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In this bonus We Turned Out Okay episode I offer 3 tools to help you cope with your child’s aggressive, bad behavior:
- The first helps you put your child’s behavior in perspective so it does not overwhelm you
- The second helps you create the best conditions for positive behavior from your child
- The third helps you feel good about your parenting journey
I hope you find it helpful!
Click here for the show notes for this episode, which include the video version of today’s episode, a full transcript, and the aforementioned fancy-pants button so that you can join the Ninja Parenting Community at the Friends and Family membership rate!
Transcript of today’s episode
Please note, the notes aren’t perfect. But I hope they’re helpful if you prefer reading to listening or viewing : )
Hello, good morning. I am Karen Lock Kolp and welcome to this how to video for parents. I am the founder of, we turned out okay. Dot Com. I host a podcast and actually you can see from my microphone, we’re recording for that as well. Um, I am a child development expert with more than 14 years experience directly helping parents and kids. And today I am getting in here because we have got a situation, one of our, one of our Ninja parents and community members has a situation in her home and her life and I wanted to, um, I wanted to help her give her direct help, but also I thought these are extremely useful tools for you. If you have a child who is doing a lot of tantruming, a lot of kicking, a lot of aggression, um, and you just feel like it’s completely out of control and you do not know what to do.
So the first thing I’m going to do is I’m going to read from, um, one of the posts that this Ninja parent, uh, posted in our, in our private community forums. And she writes, parenting just feels awful these days. I’m trying so hard to do the right things and trying so hard to be positive and consistent. We had a great start to our evening, followed by a kicking, hitting mess of a bedtime. He was yawning in the car on the way home and said he was tired. I don’t know if that was the problem, but as soon as it was time to start the bedtime routine, all hell broke loose. Usually that’s the part that goes well. And he totally flipped out during our bedtime routine. He continued to scream and demand things rudely. I mean, can you just hear the, Oh, I’m, my heart goes out to you, my friend.
Um, I know you can hear the, just the upset and sorrow and it’s just, it’s just so hard to, I just wanted to kind of interject that I, I’m here with you and I’m reading this. Um, I hope in a voice that helps you, uh, understand I get this. I, I’ve seen, felt and experienced these things and seen them with other parents as well. Um, she continues, I laid down with him to sing his bedtime song and I had to leave the room and stop the bedtime song because he kicked me out of frustration that he didn’t get his bedtime books. Usually bedtime goes pretty well, so I’m at a loss. It feels like we are just trading one melt down for another these days. Yesterday the outing was the meltdown and then bedtime was fine. Today it’s the opposite. I just can’t win. Um, and I just, I just feel for you, first of all, huge hugs. Um, second of all, we’ve got some tools to help. So I want you to take heart. There are, um, there are some things that, that you can use to, um, to get yourself through these tough, tough times. Um, and I think the first thing I just want to say is that, uh, this is [inaudible].
I think when we get into parenting, we do not realize the, the, the depths of feeling and emotions that, that we can have. There’s a huge well inside of us that we don’t even realize is there. Um, and then we can feel such love and, um, at the same time, such incredible frustration and, and it can make us, this is what I really hear in here. It can make us kind of question our own parenting. And, um, I want to, I want to give you permission to, um, not beat yourself up every time something like this happens. This, the daily interactions with, with toddlers, with preschoolers can be incredibly, can feel incredibly fraught because we think we’re doing the right thing. We think everything is going well and then it can just turn on a dime. And, um, so that is what this, this client of mine, this Ninja parent is experiencing right now.
And, um, if you are watching this, maybe you’re experiencing it too. And so I just want to give you some hugs as well. And if you’re listening, because this is also going out as a podcast episode. So, um, the first thing I want to, the first tool I want to teach is the idea that kids, I want you to think about like our kids’ development and, and the interactions that, that our kids have as they develop. So, um, this was taught to me a long, long time ago and it’s something that’s taken me through all of, not just my parenting but my teaching and working with parents. The idea that kids, uh, have each interaction that we have with the child or each interaction that a child has, we can consider it one brick in a foundation of, of a house. And so, so within our child, each of us, I guess even within us, we each have a little house.
