Response-Able Parent Newsletter #90

March 4, 2010

Welcome! This is a free newsletter on becoming a Response-Able parent raising Response-Able children.

Mission Statement

Our mission is to strengthen families and improve parent communication skills (including our own) by helping parents learn practical, usable verbal strategies for raising responsible, caring, confident children.

In This Issue

1.  Quote
2.  Spirit Whisperer Contemplation
3.  Bumper Sticker
4.  Article: Eliminating Empathy Deficit Disorder
5.  Parent Talk Tip: Terrible Twos

1. Quote:

"Each day we make deposits in the memory banks of our children."
Charles Swindoll

2. Spirit Whisperer Contemplation

Take your pleasure in your children's freedom, not in their obedience.

3. Bumper Sticker

Noticed on a highly used multicolored Chevy pickup truck in Highland, MI:
I Love Canoeing
Heavner Canoe Rental
Our Motto Is "No Child Left Inside"

4. Article: Eliminating Empathy Deficit Disorder

By Chick Moorman and Thomas Haller
"Stop crying."
"Don't worry about it. You can get another one."
"It's not that big a deal."
"So what do you want me to do about it?"
"Why don't you just suck it up?"
"Pouting isn't going to get you anywhere."
The statements above and others similar to them are often uttered by parents whose homes suffer from Empathy Deficit Disorder.
Empathy Deficit Disorder, or EDD as it is often called, is a chronic condition brought on by parents' refusal to acknowledge a child's feelings or by their efforts to diminish those feelings when they are expressed. This condition in children is an offshoot of parental Hurry Up sickness engaged in by adults who don't take time to listen or respond to a child's feelings because getting on with the business of the day is more important that investing the time to make empathetic responses to the people they love.
Empathy Deficit Disorder occurs most often in adults who have low EIQ, Emotional Intelligence Quotient. These long-suffering adults do not know the names of their own feelings. Nor do they understand how to recognize or handle them effectively. Because they have a low EIQ, they do not realize their homes are infected with EDD. Not being consciously aware of the problem, parents allow the condition to exist and get progressively worse as their children grow older. The result is the epidemic that Empathy Deficit Disorder has become today.
The long-term existence of EDD results in a lack of closeness between parents and children and produces a severe disconnect that can take years to repair. Children are often left bewildered by their parents’ apparent lack of caring and concern for their feelings. In turn, they learn to numb their own feelings as a coping mechanism to protect themselves from experiencing the hurt and emptiness they feel but cannot describe or totally understand at a young age.
The only known cure for EDD is knowledge and skill. As parents' understanding of the problem increases and their skill level improves, Empathy Deficit Disorder can be reversed in their homes and in their own lives. Where EDD is present, education and action is the only known pathway to health.
To eradicate Empathy Deficit Disorder in your home, begin by understanding its importance. To be fully healthy, children need parents, teachers, and other adults to respond to their feelings in positive ways. This includes using feeling words when children are caught up in strong emotion (sadness or joy, anger or love, fear or faith). "You look like you're frustrated." "You seem angry." "You sound like you're bubbling over with happiness." This kind of language communicates to children that their feelings are normal and part of being a fully functioning human being. Acknowledging children's feelings serves as a preventive inoculation against this common disease.
In addition to using validating language, put EDD on the run by giving love, nurturing and comfort when your children are upset. Take your child onto your lap and hug him if he fell and skinned his knee. Hold your daughter if she's scared of the shadows in her bedroom. Rub your son’s back if he's crying so hard he can’t seem to get his breath.
Acknowledge the child's feelings even if you have to guess what they are. Attempting to talk a child out of her feelings is the wrong medicine when combating EDD. "You seem frightened" is empathetic. "There's no reason to feel scared" is EDD in action. "It must feel bad not to get invited to the party" communicates understanding and caring. "There will be other parties. We can have one of our own" tells the child that his feelings are not important.
Lead with empathy when combating this dreaded disease. Teaching, reassuring, disciplining, explaining, and providing information can come later. When the child is in the midst of powerful emotion, telling her there is no good reason for her feelings exacerbates the problem.
"I see tears in your eyes. You look sad" leads with empathy. So does, "So you felt envious when she wore the new clothes." Demonstrate understanding by telling the child, "You took the loss hard. Do you want to talk or be left alone for a while?" Show him that EDD has no place in your home by saying, "You're really concerned about that," and "It's OK to feel bad for a while."
No known charity has been organized to combat this dis-ease in children. It is up to all of us individually to create emotional health in our homes. Yes, eliminating EDD in your home might seem overwhelming to you right now, especially if several children are afflicted. Take your time. Move on to full health, slowly and steadily, one feeling word at a time.
Chick Moorman and Thomas Haller are the authors of The 10 Commitments: Parenting with Purpose. They are two of the world's foremost authorities on raising responsible, caring, confident children. They publish a free Uncommon Parenting blog. To obtain more information about how they can help you or your group meet your parenting needs, visit their website today:

