Response-Able Parent Newsletter #93

July 19, 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: Ten Ways to Tell If YOU Need a Time-Out
5.  Parent Talk Tip: Social Praising
6.  Just Asking

1. Quote:

"Deny children -– or anyone else -- the chance to 'do nothing' and we may be denying them the chance to 'do something' – to find and do any work that is truly important to themselves or to someone else."
John Holt

2. Spirit Whisperer Contemplation

Can you see this parenting crisis as a learning process? Would that make the crisis wonderful, exciting, beneficial, necessary, terrible, or something else? Are you not responsible for how you see this crisis?

3. Bumper Sticker

Noticed on a red GMC Yukon in Caseville, MI:
The Best Things in Life
Are Not Things

4. Ten Ways to Tell If YOU Need a Time-Out

By Chick Moorman and Thomas Haller
A time-out is something one takes or is given when one needs a break from their surroundings. A time-out is what we need when we're sad and want to be alone. It's useful when we are feeling hurt and don't know what to say. A time-out is valuable when we're confused and don’t know what to do. A time-out is an opportunity to reenergize and get ready to effectively address the situation at hand.
Children need time to calm their minds and relax their bodies when they’re frustrated. So do adults. Adults as well as children can use a break from the world around them when they are angry or frustrated. They need an opportunity to get themselves ready to learn a new skill or face a problem. They need time to get back into a solution-seeking mind-set.
The concept of taking time out as it was originally designed was an attempt to give children time to cool down. Its purpose was to provide a safe space and time for a child to calm herself.  Adults need that safe place to calm themselves as well. This can be achieved by taking a walk, riding your bike, or closing the bathroom door. It can be created through gardening, mowing the grass, or hiring a babysitter for an hour.
But how do you know when it is time for a time-out? How can you tell when it would be helpful to enter time-out mode? Check the following guidelines. Here you will find ten ways to tell when taking time out would be helpful. 
  1. Are you yelling? Is the volume of your voice escalating rapidly? Have you forgotten that increasing the volume of an ineffective verbal  skill only makes it a loud, ineffective verbal skill?  When you hear yourself yelling, be assured that it is time for a time-out. Yours. 
  2. Are you feeling anxious? Do you have knots in the pit of your stomach? Is anxiety racing through your body? Do you feel your stomach muscles tightening as you prepare to deal with the latest behavior chosen by your child? If so, you could benefit by granting yourself permission to take a time-out. 
  3. Do you have a strong need to be in control? Are you regularly bossing your children, ordering them about, and telling them what to do? Are you having trouble letting them do it their way? If so, you are overfunctioning and need a break. Give yourself a time-out. 
  4. Have you noticed that you are not mentally present when you are physically present? Have you been thinking about other things when you play with your children? Are you preoccupied with your adult agenda when you are with them? Then it is time for a time-out. 
  5. Do you find yourself coming up with new ways to keep your kids occupied, distracted, or entertained? In other words, are you creating or buying things they can do so you can keep them out of your hair? Parental expediency—doing what is easiest for you, what meets your needs—does not always meet the needs of your children. It is a sign that a parental time-out is in order. 
  6. Have you been hearing any sarcasm come out of your mouth lately? Sarcasm is not funny. It is not a joke. It is a thinly veiled putdown that mocks your child and prevents them from receiving honest, open, descriptive feedback. It is a sure sign that you could use a timeout. 
  7. Have you struck your child recently? Hitting—yes, this includes spanking—is a major indicator that the time is ripe for you to be in time-out. If you are hitting children, you need to get a grip, get yourself under control, get your temper in check, take control of your runaway ego, and move from the animal part of your brain to the frontal lobe, where reasoning, solution-seeking, planning, and listening can occur. Time out is a good place for that to happen. 
  8. Are you playing the blame game? Are you good at finding fault in your children without looking inward to see what role you played in creating the current situation? Blaming exhausts your present moments and keeps you from searching for solutions. Take a time-out and use it to reorganize your thinking. 
  9. Are you using inappropriate language? You know what words we mean. The ones that you don’t want your children saying, the ones they get in trouble for using at school. Watch your language. When you hear yourself use one of these inappropriate words, take a turn in time-out. Use that time effectively by coming up with appropriate synonyms.
  10. Have you been engaged in the exact behaviors you want to eliminate in your children? Do you threaten them to stop threatening their sister? Do you tease them about their teasing, hit them so they will stop hitting, yell so they will talk more softly, or bite them to show them how it feels to be bitten? Stop. Proceed immediately to time out.
Use time out to calm down, get centered, and relax. When you can see things differently, from a new perspective, you are ready to return. Focus on solution-seeking, listening, and creating mutual understanding. Take a teaching stance first. If consequences are called for, use them with an open heart. Come from a space of love and caring. Leave anger, annoyance, and frustration back in time-out. Let the child be the child. You be the adult.
Chick Moorman and Thomas Haller are the authors of The Only 3 Discipline Strategies You Will Ever Need. 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:

The Only 3 Discipline Strategies You Will Ever Need.


