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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Oct 20, 2020

I’m so excited to bring you returning champions Evie Granville and Sarah Davis of Modern Manners for Moms and Dads today!

You’ll learn why the kind of parent that we are matters, especially right now… and you’ll hear how these two wonderful educators take my very cynical Roundtable question and turn it around. You’ll also hear their awesome Roundtable questions for us all to discuss – one pertains to the election, and so I felt I had to publish this episode today, so you’ve got a couple weeks to listen!

Evie and Sarah brought me onto their show in early March 2020, just before the pandemic changed everything. If you listen to that episode, you’ll notice that I identify myself as one kind of parent (what Evie and Sarah would now call a Crescent-style parent)… When I bring them onto my show in episode 340, just a few months later – but after our world has completely changed – my parenting style has completely changed too. I’ve become a Constellation-style parent. For all the wrong reasons!

In the interview portion of today’s episode, I share about my current parenting style, a perfect split between Crescent and Constellation, and how I’ve made my peace with that.

We also talk about their new book! It’s called Modern Manners for Moms and Dads, and you can download the first chapter for free by clicking here:!

Did you notice, I referred to the “interview portion” of today’s episode?

That’s because as I have moved into publishing every other week, it’s opened up really interesting and cool opportunities for making the show just a little different.

We still talk about the same important things. It’s still all about helping you feel cared for, no matter what your circumstances are.

I’m just doing that in different ways that never presented themselves when I released an episode every week.

So for the first half hour or so, I share things like the Parenting News (a REALLY good one today) and some things I’m offering, like

– this week’s Free Live Training on handling worries in a playful way (it’s this coming Friday 10/23/20, sign up here:

– the sweet, 3-months-for-the-rate-of-2 deal I’m offering on the We Turned Out Okay Playbook (

– how much you’re enjoying the powerful, even magical private coaching calls so many of you have scheduled with me (schedule yours by going to; they are completely free of charge and with no strings attached)

– the Self-care Bootcamp we are doing throughout the American election week, 11/2-11/6, in the Ninja Parenting Community (you can try the Community for your whole first month for just $3, just by clicking!

Then Evie, Sarah, and I have our fantastic conversation…

And after THAT I read you an essay that I’ve written. It’s called Socks and Medicine and Fear and Love (you can read it by clicking here.)

I hope it helps you frame the small, daily choices that you have a little differently. If you, like me, are prone to coming from fear in these small daily choices, I hope it helps you come from a place of love for yourself. Because I truly believe that the only way you can come from a place of love for others.

Click the following link if you’d like more essays like this in your life:

And click the following link to view this post in your browser:

Cheers! And thanks for listening/reading!


Oct 8, 2020

With all the talk recently about something called “patriotic learning,” I wanted to bring you an episode to help you understand how education can become a political football, what that really means for your child, and what you can do about it.
So I called on my friend, historian Gary Gregory. Gary runs a tour company, Lessons on Liberty, bringing folks into the history of the Revolutionary War.
He also runs The Printing Office of Edes and Gill, where he uses the technology of the 1700s to create real documents from that time period, and to bring people into that time period.
Gary knows a lot about history, both real and revisionist, and brings us his wisdom today!
Hope you enjoy this episode!

There are about a million links, and you can find all of them here:


Oct 6, 2020

Greetings! If this feels like a pretty ambitiously named episode, well, that's because this is where we are in fall 2020.
We are on the bleeding edge of crisis parenting, and there is a feeling in the air of "this is where our society fails or succeeds."
(At least that's how it feels to me! You are very welcome to disagree. Either way, I hope this episode gives you a roadmap to success on your parenting journey, and some hope.)

Whether a society succeeds or fails is in large part dependent upon the how that society raises its children.

In this episode I offer five ways to think about this idea:
1. A society will fail by operating from a place of fear…
A society will succeed by operating from a place of love.

2. A society will fail by rejecting change and diversity…
A society will succeed by accepting both of these key qualities and using them to move forward together.

3. A society will fail by looking past – ignoring – that which is right in front of it, but which is difficult to look at…
A society will succeed by understanding what is right in front of it, the matter how difficult or upsetting that information is.

4. A society will fail by stunting and mis-shaping children's development…
A society will succeed by embracing children, wherever they are in their development, and by playing to their children's strengths.

5. A society will fail by putting up barriers and excluding those who don't share similar beliefs…
A society will succeed by choosing to connect on a human level, with compassion and empathy, regardless of beliefs.

Thank you for listening! I hope you find this one helpful!
(View this post on my website by going to

Announcements and Links…

1. I am a part of the Emergency Home Learning Summit, a 2-month long Virtual Summit that is free to watch in real time! My talk is coming up this Thursday, and that's not all. The creators of the Summit are making it possible for speakers to do really cool virtual things, like live Office Hours!
Learn more and sign up for the Emergency Home Learning Summit here : )

2. I am offering a Quarterly Membership to the Ninja Parenting Community (NPC.)

NPC is where parents are learning how to:
– Help their children adjust to virtual schooling
– Handle it when teachers are, shall we say, less than kind
– Deal with changes in the bedtime routine that results in a child's complete freak out
– Bring a parenting partner on board with positive discipline strategies
– Understand how their values and parenting style impacts their children's development
… And that is just in the last few weeks!

Click here to learn more and join NPC at the Quarterly Membership Rate – 3 months for the price of 2, every quarter that you're a member!

3. My monthly publication, the We Turned Out Okay Playbook, is getting some real accolades; licensed mental health counselor Janine Halloran calls it "A life raft for families who are adrift", and subscribers are saying it's "Worth every penny" and "Simple, and yet so powerful."
Find out what all the fuss is about –
Click the following link to learn more and subscribe to the Playbook:

4. Click here for episode 342, my conversation with coach Mariela Ortiz (where I first learned of the idea that we can come from just one of two places, fear or love.)

