Podcast Episode 157: Three Steps to Well-Behaved Kids Out In The World

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

The part of a wedding “where they do karate.”

Any graduations, weddings, vacations, or visits with family coming up in your life?
If you’re nervous about how your child will behave, hopefully we can help you feel better by the end of this episode!

As I see it, there are three steps to getting our little kids to behave out in the world (at least – most of the time…)

Click weturnedoutokay.com/157 for the show notes, including an outline of the 3 steps, for a picture of “the wedding where we do karate,” and for key links that come up in this episode! Continue reading “Podcast Episode 157: Three Steps to Well-Behaved Kids Out In The World”

154: Less Strife at Home by Asking A Single Question – Part 1 in the Open-Ended Play Series

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!

What might your child do with cardboard boxes?

What if there was one question you could ask – and the result would be a more harmonious home? (I know, I don’t love the word harmonious either, but it really fits here, so I’m sticking with it.)

A harmonious home is one in which the people who live there enjoy each other’s company, at least more often than not. Differences are worked out peacefully, everybody’s needs are met, and it just feels like a good place to be.

We’re looking at how to make that home a reality in the first of a series I’m creating to help you have:
– Less strife at home
– Better relationships, including smoother experiences out in the world with your young child
– Nobody living in your basement when they’re thirty

Today is all about the at-home part, digging into how you can have a more harmonious home.

Click weturnedoutokay.com/154 for the show notes and key links – including the sign-up button for our upcoming NPC FAQ Q&A on Wednesday, May 10th, 2017 at 1 PM EST!

Continue reading “154: Less Strife at Home by Asking A Single Question – Part 1 in the Open-Ended Play Series”

151: When Your Child Shouts “No” At You – Part 4 in the Common Parenting Challenges Series

Come to my free, live, online class on handling Common Parenting Challenges!

Why: to learn :
– how to avoid fighting about parenting stuff with your spouse
what to do when your child rebels against your daily schedule
– how to teach your young child patience
– how to handle your young child’s disrespectful “No!”

When: Thursday, April 20, 2017, 8 PM EST

Class is interactive – bring your questions!

You’ll receive a free, downloadable reference for the next time you come up against one of these challenges…

Sign up for “How to Handle 4 Common Parenting Challenges” by clicking the button below:
Click Here to Register

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!

Recently I spoke with a mom to 2- and 4-year-old girls. Her youngest is just starting to push back (as all 2-year-olds do) – and she’s pushing back some times really disrespectfully!

Shouting “no!”

Sometimes lashing out.

Refusing, disrespectfully, to do what her mom needs her to do.

Sound familiar? That’s why we’re including this subject in the Common Parenting Challenges series!

Find out how to handle it when your child is disrespectful by clicking weturnedoutokay.com/151, where you’ll find show notes and key links – including the sign up to the free, live wrap-up to the Common Parenting Challenges series, happening Thursday, April 20, 2017 at 8 PM EST!

Trouble with tantrums?

With littles, meltdowns are hard to avoid.

So I came up with the HEART method to help you:
– remain calm
– stop worrying about judginess with public tantrums
– know you’re not alone

To calmly, decisively handle every on of your child’s tantrums, click the button below!

Click Here to Get the Guide

Handling disrespect and shouted “no’s” has an easy-to-understand solution… But one that’s really tough to put into practice.

Step 1: Ignore the disrespectful ways of saying “no.”

Step 2: Model and tell your child what to say instead.

Step 3: Use redirection, especially with toddlers.

It can be so difficult to ignore the “no!”
But I know you can do it – if I can do it, anyone can, seriously.

While you’re ignoring disrespectful screaming, and even perhaps hitting or kicking or other acting-out, you’re modeling calmness and patience. When/if you can, try to overtly tell your child what he or she can say instead:

“We don’t hit in our family. You can say “I’m angry” or “I’m frustrated” instead.”

If you’re using redirection, continue with something like “Will you put on your sneakers or your boots today?”

Simple in concept, right?

I know you can do this this.

Questions or comments? Click here to share.

Key Links:

Want to listen to the How to Make No Sound Like Yes episode? Click here.

Click here for the first Common Parenting Challenge, episode 142 about how to handle disagreements with your parenting partner.

Listen to the second Common Parenting Challenge, episode 145 about how to help your child adhere to your daily schedule by clicking here.

Click here for the third Common Parenting Challenge, episode 148 about teaching patience to your young child.

148: Is It Possible to Teach Patience to Young Children? Common Parenting Challenges, Part 3

Come to my free, live, online class on handling Common Parenting Challenges!

Why: to learn :
– how to avoid fighting about parenting stuff with your spouse
what to do when your child rebels against your daily schedule
– how to teach your young child patience
– how to handle your young child’s disrespectful “No!”

When: Thursday, April 20, 2017, 8 PM EST

Class is interactive – bring your questions!

You’ll receive a free, downloadable reference for the next time you come up against one of these challenges…

Sign up for “How to Handle 4 Common Parenting Challenges” by clicking the button below:
Click Here to Register

Look familiar?

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

“When [my young daughter] is being impatient or persistent about doing something: at this age, how would I teach her to be patient?”

When listener Sherif asked this question recently, I knew it had to be part of the Common Parenting Challenges series!

Sherif asks some really pertinent follow-up questions:
– Is that possible at this age?
– Should I just distract her with something else?
– Should I stand my ground which will make her upset?
– If I give in to what she wants, is this teaching her how to always get her way?

Go to weturnedoutokay.com/148 to learn how to teach patience to your young child – and to sign up for the upcoming free, live Common Parenting Challenges online class, coming up Thursday, April 20!

 

Trouble with tantrums?

With littles, meltdowns are hard to avoid.

So I came up with the HEART method to help you:
– remain calm
– stop worrying about judginess with public tantrums
– know you’re not alone

To calmly, decisively handle every on of your child’s tantrums, click the button below!

Click Here to Get the Guide

 

I’m sure you’ve had some version of Sherif’s questions, especially when your child became a toddler. Here are my answers to these questions:

How do I teach patience to my young child? Is that possible at this age?

– I suggest that we don’t so much “teach” patience as “model” patience. Sherif’s daughter is 2, a notoriously difficult age for impatience – but each age has its own challenges, and even slightly older children (up till five or six) benefit from our modeling of patience. I guess, no matter what age our kids are they can benefit from our modeling of patience!

Should I just distract her with something else?

– I like to give distraction its fancypants biz name: Redirection. Redirection is really important in raising young kids! So, yes, Sherif – redirect away : )

Should I stand my ground which will make her upset?

– In parenting, often times we have to pick our battles. Definitely, stand your ground sometimes (we never ever let kids run into the street, that’s one we ALWAYS stand our ground on); the trick is in knowing which battles to pick!

If I give in to what she wants, is this teaching her how to always get her way?

– The short answer: Yes. Giving in teaches kids that, if they protest long enough and loud enough they’ll get what they want.
Giving in is the quickest way to more, longer, and louder meltdowns; much easier to create good, firm limits and don’t let them drop.

Sherif, and you if you’re not Sherif but you’re in this position, I hope this answers your questions! Is not always easy to model patience and follow-through. But it is what works best with young children.

Questions or comments? Give me a holler at weturnedoutokay.com/contact.

Key Links:

Click here for the first Common Parenting Challenges installment, episode 142 about disagreeing with your child-rearing partner over parenting stuff.

Click here for the second Common Parenting Challenges installment, episode 145 about how to handle it when your young child rebels against your schedule.

Check out the book I wrote to help parents handle all the challenges little kids throw at us, Positive Discipline Ninja Tactics, in Amazon. It’s really helpful for when you need a quick tactic to use immediately!

Click here to find out more about the Ninja Parenting Community, the place where I work closely with moms and dads just like you to handle their kids’ bad behavior, advocate for their children, and overall be happier in parenting.

145: When Kids Rebel Against Your Daily Schedule: Common Parenting Challenges Part 2

Come to my free, live, online class on handling Common Parenting Challenges!

Why: to learn :
– how to avoid fighting about parenting stuff with your spouse
what to do when your child rebels against your daily schedule
– how to teach your young child patience
– how to handle your young child’s disrespectful “No!”

When: Thursday, April 20, 2017, 8 PM EST

Class is interactive – bring your questions!

