One word

Usually on Mondays I teach a quick phrase – this week it was supposed to be just one word – in the WTOO Facebook group, but instead I was getting an MRI and so couldn’t get in there.

So I decided to use this space to teach it to you (many of you are in the Facebook group already, so this week you’re getting this here, instead of there: )

But first: Parenting Community Open House!

In a little over a week I am throwing open the doors to the Ninja Parenting Community, the place where I help parents work out their toughest challenges! On April 25 you can find out:
1) What our members love about it
2) How the community helps parents turn family time into “the best time of the day”
3) And I’m taking questions too!
Don’t miss out on discovering this secret to happy parenting… Click weturnedoutokay.com/tour to sign up!


A few weeks ago, we Kolps had a problem.

Not a new problem. One that comes up every so often, especially as we emerge from a vacation or a time of rest.

Because when you live with a tendon disorder (as I do) and recharge your batteries on a vacation or due to a change in routine, returning to normal can be frustrating and difficult.

This time I had had three weeks off our usual routine. Two of those were when the kids and I got to visit family, and ski and relax and not really have to DO anything, except for pleasure.

The third week off came about unhappily. We picked up a horrible bug on the plane home and were out of commission for the whole next week. Imagine the grossest stomach flu ever, and then double or triple it, and you’re probably getting pretty close to our experience that third week. Yuck!

But it really contributed to hand and forearm rest for me. Plus, after you’ve been sick like that there’s kind of a good reset because suddenly you’re grateful for the tiniest things.
Cinnamon tea, or dry toast, for example.

Anyway: three weeks of rest.

And then back to our regular routine. And as I jumped in I started to notice pain in one wrist. And then it was compounded by pain in my other elbow.

After a while, the pain didn’t go away when I ceased using my hands. Instead they just ached all the time.

I couldn’t knit anymore, something I was doing breezily and comfortably for the whole time we were away.

Driving became difficult (and this was compounded by a tendon problem in my leg, which is why I needed the MRI that took me away from this past Monday morning’s Facebook live.)

Suddenly I could see the downward spiral happening, right in front of my eyes. And I just couldn’t allow it to keep going.

So, I started calling out family members, instead of picking up after them.

If somebody left a jacket on the floor, or a bunch of books on the table, I didn’t just tidy them. Instead I went and got that person and asked them to clean it up.

I did this and similar things multiple times a day, which was really hard and uncomfortable!

Especially with Ben. He works so hard. Not just at his job, but here at home as well. He’s had a wife with special needs for nearly 8 years, so he does the lion’s share of cooking, cleaning, laundry etc. – and here I am, showing him the tea mug he left by the sink and asking him to put in the dishwasher!

I felt terrible about it. But I knew I needed to bring up these tiny little things just so that I would not spiral into longer-term problems, and the despair that accompanies them.

And my family all felt criticized. Which made me feel awful.

But we were able to talk about it, and I helped them understand: this is simply what I need. It’s not a value judgment.

It reminded me of the disagreements Ben and I used to have, and how one word saved us from so many arguments, especially in front of the kids.

How one word can stop fights

We chose the word “tippytoes.”

And we used it every time a conflict came up in front of the kids.

Once, Ben started to tell an embarrassing story not just in front of our sons, but in front of guests as well. I remember the puzzled look on his face when I all but shouted “tippytoes!”

But he did stop. He did not share that embarrassing story. And later, when we were alone, I thanked him for stopping, and told him how mortifying that story felt to me (he did not feel the same way, hence the conflict.)

Ben has used our one word when he wanted to take a discussion off-line, away from the kids. I’m not remembering any specific situations, but this occurred multiple times while our sons were young. We still use it sometimes!

Why does it work?

In the moment, here is how it feels:
– My trusted partner is about to say something hurtful or embarrassing
– I use the one word
– My partner, without knowing or understanding why I would have a problem with this, doesn’t continue with the hurtful or embarrassing stuff
– I feel safe, secure in the knowledge that my trusted partner will not betray that trust.