Our, our psyche, our lives, our minds, our thinking are all built upon this incredible, beautiful foundation. And, uh, this foundation is made of bricks is how I was taught to think of it. And this has really worked for me. Um, and each brick is one interaction, one tiny exchange, one bit of learning. And when you are in the thick of it, it can, every single one of those bricks can feel like it is the biggest, biggest thing in the world. And, um, it can feel incredibly heavy and, and awful as you’re trying to lift those bricks and put them in place. And what I w what I want to encourage, uh, you to do is to pull back and look at the foundation as a whole. So if you have, if you have a toddler or a preschooler or an early elementary school child, you are, you’re actively building those foundations with your child and, um, you are helping your child to get the best possible foundation that they, that they can possibly have.
And if you pull back and look at at this, you can see first of all how huge the foundation is and how tiny each individual brick is within it. And, um, what I want you to think about is how, how lovingly you are trying to shape these to shape these foundations and, and just how much, um, care you are placing each brick width. And, um, I want to reassure you that some of the bricks are going to be off, some of them are going to have mortar that comes out want more one way than the other. Some of the bricks are going to be a little bit, um, sideways. And, and you know what that is a o k because this whole thing as a whole is a really super solid foundation. And, um, most of those bricks are going to be just fine. In fact, they’re gonna, they’re gonna contribute to this beautiful whole, um, that is your child’s psyche and as your child is developing, I want, I want to ask you to not emphasize to yourself, um, only the bricks that, that you, that vet get placed, um, that are a little bit off because within, within this post, within even this post, um, there’s a whole bunch of things that went right.
So, um, so what I didn’t read before, but what I will read now is this. So, so think about all the bricks that are in that. Just these few sentences I’m about to read. Okay. All the well-placed bricks, his before and aftercare teacher said he had a good day today. I didn’t hear anything from the preschool teacher, which to me as I’m thinking, uh, means that things went well there as well. And we had a great trip to the library and brought books home. Dinner went well and we played for a few minutes and I went into the bedtime routine with a positive mindset. It seemed like we were off to a good start. I mean like just in that there are probably 50 bricks that are all incredibly positive between the interactions that, ah, that this, uh, Ninja parent had with the, with uh, the before and after care teacher with getting in the car to go to the library with getting everything out of daycare to, to go to get into the car.
I mean, you can back this up and think about all the bricks that were placed incredibly well and beautifully here and, um, that, you know, so if things, the vast majority of our, of our days and our evenings with our kids are gonna be, um, are gonna be well-placed bricks. And I feel like what I want to emphasize here is that the ones that, that aren’t, so the ones that, the ones that our child is trying to kind of kick out a place with things like with literally kicking or screaming or a meltdown or whatever. Um, this Ninja parent did an incredibly beautiful job of sticking with the tools that we teach in the Ninja parenting community. Uh, she, so for example, um, she, I’m trying to, I’m just looking to, to make sure I can find what I want to find here. Um, uh, they try to, they usually, he usually loves a timer so that she, this coaching client put the timer on.
And um, what happened was he freaked out. So she turned the timer off when, um, he was trying to push boundaries. She basically would say, okay, I’m sorry, but you’ve lost books for tonight. You can try again tomorrow night. Like every one of those bricks that she was placing in her child’s foundations was the right brick. And so that even makes it stronger because what’s happening is she is holding those boundaries and she is holding those foundations solid and steady. And that’s gonna get us into the next one, which the next tool, which I want to get to, but I, I, um, I just want to finish up with this idea first. So if you think about, uh, about your child’s foundational, um, House that you are, that he or she is building in their minds, um, and then you think about all the thousands of bricks that get placed there over a week or a month, um, and the hundreds and hundreds of thousands of bricks that get placed there over these early years, think of them as mostly solid and well-placed.