You’ll receive a free, downloadable reference for the next time you come up against one of these challenges…

Sign up for “How to Handle 4 Common Parenting Challenges” by clicking the button below:
Click Here to Register

Welcome! To listen to today’s episode, scroll all the way down to the bottom o

Marla, the mom I spoke with in episode 82, created this scheduled to streamline busy mornings with daughter Gracie. (She did a great job : )

f this post and hit the triangular “play” button. Enjoy the show!

“My four-year-old daughter is fine with our schedule a lot of the time. But sometimes she rejects it altogether! How can I make it so she’s going along?”

Recently I spoke with a mom who shared 3 key parenting struggles; I knew that you’d be struggling (most likely, anyway) with the same stuff, so I’ve put together a series of Common Parenting Challenges based on our conversation.

Today, we dig into scheduling!

Sometimes kids really rail against a schedule of any kind. How to help? Listen to today’s episode : )

Click weturnedoutokay.com/145 for complete show notes and key links – including “Helping Marla Streamline Busy Mornings” episode 82, and to sign up for two things: the upcoming free, live NPC FAQ Q&A on March 30, 8 PM EST (where you can get a free copy of Positive Discipline Ninja Tactics); and the free, live Common Parenting Challenges class on Thursday night April 20, 8 PM EST!

 

Get a FREE copy of the book that helps you simultaneously raise kids and stay sane!

What: I’m hosting a live Q&A about the Ninja Parenting Community (not coincidentally, built to help you simultaneously raise kids and stay sane : )

When: Get your questions answered – and get your free copy of the book – on
Thursday, March 30, 2017 8 PM EST

How: Sign up just by clicking the button below!
Click Here to Register

 

The Common Parenting Challenge:

“My four-year-old daughter is fine with our schedule a lot of the time. But sometimes she rejects it all together! How can I make it so she’s going along with our morning schedule?”

Nothing will work one hundred percent of the time; much as we wish it differently when they’re small, kids need to go their own way sometimes. (As much as we wish they would obey our every command, believe me, we do not wish this when they’re older – unless we heartily wish they were still living with us, depending upon us, at age 35!)

When your child is balking at your schedule, and yet you still need to get up, eat breakfast, and get out the door, try this:

The evening before, as he’s settling in to bed, bring them tomorrow schedule and ask him: which would you like to do first tomorrow, brush your teeth or get dressed?

Giving kids some autonomy, some choices in their schedule, can make a huge difference to their adherence to the schedule. When we give them choices it helps them own the schedule; humans really love to have some say in how they spend their days.

Two notes of caution: first, two-year-olds often have a tougher time handling choices in a schedule (no surprise – they’re barely verbal and are in a tougher, more tempestuous place than, say, your average four-year-old.)

I’d advise trying this with kids younger than four, but just know that it may not work as well!

Secondly, make sure that the “reward” – the time with you, the time in front of the tube, the time listening/dancing to music – is still at the end; they need that reward to work towards.

Questions? Give me a holler at weturnedoutokay.com/contact!

Key Links:

This mom with whom I spoke made her schedule after listening to episode 82, Helping Marla Streamline Busy Mornings – listen to that episode by clicking here!

Part 1 of Common Parenting Challenges: listen to episode 142, about working through disagreements with your spouse regarding child rearing, by clicking here.

Click here to find out more about the Ninja Parenting Community, the place where I work closely with moms and dads just like you to handle their kids’ bad behavior, advocate for their children, and overall be happier in parenting.

142: What to do if you and your spouse are not on the same page – Part 1 in the Common Parenting Challenges Series

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!

You don’t want your kids to have any more screen time – and your spouse plops them in front of the tube. You know that giving in to a temper tantrum is the fastest route to more, and longer, temper tantrums; yet your spouse gives in again and again.

Sound familiar?

Today we talk all about how to handle when your spouse isn’t on the same page (and your page is the right page).

Recently while talking with a mom of 2 young girls, some pretty major – and common – parenting issues came up. I knew that, if this mom is struggling with these issues, that you probably are as well!
Hence our series: Common Parenting Challenges. Join us during the March and April Just You and Me episodes as we address these parenting challenges one by one!

Read the show notes, get the How to Handle Every Temper Tantrum guide, and listen to the show by going to https://weturnedoutokay.com/142!

Come to my free, live, online class on handling Common Parenting Challenges!

Why: to learn :
– how to avoid fighting about parenting stuff with your spouse
what to do when your child rebels against your daily schedule
– how to teach your young child patience
– how to handle your young child’s disrespectful “No!”

When: Thursday, April 20, 2017, 8 PM EST

Class is interactive – bring your questions!

You’ll receive a free, downloadable reference for the next time you come up against one of these challenges…

Sign up for “How to Handle 4 Common Parenting Challenges” by clicking the button below:
Click Here to Register

 

This is such a common parenting challenge; so often each parent feels that their way is the correct way, and both have trouble agreeing on a way forward. Worse, it can be easy to get into an argument in front of the kids!

Here’s what to do if you find yourself in this situation:

– away from the kids, agree on some guidelines for “how much screen time/when;” “how to live through a temper tantrum without giving in;” rules for meal time, etc.

Speaking of temper tantrums – if you’re looking for a way to handle them, click the button below to download my free How to Handle Every Temper Tantrum guide! It even comes with a fridge-worthy, printable infographic so that everybody’s on the same page in handling a temper tantrum.

Click Here to Get the Guide

 

– choose a Word that either of you can invoke whenever things get uncomfortable; when one of you says this word, it’s an indication to the other that, before you continue discussing “this” in front of kids, the two of you need to talk privately.
This Word is an instrumental part of our parenting here in the Kolp household, we use it personally and I bet it could be really useful for you!

– work to have consistency with rules, so that one isn’t allowing something the other feels uncomfortable with

Stay tuned for Part 2 in the Common Parenting Challenges series! And if you have a Common Parenting Fail, something you’re struggling with in your home, get in touch! Let me know what it is, and hopefully I can address it on the show and get you some help.

Go to https://weturnedoutokay.com/contact to share, and have a great day!

139: 3 Ways to Help Your Anxious Child

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!

When listener Marcy wrote recently, asking for help with her son, whom “counselors and therapists believe may be suffering from depression and anxiety,” and the decision to either keep him in school or pull him out to homeschool, I initially thought I’d answer her question in a Your Child Explained episode, and address the school-homeschool decision.

On reflection, however, I saw something bigger in Marcy’s question and decided to focus this Just You and Me episode on the bigger issue: how to help when a child is anxious or depressed.

Kids can be anxious and/or depressed for any number of reasons.

As parents, even if we are not completely sure what’s causing the worries and anxiety, it’s our job to do everything we can to help.

Click weturnedoutokay.com/139 to read Marcy’s full question and the three ways I identify to help, as well as links to other helpful resources!

Today’s show is brought to you by the We Turned Out Okay free guide to Handling Every Temper Tantrum:

With littles, meltdowns are hard to avoid.

So I came up with the HEART method to help you:
– remain calm
– stop worrying about judginess with public tantrums
– know you’re not alone

To calmly, decisively handle every on of your child’s tantrums, click the button below!

Click Here to Get the Guide

 

Marcy writes:
“Hello, I have a 12-year-old son in 6 grade. He has been refusing to go to school on and off ever since fifth grade. We’ve taken him to counselors and therapists and they believe he may be suffering from depression and anxiety. We are scheduling a meeting with a child psychologist. His teachers enjoy having him in class and he understands his assignments and subjects. He just says it’s too boring and you don’t have enough time to talk to friends when you are in school.
In the meantime, do you have any suggestions on how to get him to school or should we just homeschool or online school? His teachers, counselors, and therapists don’t suggest we go down the homeschool online route.
HELP!!!!”

As I try to do whenever y’all write in with a question, I sent Marcy book suggestions that I thought would help her make the decision about whether to keep her son in school or begin homeschooling.

Then, as I was preparing to answer this question in the podcast, I realized that it’s a much bigger question than To School or Not To School.

Regardless of whether Marcy’s son stays in school or comes out, he still has anxiety and depression. And, while I’m not a therapist or psychologist, my training and experience as a teacher and parent helped me identify three important factors in aiding our anxious children:

1) Spend time with them.
Especially, spend time doing the things that your kids love to do: throwing a ball together, swimming, stamp-collecting, play dough – it doesn’t matter as long as it’s together time WITHOUT screens.

