The Response-Able Parenting Newsletter 31
September 24, 2004
Welcome! This is a free newsletter on becoming a Response-Able parent,
raising Response-Able children.
My mission is to strengthen families and improve parent communication
skills (including my own), by helping parents learn practical, useable
verbal strategies for raising responsible, caring, confident children.
IN THIS ISSUE
- Bumper Sticker
- Spirit Whisperer Contemplation
- Article: "How to Make Your Kids Do Homework"
- Article Reprints
- Parent Talk Tip: "Why did you do that?"
- Parent Talk Trainers' Corner
- Book Report
- Weekend Parenting: The Four Biggies
- Managing Your Subscription
“A child’s wisdom is also wisdom.”
Spotted on a red and silver Dodge van in Bridgeport, MI:
My child is a STAR for the Royal Oak Center for Performing Arts
According to the United States Department of Agriculture, the average
annual cost of raising a child in 2004 for middle-income families is $9,800.
At the median household income of $52,704, that means one child accounts
for 20 percent of the family’s annual income. Raising a child born
in 2003 until the child leaves home ranges from $172,370 to $344,250.
That does not include college costs.
4. Spirit Whisperer Contemplation
[back to top]
What if it’s all perfect? Can you see imperfection as perfect?
Could your child’s imperfect reaction provide you with the perfect
data to learn to reach out to him or her in new ways? Could your child’s
imperfect behavior be the perfect call for help? Could it be that we are
all perfectly imperfect?
5. Article: Article: How to Make
Your Kids Do Homework (Without Having a Nervous Breakdown Yourself)"
[back to top]
by Chick Moorman and Thomas Haller
Tired of arguing, nagging, and struggling with your kids to get them
to do homework? Are you discovering that bribing, threatening, and punishing
don't yield positive results? If so, this article is for you. Here you
will find the three laws of homework along with eight homework tips that
— if implemented in your home with consistency and an open heart
— will reduce study time hassles significantly.
The First Law of Homework: Most children do not like to do homework.
Kids do not enjoy sitting and studying, at least not after having spent
a long school day comprised mostly of sitting and studying. So give up
your desire to have your child like it. Focus on getting him or her to
The Second Law of Homework: You cannot make your child do it.
You cannot make your child learn. You cannot make your child hold a certain
attitude. You cannot make your child move his or her pencil.
While you cannot insist, you can assist. Concentrate on assisting by
sending positive invitations. Invite and encourage your child using the
ideas that follow.
The Third Law of Homework: It's your child’s problem.
Your child’s pencil has to move. His or her brain needs to engage.
Your child’s bottom needs to be in the chair. It is your child’s
report card that he or she brings home.
Too many parents see homework as their own problem. So they create ultimatums,
scream and shout, threaten, bribe, scold, and withhold privileges. Have
you noticed that most of these tactics don’t work?
The parent’s responsibility is to provide his or her child with
an opportunity to do homework. The parent’s job is to provide structure,
to create the system. The child's job is to use the system.
Eliminate the word “homework” from your vocabulary. Replace
it with the word “study.” Have “study” time instead
of “homework” time. Have a “study” table instead
of a “homework” table. This word change alone will go a long
way toward eliminating the problem of your child saying, "I don't
have any homework." Study time is about studying, even if your child
doesn’t have any homework. It’s amazing how much more homework
kids have when they have to study regardless of whether they have homework
Establish a study routine. This needs to be the same time every day.
Let your child have some input on when study time occurs. Once the time
is set, stick to that schedule. Kids thrive on structure even as they
protest. It may take several seeks for the routine to become a habit.
Persist. By having a regular study time, you are demonstrating that you
Keep the routine predictable and simple. One possibility includes a five-minute
warning that study time is approaching, bringing your child’s current
activity to an end, clearing the study table, emptying the backpack of
books and supplies, and then beginning.
Allow your child to make choices about homework and related issues. He
or she can choose to do study time before or after dinner or immediately
after getting home. Or your child may choose to wake up early in the morning
to do it. Invite your child to choose the kitchen table or a spot in his
or her own room. One choice your child does not have is whether or not
Help without overfunctioning. Help only if your child asks for it. Do
not do problems or assignments for your child.
When your child says, "I can't do it," say, “Act as if
you can.” Tell your child to pretend that he or she knows what to
do and to see what happens. Then leave the immediate area, and let your
child see if he or she can handle it from there. If your child keeps telling
you he or she doesn't know how and you decide to offer help, concentrate
on asking rather than on telling.
"What do you get?"
"What parts do you understand?"
"Can you give me an example?"
"What do you think the answer is?"
"How could you find out?"
If you want a behavior, you have to teach a behavior. Disorganization
is a problem for many school-age children. If you want your child to be
organized, you have to invest the time to help your child learn an organizational
system. Your job is to teach the system. Your child’s job is to
use it. Yes, check occasionally to see if the system is being used, especially
at first. Provide direction and correction where necessary.
