www.personalpowerpress.com September 19, 2006
The Response-Able Parent Newsletter #56

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






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.

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IN THIS ISSUE

1. Quote
2. Spirit Whisperer Contemplation
3. Bumper Sticker
4. Article: Winning the Candy Wars
5. The First Commitment
6. We Get E-mail
7. Did You Know?
8. Schedule of Events


1. Quote

"The only educational aspect of television is that it puts the repair man's kids through college."

Joan Welch


2. Spirit Whisperer Contemplation

Can you live without an answer to your parenting question today? Perhaps the answer is on the way, and your job is to live with the question until the wisdom shows up.


3. Bumper Sticker

Spotted on a burgundy Toyota Camry in Cadiz, Kentucky:

The first 40 years of parenthood are always the hardest.


4. Article: Winning the Candy Wars

Thomas Haller and Chick Moorman

This is part of setting limits, and it is your responsibility as a conscious, committed parent to see that the conditions are honored.

Our children are being bombarded with candy from every direction. Chocolate bars, gum, suckers, and assorted gummy candies line the checkout lanes in grocery stores. School fundraisers sell candy bars, cookies, and brownies in the hallways during lunch hours. Every mall, skating rink, soccer complex, movie theater, and even the video store has a place to buy candy.

And then there are the holidays. Halloween trick-or-treat bags bulge with every kind of candy imaginable. Christmas stockings are topped with bubble gum and chocolate bars. Valentine messages are stamped on candy hearts, and boxes of candy are the staple of communicating love. Easter baskets overflow with jellybeans and chocolate bunnies.

Candy is everywhere, and its presence is wreaking havoc on our children's teeth and waistlines. Children are visiting the dentist with serious tooth decay at younger and younger ages every year. Obesity in children is a national concern.

With candy universally available and regularly within sight of children, what is a parent to do? How do you combat its influence on your children? How do you lessen the influence of advertisers and get candy consumption under control in your family? How can you win the candy wars?

The following suggestions can assist you in curbing your children?s candy consumption. Use them to increase the health and wellbeing of your family.


1. Begin by being a model for your children to follow.

If you are a chocoholic and find yourself foraging through the cupboard for the last chocolate bar or eating an entire bag of M&Ms once it is opened, reflect on the message you are sending your children. It will be difficult for you to curb their candy consumption when they see you unable to curb your own. So model the message. Eat a small portion of candy and set the rest aside for later. Talk to your children about your desire and your willingness to stay conscious and make healthy choices about your own candy consumption. The positive images you give them on how to set candy aside will help them to set it aside themselves.


2. See candy as a wonderful opportunity to set limits with your children.

As parents, we set limits around television use, computer time, video games, bedtimes, friends, and a variety of other issues and behaviors. Setting limits with candy does not mean you make it totally off limits. It means that you provide opportunities for your children to enjoy candy within some clearly defined parameters or guidelines.

Children want guidelines. They thrive on structure. It is the structure provided by the adult that allows them to relax into being a child. Of course they will push and test the limits. That's their job. Pushing and testing the limits does not mean that your children want them changed. It most often means they want to see if the structure is really in place.

Set your limits early, before you go to the store, before the Easter Bunny arrives, before the Halloween bags are full, before you bring candy into the house. We will be buying one treat today in the store sets the limit. So does, "We are shopping for food today. This will be a non-candy trip."

Discuss with your children the rules about candy consumption before they head out to gather a bagful at Halloween. Agree on a portion to be eaten each day and a place to keep it. Do not allow candy to be taken into their bedrooms. Do not leave bags of candy in the cupboard where your children have easy access to it.

Setting a limit doesn't mean you have to say no. Sometimes saying yes with a qualifier helps you avoid power struggles.

"Can I have a piece of candy?"

"Yes, you can have one right after supper."


3. Offer your children choices when it comes to candy consumption.

Another effective way to set limits on candy consumption in your family while reducing resistance and resentment is to offer children choices. "You can choose five pieces of candy out of your Halloween bag for today and set the rest aside for a different day. Let's spread all your candy out and look at your choices."

"You can choose one piece of candy now or two pieces of candy for after supper. You decide."

Remind your children that responsibility equals opportunity. Tell them they have an opportunity to have some candy. If they demonstrate they are responsible by honoring the parameters you have set, then the opportunity continues. If they choose not to be responsible with candy, they choose to lose the opportunity to have it available. In that instance, access to candy is removed.

This could mean you may have to remove all the candy from the house and make it unavailable to anyone. That would include you.


4. Make the eating of candy something special.

Educate your children so they understand that candy is not food. It has no nutritional value for their bodies. Candy is a special treat, and its consumption is reserved for special moments. Keep candy-eating rare and enjoyable. Once candy becomes an everyday occurrence, its specialness wears off and its presence becomes expected.