5. Click here for episode 339, my conversation with Shannon Connery, PhD, which I reference in today's episode.

6. Click here for episode 344, all about "the secret fears of a child development expert" (that's me.)

7. In this part of the episode I reference one of my all-time favorite books, Visual Intelligence by Amy Herman. She teaches first responders, FBI agents, and others how to overcome their own biases and truly see what is right in front of them. Herman's book is such a model for me, and today I hope to help you understand why what she teaches is so crucial to a society's success.

Sep 22, 2020

If there was ever a time to call what we are all doing "crisis parenting," now is it.
In this episode, I bring you a critical tool to help you keep going!

I also share about why I called this show "We Turned Out Okay, The Modern Parent's Guide to Old-School Parenting."
A mom in the WTOO Facebook group asked that question, and this Basics Bootcamp episode seemed like the perfect time to talk about that!

Also today, I have three things to invite you into!
In chronological order:

1. October's We Turned Out Okay Playbook

The October 2020 issue of the We Turned Out Okay Playbook gives you tools for getting the behavior you WANT from your child – it goes to print at noon on Wednesday 10/23!

Licensed mental health counselor and best-selling author Janine Halloran calls my Playbook ""A life raft for families."

If a life raft seems like a good idea to you right now, click the link below!

2. The rate for my online private coaching practice is going up!

I help parents and kids thrive every day in my online private coaching practice, the Ninja Parenting Community (NPC).

Members have exclusive access to the WTOO Book Club, twice-monthly Live Members-Only Calls, and some low key, yet powerful, challenges we are doing this autumn!

The rate for becoming a member will DOUBLE on Saturday 10/26, so if you've been on the fence about joining the Ninja Parenting Community, get in now before the rate goes up!
You'll get your entire first month in NPC for free, too!

3. I'm a Speaker at the Online Toddler Play Summit!

My presentation is all about how to keep going while raising will kids, and it's out on Monday, September 28…
Get your free ticket to the entire event (there are 20 of us speakers : ) by clicking here

Go to for video of this podcast episode…

Other Key Links:

Click here for Positive Discipline Ninja Tactics, my first book.
It comes up today because I share (without any detail whatsoever) of being sexually abused at age 7, a story that I tell in this book.

Click here for The Success Principles by Jack Canfield.
The tool I shared today comes directly from this book : )

This week's highlighted archive episode is located at, my conversation with Ingrid Alli and Hamilton Graziano. We discuss interracial marriage, parenting, and overcoming bias. It's a great past episode and I hope you enjoy it!

Also in the pre-intro I talk about one of my personal heroes, Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, who we lost last week. I ask you to honor her life by being kind and compassionate. I also share about one of my favorite-ever books, Notorious RBG. Highly recommended reading!

Hugs! We will get through this together!

Sep 12, 2020

Hi Friends! Today I'm talking about some successes we've seen both with a coaching client, and here at home : )

Aaaaand... the WTOO Book Club starts up September 16, this coming Wednesday (if you're seeing this in real time)!

I'm sharing the book we will be discussing, and how to join!
(Which is: Go to to get our Book Club meetings for free - as part of your first 30 days Free - in the Ninja Parenting Community, which is where the WTOO Book Club now lives : )

I am SUPER excited to spend some quality time together, talk about what's really on your mind right now as a parent, and learn along with you.


Karen Lock Kolp M.Ed.
Child Development Expert, Parent Coach

Host of the We Turned Out Okay Podcast, helping parents of young children change kids' behavior from bad to good; feel happy inside; and truly enjoy family time

Publisher of the monthly We Turned Out Okay Playbook, teaching simple, powerful tools to help parents feel in control of family life, and happy inside

Author of 3 parenting books including Positive Discipline Ninja Tactics, written to help parents "keep calm and handle every temper tantrum"

The quote I live by: "The opposite of play is not work. It is depression." – Brian Sutton-Smith

Sep 8, 2020

I'm so excited to bring you today's guest, Phyllis Fagell, LCPC, mom, school counselor, and author of the wonderful book Middle School Matters.

Phyllis helps us (yes – I include myself in here : )
– Pick our battles
– Talk with teachers and caregivers
– Figure out what we CAN do

In short Phyllis helps us feel in control of our family's direction right now.
That's SO important, given this extremely shaky start to the school year and our worries about the pandemic, downright silly politics, and the need for racial and social justice.
Not to mention our own need to pour from a full cup and not an empty one.

Given all that, I know you are going to LOVE our conversation!
You can find Phyllis, and all the wonderful work she does, by going to <3

Links that come up in today's episode:

Because we've gone to and every-other-week schedule, in each episode I offer a back episode of We Turned Out Okay, something you can listen to in our off week!

Today, I bring you my first conversation with Raeshal Solomon, from episode 215. Raeshal single-handedly got herself out from under a mountain of debt, while living with a serious chronic illness. She's a money expert, but more than that she is an expert in keeping going! I know you are going to love this conversation.
(Raeshal was also a part of OkayCon 2020, my Free Virtual Summit from this past March, right at the beginning of the pandemic. Click for Raeshal's wonderful contribution to OkayCon 2020.)

I'm excited to share, I will be part of the Reignite Toddler Play global virtual summit coming up at the end of this month! I don't have the link yet, but as soon as I do I will drop it in here. Holly Peretz, the creator of the Virtual Summit interviewed me this past week and I just know you're going to love this conference!

I'm spending September offering you HOPE…
– Click here to watch the first module of my premium "How to Keep Going" course, absolutely free, right there on the page.

– On that page you can also sign up to get the ENTIRE "How to Keep Going course, completely free! (You can also do that by clicking here.)

– "A life raft for families who are struggling to stay afloat." That's what Janine Halloran, LMHC, author of Coping Skills for Kids and Coping Skills for Teens recently said about my We Turned Out Okay Playbook. That is high praise indeed! Check out the Playbook for yourself by going to You can subscribe for the October issue on that page, too!

