Controlling behavior, consequences, and connection with your young child | Podcast Episode 311

Continuing in this end-of-year “big idea” line of thinking, one of our beloved Ninja Parenting Community members recently asked a huge, and great question:

“How can I relax and enjoy our relationship more and not feel like I’m always on the edge of discipline mode or like I should have handled things differently [with my 3-year-old]?”

Effectively she’s asking: do I have to control my young child’s behavior all the time, or is there anything else besides that?

Today’s episode is my response.

Video, the notes I posted in NPC, and links to everything we talk about are located at weturnedoutokay.com/311

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Continue reading “Controlling behavior, consequences, and connection with your young child | Podcast Episode 311”

When your little asks HUGE questions | Podcast Episode 310

“He asked me tonight who God was…”
When Ninja Parenting Community member Mama Llama shared about this conversation with her three-year-old, I knew you were going to want to hear about it too.

This is a short-and-sweet episode (and it’s topsy-turvy, with the other stuff coming after the main part of the show, rather than before.)

But don’t be fooled by its brevity. We talk about something big! So big, maybe it can only be glimpsed at by us. I am excited to share, somewhat different, episode with you.

Plus in Parenting News:
I read from a recent Miss Conduct column on in-laws, and parents, and boundaries – and how you can feel good about yours.
(Ninja parents: click here for the live, members-only call which comes up in today’s Parenting News! If you’re not yet a member, but you would like to become one, click here.)

PS If this is a holiday celebration time of year for you, I hope it’s wonderful!

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.
We’re doing a series right now on what to do when you feel like a failure, and who among us hasn’t felt like that at some point?
Useful stuff.
Click weturnedoutokay.com/weekly so it zooms right into your inbox each week!

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.

Link to this post: weturnedoutokay.com/310

Continue reading “When your little asks HUGE questions | Podcast Episode 310”

“It’s the middle of the night and my child is awake. What do I do?” | Podcast Episode 308

This question came directly from a ninja parent with this problem:
“I can’t identify a trigger but [my three-year-old] wakes up sometime around 1 to 3 AM and is just wide-awake and mad that it’s not morning yet. Any tips on sleep stuff?”

In this episode we talk about what to do when your child wakes up in the middle of the night and doesn’t want to go back to sleep.

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 how to make it so your child wins the parent lottery (even if you did not), and helping when your child is frightened.
Useful stuff.
Click weturnedoutokay.com/weekly so it zooms right into your inbox each week!

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.

Link to this post: weturnedoutokay.com/308
Continue reading ““It’s the middle of the night and my child is awake. What do I do?” | Podcast Episode 308″

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”

Are academics good for young children? Podcast Episode 305

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!

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As a preschool teacher I used to get asked all the time about when we would be teaching reading. Or writing.
I could see the stunned disbelief on parents’ faces when we’d tell them “we don’t teach formal academics, children learn everything they need through play.”
It’s patently awful, and damaging, to force kids into academic learning too soon.
And yet it’s done all the time.
In this episode we discuss why, and what to do about it.

Plus in Parenting News:
I have been getting a lot out of the Live Above the Noise podcast, and so I want to highlight that for parenting news this week!

Join us!

(Links to everything talked about in this episode, plus a cheat sheet about the ideas we discussed, at weturnedoutokay.com/305 : )

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 “Are academics good for young children? Podcast Episode 305”

What kids understand

Happy Wednesday!

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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“Fortunately the children have no words to define the panic and anger they feel at constant violations of natural order and sequence.”

– Jon Taylor Gatto, Dumbing Us Down

At about 9 years old I discovered the joy of getting change back when you make a cash payment.

I discovered this in the lunch line at school.

One day, I paid with a single dollar bill instead of having the exact change of, if memory serves, 55¢.

I was thrilled when the lunch lady gave me a bunch of change!

The next day I deliberately gave her more than the 55¢. I gave her (again, if memory serves) 70 cents. She counted it, and handed me back my extra 15 cents.

How exciting! Getting money back! (It is a little peculiar, I know. But kids are kids, and this was over-the-moon thrilling for me.)

On the third day I scrounged a little bit of extra change, so I could know the fun of getting back change after paying for my lunch again.

But this time, I got a surprise:

The lunch lady snapped at me.

Continue reading “What kids understand”

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!

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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!

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

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!
https://weturnedoutokay.com/303
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.

Why does my young child talk about killing and death? | Podcast Episode 302

“This morning we were reading a space book and [my three-year-old] was talking about how he was going to kill the astronauts. Aggressive talk really freaks me out.”

When one of the parents I mentor in the Ninja Parenting Community posted this recently, I knew that you might be hearing “aggressive talk” with your child as well.

Why DO kids seem to talk and think so much about death, and killing?

We get into that today, and I share 3 ways you can address what might seem an unhealthy obsession with the macabre.

Plus in Parenting News:
We discuss this recent Boston Globe article, about young schoolchildren not being given enough time to eat their lunch, the problems parents are seeing as a result, and what they are doing to try to make it better.

Also! 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 : )

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!

Access the cheat sheet on the three ways to help when your child seems overly excited by death and killing; plus links to everything we talk about today, by clicking weturnedoutokay.com/302

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 “Why does my young child talk about killing and death? | Podcast Episode 302”

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”

Is it ADHD or normal behavior? Podcast Episode 299

“I am still just so scared these challenges are going to last forever, and school and daily life will always be a struggle. It’s so hard to see the stuff other kids can do that [my three-year-old] just can’t.”

If this lament – if these fears – sound familiar, I hope today’s episode will help.

Raising children is a hard job, especially when you’re worried about a child’s behavior, and if it’s normal or not.

In this episode we’ve got 5 ways for you to feel better about the bad behavior, and how you’re doing as a parent!

Plus in Parenting News:
A wonderful, funny, sweet TED talk by comedian Julia Sweeney on her chat with her eight-year-old about the birds and the bees.
Watch it – without the kids around, at least at first – to determine if it might be useful to you, when it’s time for you to have that same talk. And also to smile.

Join us!

Sign up for my Weekly Parenting Newsletter

Read more about the 5 ways to feel better (mentioned above), and check out the links for this episode, by clicking weturnedoutokay.com/299

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 “Is it ADHD or normal behavior? Podcast Episode 299”