Have different candy around at different times to bring attention to the special event the candy celebrates. Focus on the event and how different types of candy are significant at different times of the year. Talk about the cultural or family significance of what a particular type of candy may represent. Change the focus from mass consumption to the significance of that type of candy to you and your family.


5. Don't use candy as a reward.

When you use candy to motivate your children to perform a particular task or behave in a certain way, you make it a tool of manipulation. Using candy to get children to behave is a form of bribery and produces children who perform for a substance. You end up with a "candy junky," someone who chases after the next "fix."

Candy should never be used as a reward by parents, teachers, or any professional working with children. Using candy this way distorts the role it should have in a young person's life and teaches children that the reward is more important than the task performed.


6. Help your children create an inner authority.

You will not always be present when your children have access to candy. You will not always be there to enforce a limit for them or give them choices. Your job is to help them internalize the ability to curb candy consumption. This control from within will develop in children if you begin consistently employing the above suggestions early in their lives.

Another way to help your children build inner controls is to debrief or talk through their choices with them after they return from a place where you know candy is easily available. Help them think about and talk through their decisions. Ask them to articulate what they would want to keep the same and what they would like to be different next time. Help them create a plan to build on their successes.

Your children's inner authority is the only authority they will take with them wherever they go. Help them learn to trust their ability to decide and make healthy, responsible choices.

By following these six suggestions, you and your children can enjoy the wonderful taste of chocolate and other candies. The holidays can be filled with moments made special by candy consumption that is not an everyday occurrence. The candy wars will no longer be a part of your family life. Eating candy will change from being a weight and tooth decay issue to being a wonderful time when one can simply enjoy a sweet taste upon the pallet.

Thomas Haller and Chick Moorman 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 family, visit their website today: www.personalpowerpress.com.


5. The First Commitment

I commit to remembering that experience can be messy.

Corrine is a single parent with a ten-year-old autistic son. Every Saturday afternoon she takes him to the corner convenience store where they each purchase a Coke and a pretzel.

The Saturday afternoon ritual is usually a long, drawn-out process. Mark likes to pour his own drink, which is not easy for him to do. He often knocks over the cup, drops ice on the floor, and spills Coke on the counter. Occasionally, he spills the entire drink on the floor and has to start over.

Corrine could easily eliminate the confusion and the pending mess by doing it all herself, but she knows that Mark enjoys the opportunity to be independent. She views the Coke and pretzel adventure as a great experience for him. So now, whenever they head to the corner store for a Coke, Corrine tucks a roll of paper towels under her arm. She goes prepared because she knows that the experience of letting Mark pour his own drink is messy.

Reprinted with permission from The 10 Commitments: Parenting with Purpose by Chick Moorman and Thomas Haller.


The 10 Commitments: Parenting with Purpose

CLICK HERE TO PREVIEW BOOK.


6. We Get E-mails

Hello Thomas and Chick,

I have been following your newsletters and I've also been to a couple of the workshops that you did at our school. I learned a lot and hope they will have you back.

I have implemented many of the suggestions you offered. I love them. However, I've been having trouble breaking some of the bad parenting traits that have been hardwired into me from my childhood. I know that there are certain things like yelling and getting frustrated that I shouldn't do. However, I'm finding it hard to break the chain. I understand that I am responsible for my actions but it's a lot harder than I thought it would be to be the kind of parent that I want to be.

My son is 6 now and he is for the most part a really good kid and I anticipated some differences in him once his sister was born. However, I'm noticing that he is less responsible for himself now than he was before. I have given him responsibilities that I thought were age-appropriate and he took them on with no problem (a little reminder here and there), but now it's almost as if he is deliberately not doing them. Even after a reminder there are times that he still doesn't do them. I have tried spending more time with him, but it seems that my time is now always split between him and his sister. With my husband in the military, it's like I'm a single mother and I'm seeing myself make some of the same mistakes my mother made. I don't want to do that.

Any suggestions or advice that you can give me would be greatly appreciated.

Sincerely,

Frustrated Mother


Dear Frustrated,

Glad you enjoyed the parent workshops. We would love to return to your school to do another follow-up session. Please share your interest with your PTO president. The people in charge of those organizations are usually interested in feedback about the programs they offer and are often willing to follow the desires of the members.

You have taken on a sacred task, that of parenting. It is an art, and, as with any art, it takes time to learn the craft. Hold in your mind a vision of the parent you would like to be and begin by picking one area or behavior in which you can be that type of parent. Work on that one skill or area. When you are confident that you are being the type of parent you want to be in a particular area or behavior, move to another. Take them one at a time.