In this post, called "A case study about handling epic tantrums," I share the tools and strategies that a mom in our Ninja Parenting Community successfully employed to stop her four-year-old's extremely epic tantrums.
If she can do it, so can you! Click here to learn how you can work with me, for free, for a whole month.

- Bruce Feiler's wonderful book, Life is in the Transitions, comes up in our conversation today.

Click here to say hi in Instagram!… In Twitter… On the WTOO Facebook page… Or in the WTOO Facebook Group!

Aug 25, 2020

Welcome to this second installation of Basics Bootcamp!
I tell some truths today that we need to hear and recognize, if we are going to raise a happy family and feel good inside ourselves.

Just like the title says, I do dive into my biggest and deepest fears about the pressures put on you, as you raise your kids.

I say things today that scare the bejabbers out of me!
But I know they need to be said.
As a child development expert, I'm the one who has to say them.

I also share something positive: my biggest hope.
It's a buckwild episode for buckwild times… Let's dive in!

PS lots of links today!
Get your whole first month in the Ninja Parenting Community, my online private coaching practice, for FREE by going to:

We've moved to an every-other-week format, and each episode I am highlighting a great episode from the past!
Today, I offer my conversation with Jonathan Fields, founder of The Good Life Project from December 2016. It's maybe even more relevant today than when we originally recorded.

Today I share two pieces of recent parenting news that had me with my jaw on the floor:
"Parents accused of neglect over virtual truancy; Charges, as families struggle with remote classes"
"No pajamas allowed for online learning, Illinois district says"

In the very first episode of the show, I invited my four best friends from life on, and we all talk about our unplanned adventures:

Here is the first in my Basics Bootcamp series, all about why boundaries are so important when raising kids:

I share about how my kids have gone from reading Dave Barry essay collections to watching calculus lectures on YouTube… for fun… and getting way more out of books like 1984 and Brave New World than I ever did.

I also talk about how the movie Super Size Me helped establish some trust in digital offerings in one of my sons, who'd been feeling as if you just can't trust anything, from any source, that you had not experienced your actual self. (It turns out that, when I share in this episode that Morgan Spurlock gained "like 50 pounds," I was wrong – it was 24 pounds. But still, he gained 24 pounds in 30 days of eating only McDonald's food. That's a lot of pounds!)

I share about how Pat Flynn of, and Rich Litvin of, have helped me on my journey to creating, producing, and keeping going with this show and everything at


Aug 11, 2020

Welcome! In this episode I share a recent case study from my online private coaching practice, the Ninja Parenting Community (NPC), where the mom of a four-year-old was dealing with extreme temper tantrums, and fearful that her son would never learn to obey the rules. Even the ones for safety.
She struggled to see how good boundaries could improve that situation – until they did.

Here's something I have learned during the coronavirus pandemic:
Basics matter.
Understanding how to do the most basic things, like getting a child to obey you, is even more important now than ever. And yet the basics are elusive during the pandemic.
Today we dive into using a super basic thing, good boundaries, to get your child to obey you.

Also I share about what's happening with the We Turned Out Okay Podcast… changes are coming, ones that will make the creation of the show sustainable for your host : )
It's interesting, because good boundaries also come into play in talking about the changes to the show.
Join us!

Key Links and Notes:

Click here for my conversation with coach Mariela Ortiz, which is where she brings up a great metaphor: how much more helpful it is for us to help our friend OUT of a hole, rather than jump into the hole along with them… Mariela relates that back to how crucial it is for us to take care of ourselves, get privacy and breaks when necessary, so that we can keep going.

Click here for the fantastic article about returning to school in the pandemic that educator and best-selling author Jessica Lahey wrote, along with her husband Tim Lahey, who was an infectious diseases doctor. They contribute their expertise to give us a great set of guidelines for whether we should be returning to physical school, or virtual school. It's awesome.

Click here for my video and checklist on "Successful potty training even under pressure"

Click here for my video and checklist on "How to handle every temper tantrum"

Check out my new publication, the We Turned Out Okay Playbook, and get your digital copy of the inaugural issue for free!

Click here to get my weekly Parenting Newsletters; I write multiple times per week, with tools, ideas, and (usually) at least one thing I learned how to do better, and how it pertains to helping your family thrive!

Today's back episode reference:

Aug 4, 2020

Our choices right now seem extremely limited, don't they? We don't have a choice in how the coronavirus spreads, we don't have a lot of choices in how our children's childcare and schooling works right now. For many of us even our own ability to be private, to have alone time, doesn't feel like it's under our control.
Today's guest, Mariela Ortiz, helps us to a different mindset: she talks about "a daily practice of choice."
Some things are in our control; we can make meaningful choices.
Listen to today's conversation to figure out how to do that!

Notes and Links

Mariela invited me to be one of the experts in her Mommy Matters Summit, such an honor! And we have a GREAT conversation, which you can watch by signing up for the Summit at the link below. It started Monday, August 3 and will go through August 27, 2020, with a new guest expert each day!
Sign up to get 25 days' worth of guests – including me – in your inbox by going to:

Get your FREE August 2020 inaugural issue of the We Turned Out Okay Playbook
I'm excited to share the start of something fun and helpful, the We Turned Out Okay Playbook! It's a monthly publication I'm creating to help you feel like you have some power, and some good choices to make, even in the midst of all the insanity.
You can download the August 2020 PDF completely free! Go to:

Weekly "How is Karen overcoming burnout and exhaustion" Newsletter Series Continues
For the last seven weeks I have shared a newsletter each week about how I'm overcoming burnout and exhaustion, in this time where being a parent is so tough.
Last week I wrote about the part that music plays in my self-care (click here to read about that.)
Get the next newsletters in this series by going to:

Visit for the video of my conversation today, and for these show notes.

