IN THIS ISSUE
1. Explanation of Unique Edition
2. We Get Email
3. I Couldn't Sleep Last Night
1. Explanation of Unique Edition
Welcome to this unique edition of The Response-Able Parenting Newsletter.
Our email response to the past issue was especially heavy. It was so
heavy that we decided to publish this special edition that deals almost
exclusively with responses to email.
It is not possible for us to answer all the emails we receive. Even
with two of us, many emails have to go unanswered each month. We do
read them though. And we love to get them. Thank you for sending your
questions, concerns, appreciation, encouragement, and affirmation.
And most of all, thanks for reading.
2. We Get Email
by Chick Moorman and Thomas Haller
Dear Chick and Thomas,
I am writing this in response to the letter you published from the
lady whose sister-in-law threatened to send everyone to military
school. When I was a pre-teen, my mother spent her time trying to
correct my behavior by threatening to send me to boarding school.
It took her many months to realize that the threats, far from eliciting
a change in behavior, actually perpetuated the very things she was
trying to correct. At that age I was an adventurous child who enjoyed
trips away from home, whether accompanied by family or not. The idea
of attending school in another city far from home, far from deterring
me, actually appealed to me and reinforced the very behavior patterns
my mother was trying to change. Eventually she got wise to what was
going on and changed her tactics.
So parents, before you furnish consequences for actions, make sure
that they are going to have the desired effect.
This is so much fun to hear from you in South Africa. Thank you for
taking the time to send your thoughts.
Chick and Thomas
I'm so happy that I saw/heard you at the Bedford Library in Monroe
County a couple weeks back. My friend (also the president of our
preschool) has been raving about you for nearly 4 years now. Now
I know what all the hype was about. I look forward to reading your
books & receiving more newsletters. And, I am also happy to see
that you seem to be healthy & recuperating well from your health
In Bedford, you spoke about math anxiety & it reminded me of
an incident a few years back. At the time, my daughter was about
4 and got some wipe-off addition cards for Christmas. She completed
the whole deck in about an hour to my amazement so I used descriptive
praise like you recommend and proudly exclaimed, "Wow, Natalie!
You did all 72 math problems without even taking a rest!"
Obviously upset, she cried out, "Problem? What's the problem?"
I realized how ignorant it is to refer to math equations as problems & to
this day my husband and I are still trying to break ourselves of
that bad habit of using the term math problem! How discouraging to
be introduced to a new process as a problem. Thankfully, Natalie
is now finishing 1st grade and often writes & solves math equations
for fun & her teacher regularly sends home math games to play
with dice & playing cards. How refreshing to approach it playfully,
rather than with the agonizing & distressful attitude that our
generation was taught.
Thanks again! Keep up the great work!!
Babs in Monroe, MI
Yes, why do we call them problems? You know I believe in the power
of words and advocate being impeccable in our choice of language
in the Parent Talk book. I hadn’t really thought about the
impact that word can have on children used in that context. I appreciate
you sharing your insight.
Chick and Thomas,
I love your books as well as your wonderful newsletter.
My wife and I have three beautiful children. Their ages are 8, 4,
and 1. I wish to ask one question: What is your advice to us parents
who occasionally blow every good and noble lesson we've learned from
You know, when the frustrations of daily life, i.e., work and family
and financial crisis, etc., have been allowed to drive us to the
point of sharing the frustration in a way that is unproductive and
completely counter to the lessons we've learned. For instance, when
I find myself losing my temper and my self-control and I raise my
voice to the point of shouting at my children as an unproductive
response to their unwillingness to do as I've asked them, which ends
in the baby grabbing the 4-year-old's food and spilling it onto the
floor, after I'd told them to move the food away from the edge of
the table before the baby grabs hold of it and spills it . . . (Sounds
petty to me even now . . .) But my intense response makes me feel
embarrassed and ashamed of my behavior, plus I realize that I am,
thereby, modeling a very undesirable behavior to my children, which
compounds my feelings.
I wind up disliking myself for behaving so ridiculously . . . I'm
assuming that I'm not the only concerned dad out there who occasionally
behaves like a moron in front of his little gifts and blessings from
the Good Lord. So, Chick and Thomas, what advice do you offer for
those of us in situations such as mine?
Curt, Tallahassee, FL
No one does perfect parenting all the time. We all blow it on occasion.
The positive point here is that you hear it, you notice, and you
want to do it differently. Being conscious of your words and actions
and the effect they have on children is a big step in the right direction.
If you remain unconscious there is not much you can do to move to
enlightened parenting. Like yourself for being a conscious parent.
