Parent Newsletter #103

August 26, 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: Conversation or Lecture
5.    Parent Talk Tip: "You don't trust me."

1. Quote:

"Soak this in: A child's will is meant to be powerful, as is yours. If a child resists you as a parent, they are exerting their will. Recognize this. DO NOT squash it. The question you must ask yourself is, Why are they resisting? Then reflect on, ‘in what ways can I bring about a win-win situation?’ Nothing is as important as the healthy development of a child's responsible use of personal power."

Michael Phoenix

2. Spirit Whisperer Contemplation

What if it is not possible to change the external parenting situations that trouble you today? It is possible to change your thinking. Change your thinking and you change your life.

3. Bumper Sticker

Noticed on a blue Mazda in Ottawa, Ontario:
Hugs are recyclable.

4. Conversation or Lecture?

By Chick Moorman and Thomas Haller
Parent's point of view: "Yes, we had a conversation about drugs."
Child's point of view: "He lectured me about drugs for fifteen minutes."
Parent's point of view: "We have talked about sex several times."
Child's point of view: "I had to sit and listen to my mom warn me about sex again."
Parent's point of view: "I told her I wanted to talk with her about her report card."
Child's point of view: "My dad spent twenty minutes telling me about my report card."
Initiating and facilitating conversations with children is important. Having a discussion around the dinner table with the entire family can be bonding and informative. Chatting with one child about a specific situation can prevent problems from occurring or lead to solutions to be implemented later. Your job as a parent is to lead those discussions in a way that is productive, inclusive, and emotionally healthy for all involved.
What about your communication style? Do your verbal skills encourage conversation? Or could you be communicating in a way that feels like useful dialog to you but comes across as a lecture to the child?
Telling and listening are not the same. There are major differences between a lecture and a conversation. Following are ten ways to determine if you are really engaged in a meaningful conversation or in one that only feels like a conversation to you.
  1. Check your body position. Is it open and ready for receiving? Are you sitting across from the child with a slightly forward lean? Are you giving eye contact? Think of a baseball catcher. He’s looking at the pitcher, facing him directly, holding out his glove. His entire body communicates, "I'm ready to receive. It's your turn. Throw the ball." If you're standing above the child you're assuming a telling stance that communicates, "Big me, little you."
  2. Are you fully present? It is not possible to have a meaningful conversation while you multitask. Stop folding the laundry. Stop doing dishes. Turn off the TV. Eliminate all distractions. If this conversation is important to you, make it ALL that you do during its duration.
  3. Set your intention to understand. Go into the conversation with the goal of understanding the other’s point of view. If your goal is to get your points across, you will be more likely to slip into lecture mode. Go first for understanding. Your input will be best received once the child feels understood.
  4. Are you listening as much or more than talking? Think "brevity" as you speak. Keep your input short and to the point. Rambling on is perceived as lecturing, and others are likely to tune out. Remember, you have two ears and one mouth. Use your ears and mouth in that proportion.
  5. Ask questions. Questions will help you find out what the child is feeling, thinking, and saying. "How did you decide to do that?" "How did that work for you?" "What did that feel like?" Ask in an inquisitive, wanting-to-understand manner. Too many rapid-fire questions can feel to the child like being put on the witness stand and interrogated.
  6. When you're talking, are you using the same tone with your children as the one you would want others to use with you? A sharp and biting tone does not encourage communication. Usually people who are talked to that way shut down. They say less. They sit quietly, pretending that they're listening and hoping the lecture will end quickly.
  7. Does your speech include invitational phrases? "Say some more" invites the child to keep talking. So does "Go on," "Keep talking," and "What else?" Using invitational phrases doesn't mean you have nothing to say. It doesn't mean that you don't want a turn. It means that you are willing to delay your response until the child has finished. It means that you are more interested in having a conversation than in telling what you think is important.
  8. Have you included everyone in the conversation? Are all family members getting an opportunity to speak? One of your jobs is to invite others to talk. "We haven’t heard from Mauricio yet. Do you have any ideas on this, son?" "I heard Madison get interrupted a couple of times. I would like to hear her thoughts."
  9. Do you wonder aloud? "I wonder what would have happened if you had said . . .," "I wonder what her reaction would have been if . . . ." "I wonder" questions replace should and should have. Should and should have are conversation enders. They are a signal that you're heading down the lecture road. They communicate, "I know what is right for you and you don't." They stifle respect, listening, and communication.
  10. Are you watching for body language clues from your child? If so, what are those clues telling you? If their eyes are glazed over, they may be signaling you to cut the lecture because they are no longer there. Are their eyebrows raised? Are their eyes rolling? Are they looking away? They may be telling you they have heard this all before. If you get negative body language, stop doing whatever it is that you're doing and implement one of the other suggestions in this article.
The ideas above aren't intended to stop you from telling your children what you want them to know, communicating your family values, or giving them necessary information to ensure their health or safety. They are an effort to help you give a conversational flavor to those discussions to increase the possibility that what you do tell your children will have the greatest chance of being heard.
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: "You don't trust me."