Be gentle with yourself and nurture yourself the same way you nurture your children. Celebrate your successes. Don't attempt to be the perfect parent. We all make mistakes. Mistakes are what we do along the way to learning how to get it right. One definition of a parent is "a mistake maker."

Give yourself credit for what you are doing and handling while your husband is serving our country. In many ways you are in a single-parenting mode. Do the best you can in the moment. When you make a mistake, note it, learn from it, and move on. One great thing about parenting is that you get lots of opportunities to learn the same lesson. You will see yourself growing slowly and steadily towards being the parent you want to be.

Best wishes,

Thomas Haller and Chick Moorman


7. Did You Know?

A.) Every day in America 406 babies are born to mothers who had late or no prenatal care.?

B.) An AP-AOL poll revealed that almost 4 in 10 adults surveyed said they hated math in school.

C.) What do you think teachers say is the best part of their job? They overwhelmingly respond, "Working with the kids." Ask them about the most demanding part and they respond, "Dealing with the parents." Of all the challenges they face, new teachers rank handling parents at the top.

D.) You can help your child too much. It is important to teach your children to ask for help when they need it. Helping too much occurs when you do the work for them or complete the task yourself. Children need to learn how to face challenges, move through frustration, fail on occasion, and keep going.

E.) Every time you let your child move you with anger, you teach her to be angry. When you let her move you with guilt, you teach her to guilt-trip. When you cave in to whining, you teach her to whine.

F.) We would be honored to speak at your next PTO or church meeting. But we are only interested in coming if you believe parenting is a sacred responsibility and want to help parents raise responsible, caring, confident children in enlightened and loving ways. Contact us at our websites, www.thomashaller.com or www.chickmoorman.com.


8. Schedule

Sept. 19 - Cancun, Mexico
Morning, The 10 Commitments: Parenting with Purpose presented by Chick Moorman, Cancun, Mexico.

Sept. 19 - Cancun, Mexico
Evening, Parent Talk presented by Chick Moorman, Cancun, Mexico.

Sept. 20 - Cancun, Mexico
Morning, Parent Talk presented by Chick Moorman, Cancun, Mexico.

Sept. 20 - Cancun, Mexico
Evening, Couple Talk presented by Chick Moorman, Cancun, Mexico.

Sept. 21 - Cancun, Mexico
Morning, Parent Talk presented by Chick Moorman, Cancun, Mexico.

Sept. 22 - Cancun, Mexico
Evening, Responsible Language and Parent Talk presented by Chick Moorman, Cancun, Mexico.

Sept. 28 - Santa Barbara, CA
6:30 pm - 8:30 pm, Teacher Talk presented by Chick Moorman, Montessori Center School, Santa Barbara, CA. For information contact Nica Guinn at 805-570-5194 or email nicaguinn@mac.com.

Oct. 5 - East Lansing, MI
11:00 am - 11:40 am, Healthy Sports Experiences presented by Chick Moorman,? Michigan High School Athletic Association (MHSAA), MHSAA Building, East Lansing, MI. For information email Jack Roberts at jroberts@mhsaa.com.

October 7 - Omaha, NE
The 6 Traits of Writing: A 5h Graders Perspective presented by Thomas Haller, International Reading Association Conference, Omaha, Nebraska. For more information contact Julie at agardj@unk.edu.

October 16 - Mobile AL
The 6 Traits of Writing: A 5h Graders Perspective presented by Thomas Haller, International Reading Association Conference, Mobile, Alabama. For more information contact Carolyn at charris@reading.org.

October 20 - Anaheim, CA
Mark Victor Hansen Speaking Seminar presented by Thomas Haller and his son, Reese, live on stage with Mark Victor Hansen at The Mega Speaking Seminar Anaheim, CA. For more information visit www.markvictorhansen.com.

Oct. 20 - Grand Rapids, MI
Morning Keynote, Motivating Students Through the Power of Your Words presented by Chick Moorman, Michigan Association of Non-public Schools, Van Andel Arena, Grand Rapids, MI. For information contact Glen Walstra at 517-372-0662 or email gwalstra@m-a-n-s.org.

Oct. 21 - Detroit, MI
Closing Conference Keynote, Recognizing the Spirit Whisperers presented by Chick Moorman, American Association of School Personal Administration, Detroit, MI. For information contact Terry Serbin at 734-265-3020 or email serbin@monroe.k12.mi.us.


Chick Moorman

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

CLICK HERE TO VISIT CHICK'S WEBSITE.


Thomas Haller

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

CLICK HERE TO VISIT THOMAS' WEBSITE.

Copyright 2006 Chick Moorman Seminars and Thomas Haller Seminars, all rights reserved. Share this with your circle.


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