Parent Newsletter #101

June 10, 2011

Welcome! This is a free parent newsletter offered to you by Chick Moorman and Thomas Haller.

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: "I'm bored."
  5. Parent Talk Tip: What have you said to your children today that  communicates that finding fault is important?

1. Quote:

"Employ the power of positive quitting. Most of us view quitting as something negative, but it's not. 'Winners never quit,' we are told, when, in reality winners quit all the time: choosing to stop doing things that aren't creating the results they desire. When you quit all the things that aren't working for you, when you quit tolerating all the negative things that hold you back, you'll create a positive 'charge' in your life as well as create the space in your life for more positive experiences."
Jim Allen 

2. Spirit Whisperer Contemplation

Quit something today. Walk away from an argument, a judgment, caffeine, sarcasm, or a friendship that is negative. It’s OK to quit.

3. Bumper Sticker

Noticed on a green Chevy Beretta in Mason, MI:
Treat your daughter like the man
you want her to marry.

4. "I'm bored."

By Chick Moorman and Thomas Haller
The summer vacation wasn't three days old when ten-year-old Jason Cunningham walked into the living room and announced to his parents, "I'm bored."  Both parents looked at each other incredulously, surprised by what they had just heard. Neither one knew what to say or how to respond.
It might take your child longer. Maybe it will happen after two weeks or a month. Yet, there is a good chance that sometime this summer you will hear, "I'm bored. There's nothing to do." How are you going to handle that announcement? What do you say next? As a concerned parent, what is your next move? Not sure? Consider the following do’s and don’ts when dealing with a bored child this summer.
1.  Do not rescue. Do not schedule a trip to the zoo this afternoon and another to the water park tomorrow. It is not your job to fill your child's schedule with exciting adventures day after day. 
2.  Do not tell your child, "That's silly. There are a million things to do. How could you possibly be bored?"  This type of verbal reaction tells a child that his feelings are wrong. This will discourage him from sharing his feelings with you in the future. 
3.  Do say, "That's an interesting choice you’ve made. Tell me more about it." Know that boredom is a choice. It is a state of mind created by the thoughts a person creates about their situation. Your job is to help your child see boredom as a choice without making her wrong for making that choice.
4.  Do use empathy. When your child announces his boredom, lead with empathy. "That's too bad. It must be frustrating to be bored on vacation." Once you begin with an empathetic response, you can follow it with information-seeking questions. "Do you have any plans to change that?" "Got any ideas for what to do about it?" "How long do you think that will last?" 
5.  Do suggest possibilities. "I've seen a lot of kids get bored from time to time. Would you like to hear some things I've seen them do? I can help brainstorm possibilities and then you can decide if any of them fit for you." 
6.  Do give a one-minute problem-solver/problem-keeper lecture burst. "You know, Tennille, there are two kinds of people in the world—problem solvers and problem keepers. In this family, do you know who gets to decide which one they want to be? That's right, the kids. And in this case you get to decide. You have a bunch of choices here that we brainstormed. You now get to choose whether you want to be a problem solver or a problem keeper. Problem solvers pick one of the possibilities and check it out to see if it works for them. Problem keepers don’t do anything different. They just sit around and feel bad. It’s your choice. I’ll check with you when I get home tonight and see what you decided to do. Create a great day." 
7.  Do debrief later. "Hey, how did your day go? What did you create? Did you decide to be a problem solver or problem keeper? How did that work for you? Tell me more." Debriefing is the key. Here, you are demonstrating your interest as well as your caring. This is not a telling step. It is an asking and listening step. It is helping your child stay conscious about the choices she is making. 
8.  Do maintain your healthy limits. Your limit of one hour of TV per day and one hour of electronic game time does not need to be wiped out in an effort to reduce your child’s boredom. Allowing a child to sit with an electronic game, TV, or computer for hours on end so they won't choose to be bored is NOT effective parenting.  
9.  Do not overschedule your child this summer. A young friend of ours recently asked his parents to limit the activities he was enrolled in this summer. "When I'm too busy the summer goes too fast and I don't get to enjoy it," he told them. This is an example of a child that wanted more downtime. Children do not have to be kept busy every minute.
10.  Do realize that some boredom may be necessary to move your child to find alternative activities for herself. Some degree of discomfort could well be the motivator that spawns new and creative possibilities. This could be the impetus that gets her up, off her rear end, and outside to enjoy nature or some form of exercise.
11.  Do not go racing out and buy a bunch of stuff. Things are not what eliminate boredom. Creative thinking does. Creativity, ingenuity, and uniqueness have little room to surface in an environment full of things.
12.  Do use self-referred comments. "I'm feeling bored. I think I'll go outside and look around for something to do." To make a self-referred comment, structure the first part of your communication so that you are speaking about yourself: "I need some excitement." Follow your statement about yourself with a connection to responsibility: "It's time for me to take some action. I'll be out in the garage if anyone wants me." This style of speaking teaches about values, personal power, and personal responsibility by adding a verbal component to your modeling of appropriate behavior.
It might be one of your children. It might be your spouse. It might even be you! Sooner or later you'll hear, "I'm bored." When it happens, use the do's and don'ts above to help you respond effectively.
Chick Moorman and Thomas Haller are the authors of Parent Talk Essentials. 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:

Parent Talk Essentials


5. Parent Talk Tip: What have you said to your child today that communicates that finding fault is important?

Just to make it really clear, we do not advocate finding fault or fixing blame. We prefer taking responsibility. If you hear yourself saying any of the Parent Talk phrases below, consider changing your language patterns. Fixing the problem is more effective that fixing blame. Finding a solution is better that finding someone to blame.
"OK, who did it?"
"It's your fault it broke."
"You should have been more careful."
"You have a big problem there, Buddy."
"Oh boy. Your sister is not going to like this."
"Don't blame it on anyone but yourself."
"You can't get out of the blame on this one."
"You both are to blame. If you had listened to me . . ."
"Each tell me your side of it. I'll get to the bottom of it."
"Whose fault is it?"
"It wasn't my fault."
"Don't look for fault anywhere but at yourself."

