The We Turned Out Okay Podcast

What kind of hijinks did you get up to as a kid? Did you climb trees? Did you run around outside barefoot? Did you eat raw cookie dough? Maybe you wanted to do these and other crazy things, but you weren't allowed… Let me ask you this: what if your children wanted to? Would you let them? If you hesitate there, well, you're in the right place. The We Turned Out Okay podcast is where we learn the hows and whys of hovering less and enjoying our young children more. You get to learn from host Karen Lock Kolp's mistakes, but especially from the successes of her guests. Each helpful, lively conversation illustrates why this show really is "The Modern Guide to Old-School Parenting."
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The We Turned Out Okay Podcast




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May 15, 2018

Maybe you have said to yourself,
when you're watching a parent fail miserably to bring a recalcitrant child under control, "that will NEVER be me. I pride myself on order and discipline in my house!"

Or, maybe you've heard snide comments from teachers or relatives about your child "ruling the roost," and it's frustrating because you don't want to be a disciplinarian. That's not why you had kids, to order them around!

So, which is it? Do you need to be firm? Or do you need to be flexible?

Listen to today's episode to find out!

For notes on this episode including:

- The answer to this dilemma of flexibility vs. firmness
- The sign-up for the 3 Secrets of Happy Parenting FREE online class, which distills everything I've learned into 3 simple lessons for true enjoyment of this parenting life
– Key Links and every back episode of We Turned Out Okay

Go to

Thank you so much for listening!

May 8, 2018

To us grown-ups, summer can mean

headaches caused by heat and humidity, too much time spent in air-conditioning, and unwelcome changes in routine.

Also, the endless application of sunscreen on our littles.

But to kids, just being outside can be a revelation. There's birdsong, and water, and dirt…

Summer is a great time for reconnecting with your child, for truly listening to him or her - for deep, true bonding with this little person you are bringing up.

Does that seem daunting? If you're not sure how to begin, listen to this episode of We Turned Out Okay!

Today, I am excited to interview Sunshine Parenting podcast host Audrey Monke, who has directed a summer camp for more than 30 years.

In that time Audrey has seen it all: extreme homesickness, parental worries, and, again and again, the life-changing magic of summertime.

We tap into her knowledge of how to make summer great, as Audrey shares THE 3 most important things you can do this summer to capture that magic, to truly enjoy the time you spend with your young child.

For TONS of amazing links that come up in today's conversation, as well as to join our We Turned Out Okay private Facebook group (I've got a big announcement in today's episode about something new happening in the group!)…

Go to
Thanks for listening!

May 1, 2018

As you probably did, I got spanked as a kid.
But, probably unlike you, I became an early childhood educator and lesson one was "we never, EVER spank a child."

Still, it's tempting, especially if it means stopping a behavior that you cannot stand for one more minute.

So, is it ever okay to spank your child? Do you ever do it?

Today – on We Turned Out Okay's THIRD birthday! – we dig into why parents spank kids, the lessons a child learns from being spanked, and what other options we parents have.

WHY Parents Spank Kids
Not surprisingly, spanking doesn't happen when your child's behavior is smooth and easy.

It's when they balk at what you are telling them to do.

When they drag their feet, whine, nag at a sibling until that sibling retaliates.

Spankings happen when we feel that we have been pushed to the absolute brink – when we feel like we have got no other choice.

Take a listen to this episode if you've ever felt like that, especially if you're not quite sure that spanking is what you should be doing, but you don't see any other option.

For notes to today's episode, including:

- A 3-step method you can follow to discipline without spanking
- The sign-up for the 3 Secrets of Happy Parenting FREE online class, which distills everything I've learned into 3 simple lessons for true enjoyment of this parenting life
– Key Links and every back episode of We Turned Out Okay

Go to

Thank you so much for listening!

Apr 22, 2018

Lots of us parents are pretty freaked out by the thought of money,

finances, and all the stuff we don't understand about it.

Ben (my husband and the producer of our show) and I have spent the last year or so confronting our concerns about money, really looking our finances squarely in the face and conquering our fears…

Through this process, we have become more of a team than we were before! Our goals are aligned, each understands the other's priorities better than ever, and we work closely together now to make our dreams come true.

That's why I wanted to go in depth on the subject for you.

I want you to have those same good feelings, and understand that it's possible to conceive of a great future for your child – and to actually start BUILDING that future.


What are the 5 most important things for you to remember, when you're thinking about finances and raising kids? Listen to today's episode to find out!

Go to for notes on today's 5 key takeaways, and links to every WTOO episode about parenting and money, so you can really go in depth on this topic!

