www.chickmoorman.com --- www.thomashaller.com September 26, 2005
The Response-Able Parent Newsletter #45

Welcome! This is a free newsletter on becoming a Response-Able parent raising Response-Able children.

1. 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.


2. Spirit Whisperer Contemplation
3. Bumper Sticker
4. Parent Talk Tip: Ten Things to Say to Reduce Family Conflict
5. Article: Time-Out for Time-Out
6. Book Report
7. We Get E-mail
8. Schedule of Events

1. Quote

"A mother is not a person to lean on but a person to make leaning unnecessary."

Dorothy C. Fischer

2. Spirit Whisperer Contemplation

Instead of working to make your parenting problem smaller today, why not work to become bigger than your problem?

3. Bumper Sticker

Seen on a black Civic Honda in Reno, NV:

Don't believe everything you think.

4. Parent Talk Tip: Ten Things to Say to Reduce Conflict in Your Family

1. "Let's both take a ten-minute time out."

2. "How can we both get what we want?"

3. "Let's search for a solution together on this one."

4. "I'm willing to compromise. Are you?"

5. "Let's negotiate."

6. "What's your opinion?"

7. "Help me understand your point of view."

8. "How can we see this in a different way?"

9. "It feels like we're working against each other on this. Let's both remember we're on the same team here."

10. "I'd like your input on this."

Parent Talk: How to Talk to Your Child in Language That Builds Self-Esteem and Encourages Responsibility, by Chick Moorman, is available from Personal Power Press at  www.chickmoorman.com

Parent Talk: How to Talk to Your Children in Language That Builds Self-Esteem and Encourages Responsbility

Preview Book

5. Article: Time-Out for Time-Out

by Thomas Haller and Chick Moorman

"Jillian, if you don't stop talking back to me, you're going to sit in the time-out area until you learn to respect me!"

"You know that when children in this family won't put their toys away they have to sit in time-out. Is that what you want? If not, you better start putting those toys away right now."

"Roberta, you're being naughty. Naughty girls have to sit in this naughty chair until they learn their lesson. Go to the naughty chair now. I'll tell you when it's time to get out."

"Anthony, the school policy says that children can't push other children. You're on the wall for pushing Carlos. Go sit by the wall with those other two over there. You can watch the other children playing the way they're supposed to until recess is over."

"Rita, you're supposed to be in time-out. Get back in that chair and stay there quietly until your time is up. Now I have to reset the timer because you left the time-out chair early."

Parents across the country are using words such as these in an attempt to control a child's behavior with the increasingly popular discipline technique of "time-out." Parents, teachers, principals, daycare providers and even the Supernanny are using time-outs as a technique to teach children to behave in a desired way. In an attempt to correct a behavior, they're telling children to sit on chairs in the middle of a classroom or on a bench outside the principal's office, sending them to their bedroom, or making them sit on a "naughty step."

Adults use time-outs with the best of intentions. They want a discipline technique that's an option to sarcasm, ridiculing, yelling, or shaming. They prefer not to spank or use other forms of physical punishment to control their children. So they opt for using a time- out. They know it's important to hold children accountable for their behaviors, and they use time-out as a consequence of the choice the child has made.

These adults believe that placing a child in time-out will make him think about what he did wrong and learn not to do it any more. They believe that the child will stop hitting in frustration after having enough opportunities to sit and think about hitting. They believe he will learn to pick up his toys, stop throwing sand, and start using kind words because he sat in his bedroom long enough to figure out why he was there.

One assumption made by these parents and caregivers is that time-outs get children to behave the way the adult wants. Another assumption is that because it appears to work it's effective. But what if these "positive" outcomes aren't what they appear to be at first glance? What if there are negative effects from using time-out as it is being practiced today? What if it's actually counterproductive to achieving the goal of raising responsible children? Perhaps it's time to call time-out on time-out and examine it more closely.

Consider: As it is often practiced, time-out is used for control. It is used as a threat. "If you don't stop that, you'll go to time-out." It is used to punish. "Okay, that's it. You go to your room." When you use time-out in these ways you're teaching children that those with the power have the right to control others. You're showing them that might makes right and that the bigger gets to dominate the smaller.

Consider: Children being controlled by the threat of time-out may indeed change their behavior. But when they do, the motivation to change is external. The child hasn't been asked to think for herself or given the chance to internalize the need for a new behavior. Nor has she been taught any new behaviors. What she learns is to behave when the adult is near in fear of punishment. But she doesn't behave when the adult is not present because she hasn't learned to behave from the inside out. She is behaving only from the outside in.

