Response-Able Parent Newsletter #81

February 12, 2009

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: Make Yourself Dispensable
5.  Parent Talk Tip

1. Quote

"An open ear is the only believable sign of an open heart."

David Augsburger

2. Spirit Whisperer Contemplation

What if everything was in its place today? What if your parenting issues could not be other than what they are? What kind of peace could you create, even as you work to change what you don't like, knowing that there is hidden harmony at work and that you are a part of it?

3. Bumper Sticker

Noticed on a blue Chevy Venture in Rockford, IL:


I Love My Real Job 

I'm a Dad                                                           

4. Article: Make Yourself Dispensable

By Thomas Haller and Chick Moorman


Are you at all interested in raising a thirty-year-old Nintendo player who lies around your house all day eating cold pizza and sucking up Diet Pepsi? Probably not. If you're like many of the parents who attend our parenting workshops, creating a thirty-year-old video game player is not high on your list of parenting goals. Our prediction is that you are probably a lot more interested in raising a responsible, caring, conscious youngster who, somewhere between the ages of eighteen and twenty-five, is capable of leaving home and living successfully on his or her own.


Raising a responsible young adult, one who can function effectively in today's world, does not happen by luck, coincidence, or magic. It occurs only when parents set out to make it happen by working diligently and purposefully throughout a child's life to see that he or she learns about independence, responsibility, and personal power. It happens where and when parents work intentionally to make themselves dispensable in a child’s life.


Are you interested in making yourself more dispensable so your child can become more responsible and independent? If so, use the suggestions below to help you move closer to your goal of raising an independent, autonomous, fully functioning young adult.


1.)  Believe that making yourself dispensable is your main job as a parent. If you believe that your job is to be needed, that your central role is to do for your children, you will have a difficult time implementing the ideas that follow.


Helping doesn't always help. Sometimes it creates learned helplessness. When you do for your children the things they can do for themselves, you are overfunctioning. Overfunctioning begins with the belief that my children need me to do for them. Change that belief to: my job is to help my children do for themselves.


2.)  Refuse to do for your children what they can do or can learn to do for themselves. Do you do laundry for a teenager? Do you pack your fifth-grader's lunch? Do you tie the shoes and zip the coat of a six-year-old? Do you look up phone numbers for your fourth-grader? If so, you could be overfunctioning.


Remember, the more you function, the less your child has to.


3.)  If you want a behavior, you have to teach a behavior. Children do not naturally know how to bring in firewood, clean the fishbowl, set the table, dry the dishes, or take their own dishes to the sink after dinner. If you don't teach behaviors, you could end up doing them all yourself.


4.)  Refrain from answering for your child. We recently overheard a conversation where a friend approached a parent and child and spoke to the child, asking her a direct question: "How are you doing today, Maria?" The mother responded for the child, replying, "She's not in a very good mood today." The silent message the parent delivered to the child was: "You don't have to speak up for yourself. I will take care of you."


When the doctor asks, "Why are you here today?," when the neighbor inquires, "What was your favorite birthday present?," or when Grandma wants to know, "How do you like school this year?," stay out of it. Allow your child to answer for him- or herself.


5.) Teach your child to ask for help. One way to do that is to not help them until they ask. Parents often rush in with help before the child has articulated a desire for help. Why would a child ever need to ask for help if help always arrives without asking?


6.) Teach children to solve their own problems. Do not say, "Don't say anything to your mother. I'll handle it for you. I know your mother well, and I can catch her in a good mood."


Say instead, "You're going to have to handle this with your mother. Let me teach you what I know. I generally try to catch her in the afternoon because she gets real busy in the morning. If she's having a bad hair day, forget it. Also, she responds better if you make it sound like a suggestion rather than a demand. Hopefully, these tips will help. I know you can handle it." This style of speaking announces to your child that you believe in him and that you see him as capable.


7.) Refrain from rescuing children from experiencing the legitimate consequences of their actions. Do not rescue, save, bail them out, let them slide, accept excuses, or fail to hold them accountable for the choices they make. When you refuse to protect children from the choices they make, you allow them to take responsibility for their lives.


Raising responsible children is not an easy task. It takes effort, energy, and persistence. You can do that best when you take steps like the ones listed above to make yourself dispensable.


Thomas Haller and Chick Moorman are the coauthors of Teaching the Attraction Principle to Children: Practical Strategies for Parents and Teachers to Help Children Manifest a Better World. They are two of the world's foremost authorities on raising responsible, caring, confident children. They publish a free monthly e-zine for educators and another for parents. To sign up for them or to learn more about the seminars they offer teachers and parents, visit their websites today: and

Teaching the Attraction Principle to Children


5. Parent Talk Tip

"I hate you."