At the website you'll also find:
– Every back episode of We Turned Out Okay
– The sign-up for our 3 Secrets of Happy Parenting FREE online class
– Links so you can subscribe to the podcast in Apple/iTunes, Spotify, and more

Happy Listening!

Apr 17, 2018

Today's conversation is super special,

because it's with our personal financial planner, Steven Taylor – the man who has helped Ben and I align our goals and begin truly working together to achieve our dreams.

Like many of the best conversations, ours doesn't stick strictly to the subject at hand. It starts off with sports and quickly develops into a meaningful conversation about parenting (Steven is Dad to 3-and 2-year-old boys).…

And soon, it's a full-blown exploration of the best money mindset that parents can have.

Whatever your fears about money, or your approach to financial planning, this conversation will make you feel better.

Thanks so much to Steven for coming on the show, and to you for listening!

Show notes, including lots of great links that came up during our conversation, at

Also there, you'll find the link to sign up for two cool things happening at our local library:

My workshop on how to handle weeknight chaos with little kids (this coming Monday evening, April 23), and Steven's workshop on budgeting, though he prefers the term "spending plan," on Tuesday evening, May 29!

If you can be in Bellingham, Massachusetts for either of these, that would be awesome!

Apr 10, 2018

If we're being honest, who among us has NOT bribed a kid? (Listen to this episode to hear about how we potty trained our youngest… using entire donuts as bribes.)

But is there a better way?

Something we could do to change our child's behavior from bad to good?

Something that would stop us feeling like we're being emotionally blackmailed by our kids?

Listen to today's episode to understand exactly WHY we parents resort to bribery – when it's most likely to happen – and for 3 things we can do instead!

Read more about bribery…
Find every back episode of the We Turned Out Okay podcast…
Sign up for the 3 Secrets of Happy Parenting Class…

All at

Happy listening!

Apr 3, 2018

Working with parents of young children,

one phrase comes up again and again – one really dangerous phrase.

It's dangerous because it perpetuates bad behavior from our kids, which none of us want… Yet, it is really hard not to use it.

You probably use this phrase yourself; I know I have.

Today I share:
– Exactly what the two most dangerous words in a parent's vocabulary are
– Why these words get used so often
What you can say instead for good behavior from your child

Today's episode helps you get past the bad behavior so you can fulfill your ultimate goal of truly enjoying family time!

Read more about these two dangerous words and what to say instead…
Find every back episode of the We Turned Out Okay podcast…
Sign up for the 3 Secrets of Happy Parenting Class…
All at

Happy listening!

Mar 27, 2018

Did you ever wish that you could find just the right book to help your child understand some large issue that you're just not sure how to talk about?

Then today's episode is for you – my guest Ashia Ray runs, a website dedicated to helping parents find great books, on every subject.

Listen to find out:
– How to use books to make your parenting life easier and better
– When a book is "age-appropriate"
– Why boring books are dangerous

Read about Ashia's two most important takeaways, and find links to lots of books and other resources at!

Mar 20, 2018

We live in a complicated world, financially speaking, which can seem completely shrouded in mystery to us parents – never mind the kids! What with credit cards, bitcoin, Apple pay, swiping, tapping, and sliding, the value of an actual dollar can get com

Mar 13, 2018

I'm sure you've heard that it costs tons of money to raise a child to the age of eighteen – $233,610 in 2015, according to the Money/CNN report I read in preparing for this episode.

If that number has you freaked out, you are not alone!

But is it really accurate? That's the question we are looking into today.

Go to for key links and the most adorable picture of one of my children; the outfit he's wearing in the photo comes up today. Thanks for listening!

Mar 6, 2018

BOOK GIVEAWAY: today's guest, Raeshal Solomon of, has graciously offered to give one lucky listener a set of her books that teach financial literacy to little kids!
Listen to today's episode to find out how to enter the giveaway : )

Raeshal Solomon comes by her knowledge of how to get out of debt honestly – she's worked hard to rid herself of nearly all her $400,000 debt, while raising two young boys AND living with sickle-cell anemia.

She tells us exactly how she accomplished this incredible feat during today's episode!

Raeshal also shares great ideas for you, if you're trying to work your way out of financial debt, and talks about why she got started writing books on financial literacy for young children.

I know you're going to get so much out of today's episode. Please share with a friend who needs a boost of inspiration today!

Watch a quick, wonderful YouTube video on Raeshal and grab the key links for today's episode at Thank you for listening!

Feb 27, 2018

"I HATE to yell at you… But you make me do it. It's your fault."
Recently, I spoke with a mom who said that she tells her kids this all the time.

Do you ever feel like this, when your child is giving you crazy attitude ?

Or when your child is whining, or picks a fight with a sibling over absolutely nothing at all?

