345.5: September School Successes!

Hi Friends! Today I’m talking about some successes we’ve seen both with a coaching client, and here at home : )

Aaaaand… the WTOO Book Club starts up September 16, this coming Wednesday (if you’re seeing this in real time)!

<————– Current WTOO Book Club Book!

I’m sharing the book we will be discussing, and how to join!
(Which is: Go to weturnedoutokay.com/joinNPC to get our Book Club meetings for free – as part of your first 30 days Free – in the Ninja Parenting Community, which is where the WTOO Book Club now lives : )

I am SUPER excited to spend some quality time together, talk about what’s really on your mind right now as a parent, and learn along with you.


Karen Lock Kolp M.Ed.
Child Development Expert, Parent Coach

Host of the We Turned Out Okay Podcast, helping parents of young children change kids’ behavior from bad to good; feel happy inside; and truly enjoy family time

Publisher of the monthly We Turned Out Okay Playbook, teaching simple, powerful tools to help parents feel in control of family life, and happy inside

Author of 3 parenting books including Positive Discipline Ninja Tactics, written to help parents “keep calm and handle every temper tantrum”

The quote I live by: “The opposite of play is not work. It is depression.” – Brian Sutton-Smith

NPC Summer Camp FAQs – Registration closes Thursday 7/2!

I am excited, I’ve spent the morning planning NPC Summer Camp!

For six weeks starting this coming Friday 6/26, I’m offering this program, and I would love for you to be part of it! (Registration closes Thursday 7/2 : )

I’ve decided the theme is going to be “Cool to be Kind”… NPC Summer Camp will have a kindness component. Some weeks we will go on “kindness adventures,” as Audrey Monke talks about in her book Happy Campers, where we’ll practice random acts of kindness, and involve our kiddos.

And our campfire nights will focus on handling unkindness in our own families, and bringing more kindness into the world.

I think this is really what we need at the moment, both to help in the wider world and to enjoy our time at home with our young ones.

Below are some frequently asked questions about the Ninja Parenting Community and the Summer Camp program. I hope you’ll consider joining!

FAQs about the Ninja Parenting Community, and NPC Summer Camp:

1. How will this program and community help me?

Many parents – especially parents of young children – are experiencing never-before-seen challenges during the pandemic.
If you are exhausted, feel like you can’t go on, are engaging in numbing behaviors to get through the day, feel like all of your patience is gone, you’re certainly not alone!

NPC, and Summer Camp, are designed to exactly help someone in these situations.

In our forums you’ll find:
– An entire course on “how to keep going when you’re exhausted”
– A supportive and loving community, where members feel “seen and heard”
– A whole summer’s worth of fun and helpful activities, specifically designed to help you thrive (because that’s the only way you’ll be able to help your kiddos thrive)
– Lots of ways for you to live IN these tough times, so that you can live through them

2. Is it just for parents of little kids?

We’ve got members with kids ranging in age from babies, all the way on up to age 12.
So much of raising kids is the mindset that we parents bring to it. You’re the same person, whether your child is a toddler or a tween.
Our children challenge us at every age; NPC can help regardless of how old your child is.

3. I’m a technophobe… What if I can’t login? Or navigate around once I’m in the Forums?

I am there to help every step of the way! (And I am a technophobe as well… So I know exactly where you’re coming from : )
NPC works great on your home computer, laptop, tablet or phone.
And I’ve just gone through a redesign of the forums, so there even simpler to navigate and find what you’re looking for quickly.

4. What if I can’t be at the community’s live events?

It’s great fun when you can, but not a problem if you can’t!
Many people never make it to our twice monthly live members only calls, and they are thriving in the community.
All the courses and challenges are recorded and waiting for you in the Forums; when members ask a question in the Forums, responses are in NPC permanently, always available for you to get help from.

Also, I specifically planned NPC Summer Camp without any live components, so that you can enjoy participating regardless of your time zone or schedule.

NPC is fun, it’s supportive, it’s a way to connect with other parents and enjoy community…
All while becoming a better and happier parent.

Join now so that you can live IN this crazy summer… Click here to register for NPC and our Summer Camp program!