The first commitment in The 10 Commitments book is “I commit
to remembering that experience can be messy.” Things do get
spilled. See it as an opportunity to teach solution seeking. Debrief
with your children how the mess happened and what can be done next
time to prevent it. Involve them in the search for solutions. The
dialog and learning that can come from this is more valuable than
making sure no mess happens to begin with.
Get conscious of the volume of your voice. Use the loudness as a
signal to back off. Take three deep breaths, count to ten. Move UP
in consciousness before you move IN with action. (Actually the fourth
commitment.) Move up by talking to yourself before you talk to the
child. Say to yourself, “I want to remember he is only four.
Four-year-olds spill things, they keep food close to the edge of
the table, they don’t think like an adult. I can’t expect
a four-year-old to be six or eight.” By moving UP in consciousness
before you move IN with action you insure the action you take will
have a greater chance of impacting the child positively without wounding
Chick and Tom
I thought the advice given on why not to spank your child was well
written and made a lot of sense. I say this though with reservations
because it seems that corporal punishment may be needed as a last
resort for child discipline. The Bible seems to be full of quotes
on this as well. My question then is this: why is corporal punishment
not recommended for child discipline when the Bible seems to support
Lori from Texas
As a Bible-believing Christian, I have to say that there are several
verses in the Bible that defend spanking as not only a tool in the
parenting toolbox but as a necessity in raising good children. I'm
not talking abuse here. I'm not even talking about spanking when angry.
And I'm not talking about it as if it is the only tool or best tool
in the toolbox, but I believe that the Bible is God's word and that
Solomon, who wrote it under God's inspiration, WAS actually the wisest
man who ever lived.
So I believe a spanking can work without all those negative feelings
or consequences that you named in your newsletter. If a spanking
is a stated consequence for certain behavior, and if the parent can
do the spanking without temper involved, and if the spanking doesn't
physically injure the child, then it can be an effective disciplinary
tool. For sure, some people misuse spankings and may even be abusive,
but others use the spankings effectively without emotional harm to
I know you have a strong Christian background, having heard you preach
a few years ago. I have a question for you.
Like you and Chick, I do not believe in spanking either. But many
of my other Christian friends keep telling me about “sparing
the rod and spoiling the child.” Surely God doesn’t want
us to hit our children, does He? I believe in a God of love. What
do you make of all this?
Thanks in advance,
Dear Beth, Lori, Unsigned, and others,
As you know, in our last parenting newsletter, Chick and I shared our
beliefs on spanking in the article, “This Is Going to Hurt Me
More Than It Is Going to Hurt You.” In it, we challenged the
readers to examine a widely accepted view of spanking from a different
perspective. We challenged conventional wisdom and asked parents to
consider how hitting children as a form of discipline may actually
be hurting the parent in ways they were previously unaware of.
We greatly appreciate your willingness to share your comments with
us as you examine your own parenting style and are challenged by different
views on raising responsible, caring, confident children. While it
is not our desire to tell you how to parent your children, we do want
to provide readers with techniques and strategies for raising children
with grace, integrity, and love.
Since you asked, my personal thoughts about the Biblical issue follow.
As an ordained minister I spent 8 years learning the Hebrew and Greek
language so as to study the Bible in its original language. Since that
time, almost 20 years ago, I have spent many laboring hours preparing
sermons and writing Bible studies on topics of marriage, love, money,
miracles, gifts of the Spirit, parenting, and most importantly the
Grace of God as seen through our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. It was
with great respect for the scriptures that I undertook a call to raise
the consciousness of parents throughout the world. It is with this
same respect and conviction that I offer a look at a Biblical perspective
Christian parents frequently seek the Bible in their effort to raise
godly children. They believe that there is a biblical mandate to spank
and they fear that if they don't spank, they will commit the sin of
losing control of their child. They believe that God has commended
them to spank and they take “spare the rod and spoil the child” literally.
In doing so they misunderstand the concept of the rod. The following
are the biblical verses which have caused the greatest confusion:
“He who spares the rod hates his son, but he who loves him is
careful to discipline him.” (Proverbs 13:24)
“Folly is bound up in the heart of a child. But the rod of discipline
will drive it far from him.” (Proverbs 22:15)
“Do not withhold discipline from a child; if you punish him with
the rod he will not die. Punish him with the rod and save his soul
from death.” (Proverbs 23:13-14)
“The rod of correction imparts wisdom, but a child left to itself
disgraces his mother.” (Proverbs 29:15)
At first glance these verses seem to be in strong support of the
use of corporal punishment. But are they really? A closer examination
of the Hebrew word for “rod” (shebet) sheds more light
on the subject. In the Hebrew dictionary “rod” has various
meanings: a stick for walking, writing, fighting, ruling, and punishment.