When I am the person who is about to share something hurtful or embarrassing (even if it doesn’t seem so to me), my trusted partner will use the safe word, and now I am not betraying our trust.
It brings me out of my own head and out of this immediate situation, and makes me think differently about my words or conduct.

So it works for 2 reasons:
1) We can communicate our concern superfast (if we are the one using it); and
2) It helps us shift our perspective (if we are on the receiving end), so we can change our behavior quickly

It’s powerful. It’s quick. It affirms the trust between you and your partner.

If you’re not already using one, I recommend giving it a try.

You can even use “tippytoes” if you want : )

Keep reading below for What’s up on the podcast/on YouTube/in the Facebook group… And for the picture of the week!

Wishing you a wonderful parenting week!
Cheers,
Karen

What’s up on the podcast this week:
We’re talking about how to bring your parenting partner around to your way of thinking, how you can be on the same wavelength with him or her as you raise your kiddos.
Click weturnedoutokay.com/274 to listen!

What’s up on my YouTube channel this week:
Extending on this theme, the live YouTube (I do one every Thursday) is called
“My spouse isn’t on board with how I’m raising our kids” and it is available at the link just above! Or,
Check out my YouTube channel by clicking here.

What’s up in the We Turned Out Okay Facebook group this week:
Each Monday at 10:30 a.m. EST, I do a superquick Facebook live that I call “Magic Words for Parents”… and while it was off this week due to an unexpected medical thing, as I’m sure you’ve already read about since you are down this far, it’ll be back next week! Click here to join the Facebook group : )

Up here in New England we are just getting into the hiking season again and that is reminding me of this, when we loaded up our little Jay into a carrier pack and the four of us hiked up Mount Israel in New Hampshire.

This past weekend Max (on the left in this picture, at about 5 years old), who is now a young adult, took his girlfriend on a hike. They came back apple-cheeked and happy, and it reminded me of how grateful I am that hiking has always been a thing in our family.

Here’s hoping that whatever your family thing is, you all enjoy it to the fullest.

Cheers!

PS – If you’re enjoying this Weekly Parenting Newsletter, sign up to receive it in your inbox, or forward it to a friend who needs a parenting boost today.

When Your Spouse is Not On Board | Podcast Episode 274

As life partners, we all have some disagreements.
But what if you feel like your disagreements are interfering in family life?
That’s what this episode is all about, so if you’re worrying about any of this you’re in the right place!
I’ve got 3 ways to get your spouse on the same page as you are.

Plus: in Parenting News, we consider coding as one of the academic 3Rs.
Join us!

Go to weturnedoutokay.com/274 for:

  • A cheat sheet of the 3 ways discussed today
  • Links to a whole bunch of good stuff, including the key links talked about today and free potty training and temper tantrum free guides
  • The video of the week: “My spouse isn’t on board with how I’m raising our kids”

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 Thursday, April 25 at 1 PM EST 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, 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 “When Your Spouse is Not On Board | Podcast Episode 274”

How do my relationships with other grown-ups affect my kiddos? | Podcast Episode 265

What difference, you might be wondering, can it possibly make to my kids if I have good relationships with other grown-ups?

Actually, it matters quite a bit.

In this installment of the Raising Successful Kids series we talk about the impact of our relationships, including with our spouses and life-partners, on the eventual fulfillment and happiness of our children.

Join us!

Go to weturnedoutokay.com/265 for:

  • A cheat sheet on the ideas in this episode
  • Key links from our conversation, including the resources I share, to help you understand this idea and move forward with it
  • The video of the week: “How does my relationship affect my kids?”

And thank you so much for listening!

Temper Tantrums and Potty Training:

During today’s break I share about two helpful free guides I offer.
While the podcast is long-form – your opportunity to look into the mind of a child development expert – the free guides are super quick.

You can watch the video, read the checklist, and immediately handle the temper tantrums or get started with potty training (depending on which guide you choose : )

  • Click here for the FREE video and checklist to handle every temper tantrum
  • Click here for the FREE video and checklist to successfully potty train your child
  • Want to receive valuable ideas and tips on parenting, without either free guide above? Click here for my weekly parenting newsletter!

