www.chickmoorman.com --- www.thomashaller.com November 8, 2005
The Response-Able Parent Newsletter #46

1. Quote

"Most turkeys taste better the day after; my mother's tasted better the day before."

Rita Rudner

2. Spirit Whisperer Contemplation

What if this child has been sent to you with two assignments? Could it be that she has chosen to help you heal as well as be healed by you? It just might work both ways.

3. Bumper Sticker

Seen on a red Ford Villager in Saginaw, MI:

I am an honor roll parent at Marshall Green Middle School
Birch Run, Michigan
Kids count at MGMS

4. Parent Talk Tip: Next Time

I was helping put in fence posts with my partner, Thomas Haller, and his family at their home in Bay City, the site of Healing Acres, where they stable and take care of the horses we have rescued and retired. We needed a new pasture because of the pending arrival of a new horse that needed to be off by himself for a while.

The entire family helped with the project, including Tom's wife, Valerie, and their boys, 8-year-old Reese and 5-year-old Parker. We quickly fell into a routine that sped the process of measuring, digging a hole, filling it with a post, and refilling the remaining portions of the hole. I remarked to Parker as we finished one section and began another, "Don't forget the tape measure next time."

Parker stopped in his tracks, thought for a moment, and responded, "Chick, next time why don't you say, 'Remember the tape measure'?" Valerie, Tom and I shot quick glances and knowing smiles to each other. What Parker didn't realize was that he had just caught me violating one of my cherished Parent Talk notions---the importance of stating verbal responses with positive phrasing. He wasn't reminding me or holding me accountable. To him it just sounded better to say, "Next time, remember," rather than "Don't forget."

Parker was able to talk the way he did because he had been spoken to that way many times in his home. He knew the language from frequent exposure to it. By using it in his communication to me, he gave me another reason for us to appreciate, learn, and use Parent Talk skills with our children. When we forget, they can teach them back to us.

Thanks, Parker.


5. Article: Special Thanks This Thanksgiving

By Chick Moorman and Thomas Haller

Millions of parents will pause this Thanksgiving to do what the day was originally created for--- give thanks for the many blessings that exist in their lives. Turkey, pumpkin pie, and the presence of loved ones will receive their fair share of gratitude during this annual ritual of appreciation. Many parents will also give thanks for their children's health, the arrival of a newborn, or a recent marriage. The abundance provided by the universe, opportunities for meaningful work, and the laughter of children will be acknowledged with gratitude by loving parents as they thank the creator for their blessings. Indeed, this traditional day calls for a traditional thank-you.

But what if your appreciation this Thanksgiving took on a new look? What if the blessings you count this year included situations that aren't usually regarded as helpful, useful or valuable?? Consider the following.

Why not be thankful that your child is two years behind grade level in his reading ability? This struggling reader is giving you the opportunity to read to him regularly at night. This evening ritual will help build connectedness between you and your child while at the same time modeling your love for the printed word. Great literature like The Little Engine That Could or The Diary of Anne Frank can be shared as you simultaneously bond with your child. This opportunity is an incredible blessing. Appreciate it.

Why not be thankful that your daughter's soccer team lost their last game? It is important that your children have experiences of both winning and losing. By losing, children have the opportunity to learn to handle defeat and bounce back next time. With your help, they can learn that winning or losing is not the measure of who and what they are as human beings. They can learn they are more than the score. They can learn that it's effort, energy, and playing up to potential with good sportsmanship that defines a winner, not the scoreboard. Appreciate the opportunity the loss brings and be grateful for it.

Why not be thankful that your teenager received a speeding ticked for going 45 mph in a 25 mph speed zone? Getting a ticket is not a bad thing. Not if your teen learns from it and slows her driving for the next year. If she takes personal responsibility, pays the ticket, and is more cautious about her driving, the ticket may well save her life or the life of someone else in the future. Bless the ticket and give thanks for its blessings.

Why not be thankful that your 8-year-old shoplifted in the grocery store? This is the perfect time to teach your child about shoplifting. Better now than when he helps himself to someone else's car when he is 18. Teach him how to make amends. Teach him what to say as he returns the candy bars to the storeowner. Help him learn to articulate what he learned and what he intends to do differently next time. Bless this perfect time to teach lessons about taking things that don't belong to you. Be grateful for the opportunity.

Why not be thankful that your youngsters track mud and sand into the garage and house? The next time you stand in the garage furiously sweeping sand and wishing that your children were better behaved, quietly remind yourself that one day you'll wish you had sand to sweep out of the garage. Love the mud. Love the sand. Be grateful for the signs of the presence of children in your life.