Hugs from me to you! We will get through this time together!

Click here for a favorite book, Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day.

Click here for another favorite book, Skulduggery Pleasant.

Jul 28, 2020

SENSITIVE EARS ALERT… Part way through this episode I share about a traumatic event that happened to me in my childhood. I ask that you put on headphones, or listen away from sensitive ears. Thank you!

Today I share three keys to success, when parenting in a pandemic or any crisis.
They are not difficult keys. Because if they were, we wouldn't be able to do them as consistently as they need doing…
Instead, the first key is relaxing, the second key is enjoyable, and the the third key takes something negative and frames it to be positive.

Also: the day before I recorded this episode I had a total brainwave.
I connected up my superpower – helping people feel seen and cared for – to the reason I have this gift, and have had ever since I can remember.

It's not a pretty reason.

When I was seven years old I was sexually abused, in my own home, with my mom right upstairs. (She was completely unaware, and I would be a senior in college before she discovered the extent of the trauma. In my first book, Positive Discipline Ninja Tactics, I share about what my folks did that was helpful, even though they had no idea what had happened to me.)
After the incident, my whole personality changed. I felt lost, anxious every time we drove out of my ken in the car, and convinced that if I lost sight of my family, they had deserted me.

The day before recording this episode I had the following brainwave:
My superpower comes from the fact that no one gave me the care that I needed, no one came to my rescue on that day. No one had found me when I was lost.

So, I had to learn to do that for myself.
I had to take care of little Karen, because no one else was there to do that.
And it's left me with a unique ability, that I've been practicing ever since: to make people feel seen, and cared for.

It's become the defining value of my life.

So if you're feeling lost, or as if no one cares about you, let me be that person for you.
As a child development expert, I've never yet met a parent who didn't have some concerns for their children.
If you're feeling like everything is impossible right now – lockdown, mask etiquette, school-at-at home, chaos in one corner and fire in another – I can help.

I've got two ways:

First, I am creating a publication called the We Turned Out Okay Playbook.
It is going to be so helpful for you, as you navigate the craziness and help your family through it all.
I wrote it to help you LIVE in challenging times, so you and your family can come through them and thrive.
Check it out – and download the August 2020 PDF completely free – by going to:

Second, I'm opening up some time in my schedule to talk. For conversations.
Conversation that helps you feel seen, and heard, and cared for.
Conversation that helps you handle parenting, in the age of coronavirus.

If you want to think possibilities instead of fears…
If you want the help of someone who knows her child-development stuff, who helps her clients get real success…
If you want to have a conversation that's so helpful that you will literally remember it for the rest of your life… Email me!

(I share my email address towards the end of this episode. I won't write it down for bot-fraud-prevention purposes, but suffice it to say that my email address is my name, combined with the name of this website. Or, you could just listen to this episode, where you'll hear me say it out loud : )

I've worked with people who came into a coaching session with me, believing that something was impossible. They came out of it looking forward to some new possibilities and within a very short amount of time (the story that I share in this episode, it was the same day) wrote to me and said "I thought this was impossible, and we are DOING it!"

What is possible for you?
Let's find out.

Key Links

The inaugural issue of the We Turned Out Okay Playbook is officially out!
Click the link below to view and download your free PDF copy of Issue 1/August 2020:

The wonderful coach, Mariela Ortiz, was kind enough to include me in her virtual summit, Mommy Matters!
Click the link below to join the Free virtual Summit that Mariela is offering, which starts on August 3:

On August 4 (next week if you're listening in real time) Mariela is my guest on We Turned Out Okay!
On that day or after you can click the following link to listen to our conversation:

I am loving the Parenting in Place Masterclass, and talk about this in here today because the second key to success for parenting in the pandemic is a game that I first heard of in this masterclass. Click the link below to find out more about it:

Click the link below for this post in your browser:

Jul 21, 2020

Navigating social situations has only gotten worse in the pandemic – but it sure wasn't always easy, even before!
Today's guests, Evie Granville and Sarah Davis of the Modern Manners for Moms and Dads Podcast, have spent years helping parents navigate social minefields. With a book coming out in the fall and an awesome quiz that you can take right now (I did!), These two friends, educators, and parents have lots to contribute in helping us get along and raise our kids in these crazy times.
Listen to this episode to learn:
– how to navigate the toughest situations you might encounter
– how to understand your own approach to parenting
– how to shift that approach, if it's not working as well as it could for you and your family

A few announcements
1. I share in this week's preshow segment how frustrating I'm feeling, as a child-development expert, hearing from so many parents whose children are not doing well in the current educational climate.

I've got 3 ways to help if this is you!
Join my FREE Pandemic Back-to-School Challenge – enroll at the link below by Wednesday, July 22, 2020:

Try the Ninja Parenting Community (NPC), our online virtual coaching practice, where parents are getting much needed help navigating the start to this crazy school year.
Right now you can try the Community for just $1 for your whole first month! Click the following link for details and to join NPC:

A new publication I'm creating, the WTOO Playbook! The August 2020 issue is jampacked with help and hope as you navigate the beginning of this crazy school year.
Join my newsletter group to find out more about the WTOO Playbook:

2. We're in the middle of a 10-week (free) newsletter series on how I'm overcoming my own burnout and overwhelm.
The most recent newsletter was all about how much better I felt coming from a place of kindness, rather than judgment.
Click here to read that newsletter and to sign up for future ones!

3. I've been invited to be part of the Mommy Matters Virtual Summit, the brainchild of next week's WTOO guest, parent Coach, mindfulness expert, and yoga instructor Mariela Ortiz!
The Summit starts in early August, and you can sign up for it by going to:

Links Evie, Sarah, and I discuss are in the show notes, located at

Enjoy the show!

