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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Aug 3, 2017

It's time for NPC member Jen's parent-coaching call, and it's a doozy: Jen was feeling guilty about being "responsible" for getting her kids into situations where they were overtired and/or frustrated. She took their misbehavior as her fault, and in this episode I help her figure out a more productive way to frame the situation.

We also dig in to several other issues, and by helping Jen resolve them on-air, I also get to help you figure out what to do when:

  • Your child screams "no!" In those moments when you need her to do what you're asking her to do instead of what she wants to do.
  • You're trying to figure out how far to push your child in interacting with strangers.

Listen to this episode for detailed answers; to read my suggestions and check out the key links for this episode, including the link to joining the FREE Streamline Your Mornings back-to-school challenge starting in early September, go to… Enjoy the show!

Aug 1, 2017

Today's guest, PJ Jonas, got a few goats several years ago, because she just loved goats. Always keeping that love in the forefront, PJ and her family – her husband and their eight children – went from those few goats early on to, today, owning and operating a family farm which creates soaps, lotions, and edibles, all from goats milk.

When you learn that the Jonas family homeschools in addition to operating the farm and their website,, you begin to realize the genius that PJ has for organizing and running this well-oiled machine.

You also can hear in PJ's voice just how much she enjoys her days, filled as they are with family, and fun, and love.
In our conversation she shares all kinds of tips – both mindset and practical – for creating the life you want.

Also! During this episode PJ shares a link, that she made especially for our show, where you can get a free bar of her amazing soap! (Which I did. PJ shares a full-sized bar of soap in whatever flavor you want – mine is lavender – and it lasts a really long time : )

For show notes and key links, including the one for your free bar of soap, go to Enjoy the show!

Jul 25, 2017

Today's episode is a celebration: the Ninja Parenting Community is one year old! That means I've been helping parents of young children figure out their toughest challenges for a whole year – and we've overcome some doozies:
– "How do I handle multiple meltdowns?"
– "What do I do with my child's disrespectful language and shouting?"
– "I'm so overwhelmed… What with sports schedules and everything else, there's never enough time!"

This episode is all about the sweet taste of victory; we're highlighting success stories! Find out how one member planned and executed a great beach day with her young children, and cheer on another member as she celebrates four whole days without any meltdowns…

Go to for key links, and to watch my appearance on the Women Inspired TV show – my own personal success story.

Jul 20, 2017

We're sticking with the food theme this week, today addressing listener Tim's concerns about kids and food:

"Why are my toddlers not eating fruits/vegetables? Why are they only eating snacks (cereal, popcorn, Lunchables, grrrrrr)?"

In March of 2016 I made the whole month about food – how to handle picky eaters, how to prepare food without going bankrupt or spending hours in the kitchen – I even created a Guide to Food and Family, with recipes and food hacks, which you'll find in the sidebar at!

Go to to listen and to read about my responses to Tim's questions (and thank you, Tim, for asking : )

Jul 18, 2017

When today's guest, Jeannie Marshall, became pregnant with their son Nico after her family relocated to Italy, she developed a fascination for how Italians introduce their babies to food, and the part that food plays in Italian children’s lives now that factory foods and agribusiness have made inroads into Italy. She details her experiences in one of my favorite books, The Lost Art of Feeding Kids.

One memorable line: Jeannie writes about when Italian mom of baby Rocco, a boy the same age as Nico who is being exposed to first foods as well, says it’s as though we North Americans are "teaching our babies not to like food.”

Our conversation, originally aired in March of 2016, reflects Jeannie and her family’s love of Italy, Italians, and Italian food – and also their first-hand experiences fighting that battle that we fight every day: getting inexpensive and tasty meals on the table (and then getting our kids to eat those meals).

Find key links and to complete notes by going to!

Jul 11, 2017

Can you think back on your own childhood and come up with some crazy sibling-fight stories? I’ve heard some doozies, people being hung out windows or tied to trees by their siblings, the time a brother put green dye in a sister’s hair – so the sister retaliated by pouring glitter into the brother’s bed!