2) Listen to them; answer their questions.
This can be harder than it appears! Listening requires setting aside our own ideas and expectations, to truly hear what our sons and daughters have to say.
Marcy, because your son is articulating that he is bored in school and doesn’t feel that he has enough time for friends there, I believe that if you can find ways to alleviate the boredom and help him connect with friends, that may be something that’s truly helpful in your situation.
As we listen to our kids talk, we also need to especially listen for their questions, which won’t always be in the form of questions.
Is the child looking for reassurance that you’ll help him get through a certain situation? Is she looking for your ideas to help her come through this tough time? Do they just need a hug and your communication that you understand what they’re going through?
Knowing that your mom or dad is in your corner – that they’re always there for you even if you’ve gotten in trouble or don’t know what to do – is what 2) is all about.

3) Adopt and keep a solid routine.
Eating dinner together as a family, limiting screens in the hours before bedtime, making sure kids are in bed in time for a good night’s sleep – these are key to helping children surmount anxiety and depression.

Key Links:

Click here for last week’s episode, my conversation with licensed mental health counselor Janine Halloran of copingskillsforkids.com.

Click here for author Alfie Kohn’s Amazon page; Alfie’s entire career has been spent learning about kids’ reactions to school and he’s got many great suggestions on the best mindset we can have as parents about kids and school.

Click here to look into the book I wrote about every day discipline, Positive Discipline Ninja Tactics, and here to learn more about the Ninja Parenting Community, where I get to work more closely with you if you’re worried about your child (or your own sanity while you raise him or her).

136: How Making Friends With The Person In The Mirror Helps Your Kids

Note (2/13/17) : The Friendly Mirror 10-day Challenge is currently closed to new participants.
Stay tuned, because soon the Challenge will be open again!

Maybe you think that self-acceptance and self-forgiveness are fine for other people, but not for you (I know I used to feel this way.)

I work with a lot of moms and dads who struggle with this – and the struggle 100% affects their parenting, and thus their kids.

If you need a kick in the pants – or a guide into the world of not scowling in the mirror – then sign up for my free Friendly Mirror 10-day challenge!

The Challenge will be conducted via video modules and a live interactive training session; specifically, each day for 10 days you’ll get the latest video module, sometimes with a mini-assignment to complete if you choose. We’ll wrap up with a live training session to answer your questions and work on keeping our great momentum going…

Click here to sign up!

The idea of goals is really resonating with y’all right now, judging from my inbox, Facebook page, and podcast download statistics…
Today we spend a little bit more time on this track, when I extend on listener Eri’s question about how the ability to accept and forgive ourselves impacts our children.

Each night for a little over a year, I have had a very specific conversation.

In the mirror, with myself.

Today I teach you exactly how to have that conversation – and why it’s so important.

For key links including to the books I reference in today’s episode, for written directions to the nightly mirror conversation, and to listen go to https://weturnedoutokay.com/136!

If you’re a little freaked out about talking to yourself in the mirror, maybe it’s because you struggle with the ideas of self-acceptance and self-forgiveness in general…

Here’s how to overcome that and talk with yourself each night in the mirror:

1) Commit to at least three months of doing this each night. After that, as Jack Canfield says in his book The Success Principles, you can decide if you want to keep it up. (I’ve kept it up for more than fifteen months now, and expect to do it for the rest of my life – that’s how important this exercise is for myself… and my family.)
I wrote the 3-month end date on my calendar, so I could decide at that point whether to keep going with it or not.
I loved the idea of just doing it until my calendar told me to make the decision; by that time, I knew I was committed for life.

2) Tonight, stand in the mirror and smile at yourself.

3) Speak out loud, telling yourself about the good things you accomplished today, expressing gratitude about anything good that happened to you today, forgiving yourself if you didn’t hit a goal or committed an action that you’re unhappy with; hurting feelings, overeating, missing a workout or job-related goal.
Use your name: “hey ______, you had a really great day today…”

4) At the end of your chat with yourself, tell yourself “good night, I love you. I’ll talk to you tomorrow night.”

It’s really hard to hate yourself AND simultaneously have this conversation/smile at yourself in the mirror.
As a result you are holding yourself accountable – to yourself.

When you disappoint yourself, you’ll find it easier to forgive yourself in the mirror; forgiving yourself raises the empathy level; raising the empathy level helps you view loved ones, especially children, with empathy instead of anger if they do something wrong…

And now you’re able to forgive them, too.

You’re able to be the mentor they need… Someone they can trust; someone who will help them forgive themselves.

And now there’s this great virtuous circle going on!

I know how “woo-woo California” this all sounds, and all I can say is it’s been the most powerful force for good in my life.

Don’t knock it till you try it!

Key Links:

Click here for the Friendly Mirror Facebook group.

Click here to sign up for the daily 10-day Friendly Mirror challenges (starting Monday, February 13).

Click here for the Amazon link to Jack Canfield’s The Success Principles.

Click here for Sarah ban Breathnach’s wonderful book, Simple Abundance.

Click here for episode 130, our second annual goal-setting episode, and here for episode 135, in which I answer Eri’s question about affirmations and self-acceptance/forgiveness.

133: Two Ways to Handle Your Child’s Jedi Mind Tricks

Get a FREE copy of the book that helps you simultaneously raise kids and stay sane!

What: I’m hosting a live Q&A about the Ninja Parenting Community (not coincidentally, built to help you simultaneously raise kids and stay sane : )

When: Get your questions answered – and get your free copy of the book – on
Thursday, February 2, 2017 8 PM EST

How: Sign up just by clicking the button below!
Click Here to Register

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

Just about a year ago, on the Flipped Lifestyle podcast, co-host Shane Sams asked me if what I do here at We Turned Out Okay is to teach people how to combat their kids’ “evil Jedi mind tricks” – which I thought was such a great definition!

In the last few weeks my family and I saw and loved Rogue 1, and also mourned the loss of Carrie Fisher; it seems fitting to talk about all that with you today, sharing two great ways to combat your child’s Jedi mind tricks.

Want a free copy of Positive Discipline Ninja Tactics, the book I wrote to help you handle everything your child can throw at you?

Come to the live NPC FAQ Q&A!
This coming Thursday night, February 2, at 8 PM EST you can:
look inside the Ninja Parenting Community
listen as I address lots of frequently asked questions
ask your questions!

And just for showing up at the Q&A you’ll receive a free copy of Positive Discipline Ninja Tactics! Up until now the book has only been available in Amazon – get it for free at the Q&A : )

To sign up for the NPC FAQ Q&A – and for notes to today’s show, go to weturnedoutokay.com/133!

Here are the 2 ways we discuss today to combat Jedi mind tricks:

1) A short and sweet, but so effective, mindset shift: The 1-Word Exercise.
I get down to the nitty-gritty of doing this exercise, and why it works, today;

click here to get the free guide I put together on the 1-Word exercise!

2) Join the Ninja Parenting Community:

 

If you like what you hear on We Turned Out Okay, but you feel like it’s not quite enough…
If you want more personal help and advice from me…
The Ninja Parenting Community is the place for you to get that help!

– We’ve got classes, like Sanity With Kids, to help you simultaneously raise your children and retain your sanity
– Parent-Coaching calls: one “starter” call for monthly members and one each quarter for annual members
– Forums where I personally help and advise members – and where we all support each other

Now is the perfect time to join, because you get beta pricing and it’s really built out to help you most.
This coming Friday the cost will double when we leave beta, so click this link to see what it’s all about!

130: How Goal-Setting Can Help You Have a Happier Parenting Life

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

This early in the new year, everyone is thinking about resolutions and how to keep them; today, I’m asking you to think a little bit differently about resolutions – in fact, I’m asking you to not even use the word “resolution!”

I prefer the shorter, less-charged “goals.”

Goals can be short-term, medium-term, or long… And the goals we choose for ourselves today don’t just help us; the goals we choose and start working toward today help our children as well.

In our second-annual show about goals, I share mine, I share how I did with last year’s, and I ask you to share yours with me! (Which you can do by going to weturnedoutokay.com/contact.)

Today’s show is brought to you by the Ninja Parenting Community… If you’re raising little kids and feeling overwhelmed; if you could use some accountability and support –

Join us inside our membership community, and get access to:
– courses like the one I just finished up, Sanity With Kids
– live, members-only calls
– direct feedback on how to get through your toughest challenges
– the support of a community where we’re all working to worry less and enjoy more while raising our kids
– beta pricing – but only for a little while… we leave beta very soon, so you want to get in before the price goes up!
Click here to check out Ninja Parenting Community, I hope to see you in the forums!