Why not be thankful for sibling rivalry? "He got more than I did" and "It isn't fair" are common childhood refrains. Hitting, poking and teasing your sister are typical childhood behaviors. Bless these opportunities to help your children learn how to get along with each other. Use them as times to teach interpersonal skills and the importance of touching each other gently. Sibling rivalry is a call for help, a signal that your children need lessons on how to interact positively with each other. Bless their unskillful way of asking for help. Be grateful that you recognize it and help them grow in working and playing cooperatively.

Why not be thankful that you got to stay home with a sick child last week? You didn't have to stay home. You got to stay home. You didn't have to take him to the doctor. You got to take him to the doctor. You got to make sure he received the health care he needed. You got to show him you care enough to drive all over town to the doctors, the pharmacists and back home again. You got to be with your boy while he was sick. Not everyone gets to be with their children when they are sick. You did. Chalk it up as a blessing. Celebrate it this Thanksgiving.

Why not be thankful that your adolescent asked you about oral sex? This is a great sign. It means your child trusts you enough to talk to you about sex. It means she is not getting all her sex knowledge from the street. It means you have been taking your role as sex educator in your family seriously and that you have moved beyond "the talk" to having an ongoing, honest conversation about the important subject of sex. Congratulate yourself. It is a blessing that you are willing to fulfill that role for your child and that she is responding to it positively. Give thanks.

Why not be thankful that your 20-year-old has moved out of your home? Did you really want to raise a 30-year-old Nintendo player who sits around your house all day sucking up diet Pepsi and pizza? Hardly! Your goal was to raise a responsible, caring, confident child who would move away from home when the time was right for her. You have been successful. Pat yourself on the back. Yes, it would nice if she had chosen to spend this Thanksgiving with you rather than with her boyfriend's parents. Maybe next year. This year give thanks. Your child is an adult. That is a blessing.

Why not give thanks that your child is spilling milk, talking with his mouth full, wiping cranberry sauce on his new pants, refusing to eat his vegetables, and interrupting his grandmother at the dinner table this day? It means you have more work to do as a parent. It means your job is not yet done. This is a blessing. You are still needed to help your child learn to pour milk more carefully, improve his table manners, learn to eat nutritiously, and show respect for elders. Give thanks for these opportunities.

Why not be thankful for your special-needs child? Do you have a child with ADHD? Is your son autistic or dyslexic? Does your daughter have Down's syndrome? Is your child facing a serious health challenge? Your children are in your life for a reason. Perhaps they have come to help you learn patience, understanding, or commitment. Perhaps they are here to teach your family about tolerance, acceptance of differences, or unconditional love. Their presence is a blessing. Be thankful for the contribution they are making to the planet and to your family.

This Thanksgiving remember that parenting is a ministry. It is a sacred role that you are being called to perform. Give thanks that you have been called. Give thanks that you are willing to step forward and accept that call. Appreciate that you are being shown the way. Celebrate yourself and your contribution to healing the planet by helping your children evolve into the people they were meant to be. You are a blessing to the world. Give thanks that you are up to the task.

Happy Thanksgiving.

Chick Moorman and Thomas Haller are the authors of The 10 Commitments: Parenting with Purpose. They are two of the world's foremost authorities on raising responsible, caring, confident children. They publish a free monthly e-zine for parents. To sign up for it or obtain more information about how they can help you or your group meet your parenting needs, visit their websites today: www.chickmoorman.com or www.thomashaller.com

6. Product Report

A.) The holidays are here, and our first e-book, Parenting with Purpose through the Holidays, has been created 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 eleven 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 ($9.95) is only available via the Internet. You can read it on your computer or print it out for later use. With your purchase of this e-book, we will include a bonus article, "Winning the Candy Wars."

You may be wondering how we can offer this incredibly useful, idea-packed e-book to you at such a ridiculously low price. It's because we don't have to send it to a printer and pay printing costs. We don't have a transportation bill from the printer to our warehouse. We don't have to mail it to you and charge you shipping and handling. By eliminating those considerable costs, we can get this book in your hands and in use with your family in time for the holidays at the rock-bottom price of only $9.95.


7. We Get E-Mails

Dear Chick and Thomas,

I am the mother of a very willful and delightful 3?-year-old. She has recently decided to try hitting and kicking as a way of acting out.?She directs most of this behavior at one of our dogs and sometimes me and my husband. When she does it - we immediately pick her up, carry her into her bedroom, sit on her bed with her, and explain that hitting and kicking is not an appropriate way to express her anger and that it is hurtful to herself and others.? We explain that she needs to use words and that if she's feeling frustrated to tell us and we can help her figure out a way to resolve the frustration. We wait in her room with her until she calms down, but we don't allow her to leave until she is ready to apologize to whomever she hit (one of us or the dogs).?

