Allowing Statements

by Thomas Haller and Chick Moorman


Allowing statements are constructed to allow students to see the possible. They are often delivered after a student expression of doubt or uncertainty. They allow students to challenge their limiting beliefs and lack of hope.

Allowing statements help children see the desire as possible. Often it is helpful to have them think in third person. If they are focused on not having it themselves, guide them to think of others who do.

Sister Donna Marie takes her senior French students to Montreal every year as part of their foreign language learning experience. By immersing them in the language they learn more quickly as well as see another culture in action.

The students earn part of the money by having car washes, bake sales, raffles, and silent auctions. This past year, many of her students were being pessimistic about making the dollar goal the class had set for itself. Doubt was being openly expressed.

"I'm not sure we'll make it."

"What if we don't get enough money?"

"We're behind our midpoint goal."

Because it was hard for some students to believe they would make the goal and see themselves in Montreal, Sister Donna Marie switched their focus away from themselves to others.

"Do you think there is any French class in the world that went to Montreal this year?"


"How many?"

"Hundreds, probably."

"Do you think any of them went this week?"


"There is probably some French class getting on the bus right now to go to Montreal," one of her students chimed in with a hint of sarcasm.

"No doubt in my mind," Sister Donna Marie added.

"Let's compile a list of true statements about this," she suggested. The students agreed and offered suggestions which their teacher recorded on the chalk board. Ten minutes later they had compiled the following list.

Thousands of French classes go to Montreal every year.

Several French classes left for Montreal this week.

Some French classes probably left for Montreal today.

There is probably a French class leaving for Montreal this very moment.

Right now, a group of students from the USA is enjoying a meal in a French restaurant in Montreal.

Several students from the USA are probably walking down a street in Montreal right now with smiles on their faces.

An oral reading of the list followed its creation.

"I could see the cloud lift and the energy shift as we proceeded to read the list aloud," Sister Donna Marie told us. "It was as if they could see it as possible again."

That's what allowing statements do. They allow you to see your desire as possible.


Chick Moorman and Thomas Haller are available to meet with your Discipline Committee or staff to examine this issue in more depth. A consultation day with one of them could be the jumpstart your discipline program needs to put the emphasis on responsibility and help your students take increasing amounts of control over their school lives.


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