Siblings can hurt each other in lots of big and small ways; sometimes it feels like there’s no good intervention.

Today, I share about a book that I first read while pregnant with my second: Siblings Without Rivalry by Adele Faber and Elaine Mazlish. This book is the second of The Fabulous Five, five books which will transform your relationship with your children, so get reading them ASAP (here’s the blog post detailing the Fab Five)!

It made the list because, quite simply, if you have more than one child - or if you grew up in a family where you had at least one sibling - you will finally understand how to help when siblings fight.

Today, we talk about the ups and downs of brothers and sisters, both in our families growing up and in our homes as parents. Go to for show notes and key links!

Jul 6, 2017

Today's episode, originally broadcast in late 2015, is a Your Child Explained, about how to help our kids grow into creative, happy, socially engaged and above all successful adults.

In Tuesday's guest episode, nursery school owner and director Tanya Trainor shared about the changes she, her staff, and the children they serve made to their playground. The traditional slides, climbers, and other big (pricey) equipment typically seen on the playground are gone, and in their place are what Tanya calls “loose parts.”

Tanya shares that loose parts on the playground have translated for them into more social engagement and less redirection/discipline, a result they never expected.

Today's YCE digs more into my conversation with Tanya. Go to for show notes and key links!

Jul 4, 2017

Today’s episode, originally broadcast in late 2015, was super fun to record because I got out of my usual studio and hung out at what’s easily the most amazing playground I’ve ever seen. All of the equipment we see on a typical playground – huge climber, big slide, jungle gym – was gone, and in its place were loose pieces. Bricks, cement pavers, wooden siding, bales of hay, an 8 foot long rowboat, tree stumps suitable for sitting on or rolling around, a rain gutter with a hose near the top: these were some of the many things that replaced more typical playground equipment.

It’s not a huge space, and today’s guest, nursery school director and owner Tanya Trainor of Miss Tanya’s Nursery School, knew that typical equipment would no longer work when, in spring of 2014, she found out that the fall zones required around each piece of equipment were expanding. So, Tanya and her staff did an amazing thing: they asked the children, “when we get rid of the climber out on the playground, what should we replace it with?” Their answers created the wonderful results spread out before me.

Listen to this episode to discover:

1) how these playground changes brought about the wonderful improvement in children's behavior while outside

2) the children's contributions to this new outdoor play space, and the difference contributing has made in their feelings of autonomy and collaboration

3) the dramatic drop in frequency of negative behaviors; Tanya reports far fewer incidents of conflict or need for redirection since moving to the new kind of playground

Go to for key links and to listen – and have a happy Fourth of July!

Jun 27, 2017

Have you ever had it happen where you're asking your child to do something, and he or she is saying "no"?

Depending on your child's age or developmental maturity level, I bet you hear that word – "no" – an awful lot.

Today's ninja tactic digs into one way to cut down on the noes!

It's all about giving kids directives instead of asking, which sounds simple but in reality can be pretty complicated: when do we give them choices, ask questions, and when is it time to give a directive and communicate to them that "this is not a choice"?

Click for show notes and key links to this episode!

Jun 22, 2017

One member of the Ninja Parenting Community might be channeling your thoughts right now: "Oh why do little kids obsess over certain movies? I have been putting Monsters Versus Aliens on every day for a month. What is going on those little brains that makes them demand the same movie so often for so long?"

Kids do this all the time… and not just with movies, they do it with books, and stories, and music, too.

In this Your Child Explained, we dig into why, exactly what's happening in "those little brains" that makes them want everything repeated endlessly.

Click for key links and show notes!

Jun 20, 2017

Normally, in a We Turned Out Okay guest episode, it's me doing the interviewing… but today that format gets turned on its head!

Recently the gentleman behind the Blessing Not Stressing podcast, Rob Broadhead, invited me onto his show. He's such a great interviewer and the idea behind the show is such a lovely one that of course I said "yes please" – and as we spoke I knew I wanted you to be able to listen in as well.