Jul 16, 2020

If the return to preschool/childcare/school is on your mind – and I know it is, because I've spoken with lots of you over the last few weeks – this FREE Pandemic Back-to-School Challenge will help you:

– Take on your biggest concerns about the upcoming year
– Manage your children's behavior, and your own emotions, so you're ready for the upcoming changes
– Learn the 3 Keys to Success for starting this year off right, even amidst all the uncertainty

You can do this, and I'm excited to help!
The challenge runs for four days from Thursday, July 23-Sunday, July 26.
Each day I'm sharing a video with participants as well as inviting questions and success stories…
Also participants get to be present for the Live Challenge Wrap up on Sunday!
And I'm doing something I've never done before in a challenge, handing out MVP awards!

I know we can start this year off on a positive note, regardless of whatever else is happening.

Prove to yourself that you can do it – join our challenge!

Click the following link:

Challenge starts Thursday, July 23.
See you then!

Jul 14, 2020

I am excited to bring Shannon Connery, PhD, onto the show today, because she's got lots of great ideas to help you keep going! (Click here for Shannon's website, where you'll find her podcast, her blog, and a wonderful free guide that she offers to help people overcome the challenges that we all have in our lives : )
Shannon is a therapist living in Colorado, and in our conversation today you'll hear her story of losing nearly everything – and coming back stronger from that experience.
Shannon is also a podcaster, and her Fix Yourself is one of my favorites – she helps us all know what to do when we encounter difficult events and struggles in our lives. Shannon shares so much about herself, and her feelings, and what she's tried that works to keep going and to help her family members and patients thrive.

Today we talk about:
– The role of empathy and positivity in helping you keep going
– Steps we are taking (and that you can also take) to dismantle racism
– What Shannon is doing to help those that she works with through the pandemic

Join us!

Video of our conversations – as well as lots of key links from this conversation – are available at

A couple notes from the preshow segment:
– Registration is now open for the private coaching practice for parents that I run (the Ninja Parenting Community), so you can join now if you need the extra help from a child development expert, and the support of a wonderful online community!

– All throughout July I'm offering free live trainings, and even a free challenge! Get notified of these at the following link:

Jul 7, 2020

Today we're answering your GREAT questions!
– "[My young daughter] is going through a phase of not wanting clothes on. Do I just not battle it? What's appropriate at 4? How do I instill the importance of being careful without taking away her sweet innocence? Or am I totally overthinking this?"

– "This week's hot topic is sharing and temper around that. The minute [my three-year-old's] little brother walks in the room (even if he hasn't messed with her stuff yet) she goes right to screaming at him and throwing stuff… I'm struggling with getting her to react in a bit calmer way.
"Understandably, she is having a lot of trouble letting other kids play with any of her toys. I get it, we haven't had to share in a long time. I'm just wondering if there are some good strategies or advice for starting back at square one was sharing, and also talking nicely to others even when angry."

– "My four-year-old was playing with her toys saying "this one is dead, it's in the dead place" (inside the toy garage) then when I needed a shower "Mummy you need to go to the shower and be dead"… How can I talk about death at an appropriate level for children?"

– "They don't stop fighting with each other – they push each other's buttons just for "the fun of it."

(I said they were great questions : )

If You're Struggling to Keep Going
During this summer I'm using my newsletter to share about my own journey, trying to find peace and stop feeling so guilty while working, running our household, and keeping going sustainably.
Last week I shared about my first step (stopping "obsessively checking" on the Internet, and (as I share in this episode) it's going well!
But I know I've got a long way to go… If you want to come along on this journey with me, I'm sharing about it in my newsletters. Click the link below to get them automagically delivered to your inbox! weekly

Tons of links today!
You'll find them - as well as a cheat sheet of answers to these questions - at

Jun 30, 2020

As a child development expert, I want to help you keep going in our new reality!
This conversation, recorded during March 2020 (in other words at the very beginning of the pandemic here in the US), I know will be super helpful for that.

I am excited to bring you my conversation with the author of one of my favorite parenting books (it's called Happy Campers) – Audrey Monke of is today's OkayCon 2020 guest!

Audrey shares:
- How to stay positive, even while everyone is cooped up together
– Some great family-focused activities you can do to make your stuck at home time more enjoyable
– What lessons Audrey, her family, and counselors and campers (who attend the summer camp Audrey owns and runs) are learning from this time

Learn how to keep going:
In my (free) Weekly Parenting Newsletters I am taking you on my journey of recovering from burnout, exhaustion, and huge feelings of guilt.
I am working to feel at peace with myself – to keep going, raising my kids, keeping our household running, and feeling happy inside – and if you want some tools to help you accomplish those miracles, click this link!

NPC Summer Camp registration ENDS Wednesday 7/1
One way parents have been feeling way better, recovering from exhaustion, handling their kids' fears, clinginess, and potty training issues: the Ninja Parenting Community.
Get access to everything in the community and enjoy a summer camp program created just for you, if you are looking for connection and positivity in our new reality!
I am closing registration to NPC on Wednesday, July 1 at 9 PM EST – enroll today, and take that first step toward being able to feel at peace with yourself and (sustainably) keep going!
Here is the link, jump in while there is still time:

(go to for notes to this episode)
We will get through this together!
Cheers -

Jun 23, 2020

"Would you have any recommendations for books or anything that might help with learning the best ways to integrate an older adopted child into a family, or good books on adoption and advice?"
"How to divide my attention between my 1 YO and my 4 YO… I try to give exclusive mummy daughter time but it's never enough."

These are the first two questions in our Q&A series… I hope they are helpful!

A Summer Camp program for you
Towards the end of the episode I mention NPC Summer Camp, a new program I'm offering to help parents of young children not just get through, but live IN, summer 2020. Opening Ceremonies are this coming Friday!

Spend your whole first month in my online coaching practice for parents (NPC) for FREE – exclusively for podcast listeners and folks in my email group – by clicking here (offer ends Wednesday, June 24, so enroll today!)

