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”

How do young children learn? | Podcast Episode 292

“Learning” can mean different things to different people:
– Getting good grades
– Passing a test
– Reading, writing, coding, mathematics, etc.

But how do we get to the point where we know, and can demonstrate, our knowledge?
It all starts in early childhood.
Today we dive into how young children learn best.

Plus in Parenting News: As parents, we can’t be all serious and big-business. Without some downtime, we can’t keep going, in child-rearing, in outside-of-the-home jobs, or within ourselves.
I have been going through some pretty major burnout, and today in Parenting News, I share about a resource that has been making me feel way better: The Adventure Zone, in both podcast and graphic novel form. If this completely awesome, totally-not-for-kids sci-fi-fantasy thing is not for you, that is absolutely fine! But take this moment to find something that does get you the downtime enjoyment that you need.

Join us!

Go to weturnedoutokay.com/292 for a cheat sheet on the 3 ways kids learn best, key links from this episode, free guides (on potty training, picky eating, and how to handle every temper tantrum), and lots more resources!
Also:

And thank you so much for listening!

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 “How do young children learn? | Podcast Episode 292”

“Who we are as children never goes away;” speaking with Anna Seewald of Authentic Parenting | Podcast Episode 291

Today’s guest, Anna Seewald of the Authentic Parenting Podcast, experienced a truly traumatic event in her childhood, an earthquake in which she lost her mother.
In part because of this experience, she went on to become a therapist, a woman who has dedicated her life to helping others through their toughest moments.
“My true passion is to help children to thrive,” she writes.
Today we discuss many ways to help your child to do exactly that.
I know you will get a lot out of this conversation. Many thanks to Anna Seewald for coming on We Turned Out Okay!

Plus in Parenting News: Back in July I got to be a guest on Anna’s show! Extending on this theme about how childhood experiences shape us, I share that I was sexually assaulted at age 7.
This experience fundamentally changed my personality, and has had repercussions through all of my life. But here’s the thing, while I would of course never wish something like this on anyone, not all the repercussions have been bad.
Click authenticparenting.com/185 to listen to our conversation.
Though certainly tough in parts, overall it’s a hopeful, and I really hope helpful (hence the sharing as Parenting News) conversation.

Join us!

Go to weturnedoutokay.com/291 for key links from this episode, free guides (on potty training, picky eating, and how to handle every temper tantrum), and lots more resources!
Also:

And thank you so much for listening!

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 ““Who we are as children never goes away;” speaking with Anna Seewald of Authentic Parenting | Podcast Episode 291″

Raising boys who are empowered, and not jerks: A Conversation with Dr. Michael Reichert | Podcast Episode 285

Raising two boys – pictured here at 5 and 1 years old – this conversation meant so much to me personally.

FYI: Next week I’m teaching a FREE workshop on independence, for your child and you, in the We Turned Out Okay Facebook group: click this link to take part or scroll down right here in your podcatcher to find out more!

 

 

 

When I first saw How to Raise a Boy,

the book today’s guest, Michael Reichert, PhD, wrote, I knew I was in for a treat. Dr. Reichert ‘s writing is a skillful blend of personal stories and relevant, amazing research, and before I knew it I was highlighting, marking pages with Post-it notes, and pumped to speak with Dr. Reichert!

And, our conversation does not disappoint.
If you’ve got questions about:
 – Your son turning into a “mama’s boy”
 – How to (in the words of one of our WTOO Facebook group members) “empower boys to be their best selves without being jerks”
 – Or even if you have questions about why – if you’re raising girls and not boys – you should care;
You’ll find this conversation relevant and compelling.

I’m so thankful to Dr. Reichert for coming on the show today, and I hope you enjoy our conversation, and learn from it, as much as I did.

Plus in Parenting News: I’ve just learned of an amazing new resource for parents, the Revive Show, a live Internet radio show, and you need to hear about it too. I learned of it when I was invited on as a guest, and I think you will love the show!

Join us!

Go to weturnedoutokay.com/285 for:

  • A cheat sheet on highlights from this wonderful conversation
  • Key links we talk about in this episode
  • The video of the week: OFF this week for the July 4 holiday, returning July 11, so hang in there : )

And thank you so much for listening!

I am teaching a FREE, weeklong workshop on how to get your child to be more independent so they don’t have to rely on you!

We will address: how to stop being a helicopter parent, how to get kids to amuse themselves, independence with potty training and hygiene, food issues, and more, so join us if you need help with any of this!