Okay. Um, and the ones that are not solid and well-placed, there are, they’re at a minimum, first of all, um, and second of all that those are the ones that are going to make, they’re going to help make this a unique. And, um, as long as you are doing your best to, to have positive, ah, to help place bricks positively. Um, and as long as you can, you can keep in this mindset of like, this is just one tiny interaction and I can always try again. We can always try again to make things better. Um, it try and really pull out and go to the 10,000 foot view and make it so that every one of these bricks doesn’t have a massive significance. Like, um, it is okay to screw up when we are raising them and it is okay to, um, to, to feel like everything’s not perfect because everything is, is just not going to be perfect.
And the more, uh, personalized that foundation is to your child, the better. And, um, and so with that, I want to go onto the next tool that I, that I want you to think about. So, um, within this description there’s a lot of what I think of as boundary pushing and the way that I, again, I was taught this decades ago as a preschool teacher and, um, it has stayed with me through raising my own kids. It has stayed with me through, through working with parents, um, both in the podcast and also more directly, um, we can think of ourselves as everyone has a cozy little room in our heads right up here. And, um, that room is a comfortable, safe place. And our job as parents is to keep our child’s room to be comfortable in a safe place. And a lot of this has to do with, with, um, with helping it so that their walls stay set, stay steady.
So imagine if your child runs down the hall. I’m sure that’s, maybe that’s not too, uh, too much in the realm of imagination. It’s probably more like, Oh yes, they run down the hall a lot. And so, so what you, what we’re teaching our kids, we teach with these little tiny interactions. So, so yesterday they ran down the hall and you were really super frustrated and you shouted them and you said, you don’t run down that hall again. You go to your room right now and you stay there, you’re missing dinner because you ran down the hall. OK. Um, that is an extreme reaction. I really hope that was not your reaction. Uh, much better to say something along the lines of, please use your walking feet inside. Oh, remember your walking feet, um, instead of freaking out. Right. But say you did that yesterday and your child felt really punished and um, and was like, Oh God, you know, like, I’m afraid to run down the hall now and then, but the next day, because this is the nature of childhood, the next day, um, they run down the hall again and this time what you do is you go, Eh, fine, run down the hall, do whatever you need to do.
And you don’t do anything as they run back and forth, up and down the hall. And what happens here is we have moved our child’s walls in their own head. We have, um, we set a boundary yesterday and today we changed that boundary. So what we did was we created an earthquake in their little room in their head. And, um, instead of those extremes, what we want to try and do is have a consistent, a consistent sort of, oh, remember your walking feet, remember you’re walking for you. It’s always positive and, um, as much as possible, again, remember these are each brick. So if one of these bricks, you lose it and yell, um, you can always lay another brick. So don’t worry about about killing yourself when you, when you screw up. That is the nature of this, right? Um, and then the other way I want you to think about this is from the child’s perspective, they’re going to run down the hall again because they want you to keep, to keep a consistent boundary.
They want you to keep those walls steady. So what we are doing is we are helping them understand where the walls are when are consistent. And so through this, all of the interactions that this coaching client that this Ninja parent talks about, she is doing an incredible job of keeping those boundaries the same. She is not moving her child’s walls even though he is pushing on them as hard as he can. And this little guy has been through quite a few extremely positive, wonderful, really good changes in the last few months. Uh, they have moved from a a not a not optimal daycare. Um, they have moved to a whole new, uh, neighborhood in a whole new city. Um, they are now in a, in a, in a new apartment. And again, it’s all wonderful. It’s really, really, it’s, it’s really great. Um, and these have been incredibly positive decisions that this Ninja parent has made for her and her child.