PS Click the link below for details and to join:


Hope to see you at NPC Summer Camp!

Weekly intentions, and a career counselor for Day 5 of OkayCon 2020!

Happy Monday!

FYI: In case you’re struggling to keep track of what day of the week it is… Today and every Monday while we are all spending so much more time at home and out of our normal routine I’m sharing something that always keeps me on track: my weekly intentions.

Each week I determine what I’m going to focus on on a Monday, and then on Friday I look back at how I did.
And during the pandemic I’m bringing you in on that process!

Here’s what I’m focusing on this week:

1. To take 4 walks.
Being outside has proven one of the most important factors in my mental well-being since the social distancing began. Any less than four walks in a week, and I notice lower feelings. So at least four walks this week for me : )

2. To celebrate my birthday.
My birthday is this Thursday! I just think there is something super special about birthdays, and no matter how old I get I still look forward to mine with the same enthusiasm as I did when I was 10 or 12.
This year I plan to do something completely out of the ordinary, while maintaining the pandemic protocols we all must observe now to be safe and to keep others safe: I’m having a “social-distance-walk-party” with my best buddies in the whole world. (Coincidentally, I knew them when I was celebrating those early birthdays too! You can hear from them, discussing the unplanned adventures that life has thrown at them and what they’ve done with those unplanned adventures, by going to https://weturnedoutokay.com/000)
Also, my husband and sons are making me a small birthday cake, so that I can enjoy the pants off that yummy treat on my birthday, but then it’s over and done with the next day. I don’t have to feel guilty about consuming like five pieces of cake. I get to truly enjoy one delicious piece 🙂
Finally, I am planning an extended list that day of “what I’m grateful for.”
I have so much. I’m just so lucky.
It can be really easy to forget the good things, when we are caught up in so much strife and worry.
But I believe that remembering all the good things is our most important asset in times of trouble.
(I did a recent podcast about that, this link to check it out: https://weturnedoutokay.com/325)3. To kick off the “Happy – (Not-Just-Sheltering) – in Place” NPC challenge.
In the private coaching practice that I run, called the Ninja Parenting Community, members and I will kick off this challenge on my birthday!We’re starting with a live members-only call, where I’ll share the first “challenge” within the challenge.
These are each nonstressful, bite-size things we can implement to feel more in control of our family lives… In this time when nothing feels like it is truly within our control.

So, those are my goals for the week.
What are yours?

To share your weekly intentions just hit reply to this email!

Today is Day 5 of OkayCon 2020!

Feedback I’m getting is that each day so far has been super helpful, for many of you. That’s why I did it – I wanted to bring you something for free, something that would help you get through this crazy time. If it’s resonating, thank you so much for letting me know!
(All the guests and presentations are gathered together for you at http://OkayCon.com)

Today I’m thrilled to bring you my conversation with career counselor Kathleen Sullivan!
Kathleen teaches us:
– the mindset necessary when starting a job search
– great ideas for using LinkedIn in your job search
– how to talk with your child about a layoff

Click here to visit the We Turned Out Okay Facebook group, where Kathleen’s presentation is up and ready for you to watch, and where we are having a watch party this evening at 8 PM EST!

My goal is that you don’t have to feel alone during this stressful time.

I want to bring you conversations that are helpful, fun, and supportive, and I really hope that it helps you through this time!

We will get through this together <3

I hope you will join us in the We Turned Out Okay Facebook group at 8 PM EST for the watch party! Stay tuned for a reminder, a little more toward evening, about that.


PS – NPC members: click here for our most recent live members-only call! In it I teach a ninja tactic that is extremely helpful during this challenging time!

If you’re not yet a member, but you are feeling isolated right now, become a member of my online coaching practice, the Ninja Parenting Community (NPC for short).
You’ll be together with other parents – and me – working toward the goals of good behavior from kids and happiness at home.
Click here to become a member – at the special “First Aid for Parents” rate!

OkayCon 2020 FREE Virtual Summit starts tomorrow : )

Hey friends! I hope everyone you love is doing okay. And if you’re going a little stir crazy, I hope I can help!