This free workshop takes place all next week, July 8-12, in the We Turned Out Okay Facebook group… Click here to join the group!

Continue reading “Raising boys who are empowered, and not jerks: A Conversation with Dr. Michael Reichert | Podcast Episode 285”

True or False: There is no way to teach social skills | Podcast Episode 284

Heads up on 2 counts:
First, I’m teaching a FREE Online Parenting Class I’m teaching this Thursday, “How to Help Your Kids Get Along with Other Kids!” Scroll down to read more and sign up!

Second, soon I am teaching a FREE, week long workshop on how to get your child to be more independent so they don’t have to rely on you!
I’m teaching this workshop in the We Turned Out Okay Facebook group. Click here to join the group!

My jaw was on the floor recently during a parent coaching call with one of our Ninja Parenting Community members, when she revealed that her child’s teacher told her “there is no way to teach social skills.”
Immediately I knew I wanted your thoughts on this… and if this is also your belief, I’d like to use today’s podcast episode to change your mind.

Because of course we can teach social skills!
In today’s episode I offer three ways to do so.

Please learn them, heed them, take them into your heart.

Because without these crucial skills – without humans passing them on to our offspring – our society breaks down.

And also life is a lot less fun!

Plus in Parenting News: I’m sharing about a new favorite podcast of mine, An Arm and A Leg, a podcast about the insanity of healthcare in the United States. It’s a great show because it tells amazing stories, and finds a lot to be optimistic about, in a part of American society that I was feeling increasingly frustrated with… turns out I am not the only one.

Join us!

Go to weturnedoutokay.com/284 for:

  • A cheat sheet on the 3 ways you can teach social skills to your young child
  • Key links we talk about in this episode
  • The video of the week: “Can I teach my child social skills? And if so how?”

And thank you so much for listening!

How to Help Kids Get Along with Other Kids: FREE Online Parenting Class!

Does your child struggle to get along with siblings, classmates, cousins, or at the playground?
Do your kids push, hit, or even bite to get their way?
Let me help… Sign up for the Free Online Parenting Class I am teaching Thursday, June 27!

You’ll learn:

  • What’s most important when thinking about kids dealing with siblings or other kids
  • The 3 keys to good child and sibling relations
  • How to overcome one crucial factor that impedes a child’s ability to get along with other kids
  • Which principles to adopt – and which to drop – in helping kids get along

Sign up to watch it live at 2 PM on Thursday, June 27 OR sign up to catch the replay at your convenience.
Start summer off right by learning how to help your kids get along with other kids. Sign up at the link below!
weturnedoutokay.com/siblings

The show is sponsored this week by Julian Coffee, a unique and amazing coffee that comes from a family farm in Puerto Rico and that will help you start your day off right! Listen to today’s episode for the code that will get you 10% off when you go to juliancoffeepr.com or Julian Coffee’s page in Amazon.

Continue reading “True or False: There is no way to teach social skills | Podcast Episode 284”

Where is my child, developmentally? | Podcast Episode 280

Welcome to another installment of Educating Little Kids! (When it’s a book, it will have a better title, promise.)
We dive into development today, and if you’re wondering “why should I care about child development,” I hope this episode makes that clear.

Really and truly, it’s a good thing to know.

Today we dive into the stages of development – stages all of us humans are going through – to give you a sense of where your child is developmentally.

Plus in Parenting News: How our own biases can stop us from seeing what is actually right in front of us.

Join us!

Go to weturnedoutokay.com/280 for:

  • A cheat sheet on the first 3 stages of human development
  • The video of the week: “Why should I care about child development?”

And thank you so much for listening!

Live Q&A and Open House Tour

Ever wished you could check out the private coaching community that I run for parents of young children?
Do you have questions about if it could work for you, even in your busy, insane life and with whatever technical skills you possess (especially if you feel like they’re not very good)?
You’re in luck! On THIS coming Thursday, May 30, I am throwing open the doors to the Ninja Parenting Community!
I’m taking you right inside, and showing you:
– What our members love about it
– How the community helps parents turn family time into “the best time of the day”
– And I’m taking questions too!

It’s free… I’m so excited to bring you in and show you around!
It’s live… But even if you can’t be there live at 2PM EST, signing up gets you the replay so you can rewatch as many times as you like.
It’s where my heart and soul is… because I get to work closely with so many amazing parents.

Don’t miss out on discovering this secret to happy parenting…
Click weturnedoutokay.com/tour to sign up!

 

Continue reading “Where is my child, developmentally? | Podcast Episode 280”