Then you'll be all set for summer camp! We'll have lots of fun, keeping each other company and taking control of our family's direction in this, a summer like no other.

Camp activities are aimed at helping you enjoy family time even in this year's difficult circumstances.
Join now, spend your whole first month in NPC for free. I can't wait to see you in our community forums!

For the adoption and sibling jealousy links that come up today, click the following link:

And hang in there. We will get through this together!

Jun 16, 2020

I am super excited to bring you this conversation with Jennifer Louden, whose extremely helpful books (including the one we dive into today, Why Bother?), have sold nearly a million copies! Jennifer has been featured in hundreds of podcasts, magazines, and TV and radio shows – even appearing on Oprah.

In today's conversation you will learn:
– How to really give a hoot about your life again
– Why it's crucial to LIVE in tough times, instead of just trying to live through them
– Appropriate discipline for when your child gets into mischief (specifically writing on walls with magic marker, but what we discuss applies to whenever a kid gets into trouble)

Go to for answers to this question, posed there: "How do you bother after heartbreak, after creative and career defeats, after loss, after sidelining your dreams to pay off the debt, raise kids, or take care of aging parents?"
But first, listen to our conversation!

Need something positive in your life this summer?

I'm excited to share a new program I'm offering: we are having summer camp in the Ninja Parenting Community!
In addition to the courses, challenges, and other great stuff to keep you sane while raising your little kids, NPC Summer Camp includes:
– Weekly camp activities that help you be a better parent, like making a vision board, or a "house rules" sign, or a treasure hunt to take kiddos on, or a "no occasion needed" fun family surprise
– Supportive and fun Members-Only Campfire Nights
– The sense of belonging to a community of people who get it, and who are along on this parenting journey with you

NPC Summer Camp dates: Friday, June 26-Friday, August 7, 2020.
Enroll now to enjoy family life this summer!

Exclusively for podcast listeners and folks signed up for my weekly newsletters, click here to get your whole first month for free!

(Offer ends Wednesday, June 24, and NPC Summer Camp begins Friday, June 26, so jump in now!)
Can't wait to see you at summer camp!

Click here to see this post in your browser : )

Jun 9, 2020

"It's as if we are going through the 1918 flu pandemic AND the Great Depression AND the Civil Rights era, all at once." That's what James Arthur said on his podcast, Minority Korner, in (and about) Spring 2020.
I think he's right.
To get through it all we are going to have to work together!
That's the spirit in which I bring you this episode. In this conversation on racial justice between my friend Shane Sams, and his friend Talaat McNeely, Talaat shares that we each must "Make change within our sphere of influence."
Well, my sphere of influence is in teaching parents like you how to get your family going in the direction you want.
Today I link that idea up with getting this nation going in the direction we want: one in which everyone is treated fairly, and where parents don't have to worry about their children being harassed, assaulted, or murdered because of how they look.
I hope this episode, all about raising anti-racist kids, will help you make these crucial changes within your sphere of influence.

FYI: Free live training course on raising good, kind kids –
This week I'm doing not one but two live trainings, teaching on how a parent can change a child's bad behavior to good… and one common mistake that well-meaning parents often make when trying to raise good, kind kids. (In other words, something that ups the bad behavior, when they're trying to reduce it. It's not a mistake you want to make.)
Click to sign up for the live trainings, this coming Thursday, June 11 and Sunday, June 14!

Because of my white privilege, I have been able to insulate myself.
I've been able to not see some important truths that have been right in front of me.
I have remained ignorant, when I should have been seeking education.

This week one of my friends, a white man from Kentucky, had an amazing conversation with one of his friends, a Black man from Chicago. Talaat McNeely and Shane Sams spoke for an hour and 45 minutes, and I was astounded and ashamed at the stories Talaat told.
Things that have personally happened to him and his kids, just because of the color of their skin.

I was:
– astounded by the differences in our experiences, Talaat's and mine, which only came about because he happens to be Black, and I happen to be white. No one should ever, EVER be treated the way Talaat and his family have been treated.

– ashamed because I let it happen.
The simple fact that it is happening means that I have not done enough to stop it.

Talaat shares five key steps that we can take to stop racism.
(I don't remember to bring up the first and most important one until we're almost at the very end of today's episode, so all along you'll hear me talk about four key steps… But that first one is most important. Talaat brings it up right at the beginning of his conversation with Shane. It's something you hear me talk about on the show again and again, and I still can't believe it took me until the last part of this episode to talk about it in connection with stopping racism.)

There are about a million links today, so for those and a description of the five key steps we can take to stop racism – to raise anti-racist kids – click the following link:

We need each other now, more than ever.
If you are reading this and you're a person who (as the Black Panthers used to say) is Black or oppressed, you have my empathy, and my pledge to become educated instead of remaining ignorant about what has happened to you, and the part I have played in your troubles.
If you're a person of privilege, I hope that like me, you're open to moving forward on the path from ignorance, to education. And from there to support.
We will get through this together <3

Jun 2, 2020

(FYI: about 10 or so minutes in, I use the word "jackass" once or twice... it's not enough for an E-rating, but I want you to be aware just in case you want to listen away from sensitive ears.)

Hi Friends,

I had planned for, and drafted, a very different kind of post today for you (I got about a dozen spider bites while sleeping Saturday night, and we've got a very large ant invasion going on in our kitchen; my abandoned draft was largely about these.)

But as I wrote I realized how truly small and insignificant these concerns of mine are.

There is a lot going on in the world, and a lot going on in the news.

And I wanted to start the week off with a simpler message.

I wasn't sure what that message would be, except somehow I wanted to transcend the fear, the worry, and the struggles that we are seeing in the news, and even in our own homes.

My family and I just finished virtually attending the closing ceremonies for the year at my son's school, and the Executive Director George Popham teared up saying the following:

"If there's one important thing we should be doing, it is to put good, kind people in the world."