5. Parent Talk Tip: Social Praising

When you're around other parents who are praising their kids regularly with "Good job," "That's beautiful," "Excellent," and other words of evaluative praise, it's easy to get seduced into joining the crowd. After all, you don't want your kid to feel left out, and all his friends are getting a barrage of evaluative attention.
Resist that temptation to become a social praiser, following the lead of other parents. Continue to use specific descriptive and appreciative praise. "I noticed you passed the ball to others frequently" is more instructive than "You played a great game." "You stayed right on that assignment for twenty minutes until you got it done" praises effort and is more beneficial than "You're so smart," which refers to intelligence. "You did it. You figured it out" allows the child to draw the conclusion. "Good job" draws the conclusion for him.
Yes, it can be difficult to stay off the bandwagon when all your friends are using evaluative praise Continue to whistle a different tune. Your children are worth it.

6. Just Asking

  1. Why is it that children can identify over one thousand corporate logos but fewer than a dozen plants or animals in their immediate environment?
  2. Why is it that the most important use of land is for parking lots and shopping malls, not for ecological parks for children?
  3. Why is it that only one-third of adults believe that today's children will eventually make the world a better place to live?
  4. Why is it that we allow twenty percent of today's children to live in poverty?
  5. Why do many parents appear to care more about how Julia Roberts and other celebrities raise their children than they do about how they raise their own?
  6. Just asking.

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.

The Parent Talk System Training of Trainers
There is still time to sign up for this exciting opportunity. Come and get on board. We still have two openings left.
The Parent Talk System Training of Trainers
July 27 - 29, 2010
Lake Forest Golf Club
3110 West Ellsworth Road
Ann Arbor, MI  48103

Thomas Haller to Host Health Line on WSGW
At some point in life we all have an important parenting or relationship question that calls for an authoritative, reliable—and quick—answer. We don’t want to spend hours searching the Internet for that answer. We don’t want to read page after page in a self-help book to find that answer. We just want someone to tell us straight out how to get started or what to do next. Quick and easy advice from a professional is all that is needed. That is exactly what Thomas Haller gives.
Providing parenting strategies and relationship advice is Thomas's specialty. After more than twenty years in private practice as a child, adolescent, and couples therapist, Thomas has heard it all and answered people's hard questions.
Now you can have your important question answered and your concerns addressed by joining Thomas live on the radio as he hosts Health Line on WSGW 790 AM.
On Saturday, July 24 from 11:00 am to 12:00 noon Thomas will be answering parenting and relationship questions on WSGW 790 AM. Tune in and hear Thomas discuss the Levels of Supportive Communication and answer your questions about how to have a healthy relationship with your children and/or partner. Call 989-752-6111 or toll-free 866-790-WSGW with your question.
No matter where you are in the world, you can always listen live on your computer. Simply go to and click on the Listen Now section at the top right corner of the home page.

By the Numbers
  1. 1…. The current ranking of Thomas Haller’s radio show, "Life Answers with Dr. Tom," on WIOG Thursdays from 7-8 a.m., FM 102.5 in Mid-Michigan.
  2. 13,018… the number of subscribers currently receiving our parenting newsletter.
  3. 17….the number of seconds that pass before a child is arrested in the United States (Children’s Defense Fund)
  4. 2….the number of hours that pass before another child or youth under 20 is killed by a firearm in the United States (Children’s Defense Fund)
  5. 2….the number of weeks until Parent Talk Essentials (Thomas Haller and Chick Moorman’s latest book) is sent out for editing.
  6. 6….the number of years Chick Moorman has been cancer free. Thank you, Lord!

The Uncommon Parenting Blog
Learn to parent like no other so your children can grow up to be like no other.
Recent posts include: 
Subscribe to the blog feed or receive it via e-mail on the right-hand side of the home page.
Please join us at and become a regular reader and a responder on our new website. Sign up today on the right-hand side of the home page. And while you're there, check out some of the informational articles we have posted.

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.

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:
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.

Summer Vacation
Looking for a great family getaway this summer? How about beautiful Cancun? Affordable condo overlooking the Caribbean and the pool. Find out more here.

July 27 - 29 - Ann Arbor, MI
Parent Talk System - Training of Trainers presented by Thomas Haller and Chick Moorman, 8:00 am - 4:00 pm. Lake forest golf Club. For information email Click here to view the brochure. Click here to register on-line.
Aug. 5 - Second Mesa, AZ
Motivating the Unmotivated presented by Chick Moorman, 8:30 am - 3:30 pm. Second Mesa Day School. For information contact Kathie Bloomfield at 928-737-2571 or email
Aug. 10 - Phoenix, AZ
Motivating the Unmotivated presented by Chick Moorman, 8:00 am - 3:30 pm. Paradise Valley Unified School District. For information contact Sandy Fabian at
Aug. 12 - Coldwater, OH
Raising Achievement for All: Motivation and Behavior Management presented by Chick Moorman, 8:30 am - 3:15 pm. Coldwater Schools. For information contact Jeff Tuneberg at 419-586-6628 or email
Aug. 16 - Kenilworth, IL
Motivating for Student Achievement and Responsibility presented by Chick Moorman, 8:30 am - 3:30 pm. Kenilworth School District 38. For information contact Libby Noel at 847-853-3806 or email

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