She’s a single mom. She’s doing, you are doing an amazing job and I’m so, so proud of you. Um, and you’ve got a great kid and he is also doing the best that he can with all of these changes. And then, uh, more recently things at, at the new daycare went from camp shifted from camp to preschool. And so there’s a whole bunch of new routines and there is, uh, not as much time in free play. And, um, so, so those walls are, it is now more important than ever to keep those walls consistent because, because this little guy is pushing on those walls, he is kicking them, he is hitting them. He is doing everything he can to make sure that he’s safe and that these walls don’t move. I think that’s really, really, really what I want you to take from this. Um, this is the work of childhood.
It’s, this is a really significant part of the work of childhood to test those boundaries and see that they are safe. Um, we want this room to be as cozy as possible. We want them to get the most out of this that they possibly possibly can. And, um, the way that we do that is by when they push and kick and hit on those walls, we, we make sure that we keep those walls steady and we tell them, um, uh, we tell them the positive things and we help them understand that we’re going to uphold these rules no matter what. And again, if we slip, um, sometimes that is okay as long as we’re holding these walls, um, most of the time. And, um, we can do that by continually. Like there’s so much positive reinforcement. Um, this Ninja parent keeps saying things like, you get to try again tomorrow.
I hope you have books. The next time we are doing our bedtime routine out the timer, you know, you’ll get to use the timer tomorrow. There’s been a lot of like, when they get in the car, you know, um, sometimes he can’t hold himself steady. Um, and he’s got to try and kick it these walls. Um, and so they’re on their way to the car and he can’t hold hands or he can’t, um, stay. They have a, they have a little, uh, I think it’s called a magnet. It’s like a little dot that, that the hand stays on until it’s time to get into the car. And, um, I love these incredibly useful tools. They’re very positive, but a kid is going to push on those walls by seeing what happens if I do this, what happens if I do it again? What happens if I do it now?
And, um, and, and staying consistent, um, is so, so important. And then I think I’m going to, I’m gonna bring in a third here and again, this Ninja parent is incredibly good at this. I’m so proud of you. Um, we got to celebrate the well placed bricks. We got to celebrate the, the, the tiny moments where it goes well. So, so yes, one way to look at this is, um, that, that you, you’re feeling like you just can’t win. Um, you’re, you’re, the outing came at at bet the, the outing was fine today and the meltdown came at bedtime, which feels like so hard and in Congress and I totally, totally get that. And I’m so sorry for you that it’s like this and I wish it wasn’t. I mean, I, I, I remember those feelings from when I had kids and they tantrums one of my kids, um, probably had an average of maybe six to 10 tantrums every day.
Meltdowns every single day going through exactly this point. Um, there’s so much going on inside and they need us to hold those walls and, and provide a positive and steady, safe place for them. And, um, and because, because you, my Ninja parent, because we know that the changes that have been going on in your life, and we know these, these, these, um, we know that they’re positive, but we also know that there are simply changes and he is looking to keep those walls. He’s looking to still have a cozy and safe room and to do that, he’s pushing on those, on those walls. He’s priest pressing the boundaries. He may do it for a while longer. And, um, and I want you to know this and expect it and, and know that he’s actually doing exactly what he needs to do. And the more consistent you can stay and the, the, the more positive you can keep your mindset.
Um, the better. We’ve been talking about mantras in the, uh, in the Ninja parenting community. So we’ve been talking about developing, I don’t know if it’s a mantra or mantra, but that, that word that means like we are, um, we, the things that we repeat to ourselves when the going gets tough and they are relentlessly positive and they are small and short and sweet and we can keep them in mind even when the going gets tough. This is a long game we’re playing here. Um, and, and I know, I know that you can win this game by staying consistent thinking about those bricks. I’m not judging yourself too hard for the bricks that don’t, you know, get, get put into place perfectly. Cause there’s a whole lot more that are put into place beautifully. Uh, making sure that we keep the boundaries we keep even as they’re trying to, to that we don’t move their walls, that, that we keep those walls steady for them and celebrating when things go right.