To read my goal setting report card, and for key links I talk about in this episode (including to the awesome podcast #amwriting with Jess and KJ, and last year’s goalsetting episode), click weturnedoutokay.com/130!

This past year, I did well with my personal and family-type goals:
– I spent lots of time with family and friends
– I worked to support Ben and our boys in all the ways I could
– I forgave myself when I screwed up and continued with a nightly “conversation-in-the-mirror,” a tradition started in 2015 which seems pretty nuts at first, but, as you hear in this episode, has been the single most important aspect of keeping myself well.

Also, I expanded my horizons in podcasting and online:
– each week, even through my Dad’s concussion/emergency brain surgery spring and summer, and largely thanks to my producer and 19-time winner of the husband of the year award Ben, we never missed a single episode – podcasts always dropped when they were supposed to.
– With you in mind, I spoke with some amazing people, who knew things I knew that you would need to know! It’s made me so happy to serve you in this way, and I’m so excited to continue doing this : )
– I wrote a book about how to survive the tough challenges of parenting, and built a community around the book and podcast… I loved this process, I learned a lot, and now I’m super excited because the community is built out with lots of stuff to help parents of young children survive and thrive, even when things are tough (maybe, especially then)
Check out the book here, and the community here.

And now – on to 2017!

This year I tried something new: I chose a word of the year.

My word: service.

It’s helping me focus on what’s most important:
– podcast, community, free guides – everything I do for you I do with the word “service” in mind, because I have a lot of knowledge that, as the parent of young kids, I think you’d find very useful!
– loved ones – my word helped me figure out how to serve them best; I’m taking one thing off Ben’s plate each week, I’m working hard to not “ignore” our teen and tween (I share a lot about The Breakfast Club today, and that’s where this idea of ignoring kids comes from)
– me – my word is helping me treat myself well; I am doing an experiment, with food, that is really tough but also quite short – just thirty days – and I hope to come out of it knowing better what I can eat and what I can’t (what sets off my chronic illness and what doesn’t); my word is also helping me take care of myself in other ways, such as continuing to talk to myself in the mirror… Exercising… Making time for sports and hobbies that I love… Remembering the expression:

My Alone Time Is For Your Safety : )

So, that’s where I am this January!

What about you? Wishing you all the best as you work towards your goals. Please get in touch if I can help!

Trouble with tantrums?

With littles, meltdowns are hard to avoid.

So I came up with the HEART method to help you:
– remain calm
– stop worrying about judginess with public tantrums
– know you’re not alone

To calmly, decisively handle every on of your child’s tantrums, click the button below!

Click Here to Get the Guide

Key Links:
Click here for the wonderful #amwriting podcast by KJ Dell’Antonia and Jessica Lahey, a great listen even if you are not a writer!

Click here for last year’s goal-setting episode, in which I lay out the goals that I’ve been working towards all of 2016.

If you want to check out the book about how to get through the toughest parenting moments in Amazon, click here.

Feel better in your parenting! Check out the Ninja Parenting Community by clicking here.

127: Ending the Year with A Great Story

Diane
My brother and I were kind of mortified about the party barge – until we got on it and had a ball… Which has absolutely nothing to do with today’s story!I just love this picture of my Mom. My brother looks adorable too.

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

The story I tell today really happened. The year I was nine, we headed up to Montréal from our home in New England to spend the Christmas holidays with our extended family as usual.

But this trip was anything except for “usual!”

It took us more than 54 hours to complete the trip – which normally takes 8-hours – and included many harrowing moments as my mom tried desperately to get herself and us 3 kids safely to her

Dad, my brothers, and me – on a camping trip in our beloved bunkhouse trailer.
The good old Ford Country Squire! Here we are camping – my Dad, my brothers, and me (Mom took the picture.)

once-a-year time with the family she loved and missed so much.

 

Click weturnedoutokay.com/127 for links to WGBH studios – where I was invited to tell this story live on stage – and to Mass Mouth, the awesome Massachusetts storytelling organization!

 

Key Links:

Click here to go to WGBH, and here for Mass Mouth.
Are you feeling overwhelmed in your parenting?
Check out the Ninja Parenting Community, for expert advice about how to handle anything your kids throw at you!
We’ve got training courses – like the Sanity With Kids course, about staying sane even while raising kids – exclusive members-only calls, vibrant forums, and lots of ways to feel better.
Click here to check out the community, I hope to see you in the forums!

Bonus: How to Handle Disagreements at This Year’s Holiday Gatherings

If this is what you're worried about at holiday gatherings this year, you're not alone.
If this is what you’re worried about at holiday gatherings this year, you’re not alone.

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

I’m cranking up the mic for two reasons today:

1) listening back to episode 123, where Ninja Parenting Community member Sabrina shared her concerns about holiday overwhelm and helping her girls handle gift-giving, I wanted to create something to help you if you’re facing those same problems…

So, I did! Download the FREE 3 Principles of Kids and Gifts if you want help:
– cutting through the gift giving insanity and overwhelm
– finding solutions that work for your whole family – including you.
– Truly enjoying celebrations, with less stress

Click this link to download them today and make the most of the season!

2) an article I read in the paper today, two Saturdays before Christmas eve, really got me thinking about a problem unique to the family gatherings we will all be attending this year. The article reads in part:
“But some non-Trump voters are not yet in a place where they can joke.
That includes [a Dad who shall remain nameless, because he represents a great many people listening today] and his family. This year they will not go to his wife’s great aunt’s Christmas gathering, in large part for fear of an argument breaking out in front of their 6-year-old daughter.
“She doesn’t understand why people like this person, said [this Dad], referring to Trump, “and to explain to her that people in her own family like this person – it would be a lot for her to process.”
– “Can The Holidays Be Happy?” The Boston Globe, Saturday, December 10th, 2016

In the wake of that article, I’m wondering: how are you?

Are you worrying about attending family gatherings this year, when it all feels so contentious?

I really hope this episode helps you, if that’s the case. Click here to get the full show notes and key links!

Here are several points to ponder as you make your decision about going to these gatherings, or bringing your kids:

– first of all, there may not even be any arguments.
I’m a worrier myself, and I’ve worked hard to surmount the idea of worrying about something that has a not even happened yet.
Today I’m asking you to do the same – don’t avoid holiday parties due to a fear of arguments breaking out.
Instead, handle them as they happen, because they may not even happen!

– if there are arguments:
1) Model respectful disagreement for your son or daughter.
Walk away from someone who’s pushing you toward an argument, do not engage. And while you’re not engaging, continue to treat that person respectfully.

2) Know that your child need not be involved in the argument.
Please shelter kids from adult concerns; they do not need to know the political affiliations of all your relatives.

3) Put yourself into the shoes of your disagreeing relatives.
Ask yourself: why might they feel that way? What fears do they have that they go to bed with every night that cause them to vote in such an opposite way from you?

If their views are truly anathema to you – you’re a firm believer in sparkly holiday sweaters while they favor Aran cable-knit fisherman’s sweaters, and no amount of persuasive discussion will change that crazyballs idea – feel free to avoid them (while treating them with respect!)

But more likely, it’s not that cut-and-dried.

More likely, they go to bed with the same worries and fears for their kids and our world as you do.

If you feel like that’s the case, in my experience that makes you a little less far apart on whatever spectrum you’re considering, political or religious, organic versus not organic, paleo versus vegetarian, decaf versus hi-test.

I always end up realizing, when I try to view the world through someone else’s shoes, that we are closer than I originally thought.

I hope you feel the same, and that this episode helps you stress a little bit less over the holidays!

Key Links:
Here is the Boston Globe article that started me thinking about extra stresses on families during this particular holiday season.

Are you feeling overwhelmed in your parenting?
Check out the Ninja Parenting Community, for expert advice about how to handle anything your kids throw at you!
We’ve got training courses – like the Sanity With Kids course, about staying sane even while raising kids – exclusive members-only calls, vibrant forums, and lots of ways to feel better.
Click here to check out the community, I hope to see you in the forums!

124: How to Help Your Kids with Anxiety Over New Situations, Travel and Family Edition – Holiday Survival Guide, Part 2

restaurant-358238_640Welcome! 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!

Recently I did an episode called How to Help Kids Cope with Anxiety Over New Situations, episode 117 – and it got near-record downloads.

In episode 117, we helped Melissa figure out how to help her kids handle new situations better – and even how to handle new situations better herself.

(Episode 117 is a recording of a coaching call with a Ninja Parenting Community member – if you want to become a member of our community and get all your parenting questions answered, click here.)

