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The Response-Able Parenting Newsletter 39
March 28, 2005

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

www.chickmoorman.com 1-877-360-1477
www.thomashaller.com 1-989-667-5654

MISSION STATEMENT
Our mission is to strengthen families and improve parent communication skills (including our own) by helping parents learn practical, usable verbal strategies for raising responsible, caring, confident children.


IN THIS ISSUE

1. Quote
2. Spirit Whisperer Contemplation
3. Bumper Sticker
4. Article: The Stranger in Your Child's Life
5. Ten Terrific Reasons NOT to put a TV in your Child's Room and Ten Terrible Reasons for Doing So
6. The Parent Talk System Facilitator Trainings
7. Did You Know?
8. We Get Email
9. Schedule of Events


1. Quote

"I find television very educational. Every time someone switches it on, I go into another room and read a good book."

-----Groucho


2. Spirit Whisperer Contemplation

What if you concentrated today not on what you were doing as a parent, but rather on the attitude with which you were doing it? Would it change your focus? Would it change your behavior? Would it change the outcome?


3. Bumper Sticker

Spotted on a Green GMC Envoy

Humpty Dumpty was pushed.


4. Article: The Stranger in Your Child's Life

By Chick Moorman and Thomas Haller

Would you let a stranger spend several hours with your child, communicating values, distracting them from homework, creating separation and distance from family? Even worse, would you let a stranger into your child's bedroom?

"No way," you say? Well, you'd better look again. Because if you are like most parents, there is indeed a stranger who is influencing, guiding, directing, and enticing your child. And yes, some of these strangers are even in your child's bedroom. This stranger looks innocent enough at first glance, but has the potential to influence your child in ways you may not even suspect.

The danger that is enticing your child is electronic media, and its presence is growing. Children in America now spend, on average, 6 ½ hours a day exposed to electronic media. Their connection to this influence includes TV, computers, listening to music, playing video games, and other electronic devices. Two-thirds of children, according to a Kaiser Family Foundation report, now have a TV in their bedrooms. This doesn't account for the hand-held electronic devices many children carry with them wherever they go.

Not alarmed yet? What about this? Children with TVs in their bedroom watch 90 minutes more a day than children without a TV in their room. They also do less reading and less homework. According to the facts, the more kids watch TV, the more likely they are to be overweight. Obesity in children is a national crisis. Turning a child's bedroom into a media arcade does not help your child one bit.

Many parents say they care about what their children watch and listen to. Yet, children consistently report that their parents do not have any rules, create no conditions, and set no limits on the amount or type of media they use. Those who do create restrictions don't always enforce them. Children report that parents do not know what type of music they're listening to. Parents seldom check the rating on CDs or invest the time to check out the lyrics. They pay little attention to the elaborate TV rating scale and do not use it to make choices about appropriate viewing content for their children.

Violent video games and glorified violence on TV spur aggression in children. While watching violence does not make someone violent, research shows that children who are exposed to more visual violence engage in more aggressive behaviors. Isn't that reason enough to set limits on a youngster's television viewing and video game habits?

Allowing a TV in a child's bedroom or putting electronic media like Game Boys and cell phone video games into their hands is tantamount to putting the fox in the henhouse with the chickens while pretending the fox is of no danger. It is an example of child neglect at worst and gross misunderstanding on the part of parents at best.

Electronic media in a child's life increases isolation. It creates an environment in which the child can stay disconnected from family members. It severely limits family interaction. TV, the internet, and video games are creating an emotional gap between parent and child. What possible reason is there for a child to carry a video game with him wherever he goes, or for a parent to make a child's bedroom so attractive and so media friendly that she wants to spend most of her time there by herself?

What about family solidarity? What about creating feelings of belonging by doing things together? Yes, children need privacy. Yes, they need some solitude and some time away from us. But do they need 6½ hours a day of "plug-in" contact?

Recently, while attending a soccer registration day, we heard a mother comment about her son, "I don't know why I bother to bring anything else for him to do. All he does is play that Game Boy." Sitting next to her was a child oblivious to the world around him. He was so engrossed in his video game that he was unaware of the rest of the world. And yet the mother went on to say, "The good thing about it is it keeps him busy and I don't have to worry about him getting into things."