Um, a lot went right in this day. So, so you could also look at it instead of feeling like you just can’t win. Uh, tonight. If it’s happening again, think to yourself like, what did, how did I win today? You know what I won by? Uh, getting him successfully. You just got out of the bathroom and got him into bed, right? That’s a success. Um, it’s a success every time. You don’t move those walls and it’s a success. Every time you, you, you get him or her. If you’re, if you’re watching and you’re not this particular Ninja parent, um, it’s a success. Every time you get them, um, through another part of a tough day, it’s, it’s a success. And, um, I, I’m here with you and I just want you to know that. Um, I, I, yeah, so these three tools, thinking about the bricks in, in this foundation and how it’s such a huge foundation and each brick is not very big.
Um, and we can always try again with more bricks, right? Keeping those walls steady so that they are safe and they know they’re safe and they feel that. And this is how they learn it because they push on those walls and I’m celebrating even the tiniest wins, you know, the tiniest ones. And thinking on them and in going to the positive, um, that that’s how you will, uh, that’s how you’ll, you’ll succeed here. That’s how you will end up, um, at the end of, you know, a Lotta at the end of today, at the end of this hour, at the end of this, this month, this, this year. Um, when your child is a little bit older and you can look back and you go, wow, they really did push those boundaries. They really did push on those walls. That was a time where they needed me to be consistent and I did it.
Um, and it’s a daily, it’s a daily momentary thing. Um, and so I have a lot of sympathy for you and a lot of empathy and compassion if you’re in that because I was in it and I came through it and, and I help other parents get through it. Um, this is the kind of help that I am really good at offering. Um, this is the kind of help that really helps, that really helps parents. And, um, I can help you too. I can help you really closely either as a private coaching client or in our Ninja parenting community as a parent. Um, please go to, we turned out ok.com that’s okay. A Y we turned out okay. Dot Com slash join NPC. And that’s all one word because it’s the Ninja parenting committee. So join NPC. Um, if you want to learn about working more closely with me and then into parenting community, you can go to, we turned out, okay.
Dot Com slash work with me again, all one word to find out more about how if you’re coming through something big like a divorce or, um, you’ve just found out that your child has a developmental issue or, um, a learning delay or something like that. And, and need, I do work with clients really closely. Um, and that involves us working together like, um, daily. So, so, you know, think on that. If you need something that’s a little bit of a little bit more and if you just want, you know, a little boost, um, listen to the podcast and if you just want a little bit more of a boost, join my weekly parenting newsletter, which is, I try to share things. I try to share tools like this is going to be the subject of next week’s newsletter. This is a really biggie and important one.
Um, I’ve done ones on the most dangerous place on the Internet, which is Youtube and how to protect your child. Um, it’s funny cause I’m recording this in youtube, but I also do believe that it can be a very, very dangerous place if you don’t know what you’re doing. Um, and a lot of times little kids do not know what they’re doing and so it can be very dangerous for them. So those are the kinds of tools that I offer with the newsletter. It is available at, again, we turned out okay. Dot Com slash weekly w e, k, l, y. And um, that’s a lot of the ways that I can help you. If you have a question or, or something that you, a situation that you want to talk more about with me, I’m very happy to, to do that. Go to, we turned out okay.
Dot Com slash contact or email me karen at weturnedoutokay dot com and um, I would just want to say thank you so much for watching all the way to the end. Um, I really hope that this has been helpful for you and um, and my heart goes out to you if you are in this situation. And also my, I want a sense of confidence to go out to you too. I know you can do this. I know you can. Um, I know you can do this. I know you’ve got this. Um, let me know if I can be of help of more help and I will, um, I will talk to you soon. So to this Ninja parent, I will see you in the forums and um, hopefully if you’re not this an independent, but you’re another one, I’ll see you in the forums too. And, um, if all else fails, I will see you on the podcast. I will see you in our newsletter, uh, our weekly newsletter group and, um, cheers. Talk to you soon. Bye.