"I want a different mommy."

"I wish I didn’t live here."


When you're the target of your child's emotional outburst, as in the statements above, it is easy to get defensive. Returning anger in these situations is common.


"Don't you talk to me like that."

"Who do you think you are?"

"You're really in trouble now, young lady."


Attempting to talk children out of their feelings is another typical parental response.


"You don't really mean that."

"You're just mad right now. You'll feel better later."


Defensiveness or talking children out of their feelings when they appear to attack us with words is not helpful. It escalates power struggles and invalidates feelings.


Instead, ignore the words. Refuse to respond to the words. Go deeper. Look for the feelings below the words and respond to the child on that level.


"You must be really angry to talk to me like that."

"I can hear how hurt you are right now."

"You're so frustrated, you say mean things."


By using parent talk that responds to the feeling beneath the words, we react from a place of understanding. We communicate empathy and hear the hurt that lies below the hurting words. We connect at a time of attempted disconnect. We become the skilled parent so the child can have room to be the child.



Copyright 2009 Chick Moorman Seminars and Thomas Haller Seminars, all rights reserved. Share this with your circle.

Featured Video Clip Opportunity

Empowering Children


See Thomas Haller live in a three-minute video clip explaining how you can empower your children with one simple sentence.


Children are told what to do many times throughout the day. Often they resist those commands. Listen to Thomas in this video clip and learn an appropriate alternative to telling your children what to do while still reducing negative behaviors.


As the chief parenting correspondent for NBC 25, Thomas regularly records parenting tips, helpful reminders, and insightful perceptions. View more essential parenting tips at


To view this significant video clip, click here: Empowering children.

The Uncommon Parenting Blog

What is needed today to help parents raise responsible, caring, conscious children is a radical shift in the parenting consciousness that exists on the planet. The time for tweaking this or that external circumstance is over. It isn't working! It is now time to make a fundamental change—to parent with enlightenment—to do conscious parenting—to create the UNCOMMON PARENT for the NEW EARTH.

To find out more about the Uncommon Parent and subscribe to our new blog, visit today!

Help for Inspired Parenting

As a conscious parent who is passionate about the need to change the way society views, educates, and relates to children, please spare a few moments to read this communication.  The future of our children depends upon it. 


Chick Moorman and Thomas Haller have been regular contributors to Inspired Parenting magazine. Chick says, "This is the one magazine out there today that encourages the Uncommon Parent." Thomas adds, "We need this magazine. It is a lone voice in a wilderness of bewilderment When it comes to parenting."

Inspired Parenting
deserves all our support. Please read the letter in the link below and help us all BE the parenting change the world needs today.



Feb. 13 - Aurora, IL

Motivating the Unmotivated presented by Chick Moorman, 8:00 am – 4:00 pm. Contact Bureau of Education & Research (BER) at 1-800-735-3503 or


Feb. 18 - Mesa, AZ

Parent Talk: Words That Empower, Words That Wound presented by Chick Moorman, 7:00 pm - 9:00 pm, S.H.A.R.P. School. For information contact Angela Fatic at
480-472-8491 or email


Feb. 28 - Brighton, MI

Parent Talk: Words That Empower, Words That Wound presented by Chick Moorman, 1:00 pm - 4:00 pm. Maple Tree Montessori Academy, Brighton, MI. Contact Sue Cherry at 810-599-3326 or email


March 2 - Memphis, TN

Motivating the Unmotivated presented by Chick Moorman, 8:00 am – 4:00 pm. Contact Bureau of Education & Research (BER) at 1-800-735-3503 or


March 3 - Birmingham, AL

Motivating the Unmotivated presentd by Chick Moorman, 8:00 am – 4:00 pm. Contact Bureau of Education & Research (BER) at 1-800-735-3503 or


March 4 - Nashville, TN

Motivating the Unmotivated presented by Chick Moorman, 8:00 am – 4:00 pm. Contact Bureau of Education & Research (BER) at 1-800-735-3503 or


March 5 - New Orleans, LA

Motivating the Unmotivated presented by Chick Moorman, 8:00 am – 4:00 pm. Contact Bureau of Education & Research (BER) at 1-800-735-3503 or


March 6 - Baton Rouge, LA

Motivating the Unmotivated presented by Chick Moorman, 8:00 am – 4:00 pm. Contact Bureau of Education & Research (BER) at 1-800-735-3503 or


March 6 - Leonard, MI

Catching the Writing Bug Literacy Day presented by Thomas and Reese Haller Leonard Elementary School, Leonard, 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


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