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

The vampire and the sun god

My husband, Ben, and I are complete opposites in some ways.
For one, he loves summertime – the long days, the bass fishing, the warmth.

Whereas I love wintertime – the long nights, the skiing, the cold.

In our 25 years together we have often joked that we live in the perfect place, New England, where we each get what we need six months out of the year!

Well, we are now entering my favorite time of the year. The weather’s getting colder, the nights are getting longer, I can be outside midday without fear of headaches due to heat and humidity…

I (if you hadn’t realized it yet) am the vampire in the title of today’s letter.
I absolutely love the dark, clouds and fog, and cool/cold weather.
I know, I’m totally weird! And I am fine with that.
Thankfully so is Ben: )

But he struggles at this time of year. He’s very seasonally affected by the lack of light.

So on mornings where we are up before dawn, every light in the house is on.
Ben even has a special light, which I refer to as his “moth light,” which he sits nearby for about 20 minutes each day, usually while he eats his breakfast.

All this light can be a problem for me – it seems so harsh!
It’s tempting to be super grumpy about it with Ben, or tease him for his sungod-like ways.

But I’ve been thinking about how, after all, he’s only trying to get what he needs. Continue reading “The vampire and the sun god”

343: Basics Bootcamp Part 1, and State of the Podcast

Today’s episode is about how good boundaries help in even the most extreme meltdown-type situations… I love this image for that. The tantruming child in the middle is literally supported by the adults’s “good boundaries.”

Welcome! In this episode I share a recent case study from my online private coaching practice, the Ninja Parenting Community (NPC), where the mom of a four-year-old was dealing with extreme temper tantrums, and fearful that her son would never learn to obey the rules. Even the ones for safety.
She struggled to see how good boundaries could improve that situation – until they did.

Here’s something I have learned during the coronavirus pandemic:
Basics matter.
Understanding how to do the most basic things, like getting a child to obey you, is even more important now than ever. And yet the basics are elusive during the pandemic.
Today we dive into using a super basic thing, good boundaries, to get your child to obey you.

Also I share about what’s happening with the We Turned Out Okay Podcast… changes are coming, ones that will make the creation of the show sustainable for your host : )
It’s interesting, because good boundaries also come into play in talking about the changes to the show.
Join us!

Key Links and Notes: Continue reading “343: Basics Bootcamp Part 1, and State of the Podcast”

The real reasons to be kind instead of judgemental

This is the latest in my summer-long series, taking you on my journey of recovering from overwhelm and burnout and learning ways to sustainably keep going. Click here for the first installment, “Feeling guilty,” and click here for last week’s’s installment, “I didn’t think it was going to work, but it did.”

I want to talk about judgment this week, and its antidote, kindness.

Maybe at first glance it’s hard to recognize the juxtaposition of these two ideas, or even in recognizing it, to understand how one contradicts the other.

Listening to this week’s podcast episode, my conversation with wonderful therapist Shannon Connery, PhD, helped to crystallize this idea for me, because Shannon uses herself as an example, telling her story of casting judgment on someone in the grocery store, the mom of a small baby who wasn’t wearing a mask.

As she and this mom moved through the grocery store, Shannon felt judgmental about the mom’s choice to not wear a mask.


Shannon thought about all of the reasons why the mom should wear a mask, and made unkind conclusions about the fact that she wasn’t wearing one.

Then an elderly couple came toward them.

The mom whipped out her mask, and put it on at the last possible moment before encountering this couple, and suddenly Shannon understood:

The baby became super upset, screaming, and gesturing and reaching for that mask.

And the mom started to cry. Continue reading “The real reasons to be kind instead of judgemental”

327: Can I train my child to play independently?

OkayCon FREE Virtual Summit happening now

If you’re not sure how much more of this whole stuck-at-home stuff you can take, go to okaycon.com for a new, relevant interview each Monday and Wednesday, and a watch party each Monday and Wednesday evening throughout April! We will get through this together <3

I recorded this before our current “double pandemic” (of Covid-19, and Fear). But it seems especially relevant now:

Can you, or should you, train your child to play independently?
Do you negatively impact a child by playing with them often?
Do you feel guilty, whether you say “yes, I’ll play,” or “no, not right now”?

