Today Robin Abrahams, author of the weekly Miss Conduct advice column in Boston Globe Magazine, returns for her second hangout on We Turned Out Okay! (Robin and I first spoke last fall, in episode 42, so click here or go to weturnedoutokay.com/042 to hear our first conversation together.)
In honor of Mother's Day Robin has a special article coming out in this Sunday's Globe Magazine, "A letter to moms from a woman without children;" in it she makes some very kind and wonderful promises to her friends with kids, such as "I will take the lead in scheduling social events, because you're managing more social calendars than I am." We start today's conversation talking about Robin's article – and then move on to her delightful book, Miss Conduct's Mind over Manners: Master the Slippery Rules of Modern Ethics and Etiquette.
In this guidebook for modern living – for getting along with other humans – is a tiny, wonderful few pages about breast-feeding in public; Robin and I talk about the perils of both breast-feeding and formula feeding in public, since both leave parents equally open to beratings from strangers! Robin shares great advice with us about how to deflect criticism, from strangers and friends and family.
Next, Robin answers some listener questions:
Robin shares great advice for each of these situations, so you're sure of some great takeaways from our conversation!
Today's show is sponsored by Positive Discipline Ninja Tactics: Key Tools to Handle Every Temper Tantrum, Keep Your Cool, and Enjoy Life With Your Young Child, the book I wrote for you if you are the parent of young children!
It's getting some great reviews, including this one from Heidi de los Andes: "I really enjoyed this quick, clear and caring parenting book. Just like the author advocates in dealing with children, she couches her advice from a position of empathy. The book draws from the same general philosophy of instilling self-reliance as the Free Range Kids book by Lenore Skenazy… I also appreciated that it was a quick read (about an hour) and had lots of tricks and techniques you can start using right away."
It's available as an E-book in Amazon right now… To check out Positive Discipline Ninja Tactics click here or go to Amazon.com and search the name. I hope it helps you in your everyday parenting!
"Wait a minute" – I hear you thinking – "aren't Your Child Explained episodes a Thursday thing?"
You are absolutely right, ordinarily the Your Child Explained airs on the Thursday after a guest episode. But this is an unusual week because I'm interviewing the guest tomorrow, Wednesday, May 4, so that you can get your questions to her and she can answer them for Thursday's show…
Which you'll want to do, because returning champion Robin Abrahams, whose weekly "Miss Conduct" column in the Boston Globe Magazine answers etiquette questions with her own brand of caring-yet- Seinfeld-ish, humor, is an expert in the rules that allow us to all get along together.
Go to weturnedoutokay.com/contact to ask your toughest questions about confusing social situations. Miss Conduct fields thorny questions all the time and is a wonderful resource for you if:
In today's Your Child Explained episode – a precursor to my conversation with Miss Conduct – we consider manners and etiquette from the perspective of our young kids.
I share an embarrassing situation in which, at age four, one of my boys "congratulated" an overweight pizza restaurant employee, enthusiastically telling her "wow – you're really fat!"
Kids just don't have a filter, for better or for worse.
Everyone who hears my four-year-old gasps in astonishment. The employee to whom my son directs his remark flushes; tears come to her eyes.
What do I do at this moment?
Click here or go to weturnedoutokay.com/072 to find out – and if you haven't gotten it yet, click here or go to Amazon.com to download my e-book, Positive Discipline Ninja Tactics: Key Tools to Handle Every Temper Tantrum, Keep Your Cool, and Enjoy Life With Your Young Child. It's finally launched and ready for you to start learning the tools that will make every day as a parent calmer and happier!
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!
Because a version of this story is included in Positive Discipline Ninja Tactics – the book that launched just yesterday in Amazon, and was written for you if you're trying to keep your sanity intact AND raise a young child at the same time – I wanted to share last night's live telling with you today.
Because today is a special day: Positive Discipline Ninja Tactics is not just available for download in Amazon – it's free, today through Wednesday, April 27!
I hope this book helps you have a better relationship with your young children – and really enjoy life with them.
Click this link to go directly to the book's page in Amazon, and then just click "Buy now," and you're golden!
In today's Your Child Explained episode, where we always try to see what's going on in our kids' minds, I share about a huge lie that my son Jason perpetrated last spring.
Like all kids, Jay loves his screen time, so much so that for several weeks in the spring of 2015 Jay snuck extra screen time – and lied about it to Ben and I.
For full show notes, click here or go to weturnedoutokay.com/070.
