147: THE Key to Being Happier At Home: A Your Child Explained Episode

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!

Back in episode 140, parenting author KJ Dell’Antonia gave us many more great ideas than could be digested in one conversation… So for the first time in We Turned Out Okay history she’s got 3 Your Child Explained episodes all to herself!

In our conversation KJ commented: “after a month we get tired of nagging, “… it’s easier just to load this dishwasher myself…” and then we do – and then we’re back to square one.”

Today: the one thing you can do in your parenting that makes everything else either easier or unnecessary! (Can you tell I’ve been reading The One Thing by Gary Keller and Jay Papasan?)

Click weturnedoutokay.com/147 to to listen, to sign up for tonight’s (Thursday, March 30, 2017, 8 PM EST) live, free NPC FAQ Q&A (at which you can grab a free copy of Positive Discipline Ninja Tactics, my e-book that helps you handle everything your little kids can throw at you) AND to sign up for the free, live Common Parenting Challenges class coming up in April!


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

And/Or:  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


I start today’s show off by remembering KJ’s comment: “after a month we get tired of nagging, “… it’s easier just to load this dishwasher myself…” and then we do – and then we’re back to square one.”

So, what’s the key, one thing we parents can do to ensure more happiness in our parenting, with our children, and in our homes?

It’s (drumroll, please…) Follow-through.

Every time we’re inconsistent we make life with children tougher and more of a struggle – on both them and us.

Kids need our consistency to feel safe, and to trust that the limits we set up will be there the next time they push on those limits. And the next time… And the next time.

So if we, as KJ mentions, “stop nagging and just do it ourselves,” we’ve set a limit – and then failed to keep that limit in place.

Today’s conversation focuses a little bit on the 4 C’s of leadership (which I’ve amended to the 5 C’s).

Originally a business world concept, I have found that the C’s of leadership, whether 4 or 5, make a huge difference in how parents view their roles at home. Kids need a strong leader (or two), and when we realize that and step into that role, everything gets easier.

Key Links:

Here is my conversation with KJ in episode 140; click here for episode 141, the first Your Child Explained referencing our conversation, and here for the second KJ-based YCE, episode 144.

For more on the 5 C’s of leadership and how they can be used in family life, check out Positive Discipline Ninja Tactics, the book I wrote to help parents navigate the minefield that is modern parenting. Check it out there – but then, to get it for FREE, come to tonight’s NPC FAQ Q&A! Click the button above to sign up, and bring your questions : )

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.

141: Use This Ninja Tactic to Cut Down on Your Child’s Bad Behavior – A Your Child Explained Episode

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!

During Tuesday’s guest conversation, mom and author KJ Dell’Antonia shared the results of a pretty big (1000-person) survey of parents she commissioned as research for her upcoming book.

The thing that parents worry about most?
“Discipline,” KJ shares.

Discipline enters into many aspects of our parenting lives.

It’s firmness in enforcing rules; consistency in keeping routines established; being good models for our children.

During our conversation, I share a lesson taught to me long ago, in my first years of teaching, about “not moving our kids’ walls.”

KJ was so taken with this idea that she quotes me in her blog this week!

Click weturnedoutokay.com/141 to listen, and to read about how moving our children’s walls creates the bad behavior we really don’t want to see.

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

Moving our kids’ walls is another way of expressing the importance of consistency.

(And consistency is… One aspect of discipline. We’re back to that again, my friend.)

Here’s what KJ wrote in her Week 3 Chore Challenge blog post about moving walls:

I was a guest on Karen Lock Kolp’s “We Turned Out Okay” podcast today, and she said something very insightful (which she attributed to an older teacher who was part of her teacher training earlier in life):

“If you tell a child you expect them to do something, like put away the blocks every time he’s used them, then that’s sort of a room you’ve created in his brain, where things work a certain way, where there are certain walls. Then if some of the time, you let him leave the blocks without putting them away, you’re moving the walls. And nobody likes it when the walls move.”

When we’re inconsistent, when we keep changing the rules (or enforcing them only sometimes) – were moving our children’s walls.

It’s very scary for them when their walls move.

When children are scared, they will react in any number of ways: with tantrums, whining, tears… In short, behavior that we don’t want to see. In shorter, bad behavior.

That’s why this idea of not moving their walls is so important.

I love it because it starts with us; our consistency – or lack of – is what really matters here.

Of course, that’s why I also hate it; it puts the responsibility squarely on me to be consistent!

If that can happen at least most of the time, believe me, it will be enough.

Key Links:

Click here to read KJ’s Chore Challenge blog post.

Click here to join her chore challenge!

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. Not moving our kids’ walls comes up in here – because it’s a great ninja tactic! Read my book to learn more about this one, and many other ninja tactics that will help you in your parenting every single day.

140: How to Be Happier In Your Parenting: A Conversation with Mom, Author, Columnist and New York Times Contributing Editor KJ Dell’ Antonia

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

Today’s guest didn’t set out to be a writer. But after getting her law degree and being a practicing attorney for six years, she made a discovery: law just wasn’t her thing; instead, she found, she was a writer.

In the spirit of finding stuff out through writing, KJ Dell’Antonia began freelancing about motherhood; she’s written for Slate magazine, Parenting magazine, Parents magazine, and many others. She is now a contributing editor and columnist on the Well Family page at the New York Times, and currently on book leave to write – what else? – a book that’s going to help us be happier in our parenting.

KJ shares where her research for this as-yet-unnamed parenting book is taking her, and you’re going to be thrilled because she’s investigating all the problems that you are most likely currently living with!

To find out how to handle getting your kids to do more around the house, how to help with homework, and how to be a part of KJ’s chores project (i.e.: getting your kids to do more chores) click weturnedoutokay.com/140!

Today’s episode is brought to you by the Ninja Parenting Community:

Do you struggle to manage your child’s behavior at home?
Is she in trouble at school or child care?
Is he starting to think of himself as a “bad kid” – even though you know he’s not?

Get the expert advice, training courses, and support you need

To help your children, but especially to help yourself.
The Ninja Parenting Community teaches moms and dads just like you to get into their best parenting mindset and thus be happier, less stressed, and more confident in parenting and beyond.

Click here to learn more about the Ninja Parenting Community, and start worrying less and enjoying more at home!

Guess what the vast majority of parents struggle with on a day-to-day basis?

KJ’s done extensive research on this, even commissioning a study with 1000 parents, for her upcoming book.

Her research shows that most parents struggle with one concept:


(I know… It sounded familiar to me too.)

Today, KJ shares how discipline wends its way through everything else in our parenting lives: chores, homework, consistency.

KJ is currently running a free project for parents (herself included : )
Click here to see what it’s all about!
Also! In our conversation today I bring up the concept of not moving kids’ walls… And KJ honored me by using this concept in week three of her chore challenge! Click here to read more : )

You can also find KJ:
on instagram here; and on twitter here.

She’s really fun to connect with out in the social media world, and not just for the adorable and funny Playmobil pictures she posts!

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; you can even read the introduction for free to determine if my book will be helpful to you.

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!