One member of our Ninja Parenting Community brought up these, and many other questions regarding independent play (her questions reference an only child… but this applies to all parents.)

Join us today to listen as I share the answers to these questions!
(Click weturnedoutokay.com/327 to view the video and see the notes.)

Key Links:

What we’re doing here at WTOO to help you through the pandemic:

All during April’s OkayCon 2020 Virtual Summit we’re having live watch parties, so we can keep each other company in this era where we all need that!
Sign up to be notified about the guests and watch parties:

Find out details about the summit itself:

Like me, you are probably feeling all kinds of fear, anxiety, and worry right now.
Besides which, you are also likely sheltering in place with kids – whose behavior is leaving a lot to be desired at the moment!

That’s why I am offering a special membership rate, just $1 for your whole first month! It’s the Friends & Family rate, available for a limited time at the following link:

Our first Pandemic Parenting News:

Click here for the NYT parenting article in which a bouncer, a referee, and a therapist all help you stop your kids from fighting.

Click here for the hilarious and wonderful essay “We, The Hard-Working, Newly Homeschooling Parents of America, have Rewritten the Common Core Standards.”

Click here for the Boston Globe article “Seven activities keeping my family sane during isolation.”

Click here for @childlifesaver’s wonderful post, “How to help kids wear masks,” in Instagram.

Wishing you well throughout this unprecedented time! We will get through it together <3

Continue reading “327: Can I train my child to play independently?”

324: Why your child’s behavior may be worse now than usual, and what to do about it, with Janine Halloran, LMHC

Today we are bringing back – for the fifth time! – beloved guest, an expert in teaching kids coping skills, Janine Halloran LMHC of copingskillsforkids.com.

We discuss:
– How Janine is thinking about school work and all this extra time at home with kids and family
– The kinds of questions her clients are bringing to her right now, in spring 2020 during the COVID-19 pandemic
– Why a child’s behavior is most likely worse than usual right now
– What you can do about that, if that’s the case in your home

Join us!
(Click the following link for the video of our talk, and also notes from today’s conversation: weturnedoutokay.com/324)

How are you staying positive? Let me know!

In our Facebook group:

in Instagram:

in Twitter:

All during April’s FREE OkayCon 2020 Virtual Summit we’re having live watch parties, so we can keep each other company in this era where we all need that!

Sign up to be notified about the guests and watch parties:

Join the We Turned Out Okay Facebook group, where the watch parties are happening each Monday and Wednesday all through April, by clicking here.

Find out details about the summit itself:

We will get through this together : )
Karen Lock Kolp, M.Ed. of https://weturnedoutokay.com

Helping parents change kids’ behavior from bad to good, feel happy inside, and TRULY enjoy family time : )

PS Join my email newsgroup for lots of useful, free parenting tools, as well as lots of info on OkayCon, our Virtual Summit that is ongoing right now: sign up at weturnedoutokay.com/weekly

If you need some extra support, especially right now with all the madness, I’m offering special membership rates if you want to join our private coaching community, NPC. Click here for details and to join, so I can personally help you through this extremely challenging time!

321: What is actually helpful for little kids when it comes to learning and technology? – My conversation with parents, teachers and authors Matt Miles and Joe Clement


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!

Today’s guests have written a book, called Screen Schooled, which has had a huge impact on how I think about my teenagers and their educations.
I found Matt Miles’ and Joe Clement’s book so compelling, and so full of great ideas for helping teens navigate the modern technical world, that I knew I wanted their take on young kids and tech. (They are both parents, each raising young children in their families.)
I knew I wanted to bring that perspective to you!
We discuss:
– How 21st-century skills are the same skills that human beings have needed throughout history
– What those most important skills are (hint: they are not tapping/swiping/navigating in our devices)
– How to incorporate technology into your life and family, for the biggest benefits and least amount of frustration and worry
– Matt and Joe’s responses to some fantastic We Turned Out Okay Facebook group questions:
“Any advice on what is actually helpful for preschoolers when it comes to learning and technology? There are a million apps and games billed as “educational” but what’s actually beneficial?”

