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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Nov 29, 2016

On November 4 of this year, we heard our very first Christmas commercial, prompting my youngest and I to freak out a little bit.

I mean, November 4! We're still eating Halloween candy on November 4, we're not ready to even think about Thanksgiving, never mind the crazy end-of-the-year extravaganza the holiday season is nowadays.

So my question is: how are you feeling?
Are you stressed out about the holidays?

If so, you're going to love these next weeks of We Turned Out Okay.

We've got conversations coming up with guests who share practical advice for feeling better right now, and the 3-part Holiday Survival guide to give you the support and solace you need to bring your family through this season with smiles on all your faces.

Today: I share an embarrassing story, because I want you to learn from my greedy mistake that experiences matter lots more than stuff.

It's so easy to forget that at this time of year.

Click for show notes and key links, and enjoy the show!

Nov 24, 2016

There are so many great reasons to help our kids give, no matter their age. Today we dig into not just why but how to help even very young children become "givers."

For many years now, my two boys set aside just a little bit of money each month – an idea given to us by the mom of a friend of theirs. This particular mom also happens to be a midwife, and Max and Jay are helping fund her trip to Haiti, to train midwives and deliver babies, contributing nearly 200 dollars with this little bit of money each month!

There were tears in this mom's eyes when I handed over their donation; that is the power of giving.

But it doesn't just have to be about money. Small kids can contribute in several other ways – listen to this episode for some other ideas to help you help your child become a giver.

Click for full show notes – including links to tutorials for making no-sew fleece blankets and doggie beds out of old sweatshirts – and key links for this episode!

Nov 22, 2016

Today's guests, Annemarie Kelly-Harbaugh and Ken Harbaugh, did some pretty amazing stuff before they became parents. She helped troubled young people in a program that functioned mainly way out in the woods, he was a naval officer who flew reconnaissance missions and responded to disasters here at home and internationally.

They had each encountered their fair share of storms, which helped them prepare for the challenges of parenthood.

Just like all of us, Ken and Annemarie have seen some storms in parenting; what's cool about them is that they don't just ride out the storms – they learn from them.

In fact, they've written a book – Here Be Dragons: A Parent's Guide to Rediscovering Purpose, Adventure, and the Unfathomable Joy of The Journey – and are on the show today sharing some of their best lessons with us.

I'm excited to bring you today's episode this week especially, because Thanksgiving comes up in our conversation.

And so does so much else.

Click for full show notes and key links, including those to Annemarie and Ken's awesome blog and book!

Nov 15, 2016

When Ninja Parenting Community member Melissa shared about the anxiety that her kids can feel in new situations – as well as that she herself experiences this anxiety – I knew this was going to be a great Your Child Explained episode.

Who among us has not felt anxiety in new situations? It's so easy for kids to feed off of our worries.

I hope you learn lots as Melissa opens up about the toughest parts of the family's day, feeling overwhelmed, and lots more that you will totally identify with – I know I did.

Click for my recommendations and key links!

Nov 9, 2016

The gist of this show is, we take care of each other. It's going to be okay.

This morning I woke up to pandemonium, with Canadian loved ones seriously offering their homes… Some of the calmest people that I know terrified and freaking out… My Facebook feed – like yours, I'm sure – filled with tears and panic.

Because half the country was pro--her, and the other half of the country pro-him, we were all going to know some people who hate and fear the results of yesterday's presidential election.

What resonated with me most: parents asking "how do I tell my kids about this?"

Here's how I talked to my boys this morning: I posted a quote to ponder.

In the recent Boston Globe Magazine Women & Power issue, Axcelis Technologies CEO Mary G. Puma was asked how she handles crisis. She responded that a mentor of hers used to say (here comes the quote):

"Never waste a good crisis."

Meaning: how can we move forward?

I wanted this episode to use today's "good crisis" as a catalyst, to help us all bring our kids through tough stuff.

So, I got in here a little earlier than usual in hopes of making you feel better if you are, shall we say, not your usual calm self.

Click to read about the three ways you can help your kids, and talk to them about this election!

Nov 8, 2016

What worries you about technology and your kids?
Is it online predators? Cyber bullying?
The idea that they'll disappear into their little devices and you'll never see them again?

My guest today, Devorah Heitner, is an expert at helping us understand technology and our kids – and ourselves.

Because like it or not, we are raising digital natives; we need to get this right!

Devorah has appeared on the Today show, NPR, the Discovery Education Channel; she's been featured in Time magazine and Real Simple. Most recently, she's written Screenwise, a book about raising kids in this digital age, highly recommended!

Today – election day if you're listening in real time – Devorah is on the show to help us understand both raising kids in our digital world, and how to teach civility in this era of utterly uncivil political/public discourse.

To read more about my conversation with Devorah, view her amazing TED-X talk, and to listen to our conversation, go to!