Continue reading “How do my relationships with other grown-ups affect my kiddos? | Podcast Episode 265”

Corporal Punishment in Schools: Why is this still a thing? Podcast episode 244

This is the only kind of paddling your child should ever be exposed to.

Recently one of the moms in my parent coaching community wrote in to share that her 4-year-old sons were about to start school… in a preschool-through-12th-grade school where corporal punishment is used.

“I can’t imagine [my boys] doing anything that would warrant a paddling, but I could not make myself check that box saying it was okay,” she wrote in our forums.

She then shared that, if parents check the “no, don’t spank my kid” box, children are exposed to other punishments such as a 3-day suspension and zeros on any assignments missed!

I was shocked. In every state there are laws against striking people in prisons and in the military; in most every state it’s illegal to strike an animal.

But it turns out that in 19 states, it’s okay to strike a child in school.

Come down the rabbit hole with me, into the world of corporal punishment.
It’s a world that might be much closer to you than you ever imagined.

Go to weturnedoutokay.com/244 for:

  • Links to the articles I discuss today
  • The video I made recently about what to do when your young child wants to do everything all by him or herself… but can’t, and then has a fit
  • Also to hear my story about being in a flash flood this week!! I talk about that during the break. It was scary, that’s for sure!

And thank you so much for listening! Continue reading “Corporal Punishment in Schools: Why is this still a thing? Podcast episode 244”

3 Ways to help young children through trauma: Podcast Episode 242, a Your Child Explained episode

Accidents, and traumatic events, can happen no matter how careful we are. Today’s episode helps you help your young child process traumatic events.

“Today my 2.5-year-old and his Dad were in a car accident… This happened around 1 PM today and my son has been talking about it and asking questions all evening. I’m trying to answer in simple clear terms but I feel over my head. It feels like a punch in the gut every time it comes up again.”
So wrote one of our Ninja Parenting Community members over the summer. Scary stuff!

Helping her process her young child’s trauma, and helping her through her own, has been a real focus of mine ever since.

So it seemed only right to share these lessons with you!
That way you’ll be prepared if something traumatic happens that involves your children.

Tune in to find out 3 ways to help your young child process trauma – and read about these 3 ways, find the entire back catalog of the podcast, watch my recent YouTube video about how to make big parenting decisions, and check out lots more stuff at weturnedoutokay.com/242 …

And thanks for listening!

 

3 Ways to help your young child process a traumatic event

With something upsetting happens in the life of a young child, they need fairly continual reassurance that they’re safe, and that the people around them will take care of them and keep them safe.

But as with our Ninja Parenting Community member’s recent experience, trying to give them that reassurance can be stress-inducing and overwhelming for us parents.

So, here are 3 ways to help your child confront, process, and come out the other side when something traumatic happens:

1) Let them talk and play it out.
Knowing and truly understanding that these questions and concerns will continually come up for your child can in itself make it easier to handle constant questioning.
Letting them ask these questions, talk about the situation, and even play it out over and over again is a necessary step in processing and moving beyond trauma for children.

2) Read, and play, and do normal stuff.
After something upsetting has happened, give your young child the reassurance that “we’re getting back to normal.” You can best do this by making sure that, as much as possible, you keep your child in a regular routine, with regular bedtimes and mealtimes.

3) Give your child time, and trust the process.
They will feel better, and when they do the questions and continual processing will go away.

Here’s what this NPC member reported a few weeks after the initial trauma:

“A positive update – now a couple weeks out, he’s asking only occasionally about it and has heard the same consistent positive answers enough times to seem secure and okay.
Thank you, Karen!!”

If you’ve recently gone through something upsetting or dramatic with your child, we can help you feel “secure and okay” as well… Join the Ninja Parenting Community today, and get the same kind of support that this member got when something unexpected and frightening happened in her life.

