You rock!
Cheers! And thanks for listening/reading to this, episode 349, which you can view on the web by going to:

Karen Lock Kolp, M.Ed.
Creator and Founder of https://weturnedoutokay.com

Listen to the podcast in your favorite podcatcher!

Apple: https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/the-we-turned-out-okay-podcast/id990826225?amp%3Bat=&amp%3Bct=&amp%3Buo=6&mt=2

Spotify: https://www.spotify.com/us/ (Search “We Turned Out Okay Podcast”)

Stitcher: https://www.stitcher.com/podcast/the-we-turned-out-okay-podcast

314: Boundaries with Grandparents

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

I love this picture so much! Here’s hoping this grandma is not of the selfish and controlling sort.

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

“My dad and stepmom are, simply put, selfish and controlling. They guilt me about not seeing my son more often, and usually want us to drive an hour out to their very not-kid-friendly house. How do I find a line of how often to see/talk to them that works for me and my kid?”
So writes one of our most beloved ninja parents, known in the Ninja Parenting Community forums as Mama Llama.
Maybe her feelings are familiar to you?
In this episode, I outline 5 ways for you to get control of your relationship with your folks (or your in-laws) – on your terms.
Join us!
Cheat sheet of the five ways, plus key links and other good stuff, are located at: weturnedoutokay.com/314

PS This subject is covered far more deeply in the community that I run, NPC.
During January 2020 you can spend your whole first month in the community for just $1! Click here for details.)

Parenting News that Matters as You Raise Your Kids

Each Wednesday I send out a Parenting Newsletter, to help you stay sane while raising your kiddos.
I’ve written newsletters on everything from remaining calm when they are throwing dirt at each other, to last week’s, on handling hangry meltdowns and what that has to do with our own self-worth.
Useful stuff.
Click weturnedoutokay.com/weekly so it zooms right into your inbox each week!

Continue reading “314: Boundaries with Grandparents”

The best kind of learning

Happy Wednesday!

NPC Cyber Monday special: 30% off of annual Ninja Parenting Community membership… Get on the waiting list (and get 7 of my best parenting resources – for free) by clicking weturnedoutokay.com/cybermonday!


I remember the moment when I cracked the reading code for the first time.

I was about five years old, reading a Disney book of jokes. (I think it might have been called Mickey and Donald’s Joke Book.)

All by myself, I read the following joke:
“What does Donald get when he drops his blue hat into red fruit punch?”
Answer: “A wet hat.”

I was so thrilled to have read that whole thing, not through memorization but through spelling out and sounding out each word.

Even though it was past bedtime I remember running out into our living room and reading the joke out loud to my parents.

I actually read something, all by myself! It felt so celebratory, and I remember my parents’ happiness too.
You’d think that the best kind of learning would be like that.
The fun kind.
That it would be where wonderful sparks are flying and illuminating and connecting.

And, certainly that is one important kind of learning. It’s just hard to be in that flow all the time. In fact, as a creative person, I think a lot of what I do – many of the routines that I try to set up for myself – point me in the direction of getting to the “fun” kind of learning.

But the reality of it is, the best kind of learning is not necessarily super fun.
That’s honestly an understatement.

Often the learning that sticks with us longest is the learning that feels hardest in the moment.

My guest this week on the We Turned Out Okay podcast is mindfulness-in-parenting expert Hunter Clarke-Fields (you can listen here.)

Hunter shares so eloquently about this kind of learning, which she talks about in the following way:

“Experiences are teachers.”

Even, and maybe especially, the negative experiences are great teachers, if we choose to look at them that way.

While it may not feel like the best kind of learning – because it’s not fun – these lessons are still super important.

– While potty training, we learned that wet or poopy pants felt terrible.

– When we said something mean and hurt someone’s feelings, we learned two things:
1. It is really easy to hurt someone.
2. We take care of the people we love. We do not hurt them.