I’ve been working hard behind the scenes to put together a Virtual Summit, bringing you the best ideas, from experts in their fields, to help you through this double pandemic – of Covid 19, and Fear.

So! Each Monday and Wednesday at OkayCon.com during April 2020 I’m releasing presentations by experts in:
– Children’s behavior
– Home and family security
– Helping children through this time
– How to find a job if you’ve been laid off
– and lots more!

Each Monday and Wednesday I’m posting the presentation at OkayCon.com, and simulcasting in YouTube and Facebook.

And each Monday and Wednesday evening at 8 PM EST we’re having a watch party in the We Turned Out Okay Facebook group – click here to join our group (and use that link to invite anyone you think needs a boost!)

Click weturnedoutokay.com/weekly to get notified automagically about the presentation for that day, and the watch party for that night!

I know this is a scary time. It’s scary for me too! But we will get through this together.

I’m so grateful for you, and I am hopeful that I can bring you some help and support right now.

Cheers and I’ll see you each Monday and Wednesday (starting tomorrow!) in April for OkayCon 2020 <3


Getting through tough times together: coronavirus update 2

This morning I had an anxiety attack just as I was waking up. It started with simply hearing the text tone that my phone is set to, for when my husband texts… I’m traveling and had a tremendous wave of fear, anxiety, and homesickness, just hearing my husband’s text (which was not catastrophic at all… It was about the link to a recipe that he wanted to make : )
I made a video for you, and also wrote a cheat sheet of the ways that I am finding to feel better, stay positive, and alleviate anxiety (Click the video link just below, and scroll down just below that video link for the cheat sheet : )

I thought you might also be having more heightened anxiety than usual, and so I hope this is helpful for you!

Cliff Notes for what I am doing to stay positive:

1. I am using a breathing technique called 478, that I originally learned from Dr. Andrew Weil, and that was recently highlighted for me by licensed mental health counselor and beloved guest/podcast sponsor Janine Halloran of http://copingskillsforkids.com. I teach that breathing method in this video.

2. Doing something that I talk a lot about in the Ninja Parenting Community: focusing on what is right in front of me rather than envisioning awfulness down the road. I think this was probably the most helpful thing!

3. I’m focusing on being a helper, with my family, within my community, and also focusing on helping my children be helpers… Kids fare far better when we make them part of the team.

4. I’m spending less time on a screen. And trying to make that time not so much about all the latest awful headlines but about fun and funny stuff, videos, Memes, etc.

5 Finally, I share some of the things that my dearest friends are doing to stay positive, even while confined with family.

I hope it’s helpful!

Karen of https://weturnedoutokay.com

PS this is the second in a series I’m doing on how to stay sane in the time of coronavirus – go to https://weturnedoutokay.com/weekly to get notified of the next update : )

319.5: Why are kids so clingy? 5 case studies to help you handle your clingy child

What do you do when:
– Your six-year-old witnessed a traumatic event, and is so traumatized that he feels he can never be away from your side
– Your four-year-old “really misses mommy and daddy” and cannot enjoy his enrichment class
– You fear your three-year-old’s “declining independence,” because she increasingly needs you by her side as she is going potty, getting dressed, and going to sleep at night
– Your seven-year-old is afraid to be alone in the upstairs of your house, while you are downstairs
– Your 11-year-old is feeling anxious about getting separated while skiing

Each of these situations come up in today’s Live Case Study…
Join us and find out how to handle each!

PS – 50% off the annual Ninja Parenting Community rate

NPC member BabyBrain worried about her daughter’s fear of being alone in any room in their new house – so, she asked for help.
And I created an entire course on handling your child’s clingy behavior.
This course is a drop in the bucket of all the resources available for you there, to help you enjoy family time more.

This Leap Year, take the leap – 50% off Annual NPC membership!

Jump into the Ninja Parenting Community and start enjoying family life for real!
Click here for details, and to join at this amazing rate!