Nov 1, 2016

In the final chapter in our three-part series (click here for Part 1 about good sleep, and here for Part 2 about the antidote to anxiety), The Modern Parent's Guide to Surviving This Election Cycle, I share about how you can become as educated as possible on the candidates…

Because knowledge IS power.

I'll be voting a week from today – I share in this episode about why voting at all is so important to me, having only been able to vote in the last three presidential elections – and I hope you will vote too.

In this series, I'm also working really hard to be completely unbiased… I don't care WHO you vote for.

I just care that you go in with good information and actually vote.

Click for notes and links to the unbiased websites I worked so hard to find for you (we stay well away from the candidates' own sites, as well as any site that hints at bias); get informed and then please go vote!

Oct 27, 2016

This past Tuesday, my conversation with mom and broadcast journalist Cheryl Tan ranged among many important topics, including how to talk to our kids about current events and tough stuff, and how to feel better about this election. (Go to for my conversation with Cheryl.)

One aspect of our talk resonated with me as a great subject to dive into in a Your Child Explained episode: a family schedule that works for everybody.

Click for notes from this episode on why creating a great family schedule is so important, and for key links!

Oct 25, 2016

I knew I wanted to speak with a journalist regarding next month's presidential election, so I was thrilled when today's guest, veteran TV reporter/anchor Cheryl Tan, agreed to come on the show!

Cheryl has appeared on CNN and Fox News, and currently hosts her own entrepreneurial TV show, Hampton Roads Business Weekly, the Standout podcast, and teaches entrepreneurs how to connect with journalists in her online community, PR Pro.

Speaking with Cheryl helped me realize that "the mainstream media" – feared by some, considered distant by others – is made up of real people. They are sons and daughters, moms and dads, brothers and sisters, and like Cheryl they want to tell people's stories.

In today's episode Cheryl shares about the crazy schedule-juggling that two married journalists go through while raising three boys, how to talk to kids about current events, and Cheryl shares advice that she's not sure you'll love, but nevertheless is her best idea for parents of young children…

Click for notes in key links on today's episode!

Oct 20, 2016

Here are the top 2 reasons to listen to today's episode:

1) With all the fear in the air right now, you might benefit from a story about becoming fearless – so, here it is!

I told this hilarious and inspiring story last week, about becoming fearless while sitting in front of my mom's sewing machine as a young woman, and it took second place in the Massmouth Story Slam competition! I'm semifinals bound, and super excited : )

(My 4 1/2-minute story is, shall we say, not expletive-free… Grab some headphones or listen away from your kids. I hope you enjoy it!)

2) Speaking of fear, according to this article last week at, 55% of voters were "disgusted" with the campaign… back in September.
I'm betting that that number has gone up a bit as this election has changed from PG to R-rated.

And if we are that freaked out – how are our kids?

When our fear and upset level goes up, so does theirs.

You can make both you and your kids feel better by coming to my FREE online class tonight:

How to Parent Young Children in this Mixed-up, Crazy World

I'll teach you how to:
– Coach your kids through the election insanity
– Help them feel less anxious
– Lessen your own anxiety

You can make "Everybody Sucks 2016" a little better for yourself and your kids –

Go to and sign up for tonight's class!

I can help you help your kids through the election craziness, tonight at 7 PM Eastern standard Time.

See you in class!

Oct 18, 2016

According to this article last week at, 55% of voters were "disgusted" with the campaign… back in September.
I'm betting that that number has gone up a bit as this election has changed from PG to R-rated.

And if we are that freaked out – how are our kids?

When our fear and upset level goes up, so does theirs.

You can make both you and your kids feel better by coming to my FREE online class:

How to Parent Young Children in this Mixed-up, Crazy World

I'll teach you how to:
– Coach your kids through the election insanity
– Help them feel less anxious
– Lessen your own anxiety

You can make "Everybody Sucks 2016" a little better for yourself and your kids –

Go to and sign up for the October 20 (this coming Thursday) class!

I can help you help your kids through the election craziness, Thursday October 20 at 7 PM Eastern standard Time.

See you in class!

Oct 13, 2016

I start out today by speaking a little bit more about homework for young kids and the remarks that American Academy of Pediatrics president Dr. Benard Dreyer made regarding this in episode 107.

After hearing episode 106 (the homework backlash episode), a mom got in touch with me to share about the heaps of homework her first grader receives each night, and the fact that three missed homework assignments earns this six-year-old after school detention.

After school detention! For a six-year-old!

I really hope that listening to Dr. Dreyer's words on homework is helpful for everyone, but especially for those of you whose kids are stuck in a really crummy homework situation.

This past Tuesday in episode 110, my guest, former assistant secretary of Homeland Security and creator of book and podcast Security Mom, Juliette Kayyem, shared many great ideas for helping us feel safer amidst the contentious election and toxic fall vibes.