In short, do you ever feel like you cannot take your child's bad, embarrassing behavior for one more second?

If so, today's episode gives you a ninja tactic that will completely change this dynamic!

If you really care about stopping your children's annoying behavior before it starts, and you really care about not flying off the handle with them… Today's episode shows you how to do it.

Listen in to find out how to do it right!


3 Secrets of Happy Parenting:

You know that fear and dread that you feel can about spending time with your young child?

Those hours that drag on, when paradoxically it feels like there is so much to do but also the minutes just creep by, super slowly, moment by agonizing moment?

I am excited to share the 3 Secrets of Happy Parenting, which give you the power to overcome that fear and dread and truly enjoy the time you spend with your kids.

Learn these 3 Secrets in my Live, Online Class

So, I know in this episode I say "the 3 Secrets of Happy Parenting Minicourse is all ready for you!"
Life interfered this time: I got bronchitis and I'm still recovering…

But what IS ready: the 3 Secrets of Happy Parenting Live, Online Class!

The Minicourse is still in production, but in the meantime learn these three secrets while connecting with me live!

By the end of this live, online 40-minute class, you'll know how to make the time you spend with your kids really enjoyable time.

Click the link below for details and to register:

Other key links over at
Thank you so much for listening : )

Feb 20, 2018

Are the frightening and persistent questions of life weighing on you right now?

Today I share the story of my own frightening and persistent question, a real biggie which brought with it a lot of parental guilt – but yet this question simply wouldn't leave me alone…

Today I share how I successfully addressed it, and I introduce a minicourse that can help you address it, too.

This minicourse is all ready for you over at!

It's called The Three Secrets of Happy Parenting, and today's episode is also the intro to the course.

Sign up by going to!

And thank you so much for listening : )

Feb 13, 2018

So, I got totally sick with bronchitis! I am thankfully on the mend, but I haven't had a voice suitable for radio at all… Which means I'm extra-happy to bring you this great conversation, a listener favorite from 2017.

Early childhood education professors Lisa Daly and Miriam Beloglovsky are in the midst of writing a series of books called Loose Parts, extremely practical books about structuring a kid's environment to eliminate lots of problems, including temper tantrums!

But, I bet that's not how they would describe it… Because while we are eliminating the problems, we are fostering really cool stuff in our children – and THAT is what Loose Parts is really about.

Key links at – and thank you so much for listening : )

Feb 8, 2018

"I am terrified to stop doing mostly everything and accept help for fear that if I do, my family will resent me." – 2017 Free Friendly Mirror Challenge Participant

Hello my friend, how are you today?

If you're feeling at all like this long-time listener, today's quickie bonus episode shares all about something that will help!

It's my FREE, 5-Day Friendly Mirror Challenge, in which we are working to smile (instead of cringe) when we look in the mirror.

There's a quick little win for you each day of the challenge…

Each day gives you a new opportunity to feel better when you look in the mirror, because you're feeling a new sense of self-acceptance and self-forgiveness.

Sound good

Click here for details and to sign up - the challenge starts this coming Monday with an email into your inbox each day Monday, February 12 through Friday, February 16…

Cheers! And thanks for listening!

Feb 6, 2018

Today we've got help for you, if you're feeling extremely cooped up in these dark months of the year (for the northern hemisphere, anyway)!

I went to the members of the Ninja Parenting Community and the We Turned Out Okay Facebook group to find out how they beat the winter blahs…

This episode is a compendium of their best ideas!
Thank you everyone who contributed, there were some new ones in here that even I didn't know about : )

Key links – including the sign-up for the upcoming FREE Friendly Mirror Challenge – at – thank you for listening!

Jan 30, 2018

Do you sometimes feel that you will drown in a sea of bad news, bad weather, bad everything?

I know I do… and right here at the beginning of the year I am sharing the ways that I have found to stay positive, even while floating on this sea.

Listen to today's episode so that we can stay positive together!

Key links – and there are a TON today – at Thank you for listening : )

Jan 23, 2018

Today's guest has a new book out, The Toddler Survival Guide, that I know you'll love because it is practical, funny, and endearing.

And, as soon as I heard author Heather Spohr's voice on the day of our interview, I knew that it would also be those three things… But it turned out to be a lot more.

We talk about Princess Leia, potty training – and grief. Heather and her husband Mike lost a child to illness, when their daughter was just three years old, and what I love about Heather is her ability to share about the tough stuff while staying extremely positive.

So, listen for the laughs, listen for the connection, and read Heather's new book to remember that you are not alone, if you are (or have ever been) the parents of toddlers.

But also listen for Heather's description of the support that a strong community brings, whether real-world or virtual.