As I get ready to publish Positive Discipline Ninja Tactics: Key Tools to Handle Every Temper Tantrum, Keep Your Cool, and Enjoy Life With Your Young Child, I'm bringing you a favorite conversation with the woman behind The Broad Experience Podcast, Ashley Milne-Tyte.
In this episode, which first aired last summer during We Turned Out Okay Summer Camp, Ashley shares how she spent her childhood in London, England – except her summers, which she spent in rural Pennsylvania. In both places Ashley enjoyed a measure of independence that kids rarely see today.
We also discuss the raising of successful and happy daughters, compelling for you, dear listener, even if you have only sons because the young sons and daughters of today will grow up into the workers and parents of tomorrow; they'll have to work together to make it a great future.
Enjoy this rebroadcast, and to get notified immediately when Positive Discipline Ninja Tactics goes live in Amazon – it will be FREE for the first three days – go to positivedisciplineninjatactics.com.
Way back in episode two, my son Max's determination to learn snowboarding thrilled me. I bring it up because, in this most recent ski season, Max built on his true grit using Jack Canfield's book The Success Principles to take his snowboarding to the next level. This year, he rode in places that I'm sure he could never have envisioned – and he brought these possibilities about for himself by changing his mindset to one where he takes one hundred percent responsibility for his life.
"Sure, Karen, that's all well and good, he's fifteen," I hear you thinking. "What does that mean for my young child?"
I'm glad you asked! Today I draw a straight line from my fifteen-year-old to your young child, asking the question: how do we start helping our kids take one hundred percent responsibility for their actions?
Click here or go to weturnedoutokay.com/068 for full notes to this episode – also, if you haven't already, go to positivedisciplineninjatactics.com to get notified when Positive Discipline Ninja Tactics, the book I'm just finishing up now for you, goes live in Amazon – it will be free for its first three days! The planned launch date is Sunday, April 24, we're getting really close now!
Before I answer today's listener Q&A, I'm reaching out to Ruth, whose question I answered in episode 61 (listen at weturnedoutokay.com/061) – Ruth, thank you so much for your question, and I'm glad my response resonated with you! Would you please check your spam and/or promotion folders in your inbox? Somewhere in there are two emails that I've sent you, in response to the two that you sent me.
Also, a quick announcement – Positive Discipline Ninja Tactics, the book I'm writing for you if you would like to keep your sanity while raising young children, is coming out on Sunday, April 24, 2016. For health reasons and to make it the best book it can possibly be, I chose to move the publication date from Sunday, April 3, to Sunday, April 24. To get notified the moment it launches – FREE in Amazon for its first three days! – go to positivedisciplineninjatactics.com.
Today, I answer Janice's question:
"I have an eight-year-old with Asperger's syndrome (high-functioning ASD) and a nearly six-year-old girl. They love each other heaps, but most of the time Mr. 8 doesn't want Miss 6 in the room. He says he needs quiet time.
I understand that he needs to unwind after school, but he does it all weekend long too. Any suggestions on how we can encourage him to be nicer to her. His ASD is mostly reflected in his social and emotional skills, which are quite low.
We are working on those.
He is happy to play with her on his terms and his time only.
Help! Thank you, Janice"
Go to weturnedoutokay.com/067 to read my response!
A quick announcement – Positive Discipline Ninja Tactics, the book I'm writing for you if you would like to keep your sanity while raising young children, is coming out on Sunday, April 24, 2016. For health reasons and to make it the best book it can possibly be, I chose to move the publication date from Sunday, April 3, to Sunday, April 24. To get notified the moment it launches – FREE in Amazon for its first three days! – go to positivedisciplineninjatactics.com
Sometimes you meet someone, and just know that you'd love a really deep conversation with them; that was the case with today's guest, mom, portrait photographer, and facilitator at a self-directed learning institution Amy Anderson.
Back in December you may have heard episode 43, about how to tell if your young child is consenting or not; in that episode I describe a presentation my husband and I had the great good fortune to attend. Blake Boles, the presenter, was asked the question: "how do you know if your young child is consenting?" Not being a parent himself, Blake turned the question back out to those of us in the audience – and Amy gave a great answer, turning the question around on itself and explaining how she can tell when her four-year-old daughter is not consenting. It's a great episode, but not a prerequisite to today – here is the link if you would like to give episode 43 a listen: weturnedoutokay.com/043!
Hey friends – this week I made the difficult decision to postpone publication of Positive Discipline Ninja Tactics by a few weeks.
New pub date: Sunday, April 24, 2016.
A resurgence of my chronic illness, combined with my desire to make this book be the best it can possibly be for for you, if you're a mom or dad of young children, contributed to this decision.