The amount of downloads made me realize something: Melissa is not the only one listening with some anxiety over new situations!

Today, I dig into the idea of anxiety, especially when travel and extended family are involved.

Recorded in December, I hope this episode helps you prepare for year-end gatherings and holiday celebrations.

If you’re listening after the holidays, it will still be helpful because new situations happen all the time, we parents often expose our kids to new situations, even outside of this season.

Click weturnedoutokay.com/124 for full show notes and key links. I hope this episode helps you!

How do we handle this type of situation – the crowded dining tables, the meals that last for hours, extended car or airline travel, sleeping in unfamiliar spaces such as hotel rooms or Grandma’s den?

Today, I propose that we focus on something that may seem a little counterintuitive:

empathy.

Taking on our children’s perspective can be so helpful, especially when strangers/friends/extended family are exerting pressure on us.

If you’re getting criticized for giving your toddler avocado at the Christmas dinner table; when your dad mentions “you weren’t this whiny when you were small;” I’m sure you can think of a few occasions where something similar has happened to you – focusing on your child’s needs and tuning all that out is key to getting through the tougher parts of unusual situations with your child.

Having been there myself, I know that it’s pretty tough in the moment!

But it gets easier, and often your relatives end up having a grudging respect for you simply because you’re doing what your child needs.

I leave you today with a great piece of advice:

Think like a grandparent.

Think: “will this really matter in a decade?”

The negative stuff – remark from the peanut gallery, whining and other stresses – falls away (if we let it).

What we’re left with our great memories of the good moments; I share a few of my favorite “good moment” stories today.

Wishing you well as you go out and make your own “good moment” stories!

Key Links:
The original How to Help Kids Cope With Anxiety over New Situations, episode 117, is available here.

Think like a grandparent – the best advice ever – originally came from We Turned Out Okay guest Daniel Wolff. Click here to listen to my conversation with Daniel!

Are you feeling overwhelmed in your parenting?
Check out the Ninja Parenting Community, for expert advice about how to handle anything your kids throw at you!
We’ve got training courses – like the Sanity With Kids course, about staying sane even while raising kids – exclusive members-only calls, vibrant forums, and lots of ways to feel better.
Click here to check out the community, I hope to see you in the forums!

121: Stuff vs. Experiences: The Holiday Survival Guide, Part One

img_1871Welcome! To listen to today’s show, scroll down to the bottom of this post and click the triangular “play” button. Enjoy the show!

On November 4 of this year, we heard our very first Christmas commercial, prompting my youngest and I to freak out a little bit.

I mean, November 4! We’re still eating Halloween candy on November 4, we’re not ready to even think about Thanksgiving, never mind the crazy end-of-the-year extravaganza the holiday season is nowadays.

So my question is: how are you feeling?
Are you stressed out about the holidays?

If so, you’re going to love these next weeks of We Turned Out Okay.

We’ve got conversations coming up with guests who share practical advice for feeling better right now, and the 2-part Holiday Survival guide to give you the support and solace you need to bring your family through this season with smiles on all your faces.

Today: I share an embarrassing story, because I want you to learn from my greedy mistake that experiences matter lots more than stuff.

It’s so easy to forget that at this time of year.

Click weturnedoutokay.com/121 for show notes and key links, and enjoy the show!

The year Max (now 16) was four, my youngest brother scraped together what I’m sure was an excessive amount of money to give our son a really wonderful present: 2 railway cars for his Thomas the Tank Engine set.

Somewhere in the lead-up to that Christmas, I got the impression that he was going to give even more, though. When I asked him about that on Christmas day (I’m literally cringing as I write this), and he stumbled through his response that he just didn’t have any more cash, I realized how incredibly greedy I was being.

Mortified, I vowed that I would never make anybody feel as uncomfortable as my poor brother felt that day again!

Watching Max enjoy the trains with his uncle, I learned on that long ago Christmas that it’s the experiences that matter so very much more than the stuff.

And that’s what today’s episode is all about.

As you head into the holidays, consider what experiences you can give your kids, instead of tallying the material goods they’ll be accumulating.

I know you want to give your kids everything – I totally understand that!

But please remember me, and the lesson I learned from wanting MORE trains.

Please remember (as the picture up there says):

Kids spell love T-I-M-E.

Key Links:

Check out touringplans.com, a website that helped us have the Disney/Universal Studios vacation of our dreams – by helping us figure out an itinerary that saved us tons of waiting time.

If you’re struggling with the day-to-day of child-rearing, my book might save you some stress:
click here to check out Positive Discipline Ninja Tactics: Key Tools to Handle Every Temper Tantrum, Keep Your Cool, and Enjoy Life With Your Young Child.

117: Three Ways to Talk to Your Kids About The Election

Welcome – to listen to today’s episode, scroll down to the bottom of this post and click the triangular “play” button…

The gist of this show is, we take care of each other. It’s going to be okay.

This morning I woke up to pandemonium, with Canadian loved ones seriously offering their homes… Some of the calmest people that I know terrified and freaking out… My Facebook feed – like yours, I’m sure – filled with tears and panic.

Because half the country was pro–her, and the other half of the country pro-him, we were all going to know some people who hate and fear the results of yesterday’s presidential election.

What resonated with me most: parents asking “how do I tell my kids about this?”

Here’s how I talked to my boys this morning: I posted a quote to ponder.

In the recent Boston Globe Magazine Women & Power issue, Axcelis Technologies CEO Mary G. Puma was asked how she handles crisis. She responded that a mentor of hers used to say (here comes the quote):

“Never waste a good crisis.”

Meaning: how can we move forward?

I wanted this episode to use today’s “good crisis” as a catalyst, to help us all bring our kids through tough stuff.

So, I got in here a little earlier than usual in hopes of making you feel better if you are, shall we say, not your usual calm self.

Click weturnedoutokay.com/117 to read about the three ways you can help your kids, and talk to them about this election!

1) Most of all, our kids need us to be calm, and to communicate safety. Especially for the very young, they will neither know nor care what is causing us to flip out – all they’ll know is that we are flipping out.

As former assistant secretary of National Homeland Security Juliette Kayyem said in episode 110, “your kids are feeding off of you… So, if you’re in front of the TV yelling at CNN that the world is going to hell in a handbasket… Trust me, you just made a neurotic kid.”

If you voted for Hillary (as I did), this is a tough moment to be calm! I get that. Like a friend of mine (who lives up here in Massachusetts, where we just passed a law legalizing recreational use of pot) posted on Facebook, “I would like my marijuana now please.”

But in our homes, we are the leaders. Our kids look to us for safety and security. We must provide it.

2) Cultivate empathy; this one may seem counterintuitive, but stay with me because it’s really important.

It’s so easy to trash the other side in this election, to conclude that everyone who voted for Hillary is a member of the liberal-media-loving, nanny-state elite.

Or that all Trump voters are racist, misogynistic fanatics.

But if we can put ourselves in those voters’ shoes – in other words, if we can think with empathy – we can maybe ask ourselves why. Why did they vote that way, seriously?

Why did 11,000 people (according to Reddit, later determined to be untrue ) vote Harambe the guerrilla as our next president? Probably not because they lost their minds, as my sixteen-year-old thought, but still they did it and it does seem like a pretty crazy thing!

But when I put myself in their shoes and realize that, from their perspective, they simply could not bring themselves to vote for any of the candidates on the ballot, it seems less crazy, more of a comical protest.

Not that you want to share all that with your young child… Think of this as part 2A, really about our mindset.

2B does pertain to our kids, though: we parents can cultivate empathy to communicate to kids that were all on the same team.

This past Saturday in the Boston Globe I read a fantastic article, Whatever Happened to Empathy?, by Jaci Conry. (It’s great, you should read it! Click here to do so.)

I found myself thinking about it today because, especially if we are upset by the election outcome, we really need the support of our families and friends right now. We need our kids on our team; in Jaci’s words: “parents need to make teamwork and caring a priority.”

Also, our kids need to be able to walk in others’ shoes. The article continues: “[Our kids] must also learn to develop empathy for the people they encounter in their daily lives: a server in a restaurant, the bus driver, the school secretary.”

When they’re really small, we want to give our kids the message that “we are a family and we take care of each other”… As they get older we want to expand that idea out.

We want to get to a point where our children understand that even people who voted for the candidate we didn’t want to win are still people.

Empathy is the basis for so many wonderful human traits; cultivating it in our own mindset and in our children’s lives is really important now.