If your child needs help with time management, teach him or her time
management skills. Help your child learn what it means to prioritize according
to the importance and due date of each task. Teach your child to create
an agenda each time he or she sits down to study. Help your child experience
the value of getting the most important things done first.
Replace monetary and external rewards with encouraging verbal responses.
End the practice of paying for grades or rewarding with a special trip
for ice cream. This style of bribery has only short-term gains and does
little to encourage children to develop a lifelong love of learning.
Instead, make positive verbal comments that concentrate on describing
the behavior you wish to encourage. For example:
"You followed the directions exactly and finished in 15 minutes."
"I notice you stayed up late last night working on your term paper.
It probably wasn't easy saving that much for the end, but your efforts
got it done."
"All your letters are right between the lines. I'll bet your teacher
won't have any trouble reading this."
"I see you got the study table all organized and ready to go early.
Looks to me like initiative and responsibility hooked together."
Use study time to get some of your own responsibilities handled. Do the
dishes, fold laundry, or write thank you notes. Keep the TV off! If you
engage in fun or noisy activities during that time, your child will naturally
be distracted. Study time is a family commitment. If you won’t commit
to it, don’t expect your child to do so.
Special Note: Tonight when your child is studying, begin on your homework
assignment, which follows. Reread this article. Decide which parts of
it you want to implement. Determine when you will begin. Put it in writing.
Then congratulate yourself for getting your homework done.
Chick Moorman and Thomas Haller are the authors of “The 10 Commitments:
Parenting with Purpose" (to be released in November) and ”Couple
Talk: How to Talk Your Way to a Great Relationship" (available from
Personal Power Press at (toll-free) 877-360-1477). They also publish FREE
email newsletters, one for parents and another for couples. Subscribe
to one or both at email@example.com. Visit www.chickmoorman.com and www.thomashaller.com.
We have many articles like the one above that are available for reprint
by your school, PTA, church, or other organization. To check out the complete
list of articles, go to
www.chickmoorman.com. There is no charge for reprinting these articles,
but we do ask that you use our byline at the top and publish our trailer
at the end of each article you reprint. The approved trailer is:
Chick Moorman and Thomas Haller are the authors of "Couple Talk:
How to Talk Your Way to a Great Relationship" (available from Personal
Power Press at (toll-free) 877-360-1477). They have also coauthored
the soon-to-be-released "The Ten Commitments: Parenting with Purpose."
7. Parent Talk Tip: "Why did you do
that?" [back to top]
Seventy-five to eighty-five percent of young children’s actions
are unconscious. As they move through their day, many of their behaviors
are not consciously thought through. If your Parent Talk is filled with
questions that ask young children why they did certain behaviors, you
will be continually disappointed. Their response is often, “I don’t
know.” They are not lying, trying to hide anything, or attempting
to get away with inappropriate behaviors. They simply don’t know
why they took certain actions.
Use the Parent talk phrase “I noticed…” with your youngsters.
Instead of asking, “Why did you do that?” tell them, “I
noticed you threw the muffin wrapper on the floor. Wrappers go in the
garbage.” Say, “I noticed you took his truck instead of asking,”
rather than saying, “Why didn’t you ask him?” Tell your
children, “I see you are choosing to get louder,” rather than
asking, “Why are you yelling?”
“I noticed…” is Parent Talk that helps kids stay conscious.
It makes them aware of their current behavior and the effect that behavior
is having on others. Adding “I noticed…” to your Parent
Talk repertoire will get you more mileage than asking why.
Multiple copies of "Parent Talk: How to Talk to Your Child in Language
That Builds Self-Esteem and Encourages Responsibility" can be obtained
at discount prices by calling (toll-free) 877-360-1477 or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
8. Parent Talk Trainers' Corner[back
Over 200 people have been trained as facilitators in the Parent Talk
System. Representing 15 states and five countries, this cadre is made
up of knowledgeable parenting facilitators who have much to offer their
attendees. In an effort to tap into this wide knowledge base and share
these facilitators’ insights with all of you, we are beginning the
Parent Talk Trainers' Corner. Each month I will send one of your email
questions to the trainers for their consideration and response. We will
then choose several responses and print them in the next newsletter. The
first question and responses
School has started here and already I am dreading the first report card.
My daughter is ten years old and not the best student. I feel she is working
up to her ability, but report cards don't seem to give her encouragement
or praise for her efforts. What can I do to make report cards a positive
Dear Worried Mom,
It would be nice to live in a world where measurement and comparison
are not needed, but that is not our reality. A report card is only one
way of measuring how your daughter is doing. Here are a few others:
Regularly ask your daughter how she feels she is doing in each subject
— on the inside. In other words, have her check it out inside.
Keep track of the improvements she has made over time in the different
subject areas (by making notes or keeping papers), and show this progress
to her periodically or remind her of it at report card time.
