Response-Able Parent Newsletter #76

August 29, 2008

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

Mission Statement

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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.  Article: Handling the Interruption Disruption
5.  Parent Talk: Increasing Cooperation

6.  We Get E-mail

1. Quote

"Parents often talk about the younger generation as if they didn't have anything to do with it."


Haim Ginott

2. Spirit Whisperer Contemplation

How you parent today will change the world. One more time. How you parent today will change the world.

3. Bumper Sticker

Noticed on a blue Chevy Cavalier in Roosevelt, NY:

When a child is born
So is a grandfather.

4. Article: Handling the Interruption Disruption


By Thomas Haller and Chick Moorman

Do your children interrupt you when you're talking? Does the house seem completely quiet until you pick up the phone, and then your children immediately demand your attention? Have you ever attempted to have an important conversation with your spouse, but the kids couldn't seem to leave you alone? If so, then you’re experiencing a common frustration for many parents: the interruption disruption.


So what can parents do about this situation? How do we get our children to stop interrupting without sending them the message that we don't want to hear what they have to say?


The key to handling the interruption disruption lies in teaching children how and when to speak up. Simply put, if you want a behavior, you have to teach a behavior. Children do not understand when interrupting is or is not appropriate. Nor do they often demonstrate the skills that will enable them to speak up effectively when it is appropriate. They don't understand the power of words and how to use them to create positive change in their lives.

To help your children learn to curb the interrupting habit, start with these steps.


Step 1 – Create a signal. Before you find yourself in the situation where interrupting occurs, establish a signal or sign that your children can use to let you know they want to talk to you. You might try having them place a hand on your shoulder or touch you gently on the side. These are signals used by many parents.


Step 2 – Practice the signal. Practice the signal several times by roleplaying before putting it into use. Then have a few of your friends or relatives call you on the telephone when your children are around. See how it works, and debrief as needed.


Step 3 – Teach children the difference between important and unimportant reasons to interrupt. Talk to your children about what is and what isn’t an acceptable reason to interrupt. One acceptable reason is if someone is hurt or in danger. If your son witnesses a dangerous situation, teach him to communicate it quickly and directly. Give him some starter words that will tip you off that he is communicating potential danger. "Mom, I see danger," "Shannon needs help," or "Trouble alert" work well as clues that danger is at hand.


Unless there is immediate danger, inform your children that you will turn your attention to them when a break in the conversation allows. This means that they might have to wait fifteen or twenty seconds after they give you the signal as outlined in step one. Once you feel or see the signal, you don’t have to immediately end your discussion and attend to your child. However, fifteen seconds is a long time in the mind of a young child who is working on being patient, so you want to move in that direction quickly. It is important that you practice this scenario, too. If you wait several minutes after getting the signal before you give your child attention, you will sabotage the entire process.


Step 4 – Give friendly reminders to encourage use of the signal. Your children will not automatically start using the signal the first time they feel like interrupting. You will need to remind them as they learn this new behavior. "Michael, that's interrupting. Please use the signal we practiced" and "Angel, touch me on the shoulder if you are wanting my attention right now" are examples of ways to encourage a return to signal use.


Have patience with this fourth step. Be ready for some misuse and some forgetting of the signal. It is going to take your children time to learn that you have not forgotten them and that you will attend to their need in a timely fashion. Children are used to the world revolving around them, and it is often difficult for them to wait while you meet some of your needs. When they regularly experience having you slowly stop your conversation, attend to their need, and then return to your conversation, they will realize they are still connected to you and that you are still available to them.


It may also take time for you to remember to respond to the signal quickly and give appropriate reminders to your children. Keep refining the process until it works smoothly for all concerned. Remember, the end result of your effort is a child who grows into an adult who knows how and when to interrupt. By implementing the above strategies with respect, patience, and understanding we help our children gain skill and confidence when speaking up for themselves.

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 to obtain more information about how they can help you or your group meet your parenting needs, visit their website today:

The 10 Commitments: Parenting with Purpose


5. Parent Talk: Increasing Cooperation


Want to get more cooperation from your children? Would you like them to go along with your desires more often? Do you want more influence over their behavior? If so, you need the influence enhancer, "BECAUSE."

Because is a word of influence. Advertisers and marketers use it regularly to influence our behaviors. They have learned that we agree with their suggestions more often when they give us a reason to do so. "Buy this car because it gets great gas mileage." "Give to this charity because it helps battered women get a fresh start and change their lives for the better."

Parents also can use the influence enhancer to encourage appropriate behaviors. "Whining doesn't work with me because it hurts my ears and I don't understand what you are really asking for." "We lay books flat on the shelf or stand them up straight because it hurts their spines and injures the pages to leave them open like that." "Nine o'clock is the healthy limit we have set for bedtime because your young body needs regular sleep so you can be alert and full of energy in the morning."

Use "because," the influence enhancer, because you will get less resistance to your parental suggestions. Use it because it works to create fewer power struggles. Use it because it will help you become the parent you really want to be.

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

Order Parent Talk today because it is filled with practical, useable, doable ideas you can put to use immediately. Order a second copy because it makes a great gift that others will use regularly and appreciate. And while you are ordering it, look around the Personal Power Press website,, because there are many books and other products there that will change your parenting life for the better.