Today I expand on her comment that if we are calm, our kids will be calm as well – but if we freak out, they'll freak out too.

We look at security through our kids' eyes, discussing why they react that way and figuring out how to alleviate their anxieties.

Click for notes, a hilarious and wonderful – and, I promise, relevant to today's show – YouTube clip of the Muppets, and to listen!

Oct 11, 2016

If you are nervous about the sense of unrest in the air, about the upcoming contentious election, about the threats of violence from all quarters; if you're feeling a little powerless as to how to protect your home and family in the midst of the toxic vibes, you are going to LOVE this show.

Beloved children's television host Fred Rogers famously said: "When I was a boy and I would see scary things in the news, my mother would say to me, "Look for the helpers. You will always find people who are helping."

For more than fifteen years, my guest today has been one of those helpers –

In her role as assistant secretary of the Department of Homeland Security, Juliette Kayyem figured out how every day people could help during the 2010 BP oil spill; she advised then-Governor Deval Patrick in her position as Massachusetts' first Homeland Security advisor.

She's an expert in disaster preparation, she's been keeping people informed since before 9/11 as on-air security analyst for CNN. More recently she's started connecting home and family with homeland security through her podcast and best-selling book, Security Mom.

We commiserate over breast versus bottle, drop a few S-bombs (because as in parenthood, when you are in homeland security, shit happens), and Juliette reminds us "we've had bad presidents before, and we've lived through it."

Click for links and notes about this wonderful conversation with a true voice of reason, and to enjoy the show!

Oct 4, 2016

How bad is the vague sense of fear, of atmospheric worry, in your life? Because if you feel it, you can bet that your child is getting those vibes from you (and now she's worrying, too.)

It's very difficult to escape the news and mudslinging around this contentious election. That's what started me thinking about how to help you feel better during this time of year when it always seems to feel a bit more "serious" than just a few weeks ago – but this year seems amplified by an order of magnitude.

So, here's the first of three parts of The Modern Parent's Guide to Living Through This Election!

Click to listen to this episode and to read more about the one thing – THE basic building block – around which we can start to knock back worry and anxiety in our lives, and therefore the lives of our kids.

Sep 29, 2016

About episode 108:

During my recent conversation with American Academy of Pediatrics president Dr. Benard Dreyer, about the key role that parents play in preventing their kids from getting something scary called toxic stress, different parenting styles came up.

Today, in this Your Child Explained episode where we are always figuring out what's going on inside our kids heads, we take a closer look at the different parenting styles and what each looks like from our children's perspective. We also dig into the idea of grit, why it's important and how our kids can get it.

Click to read more about the three different parenting styles and the promotion of grit, view a great TED talk, and to listen to today's episode!

Sep 27, 2016

To listen to today's episode, school on down to the bottom of this post and hit the triangular "play" button.

About today's episode:

With the school year starting, a contentious election giving the feeling of continual hate and negativity in the air, and reports of yet another thing for parents to be worried about – toxic stress in their young children – I knew we needed some voices of reason in our lives.

This conversation marks the beginning of a series of interviews I'm offering this fall called Voices of Reason, where we hear from well-known and influential people with something to say that will make you feel better about the world you're raising your young children in.

I hope this series helps you get through the next few months with less worry and more hope in your life!

Today's guest is the head of an organization with many voices of reason…

In all likelihood your child's pediatrician is among them, because the organization is the American Academy of Pediatrics, and today I have the privilege of bringing you my conversation with the AAP's president, Dr. Benard Dreyer.

Over the summer I started to hear about this scary thing happening in younger and younger kids, called toxic stress. What I read chilled me to the bone: exposure to violence, deprivation, and neglect can affect kids' development in a lifelong way, both physically and mentally.

In his capacity as President of the American Academy of Pediatrics, Dr. Dreyer is working to raise awareness of this condition, and to help parents combat it.

But our conversation brings up much more than that.

We discuss the holy grail of parenting styles – the authoritative, sometimes called wise, style – and the kind of traits authoritative parents exhibit; Dr. Dreyer answers your questions about toxic stress, how to get kids to eat healthy foods, and the problems of antibiotics resistance; and Dr. Dreyer gives his three most important things parents can do each and every day to raise happy, curious, and resilient children.

Go to to listen, for detailed notes about our conversation, learn about the AAP's campaign against virtual violence,and to find out how to contact Dr. Dreyer!

Sep 20, 2016

Do you worry that your child is getting too much homework for his or her young age?

Do you stress out over the nightly fits as said homework is being accomplished?

Then, you're going to love today's episode – it turns out that homework and young children do not mix, and this fall people are standing up and saying "I'm protecting my kid from the scourge of homework!"