Chick Moorman

Contact Chick at:
1-877-360-1477 (toll-free)


Thomas Haller

Contact Thomas at:



Copyright 2011 Chick Moorman Seminars and Thomas Haller Seminars, all rights reserved. Share this with your circle.

The Parent Talk System Training of Trainers
Ann Arbor, MI
July 27 - 29, 2011 
Regent Hotel and Suites
Ann Arbor, MI 
Mt. Pleasant, SC
Aug. 1 - 3, 2011  
East Cooper Montessori Charter School
250 Ponsbury Road
Mt. Pleasant, SC  29464 

New Parent Workshops
Thomas Haller and Chick Moorman are now offering new two-hour parent programs based on their new book, Parent Talk Essentials: How to Talk to Kids about Divorce, Sex, Money, School and Being Responsible in Today's World. 
  • Parenting for School Success: Achievement, Homework, and a Positive Attitude
  • Dealing with Divorce: Helping Your Child Through This Important Transition
  • Raising Responsible Children: Fostering Self-Responsibility, Self-Discipline, and Self-Motivation
  • How to Talk to Your Kids about Sex: Beyond Now or Never
  • Raising Money-Wise Children: Rich or Poor
Currently booking summer and fall programs. Affordable sessions are available now. Do your school, church, or community a real favor. Get the ball rolling. Talk to your school PTO, church group, or community program planner. Plan one or a series of sessions for the parents of your community.
Both Thomas and Chick have extremely busy schedules. Call today to ensure your place on one of their calendars.
Thomas Haller 
Chick Moorman

The Uncommon Parenting Blog
Learn to parent like no other so your children can grow up to be like no other.
Recent Blog Posts
  • No Such Thing as a Permanent Record
  • The ABC's of Sideline Etiquette for Parents
  • Explaining World Tragedy to Children
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    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
    The Only Three Discipline Strategies You Will Ever Need: Essential Tools for Busy Parents
    by Chick Moorman and Thomas Haller
    Finally, a book that delivers practical discipline techniques for busy parents . . .
    The three practical, skill-based strategies presented in this useful book will help you:
    • Eliminate whining, back talk, and procrastination.
    • Gain cooperation without nagging or yelling.
    • Hold children accountable without wounding their spirit.
    • Communicate anger in a respectful way.
    • Design consequences that are reasonable, respectful, and related to the misbehavior.
    • Become the parent you always wanted to be.
    These three amazingly simple strategies are verbal skills that will work with your children. Appropriate from tots to teens! 

    Bonus Article: Toilet Teaching
    For many parents, potty training, or toilet teaching as it is now termed, is a challenging and sometimes frustrating parental responsibility. It is not uncommon at this point in your parenting life to find your mind filled with questions.
    You're ready for your child to be out of diapers, but you wonder, is she? Is this the right time? Are these the right steps? Am I using the right words? Do I know enough and am I skilled enough to help my child move through this developmental stage easily?
    Check out this article from our archives to answer your most important questions about toilet teaching. 

    June 13 - 15 - Sedona, AZ.
    Parent Talk System Training of Trainers presented by Chick Moorman, 8:30 am - 4:30 pm. Keep Sedona Beautiful. For information contact Chick at Click here to register online.
    June 18 - Mukwonago, WI.
    Verbal Skills for Camp Counselors presented by Chick Moorman, 9:00 am - 12:00 pm. Beber Camp For information contact Becky Altman at 847-677-7130 or email
    June 20 - Joliet, IL.
    Motivating the Unmotivated Ethically presented by Chick Moorman, 8:30 am - 4:30 pm. Advantage Discipline. For information contact Sarah Knapp at
    June 22 - Racine, WI.
    Motivating the Unmotivated presented by Chick Moorman, 9:00 am – 4:00 pm. International Graduate School of Education (IGS). Contact Deb Engen at 608-213-7862 or email
    June 29 - McFarland, WI.
    Motivating the Unmotivated presented by Chick Moorman, 9:00 am – 4:00 pm. International Graduate School of Education (IGS). Contact Deb Engen at 608-213-7862 or email
    July 25 - Grand Rapids, MI.
    Motivating the Unmotivated Ethically presented by Chick Moorman, 8:30 am - 4:30 pm. Advantage Discipline. For information contact Sarah Knapp at
    July 27 - 29 - Ann Arbor, MI.
    Parent Talk System Training of Trainers presented by Thomas Haller and Chick Moorman, 8:30 am - 4:30 pm. Ann Arbor Regent Hotel and Suites. For information contact Chick at Click here to register online.

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