Sooner or later most parents hear some version of "You don't trust me." So how is a parent to respond? What could you say that would be helpful to your child and maintain your boundaries? We suggest the following:
"You don't trust me!"
"Not true. I trust you and I love you. What I don’t totally trust is the world that surrounds you. My first and most important job as your parent is to keep you healthy and safe. In order to do my job and be a good parent to you I need to know what is going on in your life. So I will continue to monitor the world around you, decreasing that role as you get older and demonstrate that you are capable of handling it yourself. I will always love you."

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.

Thomas Haller on Twitter
Are you following Thomas Haller on Twitter? If not, you're missing helpful, thought-provoking comments like the ones below.
Sign up for Thomas' tweets:
  • Punishment does not make sense to an enlightened soul. Treat your child as an enlightened being whenever you hold them accountable.
  • As your children move through life, are you in their way with power and control, or helping them on their way with guidance and love?
  • See your child not as the moments she frustrates you, but as the moments she amazes you.
  • I asked a fellow swimmer if he was getting ready for a race. Struggling to catch his breath he answered, "Getting ready for longevity."
  • A mom with two kids under 5 just sat behind me on the plane. She is working hard to meet all their needs. I respect her effort and grace. Forever young is a nice way to refer to one who is acting like a child.

Chick Moorman on Twitter
If you haven't been receiving tweets from Chick Moorman this summer, you missed these important Parent Talk Tips.
To sign up for Chick's tweets:
  • Parent Talk Tip #240: "What ideas do you have for making amends?" leads the child gently toward an action of restorative justice.
  • Patent Talk Tip #239: "You do that better than your sister does" encourages sibling rivalry. Push the delete button on comparisons.
  • Parent Talk Tip #238: "Let me know if you want my help" allows the child space to ask for help if he needs it.
  • Parent Talk Tip #237: "Little children should be seen and not heard." Not if you want a confident, verbal child who speaks up for herself. 
  • Parent Talk Tip #236: When U R not sure what 2 say, it is best 2 say nothing. Reflect & get clear. He who hesitates is not lost.

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 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 
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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: "What Did You Learn in School Today?"
Tips for Getting Your Kids to Talk about School

By Thomas Haller and Chick Moorman
"What did you learn in school today?"
"Anything interesting happen?"
"Did you like it?"
"It was OK."
Does getting your kids to offer information about school seem more difficult than pulling teeth? Do you ever feel like a lawyer cross-examining your child in an attempt to find out what's really happening at school? Do you wish your child would volunteer more information about his educational experience so you wouldn't have to ask so often? If so, this article is for you.

Sept. 11 - Caro, MI.
Celebrate the Spirit Whisperers presented by Chick Moorman, 8:30 am - 10:30 am. Caro Public Schools. For information contact Mike Joslyn at 989-620-5645 or email
Sept. 23 - Abbotsford, BC, Canada.
Motivating the Unmotivated presented by Chick Moorman, 8:00 am - 3:00 pm. WJ Mouat Secondary School. For information contact Jacqueline Hall at
Sept. 26 - Chilliwack, BC, Canada.
Motivating the Unmotivated presented by Chick Moorman, 8:30 am - 2:30 pm. Chilliwack Middle School. For information contact Mary Anne Smirle at 604-795-5781 or email
Sept. 26 - Chilliwack, BC, Canada.
Parent Talk: Words That Empower, Words That Wound presented by Chick Moorman, 7:00 pm - 9:00 pm. Chilliwack Middle School. For information contact Mary Anne Smirle at 604-795-5781 or email

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