6. We Get E-mail

Hello Thomas and Chick,


I thoroughly enjoy your newsletters and have found your philosophies to be of enormous value in keeping me tuned in with how I want to parent. 


I have a daughter just over three years old.  When she gets frustrated over not being able to manipulate something the way she wants to, she throws the item across the room and then sits down with her legs crossed, puts her head down, and sulks.


Got any ideas?


Need help in Missouri



Dear Missouri Parent,


We appreciate the feedback on our newsletters. It's always nice to get a few kind words. Thanks.


Your daughter needs to learn new skills to help her get what she wants. Teach her to use her words to tell you what she wants or what she is frustrated about. Teach her ways to express her anger or frustration. Teach her to cross her arms, stamp her feet, and say, "I'm frustrated!" Have her practice with you a few times until she becomes skilled at that communication technique.


Show your daughter that pouting doesn't work. Tell her, "Honey, that is pouting. Pouting doesn't work in our family because we don't know what you want. Use your words to tell us and we might be able to help you."


Give the pouting as little attention as possible. And definitely make sure it doesn't work.


With the throwing, tell her, "Honey, toys are not for throwing. They're for playing with gently on the table or floor. If you choose to play gently, then you choose to have your toys to play with. If you decide to throw them, you have decided to have them put on the shelf for a while." Then follow through by telling her, "I see you decided to have your toys on the shelf for a while."


Also, remember to reinforce the times she does the desired behavior by giving descriptive praise. "You came right over to get help when you were frustrated. You're learning how to take care of yourself by asking for help when you need it. Way to go!"


Hope this helps, and create a great week.



Thomas and Chick

Featured Parent Program

How to Parent Like No One Else So Your Child Can Grow Up to Be Like No One Else

With Thomas Haller or Chick Moorman

This session will help you learn to become an uncommon parent in a common world. You will learn to talk like no one else, discipline like no one else, love like no one else, and commit to your children like no one else. You will learn to become the parent you always wanted to be. The program is practical and skill-oriented.

Haller and Moorman are now booking fall programs at affordable rates. Call today to arrange for a date for your school, church, or organization.


Thomas Haller

Chick Moorman

Featured Video Clip Opportunity

How to Get Kids to Do Homework


See Thomas Haller live in a three-minute video clip, How to Get Kids to Do Homework. Learn how to structure your home environment so your children can have a successful homework experience without you having a nervous breakdown. Hear how feeding your brain can become as natural and as healthy as feeding your body.


As the chief parenting correspondent for NBC 25, Thomas regularly records parenting tips, helpful reminders, and insightful perceptions. This is your opportunity to see Thomas Haller in action and invest three minutes in learning how to raise responsible, caring, conscious children.

To view this valuable video clip, click here: How to Get Kids to Do Homework


"Being a father is pretending the present you love most is soap-on-a-rope."


Bill Cosby

Featured Article

Chick Moorman and Thomas Haller's article, "Spoiling Children: The 7 Myths," has just been published in Inspired Parenting Magazine. This exciting new magazine is an international publication dedicated to inspiring parents, caregivers, and mentors to assist children in achieving their full potential. Subscriptions to this quarterly magazine serving conscious families and children may be obtained by calling 310-459-8613.

Featured Product

Inspiring Children to Write DVD

by Thomas Haller and Reese Haller

In one power-packed hour you will receive stimulating strategies for broadening children's writing horizons while expanding their knowledge and vocabulary with essential skills that result in children who love to write.



Sept. 4 – Troy, NY

1:00 pm - 2:00 pm (Eastern), Teaching the Attraction Principle to Children, In Spirit Radio Interview with Chick Moorman by Gary Goldberg, WRPI 91.5 FM, Troy, NY. Listen live on the Internet at


Sept. 15 – Detroit, MI

Keynote Address, Grandparents Raising Children presented by Chick Moorman, Detroit Area Agency on Aging. For information contact Veronica Padmos at 313-446-4444 ext. 5828 or email


Sept. 16 – Livonia, MI

Catching the Writing Bug Literacy Day presented by Thomas and Reese Haller, Rosedale Elementary School, Livonia, MI.


Sept. 16 – Livonia, MI

Catching the Writing Bug Literacy Day presented by Thomas and Reese Haller, Cass Elementary School, Livonia, MI.


Sept. 18 – Farmington Hills, MI

7:00 pm - 9:00 pm, Parent Talk: Words That Empower, Words That Wound presented by Chick Moorman Red Hill Montessori, Farmington Hills, MI. For information contact Ms. Leila at 248-736-2949 or email administrator@


Sept. 26 – Mason, MI

Catching the Writing Bug Literacy Day presented by Thomas and Reese Haller, North Aurelius Elementary, Mason, MI.


Sept. 26 – Williamston, MI

Catching the Writing Bug Literacy Day presented by Thomas and Reese Haller, Williamston Explorer Elementary, Williamston, MI.


Sept. 26 – Haslett, MI

4:00 pm, Catching the Writing Bug Literacy Day presented by Thomas and Reese Haller, Haslett Library, Haslett, MI.

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




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



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

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