– When we fell down and skinned knees, we learned that, though it hurts so much at first, we would heal.

– When we did that in front of a group of friends, and they teased us, we learned how much it hurt to be teased.

Every one of these experiences, and probably many more that you can think of, offer lessons that can be learned.

But – and Hunter speak so eloquently about this as well – often (understandably) we want to push those memories, and thoughts, as far away as possible.

Hunter also shares that “what we resist persists.”

Listening back, our conversation is helping me feel more mindful. It’s showing me that, if I choose, I can learn from my own moments of carelessness or stupidity.

While I can’t say I’m exactly “happy” from having experienced those moments, I do begin to see them as teachers.

It makes it a little bit more worthwhile to have gone through those experiences. Because I can learn from them instead of wishing I had never made that mistake or been careless. Or stupid.

For myself, I’m trying to be more forgiving when I screw up.
I’m trying to think to myself that “it’s all learning.”

How are you bringing this idea into your life, or even your parenting?
Does this idea resonate with you?
What do you think of as “the best kind of learning”?
I’d love to hear your thoughts. Just hit reply to this email and let me know : )

Thanks for reading!

Keep reading below for What’s up on the podcast/In the Facebook group/in NPC…
Wishing you a wonderful parenting week!

What’s up on the podcast this week:
Talking with Hunter Clarke-Fields, the Mindful Mama Mentor! Hunter shares so much about how her own feelings of anger and aggression became her teachers, so she could learn from those feelings and take the lessons – as opposed to the anger and aggression itself – into raising her young daughters.
Click the link below to listen!
What’s up in the We Turned Out Okay Facebook group this week:
This week’s Magic Words for Parents (a series I’ve been doing Mondays since 2018) is all about “raising resilient children.” Come check it out.
Click here to join the Facebook group (or jump into the group if you are already a member)!


What’s up in the Ninja Parenting Community:
One of our members, Mama Llama, recently posted a whole bunch of postpartum depression/postpartum anxiety resources! I plan to highlight them at our live, members-only call this week, as well as helping you NPC members resolve your current parenting challenges

(If you’re not a member yet, but want to become one, click here.)


PS – If you’re enjoying this Weekly Parenting Newsletter, click here so you can sign up to receive it in your inbox, or forward it to a friend who needs a parenting boost today.

“What we resist persists”: Talking with Mindful Mama, Hunter Clarke-Fields | Podcast Episode 303

We talk with the Mindful Mama Mentor, Hunter Clarke-Fields, in this episode of We Turned Out Okay!
Hunter is a parent coach who found real solutions to her own anger and frustration with meditation and mindfulness.
She is a force for good, and I am so excited to bring her on the show!

The title of this episode was very nearly “Mindfulness: A Cool Parental Brain Hack,” which is how today’s guest characterizes this state of mind in the latter part of our conversation.
I love this idea, that mindfulness can help us wrap our brain better around child-rearing and everything that comes with it.

I hope you get tons out of this conversation with Hunter Clarke-Fields, of the Mindful Mama Podcast. I know I did!

Plus in Parenting News:

I plan to be at an event that might interest you, if you can be at the Newton Community Farm in Newton Massachusetts on Saturday, November 9: A movie screening, and author signing!
Ken Danford, author of Learning is Natural, School is Optional, a book I am currently reading and loving, will be on hand to sign copies! And us attendees also get to see a movie about self-directed learning and how cool it is.
Hope to see you there! (Click here to sign up for the event : )

And we talk about social-emotional learning in schools, and how it’s positively impacting not just the kids, but their families, teachers, administrators, and guidance counselors.

Join us!

Sign up for my Weekly Parenting Newsletter

Each Wednesday I send out a Parenting Newsletter, to help you stay sane while raising your kiddos.
Past editions have included remaining calm even if your kids are throwing dirt at each other, and helping when your child is frightened.
Useful stuff.
Click weturnedoutokay.com/weekly so it zooms right into your inbox each week!