10 Commitment: Parenting with Purpose


5. Parent Talk Tip: The Terrible Twos

The terrible twos is a term made famous in 1976 by Louise Bates Ames, PhD, co-founder of the Gesell Institute of Child Development. The term first appeared in her book, Your Two-Year-Old: Terrible or Tender.
Years later Ames would tell friends, "I rue the day I ever said that," when she realized she had labeled and stigmatized two-year-olds. It was some of their behavior that was terrible, she intended to communicate, not the children themselves. Too late. No way to take it back now.
Is it helpful to talk about the terrible twos, the trying threes, the freaking fours, and mouthy teens? No. Labels help us see others and think of them as that way. Then we notice all the times when they appear to be that way. The "proof" we see (behavior we interpret) strengthens our belief that they are indeed that way. And the cycle grows stronger.
Stop talking about the terrible twos. Notice the behavior. Handle it and move on. Take special care to separate the deed from the doer. "I like you and I don't like that behavior." There will be a day when you wish you could still hold that two-year-old in your arms.

Chick Moorman

Contact Chick at 877-360-1477 (toll-free) or e-mail him at


Thomas Haller

Contact Thomas at 989-686-5356 or e-mail him at



Copyright 2010 Chick Moorman Seminars and Thomas Haller Seminars, all rights reserved. Share this with your circle.

Special Event
The Parent Talk System Training of Trainers
July 27 - 29, 2010
Lake Forest Golf Club
3110 West Ellsworth Road
Ann Arbor, MI  48103

He's Still Number One
Listen to Thomas Haller's #1-rated radio show, "Life Answers with Dr. Tom," on WIOG Thursdays from 7-8 a.m., FM 102.5 in Mid-Michigan.

Book of the Month

Teaching the Attraction Principle to Children

by Thomas Haller and Chick Moorman

Hardcover, 200-page book. ($24.95)
Maybe you haven't heard about it, read about it, or figured it out yet, but there is a powerful principle at work in your parenting or teaching life. The Attraction Principle is helping you create your own family or classroom reality. Now, with this exciting book, you can teach the Attraction Principle to your children.

The Uncommon Parenting Blog
Learn to parent like no other so your children can grow up to be like no other.
Recent posts include:
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Both Thomas Haller and Chick Moorman have joined Facebook. We would both welcome an opportunity to be added to your friends list. Please send us a friend request that tells us you are a Parent Newsletter subscriber so we can recognize how we know you.

Yes, we have both begun to twitter, having sent out over 250 timely tweets already. 
Thomas B. Haller is now on Twitter. Instead of following what I am doing throughout the day, I invite you to follow what I am thinking. To join me as I tweet my thoughts, go to:
Chick Moorman is now on Twitter. To sign up for timely questions, short but raging rants, bursts of inspiration, and random thoughts and observations on parenting and teaching, follow the link. Why not be the first on your block to initiate regular contact? Go to:

Back Issues
Are you new to the Response-Able Parenting Newsletter? Wonder what we have written about in the past? Eight-nine newsletters have already been issued in the past seven years.

March 5 - Edison, NJ
Keynote Address: Celebrate the Spirit Whisperers, 9:00 am - 10:30 am. NJMAC Conference, Edison, NJ (The Pines Manor). For information contact Cynthia Gianna at
March 5 - Edison, NJ
Only Three Discipline Strategies You Will Ever Need, 11:00 am - 12:15 pm. NJMAC Conference, Edison, NJ (The Pines Manor). For information contact Cynthia Gianna at
March 5 - Edison, NJ
Motivating the Unmotivated, 1:30 pm - 2:45 pm. NJMAC Conference, Edison, NJ (The Pines Manor). For information contact Cynthia Gianna at
March 8 - Winnipeg, MB Canada
Motivating the Unmotivated, 8:00 am – 4:00 pm. Contact Bureau of Education & Research (BER) at 1-800-735-3503 or
March 9 - Regina, SK Canada
Motivating the Unmotivated, 8:00 am – 4:00 pm. Contact Bureau of Education & Research (BER) at 1-800-735-3503 or
March 10 - Calgary, AB Canada
Motivating the Unmotivated, 8:00 am – 4:00 pm. Contact Bureau of Education & Research (BER) at 1-800-735-3503 or
March 11 - Edmonton, AB Canada
Motivating the Unmotivated, 8:00 am – 4:00 pm. Contact Bureau of Education & Research (BER) at 1-800-735-3503 or
March 12 - Vancouver, BC Canada
Motivating the Unmotivated, 8:00 am – 4:00 pm. Contact Bureau of Education & Research (BER) at 1-800-735-3503 or
March 18 - Cheektowaga, NY
Motivating the Unmotivated, 8:30 am – 3:30 pm. Cheektowaga Central School District. For information contact Maureen George at
March 18 - Cheektowaga, NY
Parent Talk: Words That Empower, Words That Wound, 7:00 pm - 9:00 pm. Cheektowaga Central School District. For information contact Maureen George at

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