Response-Able Parent Newsletter #70

January 16, 2008

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:
The Top Five Parenting Blunders of 2007 and What We Can Learn from Them
5. Turning the Negative to Positive
6. We Get E-mail

1. Quote

"It is not giving children more that spoils them; it is giving them more to avoid confrontation."

John Gray

2. Spirit Whisperer Contemplation

Do you seem stuck today with a parenting problem? Perhaps it is time to remember that you always have more choices than you think you have. Can you consider the possibility that there might be a better way? That there might be several better ways?

3. Bumper Sticker

Noticed on a red Jeep Grand Cherokee in Kingsley, MI:

Hunt With Your Children
Not For Them


By Thomas Haller and Chick Moorman

Just a few weeks ago we were saying goodbye to 2007, ringing in the New Year and declaring our New Year's resolutions. But hold on. Before we get too far into 2008, let's take a look back at some of the hottest parenting news of the past year.

In this article we revisit the top five public parenting blunders of 2007. Our goal is not to bash or ridicule these news-making parents for the mistakes they made. Admittedly, all parents make mistakes, including us. Instead, we encourage you to join us in learning from the decisions these parents made and use what we learn to create a better world for all our children.

Blunder #5: Actress Melanie Griffith being photographed outside Maxfield's, a Hollywood hot spot, lighting her 17-year-old daughter's cigarette. The national legal smoking age is 18.

Lesson to learn: Parents should not try to be friends to their children. As a parent you cannot be your child's best friend and still set appropriate limits for them as they grow up. Our children don't need another friend. They have enough friends already. What they need is an adult parent who can set clear, healthy limits and say "no" when needed.

Remember, our role in raising a responsible child is for us to make ourselves dispensable so that our child can make responsible decisions when she is not in our presence. Yes, be a parent who listens. Yes, be a person your child can confide in. But do it without crossing the line of acting like her friend.

Blunder #4: Britney Spears and the extensive laundry list of problems she has created for herself. Some of Britney's recent problems relate to her parenting. Others appear to have more to do with her own growing up process and the need to behave like a responsible adult.

Lesson to learn: Too many of us are obsessed with celebrity. It is time to put down the tabloid fodder and stop our preoccupation with following the latest news on what is happening to Britney or any other celebrity.

Our focus should be on what we have been called to be and do for our own children. Being a parent is a sacred role to be held in the highest regard. When we revel in the failure or misfortune of another person, our attention is drawn away from the important role of parenting. The enormous amount of energy we expend in following celebrity activities and scandals is time and energy we could be investing in our own families.

Remember, what you and your children see in the news or read in a magazine about someone is not a full representation of that person or the situation. Don't let your family get caught up in the obsession with celebrity. Remain focused on that which really matters: raising responsible, caring, confident children with gentleness and love.

Blunder #3: Lynn Spears writing a parenting book. Lynn is the mother of two celebrity daughters, Britney and Jamie Lynn. Recently, Jamie Lynn hit the headlines with the announcement of her pregnancy at the age of sixteen. Admittedly, we don't know what Lynn's parenting book is about. Is it about her successes, failures, or frustrations as a parent? Time will tell.

Lesson to learn: We need to be extremely careful about where we obtain our parenting advice. Family, friends, coworkers and celebrities (or celebrity' parents) don't always know what is best for our family and the raising of our children according to the values we find important. Look for the parenting style that best fits you and your child. Just because something is on television (e.g., The Super Nanny) or printed in a book doesn't mean it's a good parenting technique.

When you receive parenting advice, whether from a therapist, family member, friend, book, or from us, give that advice the Four Question Challenge. The strategy must provide meaningful answers to ALL four questions to be valuable.

I. Does it work? This is usually an easy question to answer, but we caution you: Many strategies work and that doesn't mean they should be used. So you need to quickly move on to the second question.

II. Is it respectful? In other words, is the technique you are considering free of shame and blame? Is it void of approaches that cause pain or hurt your child even in a small way? Spanking is a prime example of a parenting strategy that might work and it is NOT respectful.

III. Does it help you become the parent you've always wanted to be? When you take a step back and look at yourself, are you behaving in a way that you are proud of? What if a parenting professional or your minister or your family doctor were watching you? Would you use the strategy in front of them?

