Parent Newsletter #110

June 11, 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: The Impending Death of a Grandparent: What to Say to Children
5. Parent Talk Tip: Seven Reasons Not to Praise Your Child's Intelligence

1. Quote:

"Children are happy because they don't have a file in their minds called 'All the Things That Could Go Wrong'."
Marianne Williamson

2. Spirit Whisperer Contemplation

How can I see this differently? How can I think about this differently? How can I react to this differently? Ask these questions to yourself often today. See if you can create different results.

3. Bumper Sticker

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

4. Article: The Impending Death of a Grandparent: What to Say to Children

By Thomas Haller and Chick Moorman
Grandma Carson has been diagnosed with cancer. She is looking weak and thin. She does not have long to live. What do you say to your children?
Grandpa Wilson doesn’t drive a car anymore. He walks with a cane now. It is obvious he is slowing down. What do you say to your children?
Grandma Garcia was just admitted to the hospital yesterday. Your children have seen you crying, but they are unaware of the specifics of the situation. What do you say to your children?
These are delicate situations, ones that every family will have to face sooner or later. Delicate situations call for delicate responses. In order to help you and your family deal with the impending death of a grandparent, we offer the following suggestions.
  1. Conversation is necessary here. Death is abstract and scary to many children. It often represents the unknown to them. A general rule of thumb is to be open and honest. Give truthful responses to children's questions and concerns.
  2. Do not attempt to hide the impending death of a grandparent from your children. They are aware that something is happening. If they are void of information they will fill in the blanks with their imaginations.
  3. Age matters. This will require different conversations with different age children. One conversation does not fit all. What you tell a teen is much different than what you tell a five-year-old. Give information in age-appropriate language and amounts. With young children it is important to talk about death on a more concrete level. Talk about how the body wears out from use and how the heart muscle gets tired and stops working. Tell them, "Grandpa has a sickness in his body that we call cancer. It's going to be difficult for him to work through that at this time in his life."
  4. Give them the essential information and leave out the details. Err on the side of less information. If they want to know more, they will ask. Let them come to you if they want further information.
  5. Talk about the life cycle. People and animals are born, grow into maturity, and gradually get older. Explain what happens when the body gets older, when it is filled with sickness. Tell them how the body begins to slow down as people get older.
  6. This is where you can bring in your religious beliefs if you choose. If going on to heaven or reincarnation is another step in the life cycle in your belief system, now is the time to explain. Small children can relate to the example of the butterfly coming out of the cocoon.
  7. Be willing to show your emotions. This is not a time to tough it out. Model for your children how a mature person expresses anger, sadness and frustration. Help them see that it is OK to be sad and that big boys and girls do cry sometimes. One caution here: It is not your kid's job to take care of you and your feelings during this period. It is your job to take care of them. You may need to find your own support somewhere else.
  8. Allow your children to express their feelings. Let it be OK if they are scared, sad, or angry. On occasion children get mad or angry at God for what He is making Grandma endure. Do not attempt to talk children out of their feelings. Just be there, hear their feelings, and acknowledge them. Whatever their feelings are, allow them to flow.
  9. Honor this important person while he or she is still alive. Send cards, best wishes, flowers and attention before Grandpa passes on. Visit more often, e-mail, call, and help your children stay in touch.
  10. Do not refrain from talking about Grandma. Share memories at the dinner table. Have a family night where you bring out the old photos and talk about the good times shared, vacations enjoyed, and holidays celebrated. Remember and honor Grandma's contributions to the family before her passing. Let her know some of the things you and the children talk about.
  11. Be aware that some children will have a harder time during this period than others. Some may cry and be sad. Others will turn around and go outside to play. This will be a different experience for each person in your family. Be encouraging and uplifting as they slip into and out of their struggle to understand the concept of death.
The impending death of a grandparent is not the easiest topic to address with our children. Yet, one day we will all face this issue. It is our hope that the ideas above will in some way help you and your children deal with this heartfelt and emotional issue.
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: Seven Reasons Not to Praise Your Child's Intelligence

1. Calling your kid smart does not prevent him from underperforming. In fact, kids who have repeatedly been told that they are smart often balk at doing new things because people might see that they are not smart.
2. Kids who think they are successful because they are intelligent do not learn the important connection between effort and results. They believe the results are there because they are smart.
3. Kids who see themselves as smart often underrate the importance of effort and overrate how much help they need from parents.
4. Children who have been praised as being smart are less likely to risk making mistakes. They want to look smart rather than be embarrassed by a mistake.
5. When you praise your child's intelligence, you introduce a variable over which he or she has no control. When you praise her effort, you grant her more control over her own life and the results she produces. Praising effort helps a child see the connection between effort and results.
6. When a kid internalizes that he is smart, he is less likely to see a need for effort.
7. Praising effort gives children a strategy for dealing with failure because they can alter effort. Praising intelligence leaves kids without a strategy for improvement because intelligence is fixed. You either have it or you don't.
All praise is not equal. We choose to praise effort over intelligence.

Chick Moorman

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


Thomas Haller

Contact Thomas at:



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Book of the Month
The Only Three Discipline Strategies You Will Ever Need: Essential Tools for Busy Parents - by Chick Moorman and Thomas Haller
Currently our best-selling parenting book.
A must-have for parents who believe in holding children accountable for their actions without attacking their dignity or wounding their spirit.
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 for tots to teens!

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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
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. 21 - Huntington, PA.
Motivating the Unmotivated presented by Chick Moorman, 7:30 am - 2:30 pm. Huntington Public School, Huntington High School. For more information contact Fred Foster at 814-643-4140 or email
Aug. 23 - Hardin, MT.
Motivating the Unmotivated presented by Chick Moorman, 9:30 am - 4:00 pm. Hardin Public School, Hardin High School. For more information contact Keith Campbell at 406-665-6300 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 presented by Chick Moorman. Dearborn Public Schools.

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