Immediately I knew that that was the message I wanted to share.

This morning when I woke up, and even as I began to write this email, I was feeling helpless and small and afraid. (And itchy from spider bites, if I'm being honest.)

Hearing George's words made me feel much, much better.

We have a really important mission, us parents:
It's to put good, kind people in the world.

If we do nothing else – absolutely nothing! – besides this, I believe it will be enough.

And if I can be helpful to you, as you are working on this mission, that would fulfill something deep in me.

I have lots of ideas and experience working with young children, and spent nearly a decade working in an outstanding, cutting-edge preschool program.
I earned my bachelor's degree in Human Development and Family Relations, and later my master's degree in Early Childhood Education.

I've spent the last six years helping parents rein in their children's bad behavior and truly enjoy family life.

I know a lot about what makes kids tick, and how we can alleviate their bad behavior, and thus connect with them and feel happy within ourselves as we raise them.

If we're going to raise kind people, we can do that best by making our environment is positive and kind as possible.
If you're struggling with that, I hope I can be helpful for you!

I just built a page on my website,, where I gathered many of the resources that have been helping me learn to combat racism – a huge part of raising good and kind kids.

I've also got lots of other free resources, including 332 back podcast episodes, and an entire Virtual Summit that I put on in response to the pandemic this past April. You can spend more in depth time with me each Wednesday evening by joining the WTOO Book Club, which is free to join, and can be free to read the book if the purchase cost is a barrier for you. And I am running a special right now, until this coming Wednesday, June 3, on entry into the virtual coaching practice where I personally help parents with their biggest challenges, trying to make this as affordable for you as possible.

Lastly, if you've got any parenting questions at all I hope you'll go to and ask.
We will get through this, together.


Jun 2, 2020

"I feel like I'm completely alone trying to meet completely insatiable needs for days on end."
That is what one of the moms in my online coaching practice, the Ninja Parenting Community, wrote early last week.

She's not the only one. Not by a longshot!
In this week's episode I share my best ideas for getting through a crisis.
Even a slow-motion, simultaneously-terrifying-and-tedious, pandemic-induced crisis like the one we're in now in June 2020.

If your energy, patience, and/or well-being is flagging, first of all let me offer HUGE hugs!
Listen to this episode for some practical things you can do to get through the toughest of these tough times.

Join us!

Links that come up today:

Parenting Masterclass
For the all-summer-long live Masterclass series, "Parenting in Place," which features lots of WTOO beloved guests and friends, like Audrey Monke, Jessica Lahey, and Devorah Heitner, click here! (I'm signed up for it, and I hope you'll sign up too!)

Ninja Parent Playbook!
Want to be a part of the (extremely limited) first-ever issue of the Ninja Parent Playbook?
This is the brainwave I mentioned briefly in last week's episode – a newsletter to help you keep going, anchored by a calendar that gives you some small step to take every day.
But it's so much more than that. It's part workbook, part inspirational thinking, part marching orders to keep you on track. It's packed with informative and thoughtful ideas to help you not just "live through" this (or any) crisis – but really, truly LIVE.
If you want to bring your family safely through hard times, while feeling not just as if you're scraping by but as if you are happy within yourself and in your family, you need this newsletter!
It's a monthly publication that comes in your mailbox! (If you're outside the US at this point it needs to be a PDF into your email, although I'm hoping that will change in the future : )
Click the link below to sign up:

WTOO Book Club
Click the following link for the WTOO Book Club (we are reading Positive Discipline Ninja Tactics, my first book and one that really gets to the heart of how to have a happy family life)

Grand Reopening sale ends Wednesday, June 3
Earlier I mentioned the Ninja Parenting Community, my online private coaching practice; Wednesday, June 3, 2020 is your LAST day to get a special quarterly rate – 3 months for the price of 2!
Click this link for details:

Click for my conversation about consent, with Amy Anderson.

Click for last week's conversation with special needs preschool teacher, and close friend and colleague of mine, Tricia Tomaso (the episode comes up today because I shared last week about the brainwave that has become the Ninja Parent Playbook : )

Click to view this post in your browser.

And again huge hugs! We will get through this together <3

May 26, 2020

FYI: NPC Grand Reopening sale : )
I have been working hard behind the scenes, creating a 5-module course on “How to keep going” and a training on “how to handle your child’s angry outbursts,” not to mention spring cleaning in the Ninja Parenting Community… the response from NPC members has been wonderful!
I'm excited to reopen NPC registration so you can get the help you need coming through the pandemic <3
Go to – and save 33% when you sign up by Monday June 1!

I am so excited to bring you this installment of OkayCon 2020 with beloved WTOO guest, special needs preschool teacher Tricia Tomaso!

Tricia helps us:
– Work out a routine to make our days a little easier right now
– Help our kids through what they’re struggling with
– Keep going, even when we feel like we kinda can’t

I hope you find our conversation as helpful as I did!

Click this link for this in your browser:

Also: Join the We Turned Out Okay book club!

I wrote a newsletter recently on how to handle it if you’re feeling anxiety in the pandemic (and after). Click the link below to read it:

To watch the Free Virtual Summit I created in response to the 2020 coronavirus pandemic – this conversation today was recorded for OkayCon 2020, when Tricia (along with 8 other presenters volunteered their expertise and time to help us through) – go to:

We will get through this together <3

May 19, 2020

"My biggest struggle is with my five-year-old. When she is angry she scratches, bites and sometimes hits. She also yells very loudly. I would love some advice on how to get her to stop."

A listener wrote in with this question, and I knew it would probably resonate with many listeners.

Like us adults, kids are experiencing lots and lots of angry feelings – more so than pre-pandemic, without the usual outlets or often even the ability to leave the house and get a change of scene.

It can be difficult for adults to deal with our own rage, after years and decades of experience… It's so much harder for kids to deal with their rage.