Ask her if she is working up to her individual ability in each subject;
if not, why not?
Since it sounds like you do feel your daughter is working up to her ability,
let her know that and tell her you appreciate it.
In summary, discuss how your child is doing in all subjects throughout
the year so that the report card is merely one more piece of information,
not the only one.
Children, even at ten, do not understand the connection between their
efforts and the grades they receive. This might be a great time to have
a talk about what steps are involved in being a "good" student.
Keep in mind that "good" is evaluative. "Effective”
or “productive" are more descriptive. A “productive”
student turns in homework, completes assignments on time, prepares for
tests and quizzes, pays attention in class, and so on.
These are activities that your child can control. Use the Parent Talk,
" I noticed...” when praising your child's school activities.
Noticing even the small things can help children feel that they are making
Judith Minton, CFLE
Parent Talk Trainer
Talk to your daughter about a C being "average," and let her
know that you are pleased with the work she is doing. Look for any improvements
and praise those. If you have a positive attitude toward the report card,
your daughter will more likely have an improved attitude.
When parents compare their children to other students, the children often
get discouraged. Remember, your daughter’s report card tells about
a unique individual. If you feel that your daughter is working up to her
potential, tell her how you think she is doing. Report cards are only
progress reports. If parents look for progress instead of A’s, children
find more satisfaction. Hope this helps!
The next facilitator training in the Parent Talk System is set for February
3-5, 2005, in Grand Rapids, MI. Send for your detailed brochure at email@example.com.
Include your mailing address.
Bring a Facilitator Training in the Parent Talk System to your city.
Can you find ten or more people who would be interested in becoming trainers
of the Parent Talk System? If so, we will come to your town to train them.
Send for our Organizer's Packet on how to organize a training in your
area. Email us at
firstname.lastname@example.org and tell us you want the Facilitator's Packet. Include your
“The 10 Commitments: Parenting with Purpose” has gone to
press. We expect to have copies of this inspirational and practical parenting
guide by the middle of November. “The 10 Commitments,” a 120-page
hardback book, will sell for $20.00 plus shipping and handling.
Subscribers to our newsletters can save 25 percent by ordering now. All
orders we receive by November 1st will be priced at $15.00 and will receive
free shipping. That is an incredible savings of over 25 percent! To order,
email email@example.com or call our toll-free number, 877-360-1477.
BECOME THE PARENT YOU ALWAYS WANTED TO BE!
“The 10 Commitments: Parenting with Purpose” by Chick Moorman
and Thomas Haller contains straight talk about what it means to be a committed
parent in today's world. It will challenge you and make you a more effective
parent. It will help you reduce stress in your parenting life and bring
increased harmony to your family.
You will learn:
*Numerous strategies for raising responsible, caring, confident children.
*Multiple tips on how to teach the attitudes and behaviors you really
want your children to learn.
*Realistic suggestions for how to create a culture of accountability
in your family and implement consequences without wounding your child’s
*Advice on the importance of parenting with intentionality, vision, and
a sense of mission.
Isn't parenting your child too important to leave to chance? Give your
children a jump-start to an enriched life by implementing “The 10
Commitments.” Call (toll-free) 877-360-1477.
10. Weekend Parenting: The Four Biggies
Do you see your children only on weekends? Are you the noncustodial parent
who is granted custody every other holiday and a restricted visitation
schedule? Are you working hard to stay involved with your children in
spite of parenting separately from your ex-spouse? If so, keep in mind
the four biggies.
BIGGIE #1: Keep to your regular schedule. Only cancel your scheduled
times in case of an emergency. Your children need structure and they need
to count on you being there for them when you said you would. Demonstrate
to your children that they are wanted by keeping your appointments and
BIGGIE #2: Keep your visitation time as normal as possible. Expensive,
fun-packed activities are not necessary on a regular basis. Every moment
does not need to be structured or filled with planned activities. Just
being there with your children is what is important. Yes, play with them
and have fun together. Your personal involvement is more important than
exciting, expensive adventures.
BIGGIE #3: Pay your child support. Make your regular payments a priority.
Withholding money does not hurt your ex-spouse, it hurts your children.
It is expensive to raise a child. It takes money and love from both parents
to successfully raise your child.
BIGGIE #4: Regardless of how strong you feel about your ex, don’t
put him or her down in front of your children. Again, this does not hurt
your former partner, it harms your children. Your ex may have done mean
things to you and treated you badly, and may currently be flaunting his
or her new lifestyle. Resist the temptation to say anything in front of
your children. Remember, it might be your ex, but it is also your children’s
father or mother you are demeaning.
11. Managing Your Subscription [back
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To find out more about workshops, seminars, and keynote addresses
presented by Chick Moorman contact him at toll free, 877/360-1477 or email
Copyright 2004 Chick Moorman Seminars, all rights reserved. Share
this with your circle.