The word “shebet” is most frequently used when referring
to shepherds who are tending their flocks. The shepherds used the
stick to fight off predators and to gently guide wandering sheep,
not strike them for being out of line.
The verses that contain this material were written in poetic form.
Writers of poetry typically use familiar words of the day to represent
concepts and create imagery of what they are writing about. The “rod” can
as easily be interpreted as a gentle guide as it can a stick for
The image that I believe we are to extract from these verses in Proverbs
is one of creating a culture of accountability in our families. The
point that God is making here is that we as parents are to hold our
children accountable for their choices and actions. That is His desire.
There are many ways to hold a child accountable, and corporal punishment
(spanking) does not have to be one of them.
Reread the passages above and replace the references to punishment
and the use of the rod with the word “accountability” and
notice what happens.
Proverbs 13:24 would read, “He who spares accountability hates
his son, but he who loves him is careful to discipline him.”
Proverbs 22:15 would read, “Folly is bound up in the heart
of a child. But holding him accountable will drive it far from him.”
Proverbs 23:13-14 would read, “Do not withhold discipline from
a child; if you create a culture of accountability he will not die.
Create accountability and save his soul from death.”
Proverbs 29:15 would read, “The culture of accountability imparts
wisdom, but a child left to itself disgraces his mother.”
As Christians, we believe that the Bible is the inspired word of
God. Yet some Christians hold fast to interpreting the “rod” in
the Proverbs passages as a mandate to spank. They interpret the passages
written many years ago in the language of the time with today’s
words and context. They take the passages literally, staunchly claiming
that that’s what the Bible says.
But what about these passages?
“Anyone who attacks his father or his mother must be put to death.” (Exodus
“If anyone curses his father or mother, he must be put to death. He has
cursed his father or his mother, and his blood will be on his own head.” (Leviticus
Almost every parent would admit that their child has said, “I hate you,” or “You’re
not the boss of me,” at one time or another. But no one argues that their
child should be put to death in these cases.
No, children don’t need to be put to death and they don’t need
to be spanked either. They do need to be held accountable for their actions
and choices, however. The Bible simply does not support spanking. It supports
holding children accountable. It says, “Train a child in the way he should
go, and when he is old he will not turn from it.” (Proverbs 22:6) “Training” does
not mean spanking, hitting, or any other form of corporal punishment.
Chick and I believe that creating a culture of accountability is the most loving
thing you can do for your children. We believe in holding children accountable
within a model that Jesus gave us. In the New Testament Jesus modified the
Old Testament by providing us with a model of gentleness and love. He changed
the eye-for-an-eye approach and called for turning the other cheek and forgiving
seven times seventy.
Consider these inspired words of God in your parenting:
“Fathers do not exasperate your children; instead, bring them up in the
training and instruction of the Lord.” (Ephesians 6:4)
“Fathers do not embitter your children, or they will become discouraged.” (Colossians
“What do you prefer? Shall I come to you with a whip, or in love with a
gentle spirit?” (Corinthians 4:21).
Become an enlightened parent, one who is moved and inspired by the word of
God that calls for grace, gentleness, forgiveness, and love in all that you
do. Challenge yourself to create a Christ-like approach to parenting. Seek
strategies and techniques that enable you to parent to the soul of your child.
Refrain from using the Bible as an excuse to spank. Use it instead to help
you create a higher vision of yourself as a parent and to become the parent
you always wanted to be.
3. I Couldn’t Sleep Last Night
I couldn’t sleep last night thinking about the upcoming facilitator
training in The Parent Talk System.
I love it when exciting and stimulating thoughts bombard my mind and beg to
be written down and implemented. That’s not good for my sleep quotient,
but it ups my creativity level immensely. Want to know the thoughts and ideas
that forced me from the bed to my computer so that I could share them with
you? Here they are.
“I just finished teaching my first class tonight, and loved it. I have
10 participants, and they felt they gained a great deal from the class, including
the teacher and the ‘skeptic.’ Thanks for the clear way in which
the facilitator's manual is laid out, and for the wisdom you have given us
to teach! It is an honor to share this information with people and to make
the world a better place, one family at a time! The teacher in the group
already raved about ways in which she could use this in the classroom and
is talking about having me come to her school to teach this. So, I acted
as if . . . and it worked!”
