Courage to the lion

Happy Thursday!
Settle in for a longer-than-usual newsletter. Part story, part analysis.
All from the heart.
I am feeling extremely vulnerable in this moment, sharing out this newsletter… All hugs are appreciated <3

Okay, deep breath.…

I have always been afraid. Ever since I can remember anyway.

For me, the fear started when I was sexually abused as a seven-year-old. That completely changed my worldview.

I had been, I am told, a pretty happy-go-lucky kid prior to that.

But my memory is of anxiety, worry, and a fear of being lost.
If we went outside of my ken while driving in the car, I would fearfully ask my mom “are we lost?”
She always told me “nope, we are on an adventure!”

But the anxiety was still there. I always wished I’d never have to leave home once we returned.

When I was about eight years old, I got separated from my mom and brothers at the grocery store.

I concluded that they had left me there… So I started walking home.
Continue reading “Courage to the lion”

359: Setting kids up for an addiction-free life with NYT best-selling author and Mom Jessica Lahey

Greetings! In today’s conversation my guest, Jessica Lahey, and I discuss some big and weighty issues… This would be a good episode to listen to away from sensitive ears or wearing headphones. (It’s an awesome episode, just awesome for us grown-ups : )

Listen to this conversation as well as the 350+ episode back catalog ofWe Turned Out Okay in your favorite podcatcher!
Here are a few choice spots:

Apple Podcasts


Stitcher Podcasts


(I got to meet Jess Lahey in person several years ago, and this picture was taken then : )




I feel an immense sense of gratitude to Jess for coming back on the show (she is a returning champion! Click this link to listen to our first conversation:

Jess is the author of the new book The Addiction Inoculation (which you can order by clicking here! Squee!) Her ideas on educating kids, fostering a sense of trust while keeping children accountable to themselves, and her fearless examination of her own journey with substance abuse are what my gratitude is based in.

But Jess brings so much more to our conversation. She’s funny, not afraid to laugh at herself, and super supportive of her audience, her family, and fellow writers. Talking with Jess is a learning opportunity about:
– What gaslighting is and how it hurts children
– How we can protect our kids against addiction
– How we can develop the most important habits (spoiler: it’s through play and gamifying)

ALSO! It’s the first in our new segment, Triumphs & Misdemeanors, where we get to hear your voices and either celebrate how you have knocked it out of the park – or commune with you if you share an epic fail…
Listen after my conversation with Jess to hear today’s Triumph, and so you can write down the phone number and contribute your own Triumph, or Misdemeanor!

Click to view this conversation in video, and for the bazillion links too! Continue reading “359: Setting kids up for an addiction-free life with NYT best-selling author and Mom Jessica Lahey”

356: The consequences of pushing ourselves too far – Talking with educator Sarah Scheldt M.Ed. today!

Due to the content of our conversation, today’s episode is going to be a good one to listen AWAY from sensitive ears… I think you’re going to love today’s conversation, I know I did! But some topics may be a little intense for, well, littles.

Greetings! I am super excited to bring today’s guest to you, educator and parent coach Sarah Scheldt, M.Ed.!
In today’s conversation I’ll introduce you to Sarah, so you can come to know her and the incredibly helpful, giving person she is.

Today Sarah discusses:
– How to handle your kids’ toughest days and biggest feelings
– How to take care of yourself in the midst of everything going on in your life
– Handling when we do push ourselves too far

Early on in the pandemic Sarah wanted to reach parents outside of her classroom of kids. So she created an amazing free Virtual Summit on “empowering kids.” I felt so honored to be included in the expert speakers for that summit!
Sarah’s second free online series, Kids’ Healthy Bodies, starts on February 15!
(Yay! Click here to sign up!)

In our conversation today Sarah shares on how this upcoming free Virtual Summit will help you get a handle on talking to kids about potentially tough topics like their own bodies, sex, consent, and stopping child sexual abuse.

I’m honored to be a part of this series as well, talking about what to do if you have been the victim of sexual abuse… and you are now raising kids. Continue reading “356: The consequences of pushing ourselves too far – Talking with educator Sarah Scheldt M.Ed. today!”

Nothing but flowers

I’ve had an old Talking Heads song in my head for the last little while.

It’s called (Nothing but) Flowers, and it is truly speaking to my pandemic experience right now.

It’s not a perfect correlation. But this song tells of a future in which everything’s changed.
“This was a Pizza Hut
Now it’s all covered with daisies…

I miss the honky tonks,
Dairy Queens, and 7-Elevens…”

The song doesn’t tell us why the Pizza Hut is all covered with daisies, or where the Dairy Queens and 7-Elevens went.
It seems as if the singer doesn’t really know himself:

“And as things fell apart
Nobody paid much attention…”

But he’s missing things that used to be so common and now are just gone:

Continue reading “Nothing but flowers”

Hello 2021! Please be kind to us.

On Tuesday of last week – in other words, the day before the attempted coup on our federal legislature and national election process – I drove around my town to do a few errands.

It was a new year; I had a bunch of books on knitting socks that had just arrived for me at the library; I had the bandwidth and hand strength to knit something as ambitious as a pair of socks.

I had lots of hope for the future.

Driving to our library, I passed the senior center in my town and saw the following words on their sign:
“Hello 2021! Please be kind to us.”

I smiled and drove on, with hope in my heart.

The town I live in has done an absolutely wonderful job in helping its citizens through the pandemic. Continue reading “Hello 2021! Please be kind to us.”