Consider: When time-out is used for punishment, it often creates resentment and encourages revenge fantasies as children direct their anger and blame at the parents. They scheme about how to get even rather than contemplate alternatives to the behavior that got them the negative consequence. These feelings serve to disconnect them from the family rather than bring them closer.

Consider: Many parents make it understood that their child is being sent to time-out because he or she has been naughty or bad. When you send a child to a specific area because he was "naughty" and make that clear to him, you send a message to the child that he is bad, that he is naughty. This use of time-out attacks the character of the child. It wounds the spirit and brands him as being that way. It results in feelings of low self-esteem and creates core beliefs of "I am wrong," "I am not worthy," and "I am naughty." 

Consider: Time-out as it was originally designed was an attempt to give children time to cool down. It was to provide a safe space and time for a child to calm herself. Creating time and space for a child to calm down so she can think is the first step toward creating an internal standard, an inner authority that guides the child's behavior. It is a move toward control from within rather than from the outside.

Consider: A time-out is something one takes or is given when one needs a break from their surroundings. When an adult is overworked and feeling stress from their job, they take a time-out. It's called a vacation.

When you're so angry that you can't think, you remove yourself from the situation and come back later when you can think clearly. That's a time-out. When you come home from work exhausted and sit down on an easy chair for fifteen minutes, you're giving yourself a time-out.

A time-out is what we need when we're sad and want to be alone. It's what we need when we're hurt and don't know what to say. A time-out is what we need when we're confused and don't know what to do. It is what we need when we're frustrated and don't know what we want. A time-out is an internal rest area where one goes to collect oneself, to reenergize and get ready to address the problem at hand.

Consider: Children also need time to calm their minds and relax their bodies when they're frustrated. They need a break from the world around them when they are yelling or angry. Children need an opportunity to get themselves ready to learn a new skill or face a problem. They need time to get back into a solution-seeking, problem-solving mode.

Consider: A time-out is not to be used as the punishment piece of a discipline technique. It is the time a child needs to get into the right frame of mind so he or she can learn how to manage anger, curb aggression, or use a different set of words to express disappointment.

Consider: A child will only learn to manage his behavior when he is in the frame of mind that allows him to do so. Managing behavior, comparing possible outcomes, understanding consequences, choosing among options, and creating choices take place in the area of the brain called the frontal lobe. When your daughter is throwing a tantrum, she is not in her frontal lobe. Nor is your son using his frontal lobe when he's yelling, "I hate you."

When your child demonstrates physical behaviors such as hitting, kicking, biting, throwing objects, stomping feet, and swinging arms, she is in tantrum mode. Such behaviors are not generated in the cortex where the frontal lobe is located. Yelling, screaming, crying, and other emotional behaviors are generated in the limbic brain, which assists in managing emotional content and is not typically a problem-solving area. It's important for parents, educators, and daycare providers to recognize these behaviors and understand that children are not in an appropriate mindset from which to engage in learning a new skill, solving a problem, or understanding the cause and effect relationship of the choices they have made.

Consider: To discipline a child in the middle of a tantrum or during an emotional outburst serves no useful purpose. The role of the adult at this time is to help the child pass through the tantrum or emotional phase and move into a behavior management and problem-solving mode.

The appropriate use of a time-out is to provide the time and space a child needs to move into his frontal lobe and thus into a mode of thinking conducive to learning how to manage behavior. The time-out is not the learning phase. It is not when the teaching occurs. Time-out is the getting-ready phase, the recollecting-one's-thoughts-and-feelings phase. A time-out is provided for a child to give her several minutes of solitude in a calming place, allowing the brain to slowly shift into higher cortical thinking and frontal lobe activation. When the child has made this transition, then and only then is the process of holding her accountable and teaching her how to do it differently next time appropriate.

Consider: As practiced across the country today, the standard amount of time to be in time-out is correlated with the age of the child. For a seven-year-old, the rule suggests the child should sit in time-out for seven minutes. We disagree.

Some individuals move into the behavior management and problem-solving mode of the brain faster than others do. For some children it could require only seconds, while for others it may take thirty minutes. Give your child whatever time he or she needs to get ready. That is the most effective use of time-out.

Consider: Most parents allow children to return to the family group or resume their activity after they have stayed in time-out for a specific amount of time. Time-out used in this way becomes synonymous with "doing time." Once you've served your sentence, you're free to go about your business.