“Often I hear the advice to “talk to your children about what they’re watching/playing”… So far the only times I’ve used this technique is to help them see why a certain game is questionable. I don’t otherwise ENJOY talking about the inane stuff they choose to do on their devices, so talking to them about it positively is really hard. What advice do these teachers have?”

“Will our children fall behind if they are not introduced to much technology at young ages?”

“I’m interested to hear how things have changed during [Matt and Joe’s] careers, and how they anticipate things evolving in the future… Since most of us have little kids and it’s hard to conceive of the world they’ll be living in 10 to 15 years from now.”

Hope you enjoy this conversation!

(Here is the link to this post : )

PS One place where you can get help with your challenges while raising little kids is the online 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.)

Sign up for my Weekly Parenting Newsletter

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 what to do when you feel like a failure.
Useful stuff.
Click weturnedoutokay.com/weekly so it zooms right into your inbox each week!

Why are kids clingy?

Happy Wednesday!

FYI: I go in depth on how to handle a clingy child in the free, live case study I am teaching at 2 PM EST today! Details below : )
Earlier this week I did a Magic Words for Parents video, all about how terrifying it is for children when we do not “see” them.

In other words, when we invalidate their experience. When we tell them “there’s no such thing as ghosts,” or “stop crying, there is nothing to be afraid of.”

Today I want to combine that idea was something parents often confront: clingy kids.

– Kids who only want you, and no one else.
– Kids who cry when you leave daycare.
– Kids who cling to your leg when it’s time for you to say goodbye.
– Kids who insist that you stay with them as they fall asleep at night.

Why are kids clingy?

It’s a developmental thing, first and foremost.
We first see stranger anxiety in kids when they are around the age of learning to crawl/walk. Children’s growing brains do this because, now that they have the capacity to walk away, what’s to stop them from wandering away from the people who care for them?
It’s stranger anxiety that stops them.

As kids get a bit older, we have the developing brain to thank again for clinginess – as their brains grow, so does their capacity for imagination.
Which brings the idea of monsters, fear of the dark, and other fears into our children’s minds.
(I am doing a live case study on this clingy behavior at 2 PM this afternoon! Click here to watch!)

How does not seeing our kids interact with clingy behavior?

Paradoxically, kids who feel invalidated can become more clingy, not less.

Continue reading “Why are kids clingy?”

Mistaken beliefs about temper tantrums

Happy Wednesday!

FYI: This is the fourth newsletter in my “Kids gone sideways” series, about how we can get back on track when our kids drive us crazy .
Click here for the first in the series, about the intersection of our own self-worth and our children’s hangry meltdowns, and click here for the story of my second-worst day of potty training ever. Next week we will dive into dealing with disrespect in the final installment, so stay tuned!

What do you believe about temper tantrums?
I wouldn’t blame you if your answer was: “I believe they should not exist!”

It is super frustrating that temper tantrums are a thing in the world.

It feels as if they do no good at all.
They are an intrusion into a happy family life, right?

But here’s the thing, temper tantrums are stepping stones on the way to a happy family life.
They are developmental necessities, key milestones in the social and emotional development of children.

I know that’s hard to believe, but it’s true.

Consider what’s happening in your child’s development, when the temper tantrums really get rolling:
– A tremendous increase in understanding of the language spoken around them
– The acquisition of new vocabulary words at a seriously rapid rate
– A much larger ability to take in information, than the capacity to express themselves using language

It’s that last one that I want to bring your attention to. Continue reading “Mistaken beliefs about temper tantrums”

315: Drugging boys, and self-worth – first-ever Parenting News Roundup

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!
FYI, I’m teaching a Free Online Parenting Class on successful potty training this coming Thursday, January 30! Go to weturnedoutokay.com/successful for details and to register.

Welcome to our first ever Parenting News Roundup!
Over the month of January a theme has developed around here, with the interview and podcast episodes all relating to the idea of self worth.
This month I wanted to focus on parenting news that also had to do with us parents, feeling worthy and in tune with ourselves.
So, what does that have to do with boys, and medication for ADHD? You’ll have to listen to find out : )

Click weturnedoutokay.com/315 for links to everything I talk about today, including the articles featured in today’s Parenting News!

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.)

Ideas and Tools that Matter 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 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 “315: Drugging boys, and self-worth – first-ever Parenting News Roundup”