Welcome – to listen to this episode, please scroll down to the bottom of this post and hit the triangular “play” button. Thanks for listening, and I hope this one helps <3
Sexually abused at age 7, I consider myself not a victim, but a survivor.
In today’s bonus episode, brought on by the #MeToo movement, I share the most important tool in my healing – and the conviction that, if you or a loved one has been sexually abused or harassed, there is help and hope for a good life (even a great one).
Back in the early 90s, when I was a preschool teacher, I worked with two 4-year-old best friends, “Stacy,” who had lovely chocolate brown skin and eyes, and “Kim,” who had blonde hair and blue eyes.
One day, as these two best buddies waited together in line for the bathroom, Kim innocently looked up at me and said: “I don’t like black people.”
I was speechless – she’s holding the hand of her best friend, who IS a black person, telling me how she doesn’t like black people… It just did not compute.
Until I realized that she did not think of Stacy as a black person; Stacy was her best friend.
She did not know who “black people” were. When she said those words she was parroting the adults in her life.
Metaphorically, I threw up my hands. I felt terrible, but I just did not know what to do. Should I talk to Kim’s parents? Should I talk to Stacy’s parents? Should I try to persuade Kim that she shouldn’t feel that way about black people?
In the end I did nothing, I said nothing. While I spoke of this with my fellow preschool teachers, I never took it any further than that.
But it stayed with me all these years (Kim and Stacy are now in their 20s.)
Maybe you watched just a few days ago with horror as a white supremacists plowed his car into a peaceful protest, killing one and injuring many – and terrifying all.
Maybe you wondered what kind of a world you’re raising a child in.
Maybe you threw up your hands and said “what can I possibly do about this?”
You’ve got to be taught before it’s too late/
Before you are six or seven or eight/
To hate all the people your relatives hate/
You’ve got to be carefully taught!
I was thinking about you, and about how you maybe feel like throwing up your hands and shouting “what can I possibly do about this?”
And I was thinking about Stacy, wondering how many times in her twenty-something years she’s gotten the message from our society that somehow, just because of the way she looks, she is wrong, or bad, or “other.”
And, I was thinking about a We Turned Out Okay listener, named Kerri, who wrote back in May (when We Turned out Okay turned two) with a question:
“I would like to know as a white person what I need to do to be sure my children are not contributing to the racism that is hurting so many.”
I recorded this episode to give us – myself, as much as anyone – a roadmap, some steps to take to build a world in which racism has no part.
Four steps, to be exact; four steps we can take to build a world without racism.
Four steps to help you counter the fear and negativity, four steps to help you help your child understand what racism is, and why it needs to die.
Along the way I talk about a whole bunch of stuff, like a favorite Dr. Seuss book, wise words from several friends of the podcast, and child development theory to help you understand your child better.
Click here to read about the four steps to a world without racism and to get links to the people and podcasts and books I reference during the episode – and thank you very much for listening, for not throwing up your hands and concluding there’s nothing you can do.
Each week I send out a “what’s on the podcast this week” email to people who signed up for a free guide or a free online class – and this week, I screwed up royally about an episode of We Turned Out Okay!
I wrote the email update for this past week well before I recorded the episode that went up this past Thursday, and as a result what I said would be this week’s Your Child Explained episode wasn’t.
If you received the email and you were scratching your head about it, I’m so sorry!
I recorded this bonus episode to make it up to you…
In it, I answer two issues, both brought up by a member of the Ninja Parenting Community (it had been a pretty rough couple of weeks for this member, making me so glad she had us to turn to):
1) “Part of the challenge I’m having is with exaggerated statements like “writing kills me” or “you always make me do this.”
2) “Later there was a meltdown about wanting Daddy, instead of Mommy.”
I address both issues in this bonus episode, I hope it’s helpful!
PS – Want to get on my email list yourself? Go to weturnedoutokay.com and click the image link in the sidebar (you’ll know which one : )
Note (2/13/17) : The Friendly Mirror 10-day Challenge is currently closed to new participants.
Stay tuned, because soon the Challenge will be open again!