For key links and expanded show notes about how to join the revolution, click!

Sep 15, 2016

Today, Ninja Parenting Community member Sabrina Rizk – the very same Sabrina from Tuesday's guest interview #104 – gets help solving a problem that plagues many parents: when your child's first reaction to something negative is to scream.

When I asked Sabrina what aspect of parenting she wanted our parent-coaching call to be about, she said "I want to talk about how to get my six-year-old to have different strategies beside screaming as her first response."

Young Amy struggles when her cereal bowl isn't the color she wanted; when the Lucky Charms don't have enough charms; when Sabrina needs her to complete a chore before watching a show…

I'm sure you know the deal and have struggled through this in your own home. I know I have!

Listen in as Sabrina and I figure out how to alleviate the screaming – and read about some of the solutions we come up with – by going to!

Sep 13, 2016

What if your child, while perfectly capable of speech, simply can't speak in certain situations, like at preschool, school or daycare?

That's the situation that Sabrina Rizk and her husband, Anthony, found themselves with their now-nine-year-old daughter Hannah was entering preschool.

My conversation with Sabrina starts off in another really cool direction: we get to talk about the round-the-world trip Sabrina, her husband, and their two daughters took during the 2015 academic year!

Sabrina shares about the trip, how Hannah and younger sister Amy adapted to the traveling, and how Anthony got a six-month leave of absence from his software development job for the trip.

Sabrina kept a blog – and is writing a book series for children – about their trip; visit for podcast notes about selective mutism and traveling around the world, links to the book series and Sabrina's blog, and to listen!

Sep 6, 2016

When our oldest, Max, started kindergarten, he morphed from the enthusiastic, curious, good-natured boy we had known since the day he was born, and into a truly anxious child with frequent night terrors; in first grade he even sustained the loss of 20% of his body weight and was diagnosed with migraine at age 6.

Do you have an anxious kid, who's worried about starting preschool or kindergarten, or a higher grade?

Have you been told all about the dangers of "summer slide," the idea that it's more important for kids to store facts from last year than to have a relaxed and enjoyable summer break?

Today, with the learning year just getting underway, we dig into why autumn anxiety beats out summer slide – at least, in these earlier grades when our kids are very young – as what to concern ourselves with as parents.

I share two ways to alleviate your child's autumn anxiety; click to listen and read more about those two ways!

Aug 30, 2016

In today's last Summer Camp episode, we talk about how to get kids the musical and sensory experiences they need – and why they need these experiences so much.

My first job out of college, I worked in the infant room of a day care center with kids age about 6 months old to about 1-year-old. Each week, the center brought in a guitarist to sing and play to the babies, and I was absolutely amazed at how they responded: no matter where they were in our room, they crawled over to the guitarist, dancing in that bouncing-up-and-down way that babies have, grinning and laughing and trying to touch the guitarist in the guitar. It was amazing!

That experience was my first taste of how very badly children need music in their lives.

Then, as a preschool teacher and earning my master's degree in early childhood education I learned how important other sensory experiences are to help regulate the kid's mood, workout aggressions, and learn kinesthetically.

Go to to listen and for notes about how to get music and other sensory experiences into your child's life!

Aug 25, 2016

Maybe you've heard of studies showing that, the more facts you place in front of someone who disagrees with your position, the less likely they are to agree with you?

Science Versus, a new podcast from the juggernaut Gimlet Media, takes an unusual approach to looking at the many things we humans can disagree on, and I love it. Host Wendy Zuckerman, with her delightful Australian accent and ability to be neutral on some pretty charged issues, investigates every aspect of each episode's subject.

Today, our podcast field trip looks at a divisive issue among us parents: Attachment Parenting. Click for key links to see how attachment parenting stacks up against science!

Aug 23, 2016

How lucky that episode 100 landed during Summer Camp, creating the perfect moment for a conversation with the man behind the great sound of this podcast, my husband and Max and Jay's dad, Benjamin Kolp. We geek out over sound technology, the origins of We Turned Out Okay, and best of all Ben shares many awesome tips on fishing with kids for you guys!

This is a man who really, really loves fishing. Ben shares two scenarios regarding your children, you, and fishing:

1) you love to fish, and want to give your young kids that same love; or
2) the thought of worms and fishhooks makes you are really squeamish, but your young child desperately wants to learn how to fish.

Which heading do you come under?

Read detailed notes about Ben's tips and listen to this episode at!

Aug 18, 2016

On today's podcast field trip, we head for a new favorite of mine: Gimlet's Sampler, hosted by Britanny Luse!

Go to for links to this new favorite (along with another great Gimlet show, Surprisingly Awesome) and to listen!

Aug 16, 2016

Childhood friendships are something that a lot of us adults kind of don't get.

Go to to hear the best way to help your child make friends!

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