Here is the link to this episode: weturnedoutokay.com/303

Today’s episode is sponsored by the amazing Janine Halloran, expert in teaching kids coping skills, who has created a great resource to help your child handle it when the going gets tough!
Listen to today’s show to find out how to get 15% off your order, and then
Click copingskillsforkids.com/okay to check out Janine’s Coping Skills for Kids Cue Card Decks.

Continue reading ““What we resist persists”: Talking with Mindful Mama, Hunter Clarke-Fields | Podcast Episode 303″

Create the best conditions possible to bring out your child’s good behavior

Happy Wednesday!

This is the second in a 3-part series on what to do when you feel like you just can’t win as a parent.
Click here for part one, all about getting perspective on your child’s behavior, so you do not feel overwhelmed.
Recently a mom in my private coaching community posted about the tough time she was having, dealing with her 3-year-old’s behavior. In the previous week her child:
– Ran from his childcare classroom multiple times
– Slapped a teacher
– Spit, kicked, and hit multiple people, multiple times, including the mom herself
– Shouted, screamed, and melted down, mostly in public
– Bit a child at the playground

I created a video for her, outlining 3 critical tools to get out of that negative space, despite all of the negativity.

Last week, in this newsletter, I shared the first tool to getting out of that negative space.

Today I want to share the the second tool:

The knowledge of WHY kids push our buttons.

Paradoxically, kids push our buttons so they can feel safe.

I know how weird that sounds. Continue reading “Create the best conditions possible to bring out your child’s good behavior”

When your child embarrasses you in public | Podcast Episode 296

So, today’s Parenting News segment makes me cry, those mushy, parenty, happy/sad tears. You know the ones. That’s coming up in today’s break.

Also! Join my private coaching community for just $1 for your whole first 30 days!
Get the support you need to help your child – or yourself – through the huge challenges that parenting can bring.
This is for a limited time, only through September 30, because of a technical screwup. Listen to the break for more on this.
And click here to join the Ninja Parenting Community! (That’s what it’s called, or NPC for short.)

If it hasn’t happened already,

there will likely come a day when your child says or does something super cringe-worthy.
How will you handle it?
Listen in to today’s episode, to learn how to handle it best!

Plus in Parenting News:
Recently The Wall that Heals, a moving model of the Vietnam War Memorial in Washington, DC, came to my area. And while it may seem like a peculiar thing to feature in the Parenting News segment, I believe it’s relevant. I share why in today’s break.

Also, in this episode I share about the free guide on “How to handle every temper tantrum.”
Click weturnedoutokay.com/handle-tantrums-now to get the guide : )

Join us!


Sign up for my Weekly Parenting Newsletter

Click weturnedoutokay.com/296 for show notes which include a cheat sheet of how to handle it when your child embarrasses you in public.

Today’s episode is sponsored by the amazing Janine Halloran, expert in teaching kids coping skills, and an incredible resource she has created to help your child handle even the biggest feelings!
Click copingskillsforkids.com/coping-cue-cards to check out Janine’s Coping Skills for Kids Cue Card Decks.

Continue reading “When your child embarrasses you in public | Podcast Episode 296”

What to do during, and after, your child’s next temper tantrum

Happy Wednesday!

FYI: I totally screwed something up, and now that it is fixed, I want to offer you the Friends and Family Membership Rate to join in the private coaching community I host online for parents. Read more about this below.

Also: Links to each part of the in-depth, 4-part newsletter series I recently did can be found just below my signature. (Feedback was that many of you found that series super helpful and so I want it to be available all through the start to this school year!)

Today, I want to share about a really cool thing one of my private coaching clients did recently.
It helped her:
– Make the most of her time at home (she’s a busy single mom)
– Enjoy family time with her 3-year-old son.


