Parent Newsletter #109

May 8, 2012

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: Schools Out. Schools Out. Teachers Let the Monkeys Out.
5. Parent Talk Tip: Teaching Appreciation

1. Quote:

"My mother had a great deal of trouble with me, but I think she enjoyed it."
Mark Twain

2. Spirit Whisperer Contemplation

What if you reacted as though your child was not giving you a hard time, but rather as if your child was having a hard time?

3. Bumper Sticker

Noticed on a maroon minivan at Bishop Airport in Flint, MI:

4. Article: Schools Out. Schools Out. Teachers Let the Monkeys Out!

By Thomas Haller and Chick Moorman
If your children are like most children they are probably already counting down the days until the end of the school year. It won’t be long now and they'll be on their way home singing, humming or thinking that familiar refrain, "Schools out. Schools out. Teachers let the monkeys out."
Not all students will be glad the school year is ending. But most of them probably will. So what is an effective parent to do now? Let them slide slowly into summer? Throw a party? Start lining up summer activities?
Whoa. Hold on. There is one important step that needs to be taken before the summer can officially begin for you and your children. This is the perfect time to debrief the ending school year. It is time to bring closure to this important year of learning by thinking about it, talking about it, and becoming conscious about what transpired and what lessons were there for us.
Debriefing can be as simple as discussing a few questions around the dinner table.
• What were you hoping to accomplish this year?
• How did it work out?
• What surprised you?
• Is there anything left over that you wished you had learned?
Debriefing can be as complicated as a full evening on the floor in the living room discussing the past year's experiences.
• Marking the moment with a toast, high-fives, or a round of applause
• Telling about a favorite teacher or book
• Describing the hardest assignment of the year
• Telling the biggest challenge you overcame
• Discussing the process of learning
• Honoring social accomplishments
• Venting, sharing strong feelings, getting it all out
• Moving on to . . .
Whether debriefing is short or long, done in one evening or over a weekend, whether it is done on the couch, at the kitchen table or in the hot tub, here are some important considerations.
Don't make it about grades or test scores. Instead, make it about your children’s passion, mission and purpose. What did they discover about who they are and where they want to go?
Don't make it about algebra, history or book reports. Make it about the process of learning. What did they learn about the concept of learning? What questions do they still have about how learning happens?
Don't make it about rewards. Make it about celebrating with verbal congratulations. Make your appreciation and affirmation verbal rather than monetary or physically tangible.
Don't make it exclusively about what they didn’t do. Yes, you can ask them about regrets or missions unaccomplished. Mostly make it about what was accomplished. What do they feel they did well?
What do they want to pat themselves on the back for?
Don’t make it about results. Make it about the process, effort, and energy. Where did you see persistence, determination, or patience? Where did they?
Don't make it about what they learned from school. Make it about what they learned about school. What do they know about school now that they didn't know before? What did they learn about teachers, classmates and extracurricular activities?
Don't make it about telling. Make it about listening. Yes, you can give some nonevaluative descriptions of what you observed. And mostly listen to their interpretation of their experience with their school year.
Don't make it totally about what happened on the outside. Make part of it about what happened on the inside. How did they feel inside about the events that unfolded? What feelings did they have about the results they produced, the effort they put into it, and the difference that effort made?
Don't make it all about looking back. You can’t drive a car by continually looking in the rearview mirror. Make it about looking at what is and where they are going. What did they learn and what do they want to do with that learning? What did they learn that they can put to use in their lives? What are some new goals for the summer and next year?
The end of this school year is an important passage in your children’s lives whether they are graduating from high school or moving from second to third grade. Give this passage the recognition it deserves by debriefing it with seriousness and caring.
Acknowledge this ending, bring closure to it, and enjoy your summer.
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: Teaching Appreciation

