Parent Newsletter #120
Oct. 2, 2013
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. "I hate school!"
5. Change Your Words
6. Sign Language
 
1. Quote
"The other day, I was involved in an extended online discussion about proficiency and accountability with about 50 people, mostly inside the Beltway. These are big names, people who make decisions that control your child's life in school. I got more and more exasperated as the various think tank experts waxed on about how and why parents NEED to know how their child compares to children of the same age in other states and other nations. I couldn't restrain myself. I let fly that I never wanted to know this as a mother and I don't want to know it about my grandchildren now. What I want to know is whether they are growing up to be healthy, to be thoughtful, to care about others, to shoulder responsibility, to think for themselves, to be good people. The last thing that interests me is whether their test scores are better or worse than children elsewhere."
 
Diane Ravitch
2. Spirit Whisperer Contemplation
Invest some time watching yourself parent today. Notice physical things: the sound of your voice, your hand gestures, etc. Notice the thoughts that run through your mind. What emotions do you feel? Pay attention to what you are paying attention to. What can you learn from self-observation?
3. Bumper Sticker
Noticed on a blue Ford Focus in Springfield, MO:
 
MOM OF TWINS
I NAP AT LIGHTS
4. Article: "I hate school!"
By Thomas Haller and Chick Moorman
 
"I hate school."
"Geography is boring."
"My teacher is mean."
"I want to stay home today."
"School is a waste of time."
 
So, your child hates school, thinks it's boring, or feels the teacher is mean. An interesting situation you have there. What are you going to do about it? What are you going to say? It doesn't matter if your child is in first grade, middle school or eleventh-grade English Literature. A response from you is required. Do you know what that response will be? If not, here are some suggestions to help you and your child move through this not uncommon situation.
 
Don't try to talk them out of their strong feelings.
 
"You've only had this teacher for eight weeks. Give her a chance."
"You don't really mean that."
"It will get better. Just hang in there."
"It's not a waste of time. It's preparing you for college."
 
Attempting to reassure them, convince them they are not feeling what they’re feeling, or help them see this situation from your point of view is not helpful. It tells children their feelings are not important and that you understand them better than they understand themselves. Neither of those is true.
 
Do lead with empathy.
 
Honor your child's feelings by beginning with an empathetic response.
 
"It must be tough to be in a place when it seems like a waste of time."
 
"Darn, sitting for an hour in a boring class must seem like a long time."
 
"You have strong feelings about how that teacher handles things."
 
Do grant in fantasy what you won't in reality.
 
Child: "I don't want to go to school today."
 
Parent: "That would be fun. You could pretty much do whatever you wanted. I wish you could have a day like that, too." (Grants the fantasy) "You're going to have to wait for Saturday for that. Today is a school day. The bus will be here in fifteen minutes." (States the reality)
 
Do say, "Tell me more."
 
Your goal here is to get more information to see if you can determine the reasons behind your child’s concern. What you learn will help you decide what parenting move to make next. She may hate school because she has few friends. Maybe two classmates are bullying him on the bus. Maybe this teacher is different from the last one and the child is not sure of the new system yet. You will base your next parenting action on the response you get from "Say some more," "Keep talking," or "Explain that a bit."
 
Don't dismiss what your child said just because it came from a child.
 
The teacher might in fact be mean. Geography might be excruciatingly boring. Your child may truthfully hate school. He might be right.
 
Do check it out.
 
Make no assumptions. Increase your data base. Talk to other parents. See if their children are having similar concerns. When you have a minivan full of your child's friends, ask, "What is your favorite part of geography class?" Be still and listen to the conversation. Say, "Tell me more about Mr. Wilson." Your passengers are likely to be less inhibited that your own child. Let them do most of the talking.
 
Don’t take what your child said at face value just because he or she is your child.
 
Widen your base of information by talking with the teacher. Keep an open mind. You may get new information here. You will surely get a new perspective. Your daughter may be experiencing the class as boring because she refuses to become fully engaged in the activities. Your son may dislike this teacher because she held him accountable for inappropriate behaviors.
 
Do visit school.
 
Make an appointment. Sit outside the door. Spend time in the classroom. Eat in the lunchroom. Check out recess. The more information you can get about your child's day, the better your chance of being able to create a plan with her to overcome the hurdle she is facing.
 
Do inform your child of any decision you make to talk to the teacher or observe their classroom.
 
Keep them in the loop so there are no big surprises here.
 
Don't keep what you learned to yourself.
 