I was able to give her help that regular We Turned Out Okay listeners can only dream of… Including a supportive response very soon after the accident, plus a video in which I shared lots more about helping kids through bad stuff during a live, exclusive members-only call just a day or two later.

Need this same intensive, supportive level of help?

Click here to join the Ninja Parenting Community

Continue reading “3 Ways to help young children through trauma: Podcast Episode 242, a Your Child Explained episode”

Teaching our kids how to stay out of debt – A Conversation with mylittlebanker.com’s Raeshal Solomon (Podcast Episode 215)

Welcome! To listen to today’s episode, scroll all the way down to the bottom of this post and hit the triangular “play” button. Enjoy the show!

I love this video, all about today’s guest, Raeshal Solomon of my little banker.com:

BOOK GIVEAWAY: today’s guest, Raeshal Solomon of mylittlebanker.com, has graciously offered to give one lucky listener a set of her books that teach financial literacy to little kids!
Listen to today’s episode to find out how to enter the giveaway : )

Raeshal Solomon comes by her knowledge of how to get out of debt honestly – she’s worked hard to rid herself of nearly all her $400,000 debt, while raising two young boys AND living with sickle-cell anemia.

She tells us exactly how she accomplished this incredible feat during today’s episode!

Raeshal also shares great ideas for you, if you’re trying to work your way out of financial debt, and talks about why she got started writing books on financial literacy for young children.

I know you’re going to get so much out of today’s episode. Please share with a friend who needs a boost of inspiration today!

Watch a quick, wonderful YouTube video on Raeshal and grab the key links for today’s episode at weturnedoutokay.com/215. Thank you for listening! Continue reading “Teaching our kids how to stay out of debt – A Conversation with mylittlebanker.com’s Raeshal Solomon (Podcast Episode 215)”

Podcast Bonus: Why You Should Join the FREE Friendly Mirror 5-Day Challenge

Join the FREE Friendly Mirror 5-Day Challenge:
Learn exactly how to handle every “Jedi mind trick” your kids toss at you; shout less; feel truly happy at home!

Click the link below to sign up for the challenge:
https://weturnedoutokay.com/friendlymirror

Read details below and, to hear success stories from the 2017 Free Friendly Mirror Challenge, scroll all the way down to the bottom of this post and hit the triangular “play” button.

“I am terrified to stop doing mostly everything and accept help for fear that if I do, my family will resent me.” – 2017 Free Friendly Mirror Challenge Participant

Hello my friend, how are you today?

If you’re feeling at all like this long-time listener, today’s quickie bonus episode shares all about something that will help!

It’s my FREE, 5-Day Friendly Mirror Challenge, in which we are working to smile (instead of cringe) when we look in the mirror.

There’s a quick little win for you each day of the challenge…

Each day gives you a new opportunity to feel better when you look in the mirror, because you’re feeling a new sense of self-acceptance and self-forgiveness.

Sound good?

Click here for details and to sign up – the challenge starts this coming Monday with an email into your inbox each day Monday, February 12 through Friday, February 16…

Cheers! And thanks for listening!

Podcast Episode 209: Surviving Your Child’s Toddlerhood – A Conversation with Heather Spohr of the “The Spohrs are Multiplying” Blog

Welcome! To listen to today’s episode, scroll all the way down to the bottom of this post and hit the triangular “play” button. Enjoy the show!

Today’s guest has a new book out, The Toddler Survival Guide, that I know you’ll love because it is practical, funny, and endearing.

And, as soon as I heard author Heather Spohr’s voice on the day of our interview, I knew that it would also be those three things… But it turned out to be a lot more.

We talk about Princess Leia, potty training – and grief. Heather and her husband Mike lost a child to illness, when their daughter was just three years old, and what I love about Heather is her ability to share about the tough stuff while staying extremely positive.

So, listen for the laughs, listen for the connection, and read Heather’s new book to remember that you are not alone, if you are (or have ever been) the parents of toddlers.

But also listen for Heather’s description of the support that a strong community brings, whether real-world or virtual.

