The Response-Able Parenting Newsletter 32
October 19, 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
"Too often we give children answers to remember rather than problems
Spotted on a white Honda Civic in Reedsburg, WI:
Children Need Clean Air
Please Do Not Smoke by Them
One of every three children in America is born to unmarried parents.
4. Spirit Whisperer Contemplation [back to top]
Are you waiting for a parenting miracle? Perhaps it is time to become
5. Article: "The Do's and Don'ts
of Preparing Your Child for Their First Overnight Stay with a Friend" [back to top]
by Thomas Haller and Chick Moorman
So your baby is growing up. You have kept her (or him) in the protection
of your own home, teaching her your own values, ready at a moment's notice
if she needed you in the middle of the night. You have created a shell
of safety and security around her that protects her and comforts you.
But now she is ready to go out on her own. Well, at least for one night
. . . to a friend's house . . . with a family you know.
So maybe your child is not heading off to college just yet. Still, that
first overnight stay away from home without you can be exciting and scary
for both of you. The do's and don'ts that follow will help you create
an experience that will be fun and comforting for your entire family.
Do discuss the routine and evening plan with the other child's parent
ahead of time. Once you know the plan, you can prepare your child for
the evening by discussing it with her. The unknown often results in increased
anxiety. By knowing and discussing the plan, you can eliminate as much
of the unknown as possible.
Do ask if there is anything special your child should bring to the sleepover.
Does she need a pillow, sleeping bag, swimsuit, money for going out to
eat or to the movies, etc.? Also discuss any special needs she may have:
medication, food allergies, night light, etc.
Don't tell your child that everything will be fine. To say this would
be to imply that there will be no problems and that nothing unexpected
will arise. You simply do not know if that is true or not. Instead, tell
her, "I know you'll be able to handle the evening's events."
What these words communicate to your child is, "I know you'll do
a decent job of handling whatever happens. If you wet the bed, get scared
in the middle of the night, or dislike the food that's served, you're
capable of working through the problem."
Do empower your child with words to use if a concern or fear happens
to arise. For example, if she finds herself on the receiving end of ridicule,
you can empower her by teaching her verbal responses such as, "I
don't like it when you say those things to me," or "Please treat
me with kindness when I'm at your house."
Do let your child know that with a simple phone call she can come home
at any time. Reassure her that the experience of the first overnight stay
can be as long or as short as she desires. The goal is to have fun and
enjoy the evening. If the enjoyment comes to an end, she has the power
to choose to come home. Make sure your child and the other parent know
your cell phone number so they can reach you wherever you may be.
Don't threaten your child in an attempt to manage her behavior. Avoid
saying, "You better behave yourself while you're there tonight,"
or "Be good or this will be your last sleepover." Instead, talk
to her about opportunities and responsibilities. "You have the opportunity
to have a special evening at your friend's house. Your responsibility
is to be kind and respectful of their family rules while you are there."
Do consider "red flags." A "red flag" is a possible
concern that may arise based on your family values. For example, are there
any smokers in the house or any guns on the premises? Will there be any
other sleepover guests? How are the internet, video games, and television
monitored? Brainstorming with your partner will help ensure that you have
checked for all the concerns you value as a family.
Do give your child a disposable camera to take pictures with throughout
the evening. This will give her something specific to talk about later
with the family. Together, you can create a memory book and relive many
of the experiences of this significant event in your child's growth and
Don't call to see if everything is going okay. Manage your anxiety in
other ways. Go for a walk, clean the garage, or wash the car if necessary.
Have a clear understanding between you and the other parent that she will
call if anything is needed. Let your child spread her wings. You can handle
Do be on time to pick up your child the next day. Set a pickup time and
share it with her before you drop her off. If she is at all anxious and
you're late for the pickup, her concern about future sleepovers will increase.
If she has as much fun as you both expect, she won't want to come home
at the set time. Stay firm on the pickup time and be there when expected.
You are setting a precedent for future times when your child is with friends
and is required to be home at a designated time.
Do debrief the evening with your child without acting like an interrogator.
Ask questions that encourage her to think through the evening. Ask, "What
was the best part of the sleepover?" "What did you do or learn
at your friend's house that you can use at home?" "What would
you do different next time?" "What kinds of things do they do
differently at their house?" Write down some of your child's responses
to add to the memory book that you create when the pictures are developed.
Your child's first sleepover at a friend's house doesn't have to be an
occasion of anxiety or fear. You can help her create the positive experience
you both desire. Use the ideas above to help your entire family have a
relaxing, stress-free sleepover.
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. Visit www.chickmoorman.com
and www.thomashaller.com for more information on Response-Able parenting.
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."
Brenda, a sixth grader, is in her second year of taking orchestra lessons
at school. She plays the violin.
Recently, the orchestra teacher informed students that she would be attending
professional meetings on their normal Thursday meeting date and that there
would be no orchestra class that afternoon. Aware of the schedule change,
Brenda left her violin home on the appropriate day.
Upon entering the classroom that day following a brief noon recess, Brenda
returned to her seat to find her violin lovingly placed there by her mother.
This parent found the violin at home, figured it was an orchestra day,
and took it to school for her daughter without being asked to do so. This
mother is overfunctioning.
Master Gary began the Tae Kwon Do class for 8-10 year olds by reading
a list of names.
"Austin Sims, are you present?"
"Amanda Coddington, are you present?"
After the sixth name was read, Master Gary informed the students that
the names he read were of students who had failed to check in at the registration
desk on their way in. He reminded them that the attendance roster is used
to determine if students have enough lessons completed to take part in
the next level of testing. If students don't earn enough class time by
the testing date, they have to wait until the next month to test for their
Immediately following his comments, five parents rose from their seats
in the audience section and went to the front desk to check their children
in. Those parents are over-functioning.
The single best thing we can do for our children is nothing . . . nothing
they can do for themselves. Taking over and doing something for your child
that they can do for themselves disempowers them. It encourages them to
view themselves as incapable. If you do these things often enough, children
will stop doing them for themselves.
Taking an orchestra instrument to school is not your job. Checking your
child in at Tae Kwon Do is not your job. Your job is to help your children
learn the system for doing those things for themselves. Their job is to
use the system. If they do not use the system, allow the natural consequences
to flow from their choices.
If you do something for your child once, no problem. If you do something
for your child twice, it is expected that you will do it in the future.
If you do something for your child the third time, congratulations; you
now have a new job.
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.
There is a reason you don't have pictures of your office at home.
"Depriving children of the right to make messes decreases their
range of experience and limits their learning opportunities. Parents who
allow children to make messes and hold them accountable for cleaning up
extend opportunities that exceed those given to children who are required
to be consistently neat, clean, and quiet."
IF YOU LIKED THIS QUOTE, YOU WILL LOVE "THE 10 COMMITMENTS: PARENTING
"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 165-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 1 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.
10. The Parent Talk System: Facilitator Training [back to top]
Please read and answer the following questions.
Would you like to make a difference in the lives of parents and children
in your community?
Does the possibility of strengthening families by helping parents raise
responsible, caring, confident children excite you?
Do you want to make a major contribution to healing the planet?
If your answer to any of these questions is "YES," you are
a prime candidate for becoming a Parent Talk Training Facilitator.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
Include your mailing address.
A West Coast Facilitator Training is in the planning stages. Let us know
if you are interested in receiving more information on this exciting opportunity.
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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 IPP57@aol.com
Copyright 2004 Chick Moorman Seminars, all rights reserved. Share
this with your circle.