Rob splits his conversations into several episodes; on this WTOO episode today we're bringing you the middle two, "School of Hard Knocks" and "Mistakes and Forgiveness."

Go to for links to both the first and final portions of my conversation with Rob. I hope you enjoy listening to this conversation as much as I enjoyed participating in it!

Jun 13, 2017

These last several Just You and Me episodes have been about important stuff: being happier at home, having well-behaved children in public, helping kids resolve their own conflicts.

They've each hinged on one particular idea: that the toys kids play with and what's in their environment, can really change their behavior. (Head back to episodes 154, 157, and 160 for the rest of the "Loose Parts" series.)

Today's episode is about how to actually make these changes – without spending much, if any, money and without driving yourself bananas at the same time…

Go to for key links and the promised free PDF of what to bring in to replace all those 1-trick toys that you're tripping all over at home!

Jun 8, 2017

Do you tell your kids how beautiful they are, or how smart they are? This past Tuesday's conversation with Nicole Gardner reminded me once more how dangerous praise – at least the wrong kind of praise – is.Read the show notes for today's episode, about how to make sure you're giving the right kind of praise (and not the harmful kind of praise) by clicking the link below…

You'll also find an installment of my new YouTube video series, Parents Time-Out, that addresses this issue as well – if you've only got a few minutes, but you want to understand how praise can hurt, the video is the place to start.

Go to to check it out, and have a great day!

Jun 6, 2017

Recently I attended a presentation about all the key stuff happening in our kids' brains, in which today's guest, Nicole Gardner of the Bezos Family Foundation, shared research, stories, and ideas that resonated so deeply with me, I knew I needed to get her on the show.

I learned that:
– babies' brains create millions – millions! – of new neurons every second
– young kids are all set to learn what they need to know, they come equipped with the best educational tools built-in
– the single most important learning tool they need from their environment: trusted adults

Today's conversation dives into raising kids in the best possible environment, taking advantage of the science around this subject and really cultivating a great relationship with our kids – something we want anyway, right?

Click for show notes and key links, including to a really cool app for parents, the Daily Vroom!

May 30, 2017

Does your child ever get into arguments, verbal or otherwise? What's your instinct when this happens – do you want to jump in and smooth everything over?

That's not an unusual reaction, because we parents really hate it when our kids fight!

In this Just You and Me episode, we dig into why "smoothing everything over" is detrimental to our children's development, and what to do instead.

Click for show notes and key links, including to the wonderful conversation I had while sitting out on the playground – where kids played as we spoke – at Miss Tanya's Nursery School!

May 28, 2017

Each week I send out a "what's on the podcast this week" email to people who signed up for a free guide or a free online class – and this week, I screwed up royally about an episode of We Turned Out Okay!

I wrote the email update for this past week well before I recorded the episode that went up this past Thursday, and as a result what I said would be this week's Your Child Explained episode wasn't.

If you received the email and you were scratching your head about it, I'm so sorry!

I recorded this bonus episode to make it up to you…

In it, I answer two issues, both brought up by a member of the Ninja Parenting Community (it had been a pretty rough couple of weeks for this member, making me so glad she had us to turn to):

1) "Part of the challenge I'm having is with exaggerated statements like "writing kills me" or "you always make me do this."

2) "Later there was a meltdown about wanting Daddy, instead of Mommy."

I address both issues in this bonus episode, I hope it's helpful!

PS – Want to get on my email list yourself? Go to and click the image link in the sidebar (you'll know which one : )

PS again – head over to to see how you could become a member of the Ninja Parenting Community.

May 25, 2017

It's been a busy few weeks in the Ninja Parenting Community – I counted twenty different issues that parents in there are collectively dealing with – and I knew that, if they're having these issues, most likely so are you!