Key links at weturnedoutokay.com/209 – and thank you for listening! Continue reading “Podcast Episode 209: Surviving Your Child’s Toddlerhood – A Conversation with Heather Spohr of the “The Spohrs are Multiplying” Blog”

Podcast Episode 204: Burned out? So am I. Here’s what to do. (A Your Child Explained Episode for Part 3 of the 2017 Holiday Survival Guide)

Welcome! To listen to today’s episode, scroll all the way down to the bottom of this post and hit the triangular “play” button. Enjoy the show!

On the day I recorded this episode, late last week in real time, I had a moment, at about 10 AM, where I realized I ought to be in about three different places… All at exactly 10 AM.

That’s when my heart started racing.

Then, when I looked around my home and realized all that still wasn’t quite done, or not even started yet… and then I realized I was still in my pajamas… The complete and total futility of the season slammed into my brain.

As I’ve often said on the show, that was “Mom Karen” – Time to go and get some advice from Podcast Karen!

So, I dropped everything and recorded this show about dealing with burnout.

And I just want to give a special thanks in here for thirteen-year-old Jason Kolp (who shares great advice about how to help children with their fears, back in episode 193). He’s the one who really helped me figure out what to focus on first.

He told me to go and help you, which is exactly what I did.

I hope this episode helps you, as much as it helped Mom Karen : )

For a quickie breakdown of the three steps to alleviating burnout, plus key links and to watch the video I made about handling holiday kid craziness, go to weturnedoutokay.com/204. Happy listening!

Burned out? Here are my three steps to alleviating burnout:

1) RECOGNIZE that it’s burnout… This one still gets me at some times of the year. Recognition is the first step to repair.

2) Pare your to do list down to the absolute essentials… You can’t pour from an empty cup. People will understand this – and if they don’t, they were never very good friends, anyway.

3) Do something FUN.… What’s fun for you? Does it involve children, or is it something you do all by yourself? Is it a date with your honey? Whatever it is, make time for it. This will be easier after you have accomplished 2).

Key Links:

KJ Dell’Antonia of the #AmWriting with Jess and KJ Podcast came on the show Tuesday; click here to listen back to our conversation!

Click here for Gretchen Rubin’s awesome new book, The Four Tendencies. I am a questioner; which one are you?

Questions? Get answers on my contact page : )

Join the private WTOO Facebook group, for weekly Facebook lives and more! Click here!

Click here to check out We Turned Out Okay’s How-to Videos menu tab, to learn about how to help your kids eat more fruits and vegetables, how to help them learn to read, and more!

Click here to find out more about the Ninja Parenting Community, the place where I help parents solve their toughest challenges every day.

If you love the show, please rate and review us in Apple Podcasts… That’s how so many people find us. Click here to rate/review, and thanks so much!

Podcast Episode 203: How to “remember the good” at this time of year with Parenting Expert + Returning Champion KJ Dell’Antonia – Holiday Survival Guide Part 2

Welcome! To listen to today’s episode, scroll all the way down to the bottom of this post and hit the triangular “play” button. Enjoy the show!

Today’s guest, returning champion KJ Dell’Antonia of the #AmWriting with Jess and KJ Podcast, brings her best ideas for how you can really enjoy this time of year, no matter what craziness you’ve got going on in your life.

The WTOO annual Parent Holiday Survival Guide goes Beyond Audio in 2017

Each year I bring you resources I know you’ll love as you figure out how to enjoy the holidays. This year I’m psyched because not only do I have audio resources for you, to listen while you drive on endless errands, bake endless cookies, or wrap endless gifts… I’ve got video and Facebook live offerings to help you handle the holidays as well!

Go to weturnedoutokay.com/203 for key links, including:
– KJ’s Happier Parent Holiday Survival Guide PDF
– The We Turned Out Okay Facebook group
– The Latest how-to video (“How to handle holiday kid craziness”)
– Lots more resources to help you handle the holidays! Continue reading “Podcast Episode 203: How to “remember the good” at this time of year with Parenting Expert + Returning Champion KJ Dell’Antonia – Holiday Survival Guide Part 2″