Transition times

What comes to mind when you think of the word “transition”?

It’s one of those words that, in the early childhood biz, gets referenced quite a bit.

But to people who are not early childhood teachers, or experts in child development, transitions can look totally invisible.

In fact many parents that I work with will come to me with a major, massive struggle in their lives – being unable to leave the house because of their child’s temper tantrums (which started when they offered their kids the wrong shoes), for example – and it turns out to be a transition issue.

Transitions show up in the following ways: Continue reading “Transition times”

Gifts to be thankful for

Happy Wednesday!

It’s almost here!… NPC Cyber Monday special: 30% off of annual Ninja Parenting Community membership… Get on the waiting list (and get 7 amazing parenting resources) by clicking here.

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“You can tell that you are very passionate about what you do and genuinely care about helping parents be the best versions of themselves. I was able to see that in all the emails you sent, as well as your welcome videos, and in your podcasts that I listened to over the past year.
“Thank you, from the bottom of my heart, for putting yourself out there to help others. This is truly YOUR gift, and it’s awesome to see you use it to better the world!”

I teared up reading this email, from NPC member Kathleen.

Her letter dropped into my inbox on a particularly frustrating day, one in which it seemed like there were fewer gifts in my life, and more struggles.

But reading this letter, I felt my challenges recede, and my feelings of thankfulness and gratitude come forward.

Longtime readers/listeners to the podcast might know that I have a tendon disorder.
My tendons develop scar tissue extremely fast, relative to (likely) yours. This is because of an ingredient in a lifesaving course of antibiotics I needed 8 years ago.

My life is completely different now, from before I developed the tendon disorder. Continue reading “Gifts to be thankful for”

When your child isn’t kind about a mistake you have made

Happy Wednesday!

We are getting close! Cyber Monday special: 30% off of annual Ninja Parenting Community membership… Get on the waiting list (and get 7 amazing parenting resources) by clicking here!

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We had a really interesting question in the Ninja Parenting Community recently, and I wanted to share about the question, and my thoughts on how to handle it, with you this week!

Mama Llama asks: “how should I handle my 4-year-old realizing that other people get things wrong and how to handle it kindly?
“For example, this morning I asked if you wanted to take a certain car to play with in the sand and he reminded me those cars can’t go in the sand (which is true – we don’t take pull-backed cars in the sand so the gears don’t get messed up) and I said “oh, you’re right, that’s a good idea to leave them out.” And he delightedly yelled “You were wrong!!!”
“This has come up a couple times already, but I definitely don’t want to continue. Any thoughts? Thanks!”

I share, first of all, that this is a marathon-type of thing. It’s not a sprint.

The work of childhood is to understand how our words and actions affect other people.

We obviously do not want our children to the wandering through the world, smugly pointing out when someone else has made a mistake.

And of course we all know what it’s like to be teased in this way, when we’ve gotten something wrong.

The way I see it, we’ve got 3 options to help our kids see how their actions can affect others, when they are not being kind about a mistake that somebody makes: Continue reading “When your child isn’t kind about a mistake you have made”

The parent lottery

Happy Wednesday!

Recently a parent I work closely with mentioned:
“It would be interesting to hear some data/facts on how harmful NOT disciplining your kids can be.
So many times we focus on the negative effects of discipline – spanking, timeouts, etc., but what’s easy to forget is just how dangerous it is to take a backseat to parenting your children.”

(NPC members: click here for the video training module I just posted in our community, in direct answer to this member’s comments and questions. If you are not a Ninja Parenting Community member but would like to become one, click here.)

The short answer is, NOT disciplining your kids is every bit as harmful as using negative discipline (spanking, verbal threats of aggression, etc.)

Both are forms of neglect.

Not disciplining – failing to establish any boundaries or communicating any behavioral expectations – is neglectful because the parent fails to share a clear understanding of what behavior is okay, and what is not. This is frightening and makes the child feel unsafe.

Negatively disciplining – implementing the rule of law, without taking into account any of the child’s thoughts, abilities, or preferences – is neglectful because it contains no warmth or loving kindness.

There are three styles of discipline:

  • Passive, in which there are no boundaries and no expectations
  • Authoritarian, in which all is cold control, with no sense of loving or acceptance, and in which the child has no say in their own decisions
  • Authoritative, also called Wise, which sits somewhere between the poles above, bringing in loving/acceptance, and firm limits/behavioral expectations

Which was used most by the family into which you were born?

To me, this is the absolute bedrock basis of whether a child wins “the parent lottery,” or loses in that lottery. Continue reading “The parent lottery”

How I frightened my 3-year-old

Happy Wednesday!