Do you really want your child playing video games that glorify violence and numb him to real life events? A recent study revealed that 65 percent of seventh- through twelfth- graders played the controversial video game Grand Theft Auto. This game, rated for mature audiences, is loaded with larceny and violence. It shows the killing of police officers and the beating of prostitutes. Is this the way you want your child to learn what it means to be a responsible, caring, cooperative adult?

What about the strangers who are teaching your child through their appearance on television? Is TV really where you want your children to learn about values, attitudes, behaviors? Do you like the messages they get from soap operas? Do you want them exposed to beer commercials? Is the television really the best forum to teach your children about dating, intimacy, and sexuality? How do you feel about using sex to sell products? Have you seen any television talk shows lately? Is their model of disagreeing, which includes interrupting one another, increasing the volume, and not listening to the other's point of view the way you want your children to handle disagreements?

What about the computer? Who are your children talking to in chat rooms? What sites do they visit? Are they being bullied or talked to with inappropriate language? Are they bullying others? Do you know? Are you sure?

What are American parents thinking? What possible reason could there be for putting a TV or X-box in a child's bedroom or within easy access? Does the child have so many things that this is all that the parent can come up with for a birthday present? Do the parents dislike being with the child so much that they want to purposefully isolate the youngster? Or are the adults simply so busy with their own lives that they don't have time for their children?

The frenzy to connect to electronic media has created the Great Family Disconnect of our time. Don't parents realize that 6½ hours a day of being plugged into media leaves children little time to plug into their family? Do the parents like it that way? Is family dialogue of such little value that it can be squeezed in between headphones and email? Has Monopoly, checkers, shooting baskets, skipping rope, and bike-riding together become obsolete? Do parents like that?

In 63 percent of homes a television is on during mealtimes. Is it too much to ask family members to take a 20-minute break from media noise to share a quiet dinner with meaningful conversation? Or would you miss your favorite program? Couldn't our children become our favorite program for part of the evening?

The Great Family Disconnect is increasing in direct proportion to the degree of connection of our children to their favorite electronic device. TV, computers, and video games have become the plug-in drugs of our times. They are creating family distance, isolation, and a decrease in feelings of belonging and connectedness.

The stranger enticing your children needs to be unplugged, kicked out of their bedroom, and sent packing immediately. This is your home, not his. This is your family, not his. Take back the influence this stranger has usurped in your family. Commit to being the parent you always wanted to be. Establish guidelines. Set limits. Enforce those limits. Do it consistently. Implement consequences if needed.

Disconnect from the Great Family Disconnect. Flip the switch. Bring prime time back to your family.


Chick Moorman and Thomas Haller are the authors of The 10 Commitments: Parenting with Purpose (available from Personal Power Press at toll-free 877-360-1477, amazon.com, and bookstores everywhere). They also publish a FREE email newsletter for parents. Subscribe to it at ipp57@aol.com. Visit www.chickmoorman.com, www.thomashaller.com, and www.10commitments.net.

Thomas Haller and Chick Moorman are the authors of The 10 Commitments: Parenting with Purpose (available from Personal Power Press at toll-free 877-360-1477, amazon.com, and bookstores everywhere). Visit www.thomashaller.com, www.chickmoorman.com, and www.10commitments.net.


5. Ten Terrific Reasons NOT to put a TV in Your Child's Bedroom and 10 Terrible Reasons for Doing So

By Thomas Haller and Chick Moorman

1. Your child will watch less TV: approximately 90 minutes less each day.

2. You will increase family dialogue while decreasing separation and isolation.

3. It is easier to make and enforce limits when the TV is in the family room.

4. Your children will be less likely to become overweight.

5. You will create opportunities to practice consensus seeking, deciding together what shows to watch.

6. It will communicate your values that exercise, reading, family time, and other activities are more important than watching TV.