IV. What does it teach? The word "discipline" means to train or develop by instruction. If your parenting strategy does not teach children what to do differently next time--what to say or how to act--they are not going to know what to do. Help your children build an image in their minds of what behaviors are expected and how to accomplish them. Again, spanking may work short term, but it teaches that might makes right. Are you happy with your child learning that lesson?

Blunder #2: Actor Alec Baldwin's comments left on his daughter's cell phone and later released to the media. Like many, we were appalled at his choice of words and the attempt to shame and ridicule that those words expressed. Obviously, we don't know all of what was occurring in Alec Baldwin's divorce, but it was clear that he was extremely frustrated with how the divorce and custody proceedings were being handled. And his daughter became the recipient of an angry personal attack on her character and personality.

Lesson to learn: Divorce can be difficult on both the adults and the children. How the adults handle themselves is a vital component in determining how much trauma the children experience. When the two adults decide to grow up and divorce with dignity, the effects are lessened for the children involved. Keep children out of the divorce process as much as possible. Shelter them from your negative feelings toward the person you are divorcing.

Remember, regardless of how you feel, the person you are divorcing is still and will always be your child's parent. You can divorce the adult while doing whatever it takes to keep a solid, loving connection to your child, no matter how frustrated you become.

Blunder #1: Priscilla Ceballos, the Texas mother who helped her daughter write a letter to win tickets to a Hannah Montana concert. The letter they wrote together won the contest. The organizers of the contest and the public were shocked to find out that the contents of the letter were untrue. The six-year-old's father did not serve and die in Iraq as the letter had claimed.

Lesson to learn: It is not only time for us to stop our obsession with celebrity, it is time for us to stop subjecting our children to the ongoing media frenzy that thrives on our celebrity hunger. In satisfying our obsession we are placing these people on a pedestal as if they are better than us or know more than we do. This better than message is getting passed on to our children. As a result, they are more likely to look to celebrities and professional athletes, people they don't even know, as role models.

Monitor what your children are watching on TV, downloading onto their iPods, and listening to on the radio. Talk to your children about the celebrities and athletes they look up to. Focus the discussion on why they like that person? Help them identify the attributes they find appealing. Together, identify people that your children know who have similar attributes. Create opportunities for your children to sit and talk with these people about their dreams, ideas, and living in today's world. Help them find a role model in their real world not on Real World.

Our goal in bringing attention to these five highly publicized parenting blunders is to help us all take a fresh look at ourselves and our parenting. How did you do this past year? Did you measure up to your expectations? Are there changes you want to make in 2008? Remember, change yourself first and your children will follow your lead.

Create the year you desire.

Thomas Haller and Chick Moorman are the authors of Teaching the Attraction PrincipleTM to Children and The Only Three Discipline Strategies You Will Ever Need: Essential Tools for Busy Parents. 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 to obtain more information about how they can help you or your group meet your parenting needs, visit their website today:

The Only Three Discipline Strategies You Will Ever Need: Essential Tools for Busy Parents


5. Turning the Negative to Positive

In looking at the worst parenting blunders of 2007 we are aware that we are focusing on the negative. We are following the poor example set by much of the media and highlighting what is wrong rather than what is right in the world. Yes, we are examining the negative so we can learn from it and turn it to positive. Still, we are giving attention to the negative.

Please help us rectify this situation in a future issue. March 20 is International Parenting Commitment Day. The March issue of this newsletter will feature positive contributions made by parents throughout the world.  Please help us by sending articles, stories, or short examples of parents demonstrating a commitment to family. Help us showcase some of the many parents who raise responsible children in enlightened and loving ways.

Send contributions to

6. We Get E-mail

Dear Chick and Thomas,

I would beg to differ with your advice regarding owning a weapon. The shooting sports are a great way to bring a family closer together. My sons and I (and sometimes my wife) shoot skeet, trap, and use handguns, and military rifles. We also hunt duck, geese, deer, and pheasant. These activities have brought us together in the field and many long talks have developed due to the camaraderie of the shooting sports.

Please don't let your narrow-minded view about firearms ruin your otherwise wonderful newsletter. YES, keep your guns locked up. That is only prudent. But don't tell folks to get rid of their guns. They should educate their children about the operation and safety of guns. Knowledge of the use and function of an object makes it safer. That includes guns.

We don't turn our children out with a car without information or education. Guns are no different. If people taught their children about firearms there would be a lot fewer accidental deaths involving them.

Thank you.

Karl Hogue

Dear Karl,

Thank you for your reminder about the positive aspects of firearms. While the shooting sports are not our choice of a fun-filled family activity, we can understand how you and many other families could think differently.