You might be thinking, “But I don’t have any experience presenting
I promise you that if you take this training you will leave at the end of three
days with the skills, tools and confidence to present this life-changing material
You will learn:
1.) The Parent Talk System, including the 6 two-hour modules that teach parents
the verbal skills necessary to raise responsible, caring, confident children.
2.) Strategies that allow you to teach the verbal skills with expertise and
3.) Promotional and publicity skills/tools to attract interested participants.
You will receive:
A facilitators’ manual, 15 parent workbooks (starter kit), 2 supplemental
videos, Parent Talk book (hard cover), graduation certificate, access to the
Parent Talk facilitators’ section of my website, a special monthly trainers’ newsletter,
and ongoing technical assistance.
Begin or enhance your speaking career with a proven delivery system.
I get really frustrated when I hear other speakers present on parenting issues
and all they do is talk about general philosophy and give pie-in-the-sky examples.
Often the parents attending those sessions leave more confused than when they
entered. Many times they leave with nothing they can go back and put to use
If you learn the Parent Talk System, you will insure that your participants
will leave your trainings with specific skills they can begin implementing
the same night.
You could spend hours designing, researching, and writing a parent program
of your own. What for? There is no need to reinvent the wheel. Eliminate the
many field tests it would take to ensure that your training would get the results
you want. Know that the model you teach is research based and skill oriented.
Be confident that it delivers real skills to parents that work with real children.
Jumpstart your speaking career or give it that needed shot-in-the-arm by learning
the Parent Talk System, a model that is already being implemented successfully
around the world.
Space is limited.
Sign up today to reserve your space in the next Parent Talk System Facilitators
3-day seminar and participant packet…………..$300
15 parent workbooks (Starter Kit)……………….$105
2 supplemental videos…………………………....$60
Parent Talk book (Hard cover)…………………..$25
Continental breakfast and lunch provided…… ..$40
Access to facilitators’ webpage…………….… facilitators
only (no fee)
Special facilitators’ newsletter (monthly)……….facilitators
only (no fee)
Price to participants for total package………..$495
Credit option: Two hours graduate credit is available for Spring Arbor University
for an additional fee of $130.
Don’t miss this opportunity. Sign up today.
Call toll free…..877-360-1477
Mail……………The Parent Talk System
P.O. Box 547
Merrill, MI 48637
Talented and experienced trainers
Chick Moorman is the author of the Parent Talk book that started it all. He
is a 40-year veteran of working in the field of education. He raised 4 children
and single-parented 2 grandchildren for 3 ½ years. Chick is the author
of numerous books and has presented to over 300,000 parents and educators.
He is one of the world’s foremost authorities on raising responsible,
caring, confident children. www.chickmoorman.com
Sarah Knapp is the co-designer of the Language of Response-Able Parenting,
along with Chick. Sarah is the president of Advantage Discipline and is well
known for authoring several treatment planners for counselors and mental health
professionals. She is a former school social worker with an extensive background
in presenting the Parent Talk System to parents and teachers.
Judith Minton, president of Voice Works Seminars, has a strong background in
presenting parenting programs to corporate clients. She holds the record for
the greatest number of Parent Talk System classes taught. Judith wrote the
marketing section of the Parent Talk System facilitators’ training.
The Parent Talk System helps you . . .
By providing a 150-page trainers’ manual . . . so you don’t have
to redesign or create a parent training.
By providing you with easy-to-follow directions for teaching the 6 modules,
including questions to ask, possible answers, and additional information not
available to the participants . . . to keep you one step ahead of the parents,
feeling confident and in control.
By giving you supplemental videos to use for the major lecture burst pieces
of the course . . . so you can catch your breath and review what you are going
to do next.
By including 21 verbal skills in the parent training . . . to ensure that parents
exit with a full toolbox of possible strategies to use when they leave your
By providing you with registration forms, evaluation forms, sample advertisements,
business cards, copy-ready logos and letterhead . . . so you look and feel
like the professional parent trainer that you will become.
By supplying you with 8 ready-to-go transparencies to use . . . to help keep
your participants on task.
By providing ongoing technical assistance and help with answering your questions
and those of your participants . . . so that you have support and encouragement
at every step throughout the process of being a Parent Talk facilitator.
One more thing . . .
People who take this seminar will have all the fun.
1.) They will meet and network with a cadre of like-minded participants
who are committed to promoting enlightened parenting in the world.
2.) They will learn the skills and confidence necessary to move ahead
in their careers by learning how to quickly and easily enter the field
of parent training.
3.) They will receive affirmation and appreciation from participants,