I should also mention that immediately after she hits one of the dogs - I immediately give the dog lots of loving and attention, asking "Oh, are you okay? That looked like it hurt." Then I take her to her room for the "discussion." In our discussions we have been consistent in explaining that we don't allow hitting or kicking in our house, that we would never let anyone do that to her and we won't allow her to do it to others.

Any advice would be greatly appreciated. Are we on the right track? I realize we are somewhat limited to what a 3?-year-old can understand, and I'm concerned that what we are doing may not reach her because she may not be able to completely understand the concept of empathy for others at this early age.

Thank you so much for taking the time to read this email.

Kimberly from Washington

Hello Kimberly,

You are right on track with our philosophy. We like it that you go to the victim first and empathize with the dog or other sibling. Removing the child immediately to an area where she can get back peacefully to the frontal lobe of her brain is also what we recommend. The problem solving you do with her fits is helpful. Fixing the problem is more important than fixing blame, in our opinion.

The only suggestion we would offer is, instead of apologizing, have her tell the victim what she would do differently next time or what she wished she had done this time. This reinforces the teaching piece you do when you talk with her. Continue to concentrate on teaching rather than on using discipline techniques that punish.

Stick with it and do it with gentleness and love.


Chick and Thomas

8. The Parent Talk Facilitator Training

The Parent Talk System: Facilitator Training

WANTED: Interested parents or teachers to become local facilitators of the Parent Talk System's Language of Response-Able Parenting model.

GOAL: To help the parents of your community, school, or church group learn effective verbal skills to use with their children.

Take a giant step toward helping the parents in your community. Become a skilled facilitator of the Parent Talk System by attending our January facilitator training. Join the growing number of people from around the world (USA, Mexico, Spain, Canada, Australia) who have learned how to help parents raise responsible, caring, confident children. We will help you learn to put the highly effective Parent Talk skills into the hands of parents in your church, school, or organization. You will leave this three-day training with the skills and confidence to touch the hearts and minds of parents in your community!

Parent Talk System Training Schedule:
January 26-28, 2006
Grand Rapids, MI
Spring Arbor University

Facilitated by Chick Moorman and Sarah Knapp. Limited to 25 participants. Graduate credit available. To request a detailed brochure, email ipp57@aol.com or click on the link below. (Be sure to include your mailing address.)


9. Schedule

Nov. 12 - Bloomfield Hills
12:00 pm (noon), Keynote Address, Enlightened Parenting, presented by Chick Moorman and Thomas Haller, Michigan Fathers Conference, Birmingham Covington School, Bloomfield Hills, MI. For information contact Kimber Bishop-Yanke at 248-203-3800 or visit www.dadsempowered.org.

Nov. 16 - Lansing, MI
8:00 am - 4:00 pm, Transforming Aggression in Children, presented by Chick Moorman and Thomas Haller, Holiday Inn-South/Convention Center, Lansing, MI. For information and/or registration contact Chick Moorman at 1-877-360-1477 (toll free) or e-mail ipp57@aol.com.

Nov. 21 - Temperance, MI
7:00 pm - 9:00 pm, Parent Talk: Words That Empower, Words That Wound, presented by Chick Moorman, Bedford P.S., High School Auditorium, Temperance, MI. For information contact Deb Ostas at 734-850-6185 or e-mail ostasd@bedford.k12.mi.us.

Nov. 22 - West Bloomfield, MI
7:00 pm - 9:00 pm, Parent Talk: Words That Empower, Words That Wound, presented by Chick Moorman, Jewish Academy of Metropolitan Detroit, Jewish Community Center, West Bloomfield, MI. For information contact Julie Ruskin at 248-592-5263 or e-mail jruskin@jamd.org.

Nov. 30 - Ann Arbor, MI
7:00 pm - 9:00 pm, Parent Talk: Words That Empower, Words That Wound, Presented by Chick Moorman, Ann Arbor Public Schools, Lakewood Elementary, 344 Gralake, Ann Arbor, MI. Sponsored by Lakewood Elementary, Abbot Elementary, Haisley Elementary, Wines Elementary, and Eberwhite School. For information contact Lucia Yu at 734-761-5081 or e-mail lacy6139@aol.com.


Chick Moorman

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


Thomas Haller

Contact Thomas at?989-667-5654 or e-mail him at thomas@thomashaller.com.


Copyright 2005 Chick Moorman Seminars and Thomas Haller Seminars.

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