Key links at – and thank you for listening!

Jan 16, 2018

In my recent conversation with Mental Health Counselor and Play Specialist Janine Halloran, we talked about the outrageously high rates of suspensions and expulsions in preschools nationwide.

And one listener wrote soon after to share her child's experience in preschool:

"Such an interesting podcast and alarming pre-K statistics. I can say we saw an opposite thing happening… Several kids were overly aggressive with minimal consequences… My child was being bullied by these aggressive children to the point of not wanting to go to school."

Listener Jessica was kind enough to let me share her thoughts with you, and address her concerns, which might be your concerns as well, in today's episode.

What comes out of it is the realization that many preschool policies on discipline are way out of whack with what kids really need to learn – both the bullies, and the bullied  - to get along in this world.

Key links at, and thanks for listening!

Jan 9, 2018

Every January since We Turned Out Okay began, I've shared my goals for the coming year. Not resolutions… which feel to me a little more arbitrary and easier to pull out of… but Goals.

And this year is no exception!

Somehow the idea of glass balls and rubber balls (one of which breaks when dropped, and the other of which bounces) felt really important to share with you, probably because I'm returning from major burnout and got it because I dropped a glass ball, my "health" ball.

So listen in to find out more about glass/rubber balls, the goals I've set and why I set them, and what this year's One Word is!

Notes and links at!

Jan 2, 2018

Happy new year!! Next week we'll work on making 2018 be the best year yet – but part of that is looking back at 2017.

Today I'm sharing the three most valuable lessons I learned from 2017, a year that many listeners characterized as pretty awful, but one that held many valuable lessons for me – and in many ways was a good and fun year too.

I also share some changes I've made to the podcast schedule, based largely on the horrific burnout I experienced in December… It's tough to be helpful to you as you work to have a happy family life when I am so frazzled, when I'm attempting to pour from an empty cup.

To keep being able to help you, I've made some changes, and I'm sharing about them today. Click to read about them!

Dec 26, 2017

In which we discuss favorite episodes, Karen's, and Listeners'…

The family dynamics of introverts versus extroverts; the joy and learning that comes with Loose Parts; falling down and getting back up again; a profound and hilarious potty training story.

All links at

Happy listening and Happy New Year!!

Dec 21, 2017

On the day I recorded this episode, late last week in real time, I had a moment, at about 10 AM, where I realized I ought to be in about three different places… All at exactly 10 AM.

That's when my heart started racing.

Then, when I looked around my home and realized all that still wasn't quite done, or not even started yet… and then I realized I was still in my pajamas… The complete and total futility of the season slammed into my brain.

As I've often said on the show, that was "Mom Karen" – Time to go and get some advice from Podcast Karen!

So, I dropped everything and recorded this show about dealing with burnout.

And I just want to give a special thanks in here for thirteen-year-old Jason Kolp (who shares great advice about how to help children with their fears, back in episode 193). He's the one who really helped me figure out what to focus on first.

He told me to go and help you, which is exactly what I did.

I hope this episode helps you, as much as it helped Mom Karen : )

For a quickie breakdown of the three steps to alleviating burnout, plus key links and to watch the video I made about handling holiday kid craziness, go to Happy listening!

Dec 19, 2017

Today's guest, returning champion KJ Dell'Antonia of the #AmWriting with Jess and KJ Podcast, brings her best ideas for how you can really enjoy this time of year, no matter what craziness you've got going on in your life.

The WTOO annual Parent Holiday Survival Guide goes Beyond Audio in 2017

Each year I bring you resources I know you'll love as you figure out how to enjoy the holidays. This year I'm psyched because not only do I have audio resources for you, to listen while you drive on endless errands, bake endless cookies, or wrap endless gifts… I've got video and Facebook live offerings to help you handle the holidays as well!

Go to for key links, including:
– KJ's Happier Parent Holiday Survival Guide PDF
– The We Turned Out Okay Facebook group
– The Latest how-to video ("How to handle holiday kid craziness")
– Lots more resources to help you handle the holidays!

Dec 17, 2017

Are you, like lots of your fellow listeners, noticing a certain unhappiness creeping in to your daily life? A sense of insanity that you cannot escape from? Overwhelm at all the stuff you've got to do in pretty short amount of time, and getting shorter every day?

Then you should join the free 5-Day Handle the Holidays Challenge.

It starts tomorrow if you're listening in real time – Monday, December 18 – and in today's quickie bonus episode I share some reasons why listeners are joining…

I also share a little story about burnout, right here in my own life.

Thanks for listening!

Sign-ups for the Handle the Holidays challenge end TONIGHT. Don't miss out!
Click the link below to join

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