3) Encourage kids’ questions.

Kids are such open books; if we say to them “what are your concerns,” they’ll tell us. Often times, especially in younger children, their concerns have to do with their own and their families’ basic safety; because kids are so egocentric, it’s hard for them to understand how something nebulous like a presidential election could impact their lives.

But it’s easy for them to become worried when they see us scared and upset.

So, answers to most of young kids’ questions in a situation like this will be some version of “we are here to keep you safe.”
I really, really hope this helps you through these next weeks and days.

We WILL get through this. We will help each other, and we will be okay.

In the meantime, don’t waste this crisis (if you see it as such) – use it to help strengthen the bonds you have with your children by communicating calm and safety, focusing on empathy, and encouraging their questions.

115: Knowledge is Power – Part 3 of The Modern Parent’s Guide to Surviving This Election Cycle

vote-1286584_640Welcome! To listen to this episode, scroll on down to the bottom of today’s post and hit the triangular “play” button.
Enjoy the show!

About this episode:

In the final chapter in our three-part series (click here for Part 1 about good sleep, and here for Part 2 about the antidote to anxiety), The Modern Parent’s Guide to Surviving This Election Cycle, I share about how you can become as educated as possible on the candidates…

Because knowledge IS power.

I’ll be voting a week from today – I share in this episode about why voting at all is so important to me, having only been able to vote in the last three presidential elections – and I hope you will vote too.

In this series, I’m also working really hard to be completely unbiased… I don’t care WHO you vote for.

I just care that you go in with good information and actually vote.

Click weturnedoutokay.com/115 for notes and links to the unbiased websites I worked so hard to find for you (we stay well away from the candidates’ own sites, as well as any site that hints at bias); get informed and then please go vote!

Key Links:

Politifact.com is the Pulitzer-prize website that catalogs the truths and lies of many political candidates, not just those running for president. Their “Truth-O-Meter” Pants-On-Fire rating is a really fun one, and I love that they share their sources so I can go back and look for myself.

Click here for On The Media’s Breaking News Consumer Handbook, about how to cut through the rumors and innuendo when news is new. Click here for the wonderful show about NPR and whether it’s biased or not.. This lesson has served me in such good stead, allowing me to decide for myself how truthful someone is being, because sometimes even a supposedly unbiased source unwittingly injects bias.

NPR.org receives an equal amount of accusations of bias from both the right and the left. If the definition of compromise is “no one is happy,” then the definition of bias might just be “an equal amount of accusations from both the right and the left.”

I really, really hope that this 3-part guide to Surviving This Election Cycle helps you sleep better (Part 1, weturnedoutokay.com/109), feel better by taking the right kinds of actions (Part 2, weturnedoutokay.com/112), and know that, even if your candidate isn’t the winner, we’re going to be all right.

So, how are you?
If you’re hanging in there, tell me what steps you’re taking to weather this election cycle!
If you’re struggling, tell me what’s wrong and maybe I can help you feel better –
either way, go to weturnedoutokay.com/contact.

And please go vote on November 8!

112: What’s The Antidote to Anxiety? Part 2 of The Modern Parent’s Guide to Surviving This Election Cycle

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

img_2568

According to this article last week at Vox.com, 55% of voters were “disgusted” with the campaign… back in September.
I’m betting that that number has gone up a bit as this election has changed from PG to R-rated.

And if we are that freaked out – how are our kids?

When our fear and upset level goes up, so does theirs.

You can make both you and your kids feel better by coming to my FREE online class:

How to Parent Young Children in this Mixed-up, Crazy World

I’ll teach you how to:
– Coach your kids through the election insanity
– Help them feel less anxious
– Lessen your own anxiety

You can make “Everybody Sucks 2016” a little better for yourself and your kids –

Go to weturnedoutokay.com and sign up for the October 20 (this coming Thursday) class!

I can help you help your kids through the election craziness, Thursday October 20 at 7 PM Eastern standard Time.

See you in class!

About this episode:

We are not immune to anxiety. In a contentious election cycle like the one we’re in now, with the days getting shorter, the holidays looming…

No wonder so many of us are losing sleep and stress-eating!

Today I’m thinking about a saying that has come up for me a lot in the years since I first started confronting my chronic illness:

“The antidote to anxiety is action.” – Elven Semrad

In this episode, we talk about one kind of action to avoid – and two kinds of actions you can take every day to reduce your anxiety.

Get the full notes and key links by going to weturnedoutokay.com/112!

When my wonderful psychologist, without whom I would probably not actually be alive today, shared Elven Semrad’s words with me, they resonated so strongly.

If anxiety is fear for the future, then the antidote places us firmly in the now – taking some kind of action.

My psychologist did caution me against one kind of action, however:

DO NOT ATTEMPT to numb anxiety with alcohol or drugs.

Taking these negative actions makes everything worse, and I would caution you – just as he cautioned me – to avoid the hell out of things that numb our emotions.

If you’re tempted to reply, as so many of us are, “this anxiety hurts!”, then allow me to present to you the actions you CAN take as the antidote to that hurt.

Here they are – the 2 kinds of actions you can take to alleviate your anxiety:

1) address the small everyday issues right in front of you, one at a time.
– Feeling cooped up? Take a short walk.
– You’ve got a list as long as your arm of doctors appointments to make, car oil-changes to schedule, accommodations to figure out for people arriving for Thanksgiving? Choose the MOST CRITICAL of these, and cross it off your list now.
– If it feels too big, break the task down until you have a series of steps, the first of which you can accomplish right now.
– Your home is cluttered and messy and disorganized? Choose one tiny piece of it to declutter and organize; when that tiny piece is done, move on to the next tiny piece.

2) strike back at the negativity in the air, the toxic vibes around you.
– Though it may seem counterintuitive, striking back at this negativity is best done by taking care of YOU.
– Sleep, exercise, good – at least, decent – nutrition, forgiving yourself when you screw up (notice I said “when,” because we screw up all the time and it so tempting to beat ourselves up about that); this is how we strike back.

And if you’re tempted to say now “but my anxiety is too large to be brought down by anything,” I’d like to share about what these two kinds of actions have done for me:

Action 1: in the winter of 2012, the muscles in my right leg had wasted away to the point where, the day I started aquatic physical therapy, I literally had to push my leg to make it go backwards in the pool.

I didn’t have enough strength in the leg itself to take one single step backwards in the shallow end, never mind keep myself afloat!

But I kept getting in that damn pool.

I addressed this “everyday” issue several times a week, and after a couple months not only could my leg move itself backwards in the pool, it withstood my body weight on land.

I’ll never, ever forget the feeling of placing all my weight on that leg for the first time since summer of 2011. It was awesome.

Action 2: I hate the scary vibe in the air right now. In past election cycles, usually by mid October, when this episode airs, I am a complete wreck. This is because I’ve stayed up super-late each night, scanning the Internet and fretting and worrying about the election itself. Along with limited sleep comes the urge to consume entire bottles of Nutella, so no surprise that my jeans would stop fitting by election day.

But I’m working extra hard to take care of me this year.
My primary goals are:
– get at least seven hours of sleep each night
– walk or strengthen my muscles every other day
– to help you feel better, to alleviate your anxiety by sharing with you what’s worked for me

And I really am noticing far less of a reaction to the atmospheric anxiety!

I’m wishing you the same, during this episode and every episode this fall with my “Everybody Sucks 2016” series.

Key Links:

Listen to part 1 of the Modern Parent’s Guides to Surviving This Election Cycle by clicking here.

What actions are you taking to alleviate your anxiety? Please share!
Go to weturnedoutokay.com/contact.

If you struggle in the tough moments with your young child, you might find Positive Discipline Ninja Tactics, the book I wrote to help you keep your cool in the face of all the Jedi mind tricks little kids are capable of, to be helpful.
Click this link to check the book out in Amazon, read the introduction for free, and decide if it’s right for you!

109: Knock Down Your Worries With This One Thing – Part 1 of The Modern Parent’s Guide to Living Through This Election

Welcome! To listen to this episode, scroll down to the bottom and press the triangular “play” button. Enjoy the show!

img_2558

About this episode:

How bad is the vague sense of fear, of atmospheric worry, in your life? Because if you feel it, you can bet that your child is getting those vibes from you (and now she’s worrying, too.)

It’s very difficult to escape the news and mudslinging around this contentious election. That’s what started me thinking about how to help you feel better during this time of year when it always seems to feel a bit more “serious” than just a few weeks ago – but this year seems amplified by an order of magnitude.