Do you want to help your child's teacher feel appreciated as this school year nears an end? Do you want to send him or her home with a feel-good message that could last all summer? Then do this: Teach your children to say thank you, to share appreciation in a healthy, helpful way. I guarantee this will have more meaning to a teacher than any card you can buy because it is being delivered by a very important person—her student.
Children do not know how to do this, so you are going to have to teach them.
1. Stay away from evaluative comments.
"You're a great teacher."
"You did a good job this year."
"You're the best teacher I ever had."
Your children's teachers do not need to be evaluated, rated or ranked. They need to be appreciated and affirmed for what they did and for the effect it had on your child.
2. Help your children think of three things their teacher did that helped them. Make sure their statements describe a behavior. Help them to be specific. This is where children recognize and affirm what their teacher has done rather than evaluate what he or she has done.
"I appreciate that you always listened to me and made the other kids listen, too. I felt important."
"Thank you for helping me learn my times tables. It made multiplication easier."
"It must have taken you a long time to correct all our papers. Thank you for getting them back so quickly."
3. Have your child write his or her statement on a blank card or memorize it to say to the teacher. Writing it has the advantage of the teacher being able to display it on his refrigerator when he gets home. He can look at it and smile frequently throughout the summer.
Appreciation must be taught, and you are your child's first and most important teacher. Use this opportunity to teach your children about the importance of appreciating.

Chick Moorman

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


Thomas Haller

Contact Thomas at:



Copyright 2012 Chick Moorman Seminars and Thomas Haller Seminars, all rights reserved. Share this with your circle.

Gratitude for Your Child's Teacher
Gratitude for Your Child's Teacher
How about something really useful for an end-of-the-year gift for your child's teacher? We suggest our new book, The Teacher Talk Advantage: Five Voices of Effective Teaching.
This important book is currently at the printers. You can get the special prepublication offer now.
When you write an inscription, use the suggestions we offered in the Parent Talk Tip earlier in this newsletter.

Special Event
Isn't it time for you now to answer the call and help the parents in your community learn the verbal skills necessary to become an uncommon and successful parent? Parents want to be successful and they want this information. You could be the one to give it to them.
Bay Valley Resort & Conference Center
2470 Old Bridge Road
Bay City, MI 48706
Click here to find out more about the Parent Talk System.

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 both Twitter.

Thomas B. Haller is now twitting. 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 Parent Talk Tips, timely questions, short but raging rants, bursts of inspiration, and random thoughts on parenting and teaching, follow the link. Why not be the first on your block to initiate regular contact?

Product of the Month
The Language of Response-Able Parenting
Featuring Chick Moorman
CD series ($39.95) 
This 5 CD series presents a comprehensive overview of the Parent Talk System. It includes ideas on how to develop controlled choice for children, how to praise to create a strong internal sense of self-esteem, and how to stamp out learned helplessness. Learn skills necessary to manage negative behaviors, communicate anger without wounding the spirit, and help your children develop a solution-seeking attitude. Practical verbal strategies that work!

Planning Your Summer Vacation?
How about Cancun? Chick’s apartment overlooks the pool and the Caribbean. He is offering a 25% discount to all newsletter subscribers. Check it out here.

TV Schedule WNEM-TV
Family Matters with Thomas Haller
Fridays at noon, Saturdays at 8:45 am, Sundays at 7:45 am and 8:45 am
Also streaming live at
May 29 - Kearny, AZ.
Motivating the Unmotivated presented by Chick Moorman, 8:30 am - 3:30 pm. Ray Unified School. For information contact Rochelle Pacheco at 520-363-5511 ext. 100 or email
June 20 - Burlington, WI.
The 5 Voices of Effective Teaching presented by Chick Moorman, 8:30 am – 4:00 pm. International Graduate School of Education (IGS). For more information contact Deb Engen at 608-213-7862 or email
June 27 - Oregon, WI.
The 5 Voices of Effective Teaching presented by Chick Moorman, 8:30 am – 4:00 pm. International Graduate School of Education (IGS). For more information contact Deb Engen at 608-213-7862 or email
July 18 - 20 - Bay City, MI.
The Parent Talk Facilitator Training presented by Thomas Haller and Chick Moorman, 8:30 am - 4:30 pm. Bay Valley Resort & Conference Center. For more information contact Chick at Click here for the July 18 - 20, 2012 Parent Talk System brochure. Click here to register online.
Aug. 7 - 8 - Minneapolis, MN.
Teacher Talk: The 5 Voices of Effective Teaching presented by Chick Moorman, 8:30 am - 4:00 pm. International Graduate School of Education (IGS). For more information contact Deb Engen at 608-213-7862 or email
Aug. 28 - Auburn, MI.
Workshop Title to be Announced presented by Chick Moorman, 8:00 am - 3:30 pm. Auburn Area Catholic School. For information contact Teresa Finner at
Aug. 30 - 31 - Dearborn, MI. Parent Talk. Dearborn Public Schools.

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