Consider: If time-out is indeed used as a gift of time and space, it is the time after time-out that becomes the most important. This is when you follow up by teaching a needed lesson, debriefing the previous scenario, and creating plans for next time. Use the time after time-out to help your children learn to manage their behavior through the guidance and instruction you give them. This will help them develop a better understanding of the consequences of their behavior. They will be more receptive to suggestions on how to correct their behavior. They will feel more empowered and more confident in being able to manage their behavior in the future. They will come to see themselves as capable, responsible people.

If you want your child to see himself as a responsible and successful person, to learn to get along with the group (family), to build positive relationships with others, and to increase feelings of connectedness with you, stop using time-out as a punishment. Use it as a positive interruption of an undesirable behavior so the child can calm himself and be receptive to the guidance, instruction, and lessons in accountability that follow.

Thomas Haller and Chick Moorman are the authors of The 10 Commitments: Parenting with Purpose. Thomas and Chick are two of the world's foremost authorities on raising responsible, caring, confident children. For more information about how they can help you or your group meet your parenting needs, visit their websites today at www.thomashaller.com and www.chickmoorman.com.

The 10 Commitments: Parenting with Purpose

Preview Book

6. Book Report

A.) The holidays are coming faster than you think. Halloween is almost upon us. Can Thanksgiving, Hanukah, Christmas, and New Year's be far behind? 

Our first e-book, Parenting with Purpose through the Holidays, is just in time to help you reduce holiday stress and parent with skill and confidence during this special time of the year. This collection of inspirational and practical articles by Chick Moorman and Thomas Haller will help you create the best family holiday season ever!

Parenting with Purpose through the Holidays, eleven different articles designed for you to create maximum family joy during the holidays, will only be available via the Internet. You can read it on your computer or print it out for later use. Our introductory offer for this helpful collection of articles will be coming to your inbox within a week.

A special bonus to those ordering before Halloween is our timely list of hints for Winning the Candy Wars. Watch for this special offer . . . coming soon.

B.) One dollar of every sale of The 10 Commitments: Parenting with Purpose goes to Healing Acres Equine Retirement Ranch, Inc. For photos, mission statement, and ways to contribute to this worthwhile cause go to www.healingacres.com.

C.) Fred the Mouse: The Adventures Begin, an exciting new book for young readers written by eight-year-old Reese Haller, is now available from Personal Power Press. It's a delightful story about a field mouse who learns to trust his intuition at the Mouse Scurry and Scamper School. As a young author, Reese writes what young children love to read. Your children will be inspired by the story and encouraged by its message. This delightful book can be shared as a read-aloud with young children and as an independent reading book for second- and third-graders. Order your copy today at www.reesehaller.com for only $4.97.

Fred the Mouse: The Adventures Begin

Preview Book

7. We Get E-mail

Hello Chick and Thomas,

It was good to listen to you both here in Cancún. Thank you for presenting The Five Voices of Enlightened Parenting. It was very interesting to know there are different voices we can use in parenting situations.  We are trying to use them every day.  I received my first e-mail newsletter from you. It was very interesting and helpful. Thanks.

Could I ask you for advice? It is about my daughter. She will be 6 in September. She is very intelligent, caring, and fun to be with. She is always happy, outgoing and everybody loves her. What I admire the most about her is her strong and sometimes tough character. She will always accomplish what she wants.

What I'm concerned about is that she started biting her nails last year. I feel terrible about it. I feel as if she hurts herself every time she bites them and I can't do anything to prevent or stop it. These past months she even started to tear her toenails, causing infections.  I've talked to her in a nice, happy, serious, mad, angry and hopeless way and yet nothing. We've created goal plans, accomplishment charts, beauty incentives, and even bought her a beauty purse to take to school.

I've noticed the nail biting increases at school time. Perhaps when she feels there's something she will not be good at, or when she feels insecure about some situation?

I give up. I do not know how to handle the situation.

Please help.

Thank you.

Concerned mother from Mexico


Hello Concerned Mother,

Thank you for your kind words about our seminar.

We have seen nail biting in other children your daughter's age. It is more common than you might think. The nail biting is an outward representation of internal anxiety and worry. It is usually related to self-esteem and confidence.