We do support your call for gun safety and the supervised use of firearms. And we celebrate your efforts to be present with your children, engaging in meaningful conversation. That is critical whether we are shooting skeet, ice skating, or horseback riding.

Thanks for caring enough to communicate with us.


Chick Moorman and Thomas Haller

Featured Product

Teaching the Attraction PrincipleTM to Children by Thomas Haller and Chick Moorman

Coming in February 2008!

Foreword by New York Times Best-Selling Author, Jack Canfield

"I am thrilled that they [Chick and Thomas] have taken the time to develop and test out these ideas with parents and teachers all across the country, teach them in their seminars and workshops, and now present them in this book."

Jack Canfield
Co-author of Chicken Soup for the Parent's Soul
® and Chicken Soup for the Teacher's Soul®, Author of Effortless Success and Jack Canfield's Keys to Living the Law of Attraction, Santa Barbara, CA


Featured Workshop

The Only Three Discipline Strategies You Will Ever Need

This seminar contains two hours of essential skill-based training for busy parents. In it you will learn:

* The One-Minute Behavior Modifier for eliminating whining, teasing, hitting, cussing, back talk, pouting, and other inappropriate behaviors

* The Dynamic Discipline Equation to help you hold your children accountable for their actions and behaviors with love and consistency

* The Positive Anger Explosion, a technique that will allow you to communicate annoyance, irritation, and frustration in a way that lets your child know that you are clearly angry, yet refrains from attacking character or wounding the spirit

Bring this important and impactful session to your school, church or community this fall. Thomas Haller and/or Chick Moorman stand ready to schedule a date for your group now.

If you are one of the first ten organizations to schedule a seminar on this helpful topic, Thomas and Chick will bring 15 free books to be given away to the first 15 families who arrive (one per family).

Call today to make sure your date gets locked into our calendar. Some December and January dates are still available. Call 877-360-1477 or e-mail Thomas at or Chick at

Special Announcement

Approaching 10,000

We now have 9,875 subscribers to the Response-Able Parenting Newsletter. Our immediate goal is to reach 10,000.

To help us celebrate this first of many milestones, the 10,000th subscriber will receive a $200 gift certificate from Personal Power Press redeemable for books, CDs, seminars, or any combination of items listed on our website,

Please help us reach our goal. Send this newsletter to at least one friend or relative. Encourage them to sign up to receive this free and valuable resource of useful parenting tips on a regular basis.

We only need 125 subscribers to reach our goal. Thanks for helping.


Jan. 16 - New Brunswick, NJ
Motivating the Unmotivated: Practical Strategies for Teaching the Hard-to-Reach Students presented by Chick Moorman, New Brunswick, NJ, Bureau of Educational Research. For information call 1-800-735-3503.

Jan. 17 - Long Island, NY
Motivating the Unmotivated: Practical Strategies for Teaching the Hard-to-Reach Students presented by Chick Moorman, Long Island, NY, Bureau of Educational Research. For information call 1-800-735-3503.

Jan. 18 - Ithaca, MI
Catching the Writing Bug Literacy Day presented by Reese and Thomas Haller, North Elementary School, Ithaca, MI.

Jan. 22 - Santa Barbara, CA
Educator in Residence presented by Chick Moorman, Crane Country Day School, Santa Barbara, CA. For information email Joel Weiss at

Jan. 25 - Grayling, MI
Catching the Writing Bug Literacy Day presented by Reese and Thomas Haller, Grayling Elementary School, Grayling, MI.

Jan. 26 - Farmington Hills, MI
Concurrent Sessions including The Only Three Discipline Strategies You Will Ever Need presented by Thomas Haller, Midwestern Fathers Conference, North Farmington High School, Farmington Hills, MI. For information email

Jan. 31 - Okemos, MI
6:30 pm - 9:00 pm, Parent Talk: Words That Empower, Words That Wound presented by Chick Moorman, Okemos Public School, Chippewa Middle School, Okemos, MI. For information contact John Zappala at

Chick Moorman

Contact Chick at 877-360-1477 (toll-free) or e-mail him at


Thomas Haller

Contact Thomas at 989-686-5356 or e-mail him at



Copyright 2008 Chick Moorman Seminars and Thomas Haller Seminars, all rights reserved. Share this with your circle.



Personal Power Press
P.O. Box 547
Merrill, MI 48637

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