Share that information with your child. Listen to his reactions. See if you can reach consensus on determining the exact nature of the problem. Get clear on the real problem before you engage in solution-seeking.
 
Do mutually create a plan to implement a solution.
 
Perhaps your child needs to be taught how to speak up and ask for help when she is confused. Maybe you need to teach her to respectfully say, "I don't like it when you talk so loud. It feels like you're yelling." It might be that learning how to make and maintain friends is called for. You won't know which solution is most appropriate until you get an accurate picture of the real problem. Create a plan and practice it. Role-play if necessary.
 
Do debrief with your child during implementation of the solution.
 
"How did it go today?"
"What surprised you about working your plan?"
"Does any part of it need to be tweaked?"
"What was most difficult?"
"Tell me a positive that resulted."
 
Do debrief with the teacher during implementation of the solution.
 
"Did you notice any change in Richard's behavior today?"
"What parts seem to be helping?"
"What piece do you think he could improve on?"
"How would you compare his effort this week to that of last week?"
 
Do request a change of teacher or class schedule if necessary.
 
You have a right to do this. However, we recommend that this be a last-resort maneuver. Exhaust all the other possibilities first. Help the teacher learn what works best for your child. Or help your child learn how to work with the teacher. Get ideas from the school administrator. If the situation continues and you are convinced that this situation is hurting your child, have him or her removed from the situation.
 
Do share your appreciation when things go well.
 
Do this with your child, the teacher, and the school administrator. 
 
"Thank you for the suggestions you offered for helping Carmen with the bus seating situation. Things seem to be settling down, and she looks forward to school again."
 
"Working that plan, Carmen, looks like it created more friends for you. Searching for solutions, creating a plan of action, and following through created a much happier situation for all of you. You did it!"
 
"I appreciate your willingness to listen without taking things personally. That attitude is one of the main reasons we were able to find a mutually agreed upon plan of action. Thank you."
 
Do pat yourself on the back for implementing as many of these ideas as you needed to help your child experience more success in school and in life.
 
Thomas Haller and Chick Moorman 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: www.uncommon-parenting.com.
The Only Three Discipline Strategies You Will Ever Need: Essential Tools for Busy Parents
by Chick Moorman and Thomas Haller
 
Soft cover, 120-page book ($14.95) [Add to Cart]
 
Learn how to deal effectively with whining, backtalk, pouting, teasing, ignoring, procrastinating, lying, swearing, and other inappropriate behaviors.
 
This useful book delivers three practical, skill-based, amazingly simple verbal discipline strategies that will work with your children, from tots to teens!
5. Change Your Words
Here's an idea: Change "I have to" to "I get to."
 
I have to go to work then becomes I get to go to work.
 
Do this for one week and watch what happens to your thoughts, attitude, energy and behavior.
 
I get to fix breakfast this morning.
I get to teach them how to fix their own lunches.
I get to help Sarah with her homework.
I get to clean the house.
I get to stay home with a sick child.
I get to take Bonnie to the doctor's.
I get to wait with her in the waiting room.
I get to wait while the prescription is filled.
I get to drive Willy to his counseling appointment.
I get to take Celine to softball practice.
I get to give Arturo another piano lesson.
I get to fix dinner.
I get to take two kids grocery shopping with me.
I get to speak with Tevi about his report card.
I get to go to parent/teacher conferences tomorrow.
I get to supervise baths for two toddlers.
I get to get up early for the bus trip to the apple orchard.
I get to call Fatima's parents to check on Arwa's overnight stay.
I get to watch another youth baseball game tomorrow.
I get to arrange for a tutor to bring Jean Paul up to date in math.
I get to hold Stephen accountable for choosing to come in late last night.
I get to go up and kiss my kids goodnight.
I get to stop watching football and go out and throw the football around with my children.
I get to stop saying I have to.
6. Sign Language
 
Chick Moorman
 
Contact Chick at:
 
1-877-360-1477 (toll-free)
 
 
Thomas Haller
 
Contact Thomas at:
 
989-686-5356
 
 
Copyright
Copyright 2013 Chick Moorman Seminars and Thomas Haller Seminars, all rights reserved. Share this with your circle.
 