So, here’s the first of three parts of The Modern Parent’s Guide to Living Through This Election!

Click weturnedoutokay.com/109 to listen to this episode and to read more about the one thing – THE basic building block – around which we can start to knock back worry and anxiety in our lives, and therefore the lives of our kids.

My question for you today is:

How is your sleep?

With lots to worry about in our own lives and the constant fanning of negative flames on the news, through robocalls, and all over the place on social media, getting good sleep can be the last thing on our minds.

But I’m here to tell you that it should be the first thing; if we can sort out sleep, lots of other things get better too.

Today I share the story of how, when I lost the ability to walk more than a few steps in 2011, any good quality of sleep that I had ever had flew right out the window.

I only really regained decent sleep in late 2012, after reading a book by health guru Dr. Andrew Weil in which he advocates for a very specific kind of breathing, called the 4-7-8 breath.

Without exaggerating, I can say that the 4-7-8 breath changed my life, and helped me get a handle on good sleep.

So, today I’m wondering how YOUR sleep is – and if it could be improved?

Start by thinking about the basic rules for getting to sleep:
– no caffeine after 5 PM (or ever, which is even better 🙂
– no screens within a few hours of going to bed
– make bedtime for yourself earlier if at all possible (so that you are ready when your little one wakes up at five in the morning)

If you’re still struggling with good sleep – especially, if you’re waking up wicked early – it’s time to call in the big guns, such as the 4-7-8 breath (find the link in the Key Links below).

Also: I’m a yoga instructor, and as such I’ve learned some great breathing exercises and meditations for getting to sleep (or easing anxiety).
I’m wondering, would you find it beneficial if I were to record a few breathing exercises for getting to sleep?
Go to weturnedoutokay.com/contact and let me know!

Key Links:

Dr. Andrew Weil’s 4-7-8 breath is demonstrated in the video at this link.

If your kids are doing things that drive you bananas, raising your stress level and making it tough to remember why you had them in the first place, my book gives you some concrete tools and things to say or do in a tough moment.
Click here to check out Positive Discipline Ninja Tactics: Key Tools to Handle Every Temper Tantrum, Keep Your Cool, and Enjoy Life With Your Young Child in Amazon, where you can read the introduction for free and decide if it might be a helpful tool for you.

106: Join the Homework Revolt

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

Notes on today’s episode:

Do you worry that your child is getting too much homework for his or her young age?

Do you stress out over the nightly fits as said homework is being accomplished?

Then, you’re going to love today’s episode – it turns out that homework and young children do not mix, and this fall people are standing up and saying “I’m protecting my kid from the scourge of homework!”

For key links and expanded show notes about how to join the revolution, click weturnedoutokay.com/106!

Recently I read a news story about Brandy Young, a second-grade teacher in Texas who sent a wonderful letter home with her students their first day. In part it reads:

“There will be no formally assigned homework this year.… Research has been unable to prove that homework improves student performance. Rather, I ask that you spend your evenings doing things that are proven to correlate with student success. Eat dinner together as a family, read together, play outside, and get your child to bed early.”

For my oldest, homework in kindergarten and first grade caused a huge amount of daily stress. Max lost twenty percent of his body weight in first grade, was diagnosed with migraine by six years old, and had the most horrible night terrors most nights of the school year (if you’ve listened to my show for more than three minutes, you know this… You also know how painful it was to watch him go through this, and how helpless Max’s dad and I felt during those years.)

I wish I’d had the guts to stand up and say “no.”

Today, I’m encouraging you to take a stand for your child.

In Ms. Young’s letter, she encourages parents to eat dinner together, read together, etc. – because those activities are “proven to correlate with student success.”

And I agree, student success is important. But it’s not the most important reason to reject homework and do these other things instead.

The most important reason, I think anyway, is that spending time with our kids and supporting them is fun! It helps everybody be happier, it helps the family unit be more cohesive.

So, how do you join in, how do you tell your kid’s teacher that you reject homework?

The news story that I read quotes a personal hero of mine, Alfie Kohn, early childhood expert and a man who hates homework so much he wrote a book about why it stinks.

Mr. Kohn states: “talk to each other and organize a group of ten or so parents. Walk in with a story about your child and say, “I’m very sorry, but we will not be participating in a homework program.” The bottom line is – what happens in the evening is for families to decide, not schools. Respectfully, we say no, and we opt out.”

How does homework affect your life and the life of your young child?

Please share – go to weturnedoutokay.com/contact – or comment, or ask questions, about this all-important issue that affects so many young children.

Key Links:

Worried about how to bring that all-important reading time into your busy week? Click here to grab my guide to creating happy readers!

Click here to read the Boston Globe article about the homework backlash.

Check out Alfie Kohn’s book, The Homework Myth, by clicking here.

103: Alleviate Autumn Anxiety

Welcome!
To listen to today’s podcast, scroll to the bottom of this post and click the triangular “play” button 🙂

When our oldest, Max, started kindergarten, he morphed from the enthusiastic, curious, good-natured boy we had known since the day he was born, and into a truly anxious child with frequent night terrors; in first grade he even sustained the loss of 20% of his body weight and was diagnosed with migraine at age 6.

Do you have an anxious kid, who’s worried about starting preschool or kindergarten, or a higher grade?

Have you been told all about the dangers of “summer slide,” the idea that it’s more important for kids to store facts from last year than to have a relaxed and enjoyable summer break?

Today, with the learning year just getting underway, we dig into why autumn anxiety beats out summer slide – at least, in these earlier grades when our kids are very young – as what to concern ourselves with as parents.

I share two ways to alleviate your child’s autumn anxiety; click weturnedoutokay.com/103 to listen and read more about those two ways!

We say that he was “allergic to school,” but now we see the bigger picture; in those early elementary grades, school could not provide Max what he needed to thrive.

In today’s episode I share two ways that you can alleviate your child’s autumn anxiety:

– recognize that you are in an equal partnership with your child’s teachers; don’t let them bully you into believing that your son or daughter is the problem.

With Max, I made this mistake for his first years of schooling – and I have a master’s degree in early childhood education, I truly was on an equal footing with his teachers, but I didn’t feel that way. As a result, I didn’t speak up for Max and his kindergarten and first grade years were years of true suffering for him.

Don’t let that happen to your child! If you need help figuring out what to say, go to weturnedoutokay.com/contact and I’ll help you out.

– treat your child with empathy, saying that you understand how hard it is to start school, be a steady presence for him or her.

It’s very tempting, as parents, to tell your child “it’s no big deal,” to belittle their feelings (we parents do this for a variety of reasons, but one that often comes up is because it is hard for us to open ourselves up again to the kind of pain that those early years bring on; it feels easier to tell your child “you’ll get over it” because to empathize means remembering our own first school experiences.)

Again, if you have a question about how to handle your child’s anxieties, go to weturnedoutokay.com/contact and ask your question – I’ll help explain what is going on inside your child’s head 🙂

Announcing We Turned Out Okay’s First Online Class!

Want to know: how to make daily life with a young child less of a struggle? How to make your child more self-reliant? The #1 mistake parents make? Sign up for my FREE online class by clicking the big question mark in the image below!

Date/Time:

Sunday, September 18, 2016, 8:15 p.m. EST

083: Three Ways to Help Your Kids Understand Their Feelings (And Why It Matters)

Understanding our own feelings is the work of childhood – but sometimes this important work is not completed when it should be, and that’s bad for so many reasons. Today we look at what can go wrong, and talk about 3 ways to help kids understand their own feelings!
This Just You and Me episode functions as the second of two chapter studies of Positive Discipline Ninja Tactics: Key Tools to Handle Every Temper Tantrum, Keep Your Cool, and Enjoy Life With Your Young Child.
Click here or go to weturnedoutokay.com/083 to listen and get access to key links, including to your FREE guide outlining the bonus fourth way to help our kids understand their own feelings!

When figuring out our own feelings is not resolved in childhood, kids go into adolescence and young adulthood without a true understanding of themselves and their place in the world. This can result in anxiety, depression, and unresolved anger which could be turned inward on themselves, or outward on others. Very bad.

