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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.





1. Quote [back to top]


"Too often we give children answers to remember rather than problems to solve."

------Roger Lewin


2. Bumper Sticker [back to top]


Spotted on a white Honda Civic in Reedsburg, WI:

Children Need Clean Air
Please Do Not Smoke by Them


3. Fact [back to top]


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 one.


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 development.

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 it.

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 and for more information on Response-Able parenting.


6. Article Reprints [back to top]


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 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. Overfunctioning [back to top]


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?"

"Yes, sir."

"Amanda Coddington, are you present?"

"Yes, sir."

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 new belt.

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


8. Miscellaneous [back to top]


There is a reason you don't have pictures of your office at home.

----Citibank ad


9. Book Report [back to top]


"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."


Pre-Publication Offer

"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 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 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. Email


11. Managing Your Subscription [back to top]


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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.


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