As a podcaster who helps you advocate better for your young children, I meet and hear from an awful lot of you who are… Unhappy. Stuck. Sinking under all your worries and fears for your children – and awfully hard on yourselves.
In January I did two episodes about goal-setting and affirmations, and I shared about one particular life-changing exercise I’ve done every night for more than a year: speaking to myself in the mirror.
That idea resonated with a lot of you – but you had a hard time imagining how to begin, or even believing you could really speak to yourself in your own mirror.
So I’ve created a free, 10-Day challenge… I called it The Friendly Mirror because I do hope that, by the end of the challenge, you’ll be doing this exercise too.
Maybe you think that self-acceptance and self-forgiveness are fine for other people, but not for you (I know I used to feel this way.)
I work with a lot of moms and dads who struggle with this – and the struggle 100% affects their parenting, and thus their kids.
If you need a kick in the pants – or a guide into the world of not scowling in the mirror – then sign up for my free Friendly Mirror 10-day challenge!
The Challenge will be conducted via video modules and a live interactive training session; specifically, each day for 10 days you’ll get the latest video module, sometimes with a mini-assignment to complete if you choose. We’ll wrap up with a live training session to answer your questions and work on keeping our great momentum going…
Welcome! To listen to today’s show, scroll on down to the bottom of this post and click the triangular “play” button. Enjoy the show!
I’m cranking up the mic for two reasons today:
1) listening back to episode 123, where Ninja Parenting Community member Sabrina shared her concerns about holiday overwhelm and helping her girls handle gift-giving, I wanted to create something to help you if you’re facing those same problems…
So, I did! Download the FREE 3 Principles of Kids and Gifts if you want help:
– cutting through the gift giving insanity and overwhelm
– finding solutions that work for your whole family – including you.
– Truly enjoying celebrations, with less stress
Click this link to download them today and make the most of the season!
2) an article I read in the paper today, two Saturdays before Christmas eve, really got me thinking about a problem unique to the family gatherings we will all be attending this year. The article reads in part:
“But some non-Trump voters are not yet in a place where they can joke.
That includes [a Dad who shall remain nameless, because he represents a great many people listening today] and his family. This year they will not go to his wife’s great aunt’s Christmas gathering, in large part for fear of an argument breaking out in front of their 6-year-old daughter.
“She doesn’t understand why people like this person, said [this Dad], referring to Trump, “and to explain to her that people in her own family like this person – it would be a lot for her to process.”
– “Can The Holidays Be Happy?” The Boston Globe, Saturday, December 10th, 2016
In the wake of that article, I’m wondering: how are you?
Are you worrying about attending family gatherings this year, when it all feels so contentious?
I really hope this episode helps you, if that’s the case. Click here to get the full show notes and key links!
Here are several points to ponder as you make your decision about going to these gatherings, or bringing your kids:
– first of all, there may not even be any arguments.
I’m a worrier myself, and I’ve worked hard to surmount the idea of worrying about something that has a not even happened yet.
Today I’m asking you to do the same – don’t avoid holiday parties due to a fear of arguments breaking out.
Instead, handle them as they happen, because they may not even happen!
– if there are arguments:
1) Model respectful disagreement for your son or daughter.
Walk away from someone who’s pushing you toward an argument, do not engage. And while you’re not engaging, continue to treat that person respectfully.
2) Know that your child need not be involved in the argument.
Please shelter kids from adult concerns; they do not need to know the political affiliations of all your relatives.
3) Put yourself into the shoes of your disagreeing relatives.
Ask yourself: why might they feel that way? What fears do they have that they go to bed with every night that cause them to vote in such an opposite way from you?
If their views are truly anathema to you – you’re a firm believer in sparkly holiday sweaters while they favor Aran cable-knit fisherman’s sweaters, and no amount of persuasive discussion will change that crazyballs idea – feel free to avoid them (while treating them with respect!)
But more likely, it’s not that cut-and-dried.
More likely, they go to bed with the same worries and fears for their kids and our world as you do.
If you feel like that’s the case, in my experience that makes you a little less far apart on whatever spectrum you’re considering, political or religious, organic versus not organic, paleo versus vegetarian, decaf versus hi-test.