Here are three ways to not let that happen:
1) Start off by naming their feelings for them, early and often. Over time you’ll notice they start to name their own feelings, and as they understand these emotions better they’ll use their words instead of lashing out or melting down. It does take time, but it’s a really worth the investment of our time!
2) Read some favorite books that help kids name feelings – here are four of our favorites:
Glad Monster, Sad Monster by Ed Emberley and Anne Miranda
The Little Old Lady Who Wasn’t Afraid of Anything by Linda D. Williams and Megan Lloyd
Alexander and The Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day by Judith Viorst
Don’t Let The Pigeon Drive The Bus! by Mo Willems
(click there titles to go to the Amazon page for each; for my favorite secondhand book website, scroll to the end of these notes and click the Better World Books link, maybe you’ll get lucky and find a used copy)
3) Play feelings games:
Take turns making happy faces, sad or angry faces, frustrated, surprised… and then talk about what we can do when we experience each of those feelings for real.

Bonus 4) Download your free guide to making 5 different feelings books! Several of these were great fun to make when my boys were small, in addition to helping them understand their own feelings.

– Please note: in today’s’s episode I give a website address which is clunky and annoying to try to remember and type in. So, instead of putting you through that kind of torture, I’ve made it much easier for you to get this guide: just scroll to the bottom and click the picture. A little box will pop up, type your name and email in there, and the Feelings Books guide will win its way over to your inbox 🙂

To get the guide, click the picture below to sign up!

Key Links:
Click here or go to weturnedoutokay.com/080 to listen to the first chapter study from Positive Discipline Ninja Tactics, about a favorite hack of mine to implement when you are at your wit’s end with your young child.

Click here or go to http://amzn.to/1WE8DOA to check out the Positive Discipline Ninja Tactics page at Amazon.com.

Click here or go to betterworldbooks.com to visit my favorite secondhand book-purchasing site on the web!

Click this picture to download the Guide to Making 5 Feelings Books:

080: An Awesome Parent Ninja Tactic for When You Are At Your Wit’s End

Today, I share possibly my all-time favorite ninja tactic for parents! This is the one to bring out when you are ready to go and have a meltdown of your own.

Instead of doing that… Do this: use the First/Then ninja tactic to make transitioning your child from what he wants to do to what you need him to do easily understandable – and a lot smoother!

Today’s episode is the first of two chapter studies, where we focus on one chapter of Positive Discipline Ninja Tactics: Key Tools to Handle Every Temper Tantrum, Keep Your Cool, and Enjoy Life With Your Young Child.

I hope you get a lot out of this study of Chapter 5: Use First/Then, a tool I used all the time to keep sane when my boys were small.

Click here or go to weturnedoutokay.com/080 to listen, and click here  or go to weturnedoutokay.com/episode-80-first-then to download your FREE guide, all about how to create a First/Then chart to bring out when you need a concrete tool to help you help your child!

077: Parenting Introverts, Parenting Extroverts – Part Two

Today’s episode centers on a part of every human’s innate personality: the trait of introversion or extroversion. (Click here or go to weturnedoutokay.com/074 to listen to part one, about parenting introverts – today is about parenting extroverts.)

Where are you happiest – among people, in a noisy, large group, or quietly, in solitude or hanging with just a few people? Does one of the above situations drain you, while the other seems absolutely perfect?

When you think about your young child – does she prefer noisy, loud fun, or is she more quiet and contemplative? Does he get his energy from the same place as you?

Everyone falls somewhere on this introvert/extrovert scale, and figuring out where we fall – and, where our children fall – on the scale can mean coexisting more peacefully and enjoyably with our kids.

Click here or go to weturnedoutokay.com/077 for key links from this episode!

Key Links:

Today, we discuss parenting extroverts in great detail; click here or go to weturnedoutokay.com/074 for the detailed discussion on parenting introverts.

Head over to Amazon.com by clicking this link to check out Positive Discipline Ninja Tactics: Key Tools to Handle Every Temper Tantrum, Keep Your Cool, and Enjoy Life With Your Young Child. You can read the table of contents and introduction for free, and decide if you think this book I wrote for you, if you are raising young children right now, will help you worry less and enjoy more.

I think it will help – I’m realizing that I kind of wrote it to myself, when my kids were younger and I struggled to enjoy their early childhood. The tools and mindset I share helped me turn that around – I hope they’ll help you too!

074: Parenting Introverts, Parenting Extroverts – Part One

Today’s episode centers on a part of every human’s innate personality: the trait of introversion or extroversion. (Today, we focus on the parenting of introverts; coming up in episode 77 – the next Just You And Me episode – we dive into parenting extroverts.)

Where are you happiest – among people, in a noisy, large group, or quietly, in solitude or hanging with just a few people? Does one of the above situations drain you, while the other seems absolutely perfect?

When you think about your young child – does she prefer noisy, loud fun, or is she more quiet and contemplative? Does he get his energy from the same place as you?

Everyone falls somewhere on this introvert/extrovert scale, and figuring out where we fall – and, where our children fall – on the scale can mean coexisting more peacefully and enjoyably with our kids.

Click here or go to weturnedoutokay.com/074 for key links from this episode!

Key Links:

Click here for the greatest Disney app ever, the one that helped us navigate the parks with minimal lines and maximum fun, touringplans.com!

To check out Susan Cain’s books, podcast, and TED talk on the power of introverts, click here.

Head over to Amazon.com by clicking this link to check out Positive Discipline Ninja Tactics: Key Tools to Handle Every Temper Tantrum, Keep Your Cool, and Enjoy Life With Your Young Child. You can read the table of contents and introduction for free, and decide if you think this book I wrote for you, if you are raising young children right now, will help you worry less and enjoy more.

I think it will help – I’m realizing that I kind of wrote it to myself, when my kids were younger and I struggled to enjoy their early childhood. The tools and mindset I share helped me turn that around – I hope they’ll help you too!

071: How to Raise A Responsible Child, Part Two

<<How do you handle it when a stranger rubs your baby bump, or gets all judgy in the grocery store about your crying child?

If you’ve been in a situation like this but didn’t know how to handle it, you’re in luck – etiquette expert and Boston Globe Magazine columnist Miss Conduct, a.k.a. Robin Abrahams, is coming back on the show!

Her wonderful and often laugh-out-loud advice on how to get along with others will help you through the toughest social situations you can think of.

And… Robin wants to take your questions!

If you’re dealing with a sticky etiquette situation, write me at weturnedoutokay.com/contact by Tuesday, May 3, and time permitting Robin will answer your question!

We’ll take questions in the order they were sent, so get yours in ASAP to make sure Miss Conduct has time for yours!

Listen to my first conversation with Robin by going to weturnedoutokay.com/042. >>

Back in episode 68, we started this conversation about helping your child take one hundred percent responsibility for his actions.

In that episode we talked largely about mindset, and how our mindset influences our kids’ behavior; I also shared my first parent ninja tactic in raising an honest, responsible child:
Consistency. Today I return to this first tactic, sharing about the brick foundation each of us carries around in our heads, the result of the many interactions we had going back to the day we were born. The more of these bricks that are laid straight and smooth, mortared with love, the better foundation we have as we grow. Keeping our actions consistent in dealing with our kids helps their foundations be the best they can be.

Today I introduce the second and third tactics involved in raising responsible children:
Following through – when you ask them to do something and they fail to do that, what actions do you take next? Or when they hurt the feelings of you or someone else, what can you say to help them learn to stop doing that?
Expectations – what we expect of our kids shapes their behavior. If we expect them to be manipulative, or sneaky; if we are suspicious of their actions, they will rise to those expectations.
On the other hand if we expect honesty and use consistency and follow-through to insist on our children’s responsibility, they will turn out that way simply because we expect it. (I know – it does sound very woo-woo! But it’s really true. Honest.)

During this episode I have a difficult time coming up with something mean that a child might say – precisely because Ben and I have always had the expectation “in our home, we share feelings, not insults” and Max and Jay have completely fulfilled our expectations! They disagree, of course; but they do not mistreat each other in their disagreements.
That’s what happens when you combine consistency, follow-through, and expectations in raising honest, responsible kids 🙂
I hope you enjoy this episode!

If you’re listening to this the day comes out – Tuesday, April 26, 2016 – you are in luck because Positive Discipline Ninja Tactics (if all has gone well) is live in Amazon and still FREE today! I wrote this book for you, if you want to raise good kids while preserving your sanity as a parent. It’s a whole toolbox of the most popular, most-downloaded episodes of We Turned Out Okay; these episodes get so many listens because they help you through the tough moments. With chapters that help you, for example, Make No Sound Like Yes. I hope this book helps you worry less and enjoy more with your young kids!