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The Response-Able Parenting Newsletter 2
May 16, 2002

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

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MISSION STATEMENT

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.

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IN THIS ISSUE

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1. Quote [back to top]

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"In order to bring about a positive result with children or with anyone for that mater --- you must repeat, repeat, repeat. You must constantly reiterate something until it becomes a positive habit."

------------- Wayne Dyer -------------

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2. Parent Talk Tip [back to top]

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Describe/Describe/Describe

I never met a parent that did not get angry at their child at one time or another. Let's face it, kids, from tots to teens, choose irritating, frustrating, annoying behaviors on occasion.

As parents, we get to be angry and we get to express that anger. In fact, I believe we do children a disservice if we fail to let them know our feelings. The trick is, can we communicate anger without wounding the spirit, without attacking their personality? We can if we remember the Parent Talk skill of describe/describe/describe.

When Chelsea leaves her band new baseball glove out in the rain, I am tempted to say something like, "Are you blind? Cant you see that glove in the rain getting soaked? Don't you have any sense of the value of money? Get out there and get it this instant!" But that would be attacking personality and ineffective Parent Talk.

Instead, describe the situation, describe how you are feeling, and describe what needs to be done. "Chelsea, I see a brand new baseball glove out in the rain getting soaked. I am feeling angry. Baseball gloves belong in the garage with the sports equipment." This type of Parent Talk communicates your anger without wounding the spirit, focuses attention on the situation and points in the direction of what needs to be done.

Another example is, "Pablo, there are wet towels on the bathroom floor. (Describes the situation.) My socks are soaked and my frustration in growing. (Describes your feeling.) Towels need to be hung up in the bathroom so they can dry." (Describes what needs to be done.)

While describe/describe/describe is no guarantee that the child will do what you desire, it increases your chances. In addition, it helps you communicate your strong feelings without leaving emotional cuts and bruises.

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We are currently looking for people to become trainers in The Parent Talk System. Are you interested in making a difference in your community? Would you like to bring effective parenting to the parents and children in your school, church, group, or neighborhood? The next Training of Trainers is July 25-27 in Dearborn, MI. Request a brochure and additional information at ipp57@aol.com.

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3. Idea Exchange [back to top]

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Ask your children open ended questions. "What did you like about your birthday?" or "What are you looking forward to this week end?" are questions that require more thinking on the part of the child and usually garner you more information than closed, yes or no questions like, "Did you enjoy your birthday?" or "Are you looking forward to the week end?"

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Subscriber comments, ideas, and concerns are valued. E-mail your comment to IPP57@aol.com

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4. Bumper Sticker [back to top]

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"Being Right Doesn't Work"

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5. Question [back to top]

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How would your day be different if, for today, you choose not to focus on the behaviors your child was doing, but focused instead on what you were being in relationship to that?

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6. Humor [back to top]

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An unbreakable toy is best used for breaking other toys.

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7. Article [back to top]

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Magic Carpet

By Chick Moorman

 

We have a magic carpet in our home. To the untrained eye it appears to be a small oval rug that sits in front of the fireplace. It serves as a safety net should burning embers make it through the fireplace screen and fall onto the floor. The protective nature of this rug is an important and appreciated function, but is not related in any way to it's magical attributes. Our magic rug plays a more important role. It produces magical and elegant solutions to family conflicts. This is how it works.

Last week, Austin began an algebra unit in his 5th grade math class. His older sister, Chelsea, has been studying Algebra throughout her 8th grade school year. When Austin made an error on one homework problem, Chelsea leaped to the rescue. Fashioning herself as a future math teacher, Chelsea saw this opportunity as a chance to practice her trade. There was a slight problem, however. Austin did not want to be the practice dummy. A light disagreement began, gradually escalated it's way into bickering, and then bloomed into a full blown argument, complete with angry tones and loud voices.

When loud turned to louder I stepped in. "Sounds like you two are in need of the magic carpet," I offered. "What do mean, magic carpet?" they asked in unison.

I had not used the magic carpet with my grandchildren yet. They had been living with me full time for nine months and things had gone pretty smoothly considering that we were all in the process of defining and creating a new sense of family.

The algebra equation seemed like the right time to let the carpet do its thing. "I have a magic carpet here," I explained. "Come on over. Each of you sit on one end of this rug, facing each other." They did. "When people in our family sit face to face on the magic carpet and talk about their conflict, magic solutions appear," I told them.

"Sometimes the solutions come quickly," I went on. "At other times it takes a while for a solution to surface, but I have never seen it fail. This carpet is magic and it will help you create a magic solution to the algebra problem dilemma. Just keep talking until you find a solution to which both of you can agree." Disgusted looks adorned each face as I went on.

"Let me know when you find an elegant solution," I remarked. "I want to hear how this carpet works it is magic in this case." Amid their grumbling, I returned to my computer and began to work.

I listened in as their conversation began. It didn't take long before I realized I was the only one listening. Both children were talking at the same time. Frustration mounted, voice volume increased, and emotion spilled over.

I reentered the scene. "I don't hear any magic yet," I offered. "He won't listen to me," said one. "She won't listen to me," said the other. It was clearly time to give the magic carpet some assistance.

Rummaging through the kitchen, I found a large wooded spoon. "This is a talking stick," I explained. It was the closest thing I could find to a stick at the moment. "Native Americans used talking sticks during council meetings," I continued. "The rules are simple. You can only talk if you are holding the stick (spoon). When you are finished talking, pass the stick to the other person and don't talk until it is handed back to you. Understand?"

"Yep, " they answered.

I handed the stick to Chelsea and sat back to listen to the conversation. Although they followed the talking stick rules, it was a good ten minutes before any real listening took place. Both children were intent are telling their side of the story and proving how right they were. Eventually, Chelsea and Austin realized that in order to get off the rug they were going to have to find a solution that both could live with.

A solution was offered. It was rejected and another was proposed in it's place. From their spots on the rug, reasons, rationale, and counter proposals were suggested by one child or the other. Clearly, the oval carpet was working it's magic.

Twenty minutes into the magic carpet session a solution was offered and accepted. Chelsea would listen to Austin explain how he did the equation. Austin would then listen to Chelsea explain her understanding of the math problem, the way her teacher taught it in eighth grade. Chelsea would play Pokemon with Austin later in the evening.

Conflict was resolved and consensus reached. Siblings were now at peace, implementing the agreed upon solution. It is not easy being a full-time parent. It sure helps to have a magic carpet.

(To access similar articles check out www.chickmoorman.com/swideas.html.)

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8. Subscription Information [back to top]

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Chick Moorman is the author of "Parent Talk: Words That Empower, Words That Wound," and "Spirit Whisperers: Teachers Who Nourish A Child's Spirit." He can be reached at (toll free) 877-360-1477 or www.chickmoorman.com. ============================================================

Coming Attraction: The Language of Response-Able Parenting cassette tape series will be completed soon. It will contain five cassette tapes with Chick Moorman sharing Parent Talk System strategies. Watch this space for further announcements. ============================================================

To find out more about books, tapes, and materials available by Chick Moorman, contact him, toll free, at 877/ 360-1477 or on the web at www.chickmoorman.com.

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

 

 

 

 
 
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