I hope y'all can be patient while I finish it up!
To find out the moment it goes live on April 24 – it will be FREE for its first three days in Amazon! – as well as to download my infographic about how to handle any temper tantrum, go to positivedisciplineninjatactics.com.
Also, listen to weturnedoutokay.com/000 to hear more about my chronic illness, which actually was a catalyst to starting the podcast. Life is strange.
Today, we wrap up our month of food here at We Turned Out Okay with a show on the mindset of getting our kids to eat!
If you have been loving the food/family focus this past month here at We Turned Out Okay, but didn't have a chance to take notes, I have great news – I made you a FREE, two-page Food and Family infographic! It combines key takeaways from this month, favorite recipes, and grab-and-go snack ideas so that you can have all that information in one place. Best of all, when you print it out and put it up on the refrigerator, babysitters, grandparents, and older siblings will all have an idea of what to do when you're not home and your little one is hungry
Go to weturnedoutokay.com/foodandfamily – see how well you do on my one-question food quiz – and sign up for the We Turned Out Okay Guide to Food and Family. (Note – if you're reading this in iTunes but the link is not clickable, tap on the three dots to the right of this episode's title to bring up a menu; choose View Full Description from that menu, and the link will be clickable :-)
During part one of How to Get Your Kids to Eat – back on March 1 – I shared about how I helped my picky eater become more adventurous (and my part in creating that picky eater in the first place). If you have picky eaters and you're trying to get them to eat something, take a listen by clicking here or going to weturnedoutokay.com/059.
For today's show, I've come up with three key aspects of the mindset you need when thinking about kids and food.
Click here or go to weturnedoutokay.com/065 for notes from today's episode!
Today, in this Your Child Explained episode, where we always get into the mind of our kids' heads, we're looking at exposure to new foods from the perspective of our kids.
March has been – and continues to be – all about food here at We Turned Out Okay, and today's episode pertains to two interviews from this month: my conversation with mom and author of The Lost Art of Feeding Kids Jeannie Marshall in episode 60 (click here or go to weturnedoutokay.com/060 to listen) and my conversation with mom and author of the cookbook My Kitchen In Rome Rachel Roddy in episode 63 (click here or go to weturnedoutokay.com/063 for that one). Those were two fantastic conversations, I learned so much about kids, food, and the interactions of one with the other while talking to these two great women! I know you'll love our chats, so if you haven't yet, go back and take a listen – that said, neither episode is a prerequisite to today's.
Jeannie and Rachel are friends who live in Rome, Italy; each has a son in the Roman school system – and both are quick to note the differences between the school lunches they remember growing up in Canada and England respectively, and school lunches their sons enjoy each day.
Click here or go to weturnedoutokay.com/064 for further notes from today's Your Child Explained!
Continuing in our month-long series about feeding kids, today I have the privilege of talking with award-winning author and blogger Rachel Roddy.
Before visiting Italy a decade ago, Rachel enjoyed a great career as an actress. At 32, however, she found herself in Sicily – with no desire whatsoever to go home to England. Rachel wandered around Sicily and then Rome, learning the language, loving the culture, and recognizing that her approach to food and eating needed to change.
She'd never thought of herself as a writer, but before long Rachel had started the blog Racheleats.wordpress.com. She'd also rented an apartment in a quirky, fascinating neighborhood in Rome, fallen in love and had a child; choosing, in effect, a tranquil, homey life in which food plays a nourishing and delightful part rather than the life she left behind of an actress "with many eating disorders."
Along with her partner, Vincenzo, and her son's father, Rachel is raising 4 1/2-year-old Luca; our conversation ranges over what it's like to raise a child in a culture that is not your own, food and the young child, and also about Rachel's own childhood and the part food has always played in her own life.
Click here to read the full notes on this podcast episode at weturnedoutokay.com/063!
Today's episode wasn't supposed to happen; normally, this past Tuesday would've been a Just You and Me, but I recorded a great interview which had so much to do with food that I knew I needed a third Guest Interview episode in March. (That was How to Stop The Weeknight Chaos with Brandie Weikle of The New Family Podcast – listen here or go to weturnedoutokay.com/062.)
And I still wasn't going to do a Your Child Explained – but then the Boston Globe Magazine forced me into it with their outstanding Family Issue from February 28, 2016! The cover article, The Tyranny of The Picky Eater, captivated me with its well-written and non-lectury style; read Alyssa Giacobbe's fantastic article by clicking here or going to BostonGlobe.com/magazine
Today, I read two key sections of Alyssa's article, and share the one change that we made here in our home that has really helped alleviate the picky eating!