The following links come up in today’s Case Study:

My conversation with Dr. Laura Markham in episode 255 of the We Turned Out Okay podcast, https://weturnedoutokay.com/255

Some fantastic downloads by Dr. Deborah MacNamara, including one about “what kids worry about at different ages” http://macnamara.ca/downloads/

The link where you can learn more about how to work closely with me, solving your biggest parenting challenges to get you feeling happy inside yourself and also enjoying family time: https://weturnedoutokay.com/joinnpc

Cheers! And thanks for watching/listening!
Karen Lock Kolp, M.Ed.

Website: https://weturnedoutokay.com
Facebook: http://facebook.com/weturnedoutokay

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

When your child is disrespectful

This is the final installment in my series on “Kids gone sideways.” Click here for last week’s about handling your child’s temper tantrums (and why tantrums are developmentally necessary in the first place.)

Has this ever happened to you?

“Yesterday evening there was one typical example. We had just arrived home, were unbuckling and gathering our items so we could exit the car, and I reminded her to bring her backpack. She suddenly sounded offended and said “I *KNOW* Mom!”
I felt annoyed that she was so rude, started questioning myself about whether I should have reminded her and then mad that I’m letting this tiny human make me question something I know is perfectly acceptable!
I’m unsure what to say that won’t escalate into a power struggle and so I say nothing immediately. As she grabbed her backpack I said “ you need to speak respectfully to me.” She ignored me and kept moving into the house.

I fear that this way of relating to each other will become a well-worn path, where she’s disrespectful, I call her on it, and she shrugs me off.

I’m feeling the importance of looking for something I can do that she won’t shrug off.

I guess that’s why I was asking for consequences I could impose.
But at the same time I know she needs to internalize her own reasons to be respectful; my expectations and my consequences won’t be enough for her.”
That was one ninja parent, a mom who had been frustrated for years with her daughter’s disrespect.

From these frustrated beginnings, this mom has mastered (and taught others in the community) a new ninja tactic!

Continue reading “When your child is disrespectful”

A formula for handling every temper tantrum

(FYI: If the start of preschool (or the return to childcare) feels especially daunting this year, you are not alone! Starting this Thursday 7/23 I’m offering a FREE, 4-day Challenge featuring simple yet powerful tools you can use to get through this time. Click below to sign up : )

Join the Pandemic Back-To-School Challenge


NPC member Jen, with her two daughters.

Recently on the We Turned Out Okay podcast, I interviewed long time coaching client and Ninja Parenting Community member Jen.

Jen is the mom of 2 kids, 7-year-old and 4-year-old daughters.

When we sat down together to chat, Jen shared how she used to feel: “I didn’t feel like I had control over the direction our family was going.”

It was her work in our private coaching community that gave her that control.

As part of NPC membership, everyone gets access to e-copies of my parenting books; Jen references the first one, Positive Discipline Ninja Tactics, as super helpful.

In our conversation we discuss one particular part of the book, the HEART formula for handling every temper tantrum.

Here is that formula in a nutshell: Continue reading “A formula for handling every temper tantrum”

Can you teach your young child social skills? Yes. Here’s how.

Happy Wednesday!

Heads up: spots are still available in the free online parenting class – How to Help Your Kids Get Along with Other Kids – that I’m teaching TOMORROW, Thursday, June 27. Click here to register for this free class, so you can learn how to handle it when your kids aren’t getting along!

In-training update: edits to the book I am currently drafting are back from my editor!! I will be speaking with her today, and I’m excited because it’s another step on the path to getting Educating Happy Kids: 9 Ways to Help Your Children Learn What They Need to Know out to you ASAP.

As always, thank you so much for your positive energy and messages as I keep going with this huge project of finishing a book. It means SO much.

How to teach social skills

When a coaching client of mine shared that her kids’ teacher had told her “there is no way to teach social skills,” I wondered how many people have this mistaken assumption. I knew I wanted to write to you about it, in case you had also received the same message.
Social skills can totally be taught! In fact they are a natural part of being human, we are teaching them all the time.
3 things you can do to teach your child social skills:
1) Expose your kids to other kids.

If our children are going to learn how to be social, they need that exposure first and foremost. Playgrounds and parks, libraries, fast food play places… I’m sure you can think of many more, but these are the first that come to my mind as places you can bring your young children and just raise their social-exposure-time.
2) Let them play.