Book of the Month
 
Couple Talk: How to Talk Your Way to a Great Relationship
 
 by Chick Moorman and Thomas Haller
 
Hardback book, 288 pages ($24.95)
 
Special price this month only, $15.00. [Add to Cart]
 
Contains a variety of verbal skills and language patterns that will strengthen your primary relationship by improving communication between you and your partner. Become a response-able communicator—able to respond appropriately and effectively to the everyday situations that all couples encounter. Helps you build a relationship based on mutual respect and caring.
October, November Parenting Workshops
With Chick Moorman or Thomas Haller
 
Practical two-hour sessions that parents can put to use immediately include:
 
The Only 3 Discipline Strategies You Will Ever Need
 
Parent Talk: Words That Empower, Words That Wound
 
Good Praise/Bad Praise
 
How to Make Your Child Do Homework Without Having a Nervous Breakdown Yourself
 
How to Talk to Your Children About Sex
 
The 10 Commitments: Parenting with Purpose
 
Transforming Aggression in Children
 
 
Facebook/Twitter
Facebook
 
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.
 
Twitter
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 www.twitter.com/tomhaller.
 
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? http://twitter.com/ChickMoorman 
Seminar Schedule
Oct. 4 - Chicago, IL
Motivating the Unmotivated presented by Chick Moorman, 8:00 am - 3:30 pm. Christ the King Jesuit College Preparatory School. For information contact Temple Payne at

Oct. 5 - Chicago, IL

Parent Talk: Words That Empower, Words That Wound presented by Chick Moorman, Morning, Christ the King Jesuit College Preparatory School. For information contact Temple Payne at  tpayne@ctkjesuit.org.

Oct. 7 - Madison, WI

Motivating the Unmotivated presented by Chick Moorman, 8:00 am - 3:30 pm. Madison Community Montessori. For more information contact Meghan Smyth at 608-274-9549 or email admissions@

Oct. 7 - Madison, WI

The Only 3 Discipline Strategies You'll Ever Need presented by Chick Moorman, 5:30 pm - 7:30 pm. Madison Community Montessori. For more information contact Meghan Smyth at 608-274-9549 or email

Oct. 12 – Alexandria, MN

The Teacher Talk Advantage presented by Thomas Haller.
Keynote address at the "Caring for Kids and Those Who Care" Conference, Alex Tech & Community College.
 
Oct. 12 – Alexandria, MN
The Elements of Praise presented by Thomas Haller. Breakout session at the "Caring for Kids and Those Who Care" Conference, Alex Tech & Community College.
 
Oct. 18 - 20 - Tulum, Mexico
Mark A. Foxley y Yolanda Esposito presentan su 6to retiro en el hotel Amansala Eco Chic Resort en Tulum. Reserva tu espacio. *Cupo limitado. Presented by Chick Moorman. For more information call (998) 214-4767 or email

Oct. 25 - Winnipeg, Canada

Motivating the Unmotivated
presented by Chick Moorman, 9:30 am - 3:30 pm. Canad Inn of Garden City. For information contact Rod Lauder at 204-953-5875 or email

Oct. 31 – Flint, MI

Tragedy and Journalists: Interviewing with Dignity presented by Thomas Haller. Mott Community College.
 
Nov. 12 – Bay City, MI
Word Matters: How Words Change Lives presented by Thomas Haller.  Ecclesia writing club at Central High School.
 
Nov. 14 - Woodhaven, MI
The Elements of Praise presented by Thomas Haller. Bates Elementary.
Media Schedule
 
Thomas on television answering viewer questions:
 
Relationship Matters – Every Monday at 9:15 am on WNEM TV5 Better Mid-Michigan
 
Family Matters with Thomas Haller Fridays at noon, Saturdays at 8:45 am, Sundays at   7:45 am and 8:45 am on WNEM TV5. Also streaming live at: www.wnem.com.
 
To view Dr. Tom's previous Family Matters segments, CLICK HERE.
 
Thomas on the radio answering questions and discussing hot topics:
 
Every Thursday morning at 7:30 am on CARZ 108FM – Streaming live online www.wcrz.com.
 
Listen to Thomas on The Thomas and Valerie Show on www.prx.org or on www.thethomasandvalerieshow.com.
2014 Summer Trainings
Parent Talk System
Facilitator Training
 
July 10 - 12, 2014
Bay Valley Resort & Conference Center 2470 Old Bridge Road Bay City, Michigan 48706
 
Teacher Talk Advantage
Facilitator Training
 
July 14 - 16, 2014
Bay Valley Resort & Conference Center 2470 Old Bridge Road Bay City, Michigan 48706
Links
Personal Power Press • P.O. Box 547 • Merrill • MI • 48637
http://www.personalpowerpress.com
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