I always end up realizing, when I try to view the world through someone else’s shoes, that we are closer than I originally thought.
I hope you feel the same, and that this episode helps you stress a little bit less over the holidays!
Key Links: Here is the Boston Globe article that started me thinking about extra stresses on families during this particular holiday season.
Are you feeling overwhelmed in your parenting?
Check out the Ninja Parenting Community, for expert advice about how to handle anything your kids throw at you!
We’ve got training courses – like the Sanity With Kids course, about staying sane even while raising kids – exclusive members-only calls, vibrant forums, and lots of ways to feel better.
Click here to check out the community, I hope to see you in the forums!
Welcome! To listen to this bonus episode, scroll on down to the bottom of this post and hit the triangular “play” button.
Here are the top 2 reasons to listen to today’s episode:
1) With all the fear in the air right now, you might benefit from a story about becoming fearless – so, here it is!
I told this hilarious and inspiring story last week, about becoming fearless while sitting in front of my mom’s sewing machine as a young woman, and it took second place in the Massmouth Story Slam competition! I’m semifinals bound, and super excited : )
(My 4 1/2-minute story is, shall we say, not expletive-free… Grab some headphones or listen away from your kids. I hope you enjoy it!)
2) Speaking of fear, according to this article last week at Vox.com, 55% of voters were “disgusted” with the campaign… back in September.
I’m betting that that number has gone up a bit as this election has changed from PG to R-rated.
And if we are that freaked out – how are our kids?
When our fear and upset level goes up, so does theirs.
You can make both you and your kids feel better by coming to my FREE online class tonight:
How to Parent Young Children in this Mixed-up, Crazy World
I’ll teach you how to:
– Coach your kids through the election insanity
– Help them feel less anxious
– Lessen your own anxiety
You can make “Everybody Sucks 2016” a little better for yourself and your kids –
Recently listener Suzanna got in touch with two great questions – so I decided to split the answers into today’s bonus Your Child Explained and next week’s regularly scheduled one.
Today I answer Suzanna’s first question: how can we keep our kids safe on roadways and in parking lots and other public places, while also giving them some independence?
My answer is twofold – click here to listen, read the show notes, and for key links talked about in today’s episode!
Suzanna writes: “I want to hear about how to deal with real safety issues: being on tricycles or scooters near streets and how to let kids be independent but also safely stopping before getting to the corner, etc. How to help kids understand the real safety “No”.
The way I see it, there are two important components to keeping kids safe in these situations:
– First: practice.
The more practice we can give kids in safely checking for cars before crossing the street, walking instead of running in a parking lot, and other situations they give so many of us parents nightmares, the less likely they are to get hurt.
I suggest a park or unpopulated street to practice on at first, and also playing that wonderful and fun game Red Light, Green Light to get them started. Then, gradually work up to giving a little more independence as you feel safe doing so.
– Second: Cultivate a special, loud voice that you only use in a dangerous situation.
We all yell sometimes, and need to forgive ourselves, myself included. But if we can keep shouting to a minimum, and then really only use that top volume when we see a kid running after a ball or if one of them gets away from you in a parking lot, it could save a kid’s life.
Suzanna, I hope that helps!
Check out the Ninja Parenting Community by clicking here. This is an online community I’ve been building, almost ready to open its doors! If you need an extra boost of support with your parenting, this is the place for you. I hope to see you in there!
Last night I was a featured storyteller at a live storytelling event (thanks to massmouth and Fugitive Productions – what a great night at the Villageworks Gallery in West Acton!)
I told about last June, when my family and I adopted the two cutest dogs in the whole world, and what happened after that.
Because a version of this story is included in Positive Discipline Ninja Tactics – the book that launched just yesterday in Amazon, and was written for you if you’re trying to keep your sanity intact AND raise a young child at the same time – I wanted to share last night’s live telling with you today.
Because today is a special day: Positive Discipline Ninja Tactics is not just available for download in Amazon – it’s free, today through Wednesday, April 27!
I hope this book helps you have a better relationship with your young children – and really enjoy life with them.
Click this link to go directly to the book’s page in Amazon, and then just click “Buy now,” and you’re golden!