Click here or go to weturnedoutokay.com/BONUS-picky-eaters to read more about that change, or just click play to listen.
Today I talk work/family balance – and how to keep a divorce amicable – with Brandie Weikle, host of The New Family podcast.
Brandie, who before jumping into her 1000 Families Project blog and The New Family was the editor of Canadian Family magazine and the relationships editor for the great Canadian newspaper, the Toronto Star, experienced firsthand the pain of being a kid whose parents are divorcing un-amicably. She and her former husband – who also experienced that pain growing up – worked really hard to stay true partners when they decided to divorce; to that end they now live right next door to each other in the city of Toronto, Ontario, Canada.
During our conversation – an "extra" guest interview that I felt needed to be included in the all-about-food month of March, because Brandie gives such great tips about getting dinner on the table amidst the weeknight chaos – Brandie shares what it was like to go through that process of divorcing amicably, making the transition from working woman to working mom, and a few of the ways she keeps her family's weeknights from spinning out of control. (Also, we have a fascinating discussion on the differences between maternity leave here in the states and up in Canada; as we get closer to our presidential election, Brandie has graciously agreed to come on the show again specifically to talk maternity leave.)
Click here or go to weturnedoutokay.com/062 for the full show notes for this episode!
Today we are taking a break from our month of food – and how to get your young child to eat it – and answering a listener Q&A. When Ruth asked her question, I knew that I wanted to bring it up on the show ASAP because, if you have more than one kid, you have sibling rivalry and that didn't seem like it could wait until April!
Ruth asks: "Hi, I would love some advice as to how to reduce the amount of sibling fights in our home. It seems to be constant! My boys are nearly 3 in nearly 5. It seems that they both have a hard time expressing their feelings of frustration in a respectful/nonthreatening tone without physical contact. This makes everyone feel tense and is putting strain on parental-child relationships also. Many thanks, Ruth"
Press play to hear my advice for Ruth about this all-to-common family problem! Click here or go to weturnedoutokay.com/061 for notes on the show, as well as the links to resources that I recommend for Ruth.
Today, guest Jeannie Marshall and I talk about a subject near and dear to my heart: food. Italian food, no less – Jeannie, Canadian by birth, and her husband chose to make their home in Rome, Italy a little more than a decade ago. When Jeannie became pregnant with their son Nico, 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.
Our conversation reflects Jeannie and her family's love of Italy, Italians, and Italian food – and also her family's first-hand experiences fighting that battle that we fight every day: getting in start scrolling expensive and tasty meals on the table (and then getting our kids to eat those meals).
Find the complete notes to this episode at weturnedoutokay.com by clicking here!
What's your experience with your young kids and food?
Do they eat what seems like a balanced meal sometimes – and then other times reject anything and everything you put in front of them?
Have you ever felt judged about your kid's eating, either by friends or relatives – or maybe by the pediatrician?
This month on We Turned Out Okay, we'll dig into food and kids, and hopefully by the end of March you'll have some more clarity on what can seem like a super-cloudy subject!
We've got three great interviews with guests you're going to love – I couldn't help but include one extra conversation about food, weeknight chaos, and families, coming up in the middle of the month – and two Your Child Explained episodes, where we try to see everything from the perspective of our kids. And finally, two Just-You-and-Me episodes to bookend the month of March!
Today, we start off with the disaster that was our approach to food during our first years as parents, and what I did to fix that.
When our oldest, now 15, visited the pediatrician for his three-year-old annual visit, the doctor had two questions for me: "what does Max eat every day, and what is his exercise level?"
… I had nothin'. How could I tell her that Max's four food groups at that time were 1) Cheez–Its, 2) Macaroni and Cheese, 3) Actual Cheese, and 4) The Occasional Banana? How could I tell her that his exercise level was nil?
That day, I realized that it wasn't just Max going down this terrible path; Ben and I were eating terribly, and not getting proper exercise as well!
It was time to start making some changes.
First, I started cooking again; I experimented with muffins, figured out a recipe that Max loved, that was decently healthy – at least, better than what I could find in the store – and most importantly that kept him actually full until lunchtime.
Grab that recipe – and check out the show notes for this episode – by clicking here or going to weturnedoutokay.com/059!
This past Tuesday, dad and teacher Bret Turner and I had a fantastic conversation which ranged across many topics including science fiction, Donald Trump, incorporating music into the classroom – and the fact that, as a young child myself, I was molested. Bret and I spoke about confronting fears as a parent, and I just know you're going to love that conversation; listen here or by going to weturnedoutokay.com/057 (but that episode is by no means a prerequisite to today's.)