The internal anxiety about not being good enough or worrying about performance often turns into a habit that is hard to break. Attempting to break this habit with gifts or a special nail polish will not work because the root cause—anxiety—still exists. Instead, focus on helping your daughter feel more comfortable with who she is and help her see the positive choices she makes in other areas of her life that are beneficial to her. Draw attention away from the nail biting situation and focus on the positive aspects of her growth and choices.

Use the voice of nurture as much as possible around the nail biting issue. Avoid both the voice of structure and the voice of discipline with the nail biting. These voices have the potential of making the nervous habit last longer.

Your daughter will give up the nail biting as she grows and becomes more confident in herself. Allow her the time and space to do so. You can also seek the assistance of a family therapist who can help you explore your daughter's anxiety and how the family can best support her in her development.

Blessings to you and your family.

Best wishes,

Thomas and Chick

Want to learn more about The Five Voices of Enlightened Parenting? Why not bring Thomas or Chick to your church, school or organization to present this meaningful material. Contact one of them today to explore availability at www.thomashaller.com or www.chickmoorman.com .

8. Schedule of Events

Sept 26 - Bay City, MI
6:30 pm - 7:30 pm, How to Get Your Kids to do Homework Presented by Thomas Haller, MacGregor Elementary, Bay City, MI.

Sept. 28 - Cambridge, MA
6:00 pm - 9:00 pm, Parent Talk: Words That Empower, Words that Wound Presented by Chick Moorman, Bright Horizons, Technology Children's Center, MIT Campus, Cambridge, MA. For information contact Gina Tzizik at 617-253-1482 or email gtzizik@mit.edu.

Oct. 3 - Denham Springs, LA
3:30 pm - 5:30 pm, Celebrate the Spirit Whisperers Presented by Chick Moorman, Livingston Public Schools, Denham Springs Freshman School, Denham Springs, LA. For information contact Monica Ballay at 225-665-7896 or email monica.ballay@lpsb.org.

Oct. 3 - Denham Springs, LA
6:00 pm - 8:30 pm, Parent Talk: Words That Empower, Words That Wound Presented by Chick Moorman, Livingston Public Schools, Denham Springs Freshman School, Denham Springs, LA. For information contact Monica Ballay at 225-665-7896 or email monical.ballay@lpsb.org.

Oct. 6 - Beverly Hills, MI
9:30 am - 2:30 pm, Celebrate the Spirit Whisperers Presented by Chick Moorman, Kensington Academy, Beverly Hills, MI. For information contact Tom Hertz at 248-647-8060.

Oct. 6 - Beverly Hills, MI
7:00 pm - 9:00 pm, 10 Commitments: Parenting with Purpose Presented by Chick Moorman, Kensington Academy, Beverly Hills, MI. For information contact Tom Hertz at 248-647-8060.

Oct. 7 - Waterford, MI
9:00 am - 11:30 am, Celebrate the Spirit Whisperer Presented by Chick Moorman, Oakland Schools (Therapeutic Classrooms), Oakland School, Waterford, MI.

Oct. 7 - Waterford, MI
1:00 pm - 2:30 pm, Teacher Talk Presented by Chick Moorman, Oakland Schools (Therapeutic Classrooms), Oakland School, Waterford, MI.

Oct. 8 - Romulus, MI                 
2:30 pm - 4:30 pm, Parent Talk: Words That Empower, Words That Wound Presented by Chick Moorman, Huron Valley Regional Council #34 (Parents Without Partners, Inc.), Autumn Harvest Regional Conference, Four Points Sheraton, Romulus, MI. For information contact Mary Anne Britton at 810-231-9447 or email maryannebritton@provide.net.

Oct. 9 - Royal Oak, MI
7:00 pm - 9:00 pm, Grace-Full Parenting Presented by Chick Moorman, Royal Oak Congregational Church, Royal Oak, MI. For information and/or registration call Dianne Kruzman at 248-288-4220 or email diannekruzman@yahoo.com.

Oct 10 - Bay City, MI
6:30 pm - 7:30 pm, Ending Morning Madness and Banishing Bedtime Blues Presented by Thomas Haller, MacGregor Elementary, Bay City, MI.

More Dates

Chick Moorman

Contact Chick at 1-877-360-1477 (toll free) or email him at ipp57@aol.com.

Chick's Website

Thomas Haller

Contact Thomas at 989-667-5654 or email him at thomas@thomashaller.com.

Thomas' Website

Copyright 2005 Chick Moorman Seminars and Thomas Haller Seminars, all rights reserved. Share this with your circle.

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