7. Your children will be less likely to learn about sex from television stereotypes.

8. They will learn to see the bedroom as a place of peace and comfort, used for rest and relaxation.

9. Children will spend more time studying.

10. It will keep you more involved in your child's life.

Ten Terrible Reasons to Put a TV in Your Child's Bedroom

1. You can watch whatever you want on the family room TV.

2. You don't have to pay close attention to your child's interests.

3. You won't have to deal with questions like "Will you come out and play catch with me?" or "Want to help me put this puzzle together?"

4. You won't have to make any trips to the library so your children can pick out books.

5. It will be easier for you and your children to ignore the limits you set for television consumption and type of programming.

6. Children will not be interfering with your own busy life and requiring constant monitoring.

7. You won't have to figure out how to deal with the whining when you say no to your child's request for a TV in his or her room.

8. Television is the universal babysitter. It will keep your kids occupied so you can handle your interests instead of parenting with purpose.

9. You won't have to deal with questions about sexuality. All your child's questions will be answered through what they view on TV.

10. The TV is a stranger in your child's bedroom, influencing, guiding, directing, and causing the Great Family Disconnect. There is NO good reason not to GET IT OUT OF THERE, NOW!


6. The Parent Talk System Facilitator Trainings

Do you feel called in your soul to help parents consider the possibility that there might be a better way to parent?

Are you interested in helping parents move from a fear- and shame-based parenting style to one that is love-based?

Would you consider helping parents make a shift in perception that would allow them to become the change that will change our world for the better?

Are you ready to make a giant leap forward to actualizing your potential as a healer of the planet?

If you answered yes to any of these questions, you may be the one and your time may be now. Consider attending one of our upcoming Parent Talk System three-day training seminars.

You will leave this three-day training with the skills and confidence to touch the hearts and minds of parents in your community! No previous training experience is necessary.

 

April 7-9, 2005
Santa Barbara, CA
Sponsored by Mastery Life and Children of the New Earth Magazine
Facilitated by Chick Moorman
Limited to 35 participants

June 16-18
Dearborn, MI
Facilitated by Chick Moorman, Sarah Knapp, and Judith Minton
Limited to 35 participants

Request a brochure and registration materials from Chick Moorman at ipp57@aol.com or call toll-free 877-360-1477. Include your mailing address.


7. Did You Know?

1. It is never too early to introduce your child to books. Read "board books" to your infant. Put cloth books in the car. Float plastic books in the tub.

2. Three million children witness acts of domestic violence each year.

3. You may be deleted from this newsletter mailing list at any time. Just email ipp57@aol.com and request to be deleted from the Response-Able Parenting Newsletter list.

4. A girl whose father is absent is three times as likely to engage in sexual relations by the time she turns 15 as girls with a father present in their life.

5. You may reprint any of our articles in your organizational newsletter without our permission. All that we ask is that you print it in its entirety and add the following tagline:

 

Thomas Haller and Chick Moorman are the authors of The 10 Commitments: Parenting with Purpose (available from Personal Power Press at toll-free 877-360-1477, amazon.com, and bookstores everywhere). Visit www.thomashaller.com, www.chickmoorman.com, and www.10commitments.net.

6. To get rid of unwanted moths, make sachets of dried lavender, rosemary, and mint and place in closets and drawers.

7. Choose from four informative and entertaining parent programs when booking Thomas Haller or Chick Moorman for your PTA, church, or organizational meeting:

    • Parent Talk: Words That Empower, Words That Wound
    • Managing Aggression and Anger in Children
    • The 10 Commitments: Parenting with Purpose
    • Grace-full Parenting: Adding Grace to your Parenting

8. April is the Month of the Young Child.

9. The second printing of our newest book, The 10 Commitments: Parenting with Purpose , has just arrived from the printer. The attention this important book is receiving is rewarding and motivating. We are incredibly grateful. To help us move this uplifting and educational message from our garages to your home, call 877-360-1477 or visit www.10commitments.net.

