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The Response-Able Parenting Newsletter 12
February 27, 2003


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.





1. Quote [back to top]


"Good parenting is not about making sure your child is happy. A big part of it is about helping him or her learn to deal confidently with setbacks and adversities that are an inevitable part of life. Constantly rescuing kids from their frustrations does not help them learn critical coping skills."

----Michele Borba, Ed. D.


2. Parent Talk Tip [back to top]


"If you don't stop that, I'm going to leave you here."

The Parent Talk above is listed on a handout that I distribute every time I present a parent seminar. It appears under the category "THE TEN WORST THINGS YOU CAN SAY TO YOUR CHILD."

I hear this statement occasionally in grocery stores, malls, and amusement parks. It's usually uttered by a frustrated parent who is attempting to get a young child to behave. Hearing what I had to say about it, a policeman at one of my recent parent talk workshops told me about an experience he once had at a 4th of July parade. A woman approached him dragging her preschool child. She pointed at him and told the child, "If you don't straighten up, I'm going to leave you here with him." Naturally, the policeman was shocked and upset that this woman was teaching her child to fear police.

"If you don't stop that, I'm going to leave you here" is a scare tactic designed to manipulate a child into behaving in a desired manner. It's a sign that the parent needs to be in time-out.

All children have abandonment fears. Their worst fear is that a parent will leave them, that they will be lost, or that they won't be safe. Please refrain from threatening children with this frightening piece of Parent Talk.

If you hear yourself using this language, stop. Take a break. Buy a soft drink. Sit down and relax.

Give your child a choice. Tell your child, "You have two choices. You can continue this behavior and we will go home, or you can stop the behavior and we will stay and shop. You decide." Then follow through: Do what you said you would do.


Chick Moorman's "Parent Talk: How to Talk to Your Children in Language That Builds Self-Esteem and Encourages Responsibility" is now in paperback. This 301-page book is available through Personal Power Press at (toll-free) 877-360-1477 or "Parent Talk" is also available at local bookstores for $13.00. Ask for the Simon and Schuster Fireside Original.


3. Spirit Whisperer Contemplation [back to top]


Is there a parenting solution trying to find you today? Are you preventing it from arriving by assuming you already have it? Why not let your solution go and see what arrives to replace it?


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4. Managing Your subscription [back to top]


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5. Humor [back to top]


An honest seven-year-old calmly admitted to her parents that Billy Brown had kissed her after school. "How did that happen?" gasped the mother. "It wasn't easy," admitted the young lady, "but three girls helped me catch him."


6. Statistic [back to top]


According to Ann Landers, the average teenager uses the phrase "It's not fair" 86 times a day. Her advice? Life is not fair. Get used to it.

We have a FAIR jar at our house. A 50-cent fine is assessed whenever anyone uses the word "fair." We will be spending that money this summer at the real fair - the Midland County Fair.


7. Reprinting articles [back to top]


I have many parenting articles that you are free to reprint in other publications or newsletters at no cost. All you have to do is reprint an article in its entirety along with my byline, credits, and complete contact information.

Articles may be found in:


8. Parent Talk Training of Trainers [back to top]


The next training of trainers for the Parent Talk System is scheduled for Dearborn, MI, from July 31 to August 2, 2003. Email and request that a full brochure be mailed to your home.


9. Article [back to top]


Dealing with Whining: The Do's and Don'ts

by Chick Moorman

Jason Meredith's two-year-old son whines when he wants more juice. Brenda Kreuger's eight-year-old daughter whines about having to take piano lessons. Connie Gustufson's daughter whines about not getting enough playing time on the softball team. Each parent finds the whining annoying, but is unsure what to do about it. In each case, both parent and child could be helped by the following guidelines:

Do expect your child to whine. It is age-appropriate at two, three, eight, thirteen, nineteen, and every age in between. Children will whine. Count on it.

Don't say, "Stop whining." That doesn't work. Children do not like being ordered around under normal circumstances. When they are whining, they like it even less. One thing worse than a whiner is a whiner that engages you in a power struggle.

Do say, "Madison, that's whining. Whining doesn't work with me. What works with me is to ask in a normal voice using a normal tone at a normal volume. If you do that, sometimes you get what you want. Sometimes you don't, but it's your only hope."

Don't be surprised if you're tested. Your child will check you out to see if you meant what you just said. Show your child that you did mean it.

Don't cave. You may be tested more than once. Once your child realizes that whining doesn't work, he or she will drop the behavior. A child who fights does so because that behavior works for him or her. A child who runs away from fights does so because that works for him or her. A child who gives excuses does so because that behavior works for him or her. Show your child that whining doesn't work with you.

Do announce that your bedroom, the living room, the kitchen, and the car are whine-free zones. Put up whine-free signs if necessary.

Do allow your child to whine. Provide a whining area. The child's bedroom will work well for this purpose. With a legitimate whining area, your child can continue to whine if he or she chooses, and you don't have to hear it.

Don't whine to your spouse about your whining child. You are always modeling. Your child learned whining behavior somewhere. Could it have been from you?

Do use a whine fine for older children. Assess each whiner $1.00 per whine. Keep it in a whine jar or whine bottle. Treat yourself to dinner out or a massage when the whine toll allows.

Do allow children to whine in a whining journal. Inform them that you will listen to all whining if it is written down.

Do praise your child when he or she asks in a normal voice using a normal tone at a normal volume. Don't take children to stores, malls, or relatives' homes after their normal bedtimes. If you do, you're asking for whining. Whining, both theirs and yours, increases with tiredness.

Do use preventative communication before you enter whine zones. Have a talk in the car before you enter the grocery store. Explain the purpose of the trip. Set the ground rules. Make your expectations clear before you enter the whine zone, and you will experience less whining when you get there.

Do inform your child that you are having trouble hearing when he or she whines. Say that your child is hard to understand when he or she chooses that tone. Tell your child that whining hurts your ears and they close down for whine protection.

Do make a copy of this article and carry it around with you. Doing so will help you stay conscious that whining is a behavior you have made a commitment to eliminate.

Don't get discouraged. Whining is learned behavior. Learned behavior can be unlearned, and if you use these strategies consistently, your child will learn new behaviors to replace it.


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 2002 Chick Moorman Seminars, all rights reserved. Share this with your circle.


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