Today I'm exploring inside the mind of a child – a very specific child, me, in fact – to help you figure out how to know if something is wrong. Click here or go to weturnedoutokay.com/058 for notes to today's episode!
Last fall, I posted a picture (that picture, right over there) on instagram, a quote from the movie After Earth: "Fear is not real. It is a product of the thoughts you create. Do not misunderstand me. Danger is very real. But fear is a choice."
Today's guest, Bret Turner, and I ended up having a fantastic, lengthy and deep conversation that started with this quote. I absolutely love instagram, and this kind of thing is why – without it, I would never have met this thoughtful first grade teacher and father to a 17-month-old girl.
I love these People-In-Your-Neighborhood conversations, with parents just like you, out in the real world, combining family and work in a balance that allows for contentment, positivity, and joy. Bret and I talk about all kinds of things, from why music is such a great transitional tool for young children to the positive lessons older kids and teens can take from Inara, the beloved prostitute on Joss Whedon's short-lived gem, Firefly.
Click here go to weturnedoutokay.com and read more about my conversation with Bret!
Today's episode is a little different: I read a key chapter from my forthcoming book! The chapter, called Handling Tantrums With HEART, is going to help you keep your cool even while your toddler or preschooler is melting down. Here I share my method for dealing with tantrums, which I came up with to help you retain your sanity even when the tantrums are flying fast and furious in your home.
Today, I read it aloud because I want to know how you feel about it. What did I miss? What would help you more in dealing with your child's temper tantrums?
Also, I tell you how you'll be able to get the book – Positive Discipline Ninja Tactics – for free when it launches on April 3!
Click here to get the full show notes at weturnedoutokay.com/056.
In this Your Child Explained episode, where we always try to get into the heads of our young kids, we look more closely at how kids face challenges. Today's show digs more deeply into one aspect of episode 54, which dropped Tuesday and features mom and New York Times best-selling author Jessica Lahey. While episode 54 is not a prerequisite to today's show, take a listen back if you get the chance because our conversation will really help you wrap your mind around the idea of what works – and what doesn't – in helping your kids overcome setbacks and challenges.
For the full notes to today's episode, click here click here to go to weturnedoutokay.com/055… If you're listening on your iPhone and that link is not clickable, here's what you do: tap the three little dots on the right, opposite the title of this episode, which pulls up a very useful menu. In that menu, click View Full Description, and that will make the links clickable. Enjoy!
Several years ago, today's guest wrote what was for me an earth-shattering piece in the Atlantic Monthly (read it here). Jessica Lahey's article discusses an experience she had as a middle school teacher, where she realized a student had plagiarized, called the student's mom to discuss the failing grade the student would be getting – and the mom said "you can't fail her… I wrote that paper for her, she has too much on her plate and couldn't do it herself."
My guest's article talks about how, when your mom writes your papers, you are robbed of the experience. It's one way in which you are not learning how to fall down – by writing a bad paper – and get back up again.
Fast forward to summer 2015, when I heard Jess on the wonderful podcast The Good Life Project, discussing both the article and her new book, The Gift of Failure: How the Best Parents Learn to Let Go So Their Children Can Succeed. Last December, I attended Jessica's live presentation about The Gift of Failure, and she graciously offered to come on the podcast; today's episode is the conversation we had a week or so later, and it's a great one!
To read more about our conversation, click here to this episode's notes page at weturnedoutokay.com.
Winter is, hands down, my favorite season – which makes sense, given that I'm Canadian by birth. And yet… when the kids were small it was such a killer! We would make plans and somebody would get sick; a simple excursion to the grocery store felt like preparing for a six week hike through Alaska; we'd all feel so cooped up all the time.
So today I want to help you handle wintertime better with your little kids that I did with mine!
This episode presents my five favorite ways to battle the winter blahs; click here to go to episode 53 at weturnedoutokay.com!
Today, listener Lindsay channels the thoughts we all have on those days in which our kids refuse to listen. Lindsay writes "it's not like after a few asks we don't make him do it; we do and then we're all in a bad mood because we had to yell. It's stuff like getting dressed or coming to eat dinner. What is an old-school way to get him to just do what he has to do? Or is this just what parenting is all about?"
In this Your Child Explained episode, where we always try to understand what's going on in the minds of our young kids, we jump into how to give our kids a sense of independence and control over their own lives – so they don't end up living in our basement when they're 35 – while preserving our sanity.
Click here for the full notes on this episode!