10 Commitments Book

Preview at Amazon.com


8. We Get Email

Hello Thomas and Chick,

My son is a 2 1/2 year old toddler. He has begun cussing. He doesn't get it from me or his mother. We are both extremely furious and at our wits end. We have punished him with time out and by taking toys away. He still does it. His mother has threatened to wash his mouth out with soap. I don't like that idea, but am considering a swift swat on the butt if he does it again. How do I curb the cursing habit in my son? Any ideas?

Sincerely,

Father Who Needs Help with Discipline.

Dear Father Who Needs Help with Discipline,

We agree with part of your signature, but not all of it. It is clear, as you suggest, that you need help. But discipline is not the area in which intervention is required with this youngster. In our opinion, you have been too quick to jump to the punishment stance. You have bypassed two important steps: providing structure, and teaching the behavior you want. There is much more to effective parenting than simply punishing a child every time he chooses an inappropriate behavior. Provide structure, then teaching. Consequences can follow those steps if necessary.

First, it is important to note that toddlers are learning the language of those around them. A toddler does not just start cussing unless he has been hearing it somewhere. You need to isolate the source of the cussing and remove it. If you fail to take this step, any other attempts to limit cussing will be met with great resistance and will not be understood by your child. Someone is cussing in the presence of your toddler. It might be another adult, an older sibling, a peer or older child at day care. It could be the television that is providing him with the verbal model he is emulating.

Provide appropriate structure in your son's environment by eliminating the source of the cussing before you take any other step. If the source is a friend, explain the situation and ask them to join you in the process of helping your toddler learn appropriate words of expression. If it is an older sibling, you have to change the way the entire family uses words and start by teaching the older child new behaviors. If day care is where he is hearing cussing, reevaluate the day care setting and ask yourself what other behaviors your toddler may be learning there as well. Discuss your concerns with the day care provider, and if things don't change, change day care providers.

Second, when a toddler does cuss, the more shocked your reaction the more attention he gets. If your son is angry and yells out a cuss word, move in by acknowledging the anger or frustration and give him a different word to say. "Billy, you sound angry. When we are angry in our house we say, 'I'm angry' or 'I'm frustrated.'" Don't make a big deal out of the fact that he cussed. Give him the appropriate words to use to express himself. This is the teaching stance, and it is much more appropriate for dealing with a toddler than the punishment stance.

Simply stated, if you want a behavior, you have to teach a behavior. Children don't instinctively know how to express their feelings or use words appropriately. They are experimenting and mimicking. This is normal behavior for a toddler. Punishing a toddler does not help him learn. Instead, redirect, give him new words to use. Explain to him the type of words that you use in your family and stay focused on the positive side of language and the power it possesses.

Third, to break a toddler's cussing habit, intervene on the first cuss word uttered. Give the child a new set of words to use. Consider this: if you can name it, you can tame it. Give the inappropriate language a name. In this case, call it "cussing." Confront the toddler by saying, "Lionel, that is cussing. We don't use those kinds of words in our family. What we do here is say . . . (Add what you and those in your family say. Use the words that are already used by others in your family so they have a context in which to use them again.)

Fourth, look for opportunities to help your toddler before he cusses. Catch him before he utters the inappropriate word. Say, "This is a good time to say . . ." and give him the words he hears you and other family members say in similar situations. Stay true to how your family communicates.

Please do not overreact to your toddler's cussing by hitting him or washing his mouth out with soap. If you do that, you are revealing as much lack of skill as a parent as he is in communicating as a toddler.

Withhold punishment. Take the teaching stance. In doing so, you will create the type of family harmony that results from understanding the developmental stages of toddlers and helping them deal with their world in grace-full, solution-seeking ways.

Best Wishes,

Thomas Haller and Chick Moorman

Note: It is not possible for Thomas and Chick to respond to all emails personally. Occasionally, they select one for publication in an effort to help parents become more Response-Able with their children.


To find out more about workshops, seminars, and keynote addresses presented by Chick Moorman and Thomas Haller, contact them at (toll-free) 877-360-1477 or visit www.thomashaller.com or www.chickmoorman.com.

Copyright 2005 Chick Moorman Seminars and Haller's Healing Minds, all rights reserved. Share this with your circle.

 

 

 
 
 
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