Lots of them are bigger issues – but some of them can be resolved so easily. In today's episode, I talk about one of the latter, and how simply by changing one phrase to a related, but different phrase makes disciplining our kids lots easier.

The reason has to do with child development, and the simple fact that kids aren't just small adults; they have a completely different way of understanding the world from us. Once we know that, it makes everything else easier.

To find out more about today's ninja tactic, listen to this short-and-sweet episode, or go to for show notes and key links!

May 23, 2017

Today's guest, a medical ethicist (in other words, a person who helps determine what is ethical in people's health), took my breath away with his eloquent words on stuff that impacts young children every day.

Dr. Arthur Caplan, professor of bioethics in the Department of Population Health at NYU's Langone Medical Center, and I talk about everything from cloning mammoths to stopping malaria and the Zika virus… and also what the average person can do to improve their – our – lives.

Dr. Caplan shares his strong feelings on the academic pressures placed on elementary school age kids today, and what he says sure gives me hope.

I know you're going to love our conversation! To read the notes, and to grab the key links, visit

May 16, 2017

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 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!

May 11, 2017

Today, we're bringing you another great parent-coaching call with one of our Ninja Parenting Community members!

Like many children, Sabrina's youngest daughter struggles with the family's morning routine. She likes to be independent, she doesn't like "to be told," and oftentimes she is not hungry for breakfast before school.

Sabrina brings up a whole host of issues having to do with routine, following the rules, and the natural consequences of a child's actions.

If you're experiencing any concerns in any of those areas – and with kids, who isn't? – you're going to love today's episode!

Click for the show notes and key links in today's episode, including the link to a book Sabrina has found helpful, It's Okay Not to Share.

May 9, 2017

Today, Ashley Milne-Tyte of The Broad Experience podcast returns to We Turned Out Okay, and our conversation goes in a direction I hadn't anticipated: how women can take on too much, become overwhelmed, and end up unhappy and possibly even ill.

Because Ashley's podcast focuses on "women in the workplace," our conversation starts out with the focus on women and moms. But somewhere in here, we stop talking just about women – and start talking about parents. Parental guilt is a thing, and not just among the moms!

Today's episode is big-picture, and Ashley shares a tremendous weapon that we all have in our possession, something that helps us alleviate parental guilt and make our lives, and our children's, better.

I hope you enjoy our conversation!

For show notes, key links, and to sign up for tomorrow's NPC FAQ Q&A – where you get your questions answered about the Ninja Parenting Community and you also get a FREE copy of my book, Positive Discipline Ninja Tactics – go to!

May 2, 2017

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 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!

Apr 27, 2017

Today, a listener question about kids and bad language:

"My four-year-old has picked up some bad language from other kids in her class. How should I deal with being called "dog face"!!

This can seem like a puzzle to which we parents just don't have the answer. If you're feeling like that, listen in! In today's episode I share how to prepare for when your child throws something like this that you – and how to handle it in the moment.

For full show notes, including an easy-to-remember plan in answer to listener Nicola's full question, and the button to download my How to Handle Every Temper Tantrum guide, go to!

Apr 25, 2017

Rarely am I speechless – in life or podcasting – but today's guests took my breath away with their observations of real young adults who grew up without open-ended play in their lives.

Lisa Daly and Miriam Beloglovsky, authors and professors, know a lot about how easy it is for a child growing up today to have zero practical knowledge. It's because their lives were spent preparing for, and taking, tests.

Now as adults, these young people score really well on tests… But cannot accomplish simple tasks such as using screwdriver. Imagine not having the mechanical knowledge to use a screwdriver!

Thankfully, Daly and Beloglovsky spend their days teaching tomorrow's teachers, and have a wonderful go-around for this burgeoning problem. And, it is burgeoning – more and more young people leave high school without any practical knowledge, move out into the world looking really well-prepared on paper, but lacking competence and confidence in many key areas of their lives.

Go to for show notes and key links to this mind-blowing conversation with two thoughtful, engaged people!

Apr 18, 2017

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, 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!

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