Open-ended and screen-free are the operative words here. Participating in a planned activity/class, or watching something on a screen alongside other kids, doesn’t count because our kiddos need time and space to spontaneously connect.
3) Play WITH them.

Participate in some of the many different kinds of open-ended, screen free play in the world:


  • Run warm water and soap into the sink; add spoons, ladles, or plastic containers and use a smock or something to protect clothing, and just play. Be sure to wipe up, especially the floor, after the play is finished.
  • Put out drawing materials; watercolor paints; or craft sticks and glue out on a table, and again just play! Explore the materials. Listen to your child’s exclamations and questions, and enjoy this time of hanging out and talking together. As with the water, if it’s something messy dress your child in less-than-best clothing and layer newspaper on the table to prevent damage to furniture.
  •  Place play dough out on a table, along with (if you’d like) rolling pins or molds. Doesn’t have to be fancy, just a selection of objects that you and your child can use with the play dough.


  • Take a short walk, stopping to let your child marvel at (to us) commonplace things like puddles, or frost, or interesting plants or flowers
  •  Let your child explore in an age-appropriate way; if it’s appropriate, take off shoes and wiggle your toes in the grass. Talk about the sensations you feel, and respond when your child does the same.
  •  Bring out a selection of different sized balls, and just see what happens; a favorite memory of mine was when my youngest, at about 2 years old, would arrange two stability balls so that he could take a running leap and roll over both of them, landing on his tummy in the grass, and just lying there giggling.
  • Turn on the hose and fill a few pails or buckets. See what happened if you drop balls, rocks, or other objects into the water. Does the water from the hose feel cold? Or warm?

Just explore together, and talk as you do so.

It’s hard to believe that you’re teaching social skills while you do this. But it’s true.

Ultimately, teaching social skills means being social.

Talking with kids, hearing their questions and responding to them. Giving them the opportunity to engage, socially.

That’s it.

That is the work here.


Regardless of whether you “teach,” you’re always teaching something.

When I was about three years old my mom got into an argument with my uncle, who told her “F–k you!” Before my mom had a chance to respond, I snapped back “no, f–k you!” Which caused both of them to laugh, quickly settle their argument, and reign in their language.

Kids are always watching us for cues about how to behave. This is true whether we acknowledge it or not, which means that kids take on behaviors we don’t necessarily wish they would.

We are always teaching something. The best we can do sometimes is to try and be mindful of that.

Keep reading below for What’s up on the podcast/on YouTube/in the Facebook group…

And for the picture of the week! Which is of a place where I learned tons of social skills!
Wishing you a wonderful parenting week!
What’s up on the podcast this week:

We’re exploring this question about how to teach social skills more thoroughly on the podcast this week! Click the link below to listen:



What’s up on my YouTube channel this week:
Extending on this theme, the live YouTube (I do one every Thursday) is called
“Can I teach my child social skills? If so how?” and it is available at the link just above! Or,
Check out my YouTube channel by clicking here.

What’s up in the We Turned Out Okay Facebook group this week:
Each Monday in our We Turned Out Okay Facebook group I do a superquick Facebook live that I call “Magic Words for Parents”… And this week’s was all about one phrase you can use to teach social skills.
Click here to join the Facebook group : )

Picture of the week:

This is the view of one of my favorite places in the whole wide world, the reservoir in the town where I grew up, attended camp, and spent countless hours soaking up nature as a kid.
Ben and I got married at this reservoir, too!
It’s got lots of great memories and I know for a fact that I learned tons of social skills in the water swimming, sailing or canoeing on the reservoir, and engaging in tons of activities around it as I was growing up.


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

Back when I was the picky eater

Happy Wednesday!

I am still in training! This is week two of the drafting of Your Child Explained Volume 2, and I’m sharing about my progress and next steps. I want to have this book in your hands in mid August, so I’m reporting my progress as I diligently work towards that goal.

And then today, I talk about my own experience as a picky eater, and I offer a free guide, about 5 ways to handle a picky eater… I hope it’s helpful as you raise your kiddos, especially if you’ve got picky eaters of your own!

Continue reading “Back when I was the picky eater”