Mama Llama, who keeps her identity anonymous in the community, posted in recently about an extremely difficult daycare pickup and evening:
“[On the way home] he yelled and kicked my seat. He flipped out getting out of the car at home grabbing things out of my hands and screaming.”
That wasn’t all:
“He thrashed around the lobby stomping and hitting the mailboxes. We finally made our way upstairs where he continued to scream and kick and hit.”
And even THAT wasn’t all:
“He lost [the privilege of playing with a toy] for the night and the hitting and kicking got worse and he started throwing toys at me.”

Continue reading “What to do during, and after, your child’s next temper tantrum”

How to Help Kids Get Along: Masterclass | Podcast Episode 287

How does one mom handle it, when she finds her daughters throwing dirt at each other?

No matter the season, there’s always an opportunity for kids to come into conflict with other kids.

Whether siblings, cousins, classmates or just somebody at the playground, mean words, pushing, and other acts of frustration or aggression abound.

So, do we parents just have to live with it, put up with the bickering and hard feelings?


This masterclass is a distillation of three months’ worth of work in the private, online community I run for parents of young children.
During April, May, and June 2019 we dove headfirst into the problems real parents really experience, and how to alleviate it when kids aren’t getting along.

Today I’m bringing you behind the scenes, directly into the Ninja Parenting Community, sharing the information you need to help your kids actually get along!

Some of these ideas may seem unconventional, and likely (unless you are a member of NPC) they are new to you, but they REALLY work.

In fact we finish out with a success story! How does one mom handle it, when she finds her daughters throwing dirt at each other?

Find out in this episode of We Turned Out Okay!

Plus in Parenting News: This article in the Atlantic, on Fred Rogers (of Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood) and how he approached speaking with children, is one of those articles I wanted to hug to my chest <3
I share why in today’s Parenting News segment.
Plus I read my recent review of Audrey Monke’s wonderful book, Happy Campers!

Join us!

Sign up for my Weekly Parenting Newsletter

Go to weturnedoutokay.com/287 for:

  • Notes from this Masterclass on How to Help Kids Get Along with Other Kids
  • The Masterclass video
  • Links to free guides on potty training, handling every temper tantrum, and more

And thank you so much for listening!

Today’s episode is brought to you by…
You, if you have purchased one of my parenting books! I write books that help parents truly enjoy family time, by sharing tools and formulas that you can use to change your child’s behavior from bad to good, and also that help you feel happy inside.
Go to weturnedoutokay.com/books to check them out!

Continue reading “How to Help Kids Get Along: Masterclass | Podcast Episode 287”

4 Ways Kids Aren’t Like Submarines – The problem with Zero Tolerance | Podcast Episode 266

What’s your biggest parenting challenge?
I really want to help you with it! (For context, listen to this recent quickie bonus episode : )
Click weturnedoutokay.com/contact to go to my contact page and share what’s toughest for you as a parent. Thank you sooooo much!

How do you react when your child makes a mistake, does something wrong, mouths off?

If you respond to bad behavior with lesson-teaching/consequences mode engaged – in other words, if you have “zero tolerance” for your child’s transgressions – you’re doing your child a disservice.

Even worse, you’re doing your relationship with your young child a disservice.

That’s what this episode posits, anyway. Take a listen and see if you agree!

PS The title and subject of today’s episode came from conversations with my therapist.

“We can’t have zero tolerance when we’re talking about kids,” he often says; “zero tolerance is for submarines.”

If these two concepts seem completely unrelated to you, and your daily life with your young child, I encourage you to listen in to today’s episode! All will become clear : )

Go to weturnedoutokay.com/266 for:

  • A cheat sheet on the 4 ways kids are not like submarines – and what works better than “zero tolerance” when they do something wrong
  • To share your biggest parenting challenge, and/or sign up for one of our free guides
  • The video of the week: “How to handle your child’s bad behavior”

And thank you so much for listening!

Continue reading “4 Ways Kids Aren’t Like Submarines – The problem with Zero Tolerance | Podcast Episode 266”