An update on my health (I was in the hospital last week)

First of all I need to say thank you to so many of you, who have sent me virtual hugs and well wishes since I was in the hospital last week.

I’ve seen them, and I intend to write back to each and every one of you… But for now I hope you’ll settle for a “group” update.

I am slowly healing – really, that’s the update here.

And as I do I am putting on my observer hat, trying to understand what makes me feel better, and what makes me feel worse.

What makes me feel worse:
– Pushing myself too far
– Not taking pain medication
– Worrying
– Feeling guilty for all the things I am not doing for my family
– Feeling like a burden

What makes me feel better:
– Asking for help Continue reading “An update on my health (I was in the hospital last week)”

How was your week? (First week of April 2020)

Happy Friday!

This week I wanted to:
– have one coronavirus-free newsday
– make 3 main-meal lunches
– kick off OkayCon 2020, the FREE Virtual Summit going on all throughout April 2020

Here is the video I made sharing those intentions:

Weekly Friday Assessment

Today at 11 AM EST I did a YouTube live to share about my week!
And I asked you: how did your week go?
Click “play” below:

Notes for the Weekly Assessment Video above (the Friday one : )

How was your week? I hope it was at least all right <3
Go to to share – and if you can, please include one positive thing, no matter how small : )

The way that we get through this “double” pandemic, of coronavirus, and fear, is through supporting each other!

So I’m doing these weekly Monday assessments and Friday intentions videos to help us both stay on track!

Huge thanks to:
Dan Blank of We Grow Media, for letting me bring you the weekly assessment that I learned how to do from Dan!
Check out Dan’s Creative Shift podcast, and the Creative Shift Mastermind, at!

Mark McGuinness of the 21st Century Creative podcast, for reading out Thomas Hardy’s The Darkling Thrush, my inspired moment of the week!
You can listen to Mark read this beautiful poem at:

The wonderful people in the Ninja Parenting Community! (Become one, and get support you need right now at the Friends & Family rate, at

Janine Halloran of, and Heather Maguire of, for being this week’s OkayCon 2023 FREE Virtual Summit guests!
Watch their presentations at:

Wishing you a good weekend,

320.5 Fourteen things you can do to address coronavirus with your family

When my husband Ben went grocery shopping this weekend, there were empty shelves instead of many things we normally get. Earlier in the day there had been not one but two fistfights in our local grocery store over supplies!

If you’re worrying about interruptions in the supply chain, the stock market, and other factors related to (or attributed to, anyway) coronavirus, you are not alone.

And right off the bat I want to say: we will get through this together.

How we get through this is how we get through any crisis: by not panicking. By staying positive. With LOTS of handwashing. And by helping our family members feel safe.

Today I’m sharing ideas for talking with your kids about coronavirus, as well as the best ideas I’ve learned regarding prevention and containment.
I am a child development expert, not a doctor, so I am linking here to several resources that have excellent information on stuff that is out of my purview, such as: Number of cases; who is most likely to get infected; how can you limit your chances of getting coronavirus; and how can you keep kids from getting it, or the flu.

Read on for 14 ideas to help your family, watch the video above to round out those ideas (and check the bottom of this post for the bonus podcast episode I’m doing; should be out sometime late in the first week of March 2020) – and most of all take heart.

We will get through this, together <3 Continue reading “320.5 Fourteen things you can do to address coronavirus with your family”

Emergency surgery for our son

Hi Friends,
if you could direct some of your positive energy up our way here in Massachusetts, it would be much appreciated.

Our son has been in the hospital since Monday, and in 24 hours between yesterday and today, will have undergone three procedures (only one of which was a surgery, but all of which involve anesthesia and scopes.)

The third will be late this morning. And we are hopeful that it will once and for all solve the problem he is experiencing.

This newsletter was supposed to be about something else entirely, and I hope to bring you that newsletter over the weekend.
But in the meantime please keep us in your thoughts if you would.

Here are some positives from the last few days that I would like to share: Continue reading “Emergency surgery for our son”

What direction is your family going in?

I didn’t feel like I had control over the direction our family was going in.”
– Jen, NPC member and Mom of two

When longtime NPC member Jen came on the podcast in spring 2019, I asked her the question “what do you like best about being in the Ninja Parenting Community?”

I thought Jen would say “I love the courses,” or “I get so much out of private parent coaching calls with you Karen,” or even “I love that your parenting e-books are included in membership!”

I thought Jen would share about some individual aspect of the community, some tangible piece that she found helpful.

Instead, her response showed me: it’s not just the courses, or the e-books.
It’s not just the private coaching calls.

The Ninja Parenting Community gives parents the ability to take control of the direction their family is going in.

That is SUCH a big deal!

Imagine having that kind of control.

Imagine knowing how to use positive discipline to get your child to:
– Stop writing on walls
– Speak to you respectfully
– Work out arguments with siblings (instead of screaming or lashing out physically)

Imagine knowing how to overcome issues with school or day care.

Imagine successful potty training.

Imagine knowing how to treat yourself with compassion, how to forgive yourself when you slip up.

These are all hallmarks of a family that is going in the right direction.

And, these are all the things that I work on every day with ninja parents.

If you’re struggling with the direction your family’s going, I hope you’ll join the community that helps parents truly enjoy family time.

Click here to join the Ninja Parenting Community today!

Let’s get you the control over the direction your family is going!
The quote I live by: “The opposite of play is not work. It is depression.” – Brian Sutton-Smith