They need our help! Today I share a 3-part formula that I hope you find helpful in handling your child's angry outbursts.

We've also got an impromptu Parenting News, featuring the following:
The Forge article "Your Only Goal Is to Arrive," about how only one thing really matters right now in bringing our families through the pandemic.

A new book – Why are You Still Sending Your Kids to School? – from friend-of-the-podcast and expert in raising self-directed learners Blake Boles. I share the Amazon link here, but Blake asks that you consider purchasing it through "local bookstores, which could certainly use the business right now."
(I share about this book both in the Parenting News, and also in the main part of this episode. I think it's required reading, not just in handling your young child's rage, but also in raising resilient and happy kids. Highly recommended!)

Join us!

Notes, including tons of links and a cheat sheet of the 3-part formula to handle your child's angry outbursts, are at : )

Also: I have been working hard behind the scenes, creating a 5-module course on "How to keep going" and a training on "how to handle your child's angry outbursts," not to mention spring cleaning in the Ninja Parenting Community… and in this episode I share when registration opens once more for NPC!
The response from NPC members has been wonderful, and I'm excited to open up the community for those of you who want the extra support coming through the pandemic.
Listen in to this episode to find out when registration opens, if you need that supportive community, and help from an expert in child development.

Join the We Turned Out Okay book club!

I wrote a newsletter recently on how to handle it if you're feeling anxiety in the pandemic (and after). Click the link below to read it:

To watch the Free Virtual Summit I created in response to the 2020 coronavirus pandemic go to:

We will get through this together <3

May 12, 2020

FYI if you want some company, some learning, and some stories, join the WTOO Book Club! During our first meeting I am sharing about a truly low point in my own parenting, and asking the question "how do we come back from crummy parenting moments? Join us Wednesday, May 13 at 9 PM EST – click to get the link to the meeting! Hope to see you there : )

I am so excited to bring you this conversation today, which will be so helpful as these weeks of confinement and social distancing spool out…
Today I get to share my conversation with Terry Louison. Terry is an educator, a self-directed learner, and the program director for Baystate Learning Center ( – the school my son goes to!

During our conversation you will learn:
– What’s most important for kids to be learning right now, during the pandemic
– Why that learning doesn’t have to be stressful, for you or your child
– Concrete ideas taken from Terry’s own curriculum and plans for virtual teaching

Join us!

Terry's presentation is one of many from OkayCon 2020, the Free Virtual Summit I recently wrapped up! Go to for all the presentations!

Also: go to to watch Terry's video presentation.

Hope you are staying well and safe during the pandemic.
We will get through it together <3

May 7, 2020

WTOO Book Club – Starting Wednesday, May 13 at 8 PM EST we are doing a chapter-by-chapter weekly read of Positive Discipline Ninja Tactics. We will learn to get good behavior from kiddos, share some stories, and spend some time each week together. If that sounds good to you, Click here to join the WTOO Book Club!

Working closely with parents of young children during this pandemic, I’ve seen so many examples of bad behavior:

– Kids smearing peanut butter on walls, dumping vinegar in beds, destroying furniture
– Kids pulling pets’ tales, chasing them with scooters, threatening the pets, and their own safety (when the animals retaliate)
– Kids getting overly clingy, going back and forth in terms of emotions between overexcited and happy, to abjectly despairing and melting down
– Kids reverting from potty training, showing immature behaviors that hadn’t been seen for weeks or months or years
– Kids unable to control their rage and angry feelings

And it’s not only kids reacting to the situation with heightened emotions. We are doing it too!

The questions I hear from the people I work most closely with: “I feel so lost. How do I live through this? What do I DO?”

This presentation comes directly from the solutions these parents have found. I am excited to bring them to you!

Today I share 7 things you can do to feel better – these are the ways I'm seeing parents use successfully to LIVE in this right now, as opposed to just living through this.
Click to read the cheat sheet of these steps.

We will get through this together!

In previous episodes I've mentioned how appreciative I am of my town's weekday Emergency Meetings which they post in YouTube. This past week I was invited on the show! (Click here to view!)
I talk about how to get kids to wear masks, what to do when you are absolutely at your wit's end, and more. I'm posting it in here because I hope it will be helpful for you, even if you do not live in my town <3

Free Help for Parents in the Pandemic – in April 2020 I created the OkayCon Free Virtual Summit, 10 conversations with experts in fields of crucial importance to you right now (kids' behavior, finances, finding a job, home security, and lots more). These conversations are all available for free, for ever, at this link. I hope the Virtual Summit is helpful for you!

May 5, 2020

The pressures of home and family life during lockdown play a big part in today's conversation.
Like you, my guest Anne and her family are sheltering in place.
Like you, Anne has her good days and bad days – as does her 5-year-old son.
But several weeks ago something happened in their family life that caused Anne's son to erupt into angry outbursts: the accidental death of Dilly, the baby bird the family had taken in.

Today, you get to listen in on a coaching exercise to help Anne bring her son back from the brink.
(It's the process that I use frequently in my online coaching practice, the Ninja Parenting Community, to help members figure out what is really going on, and how to start addressing it, to make everyday family life better.)
As you'll hear, getting good behavior from her five-year-old means:
– Recognizing that her instincts are sound, and that she is doing a great job!
– Working with the other adults in the house as a team
– Remaining calm and positive, even in these very difficult circumstances

If you need some inspiration and ideas for getting through tough times, during lockdown and beyond, this is the conversation for you!

Join us! And huge thanks to you Anne!

Click for notes and links!

WTOO Book Club – Starting Wednesday, May 13 at 8 PM EST we are doing a chapter-by-chapter weekly read of Positive Discipline Ninja Tactics. We will learn to get good behavior from kiddos, share some stories, and spend some time each week together. If that sounds good to you, Click here to join the WTOO Book Club!

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