I’ve been enjoying diving into the world of Fred Rogers recently.
I watched Won’t You Be My Neighbor?, the documentary about Mr. Rogers’ life and work, helping children confront the problems of childhood – and feel valued – through his television show, Mr. Rogers’ Neighborhood.

When the movie started I noticed it was rated PG-13.
Why, I wondered, would a documentary about the guy who created Mr. Rogers’ Neighborhood be a PG-13 movie?

It was not long before I discovered why.

I was thinking of this show as “for kids,” and therefore dismissed it as being light. Or unserious.

But it was the exact opposite.
In the first week that the show aired, in 1967, Mr. Rogers and crew dealt with the topic of war, extremely apropos as the country was steeped in the Vietnam conflict at the time.
The show incorporated guns, paratroopers, the closing of borders, and many other concepts that children might be hearing about in their lives, as their parents watched the news or talked about it.

So we see King Friday, decreeing that he was closing the borders of Make Believe, and that he would exert total control, and that he was “against change.” We see Henrietta Pussycat and X the Owl discussing guns. X says “there’s nothing to worry about until they start shooting!”

Interspersed with scenes like these, the documentary placed footage of real war. Footage of what young children might catch in the news, and almost certainly heard the grown-ups in their own homes discussing.

It is downright chilling.
It made total sense that it would be PG-13!

Why would Mr. Rogers DO this? Continue reading “How I frightened my 3-year-old”

When your child is frightened

Happy Wednesday!

As we move into October it’s common for kids to be fearful about lawn ornamentation and creepy/ghostly products for sale in many stores.

But they can also be frightened any time of year, by factors such as:
– The dark, which changes the appearance of common everyday things like a closet or under the bed
– Taking a fall or colliding with another object or person
– Frightening noises, such as smoke detectors or fire alarms

(To that list I would add something that you may not have thought of:
Kids become frightened when a trusted adults acts unpredictably.
That is going to be the subject of next week’s newsletter, so stay tuned.)

For today we’re focusing on how to help kids feel better when they are frightened (by forces other than the behavior of their trusted adults.)

Often, we can be most helpful by doing the opposite of what is top-of-mind. Continue reading “When your child is frightened”

Feeling good about parenting when the going is really tough

Happy Wednesday!

This is the third 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.
Click here for part two, about how to create conditions that will get good behavior from your kiddo.
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Recently a mom in my private coaching community posted in our forums: “I feel like I just can’t win.”
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

In short, her three-year-old had a tough week. As a result, so did she.

There was real despair in her writing, and my heart just went out to her.

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

And today I want to discuss that 3rd critical tool:

Finding the Positive, Even – Especially – On the Toughest Days

If you reread the multiple bad things that happened to this mom, in a very short period of time, it’s tempting to dwell on those negatives.
You can bet I have, in my own versions of that day.

But tucked in among those negatives, there were also positives.
In our forums she writes of:
– Snuggling up and reading with her son
– Sharing enjoyable meals and playground visits and trips with him
– The many times when childcare pickup is a pleasant experience
– The big questions her son asks
– The kindness he shows, both to her and others
– Her son’s wonderful hugs
– His generous and joyful nature

When we are in the worst of our children’s bad behavior, it’s tough to see those positives.

But they’re there.

On the toughest days, remembering the positives can be the most valuable thing you do.

What positives are you seeing in your child’s behavior today?
Accentuate the positive by creating a list, even just in your head. Or write to me and share your list (I would love that : )

Want to see this tool, along with the first and second? You can view the video I made for my coaching client by going to:

Parenting Tools


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Keep reading below for What’s up on the podcast/In the Facebook group…

Wishing you a wonderful parenting week!
Cheers!
Karen

What’s up on the podcast this week:
We’re asking the question “Is it ADHD or normal behavior?”
In this episode I offer 5 ways to deal with your child’s impulsivity, aggression, lack of focus, and other frustrating (hint: perfectly normal) behavior.
Click the link below to listen:
https://weturnedoutokay.com/299

What’s up in the We Turned Out Okay Facebook group this week:
We talk about magic pills and quick fixes, and whether they are really a thing, during the weekly Magic Words for Parents.
Click here to join the Facebook group!

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.

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.
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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 you feel like you just can’t win at parenting

Happy Wednesday!

Reminder: Through 9/30/19 I’m offering the Friends and Family membership rate to join the private coaching community I host online for parents! I would love to work with you closely, helping you enjoy this parenting journey.

Read more about this below.

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Recently a mom in my private coaching community posted in our forums: “I feel like I just can’t win.”

Maybe you know how she feels. 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

In short, her three-year-old had a tough week. As a result, so did she.

There was real despair in her writing, and my heart just went out to her. Continue reading “When you feel like you just can’t win at parenting”