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The Response-Able Parenting Newsletter 5
August 20, 2002


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. Quotes [back to top]


"Men, the single best thing you can do for your children ... is love their mother."



2. Parent Talk Tip [back to top]


"You ought to be ashamed of yourself."
"That will make me feel bad."
"What will the neighbors think?"
"I'm glad your dead grandfather isn't here to see this."
"I can't sleep at night worrying about you."

Parents who use phrases like the ones above are dispensing guilt and shame. They usually use these kinds of phrases because they believe that shame and guilt are needed to encourage children to change. The idea is that if children can be shamed into feeling guilty, they will change their behavior and do what their parents desire.

Children who are shamed regularly come to believe that the shame is justified, that they must have earned it, and that they deserve it. They develop such core beliefs as "I'm no good," "I'm not enough," "I'm wrong," and "I'm not worthwhile." Children who have these core beliefs see themselves as shameful and act in accordance with their beliefs.

Instead of dispensing a shame-based communication, use a style of parent talk that is open, honest, and direct. Present choices to your children. Explain what happens if they choose a certain behavior and what happens if they don't. Allow them to choose and then experience the legitimate consequences of their behavior.

Children learn more from a caring adult who helps them to evaluate their choices and the results that follow than they do from one who shames and continually lays guilt.

"I'm angry about the broken window, and you will need to find a way to pay for it" is more effective than "You should have known better." "Looks like you have chosen to work with a tutor this marking period. The two D's demonstrate that you can use some extra time and help in those subjects" is healthier than the guilt-laying "You really disappointed us with this report card."

Refuse to be one of those parents who cause children to feel shame and guilt for their actions. Communicate honestly without sneaking shame into the equation. Stay centered in your efforts to create respectful, responsible children by modeling those attributes in your behavior and in your parent talk.


"Parent Talk: Words That Empower, Words That Wound" is a 280-page hardback book by Chick Moorman. It is available through Personal Power Press at (toll free) 877-360-1477 or


3. Spirit Whisperer Contemplation [back to top]


What if, for today, you slowed down and savored? What would you choose to savor? What enjoyment and sweetness call for lingering today?


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


Subscriber comments, ideas, and concerns are valued. Email your

comment to


Privacy Statement: Under no circumstances do we sell, trade, or exchange your email address, ever. It is safe with us. Always!


4. Humor [back to top]


Why can't life's problems hit us when we're seventeen and know everything?

-----------------A.C. Jolly--------------------


5. Parent Talk Training of Trainers Announcement [back to top]


Announcing two winter sessions of training of trainers in the Parent Talk System:

Austin, TX
January 9-11, 2003

Grand Rapids, MI
January 16-18, 2003

Email for a full brochure and registration materials. For direct inquiries, call (toll free) 877-360-1477.


6. Article [back to top]


Transition Time

by Chick Moorman

Latrell was moving from Head Start to kindergarten. Ho Lynn was moving from one daycare center to another. Kevin was moving across town. Although their situations were different, each youngster was in need of a parent who could respond effectively to Transition Time.

"Time" is the key word in the Transition Time phrase. It takes time for a parent to structure and create conditions that can get a child ready to make a smooth transition. It takes time for a child to get used to and embrace a new situation. It takes time for a parent to tune into and respond effectively to a child's positive and negative reactions to the change. To smooth a Transition Time for your child, take time to read and consider the Five Steps to Effective Transitions that follow.

Transition Step No. 1: Be honest and open with your child, keeping him or her informed of your plans as they develop. Give your child the real reasons why the transition is necessary. A minor transition for you can be a big deal for your child. Remember, to a four-year-old, the last two years represent half of his or her life.

Transition Step No. 2: Arrange for a visitation. Tell your child, "We're going to see how the new school works." Set up your visitation as though you were checking the school out, looking it over. Treat this as an exploration, an adventure in discovery. Give your child and yourself some things to look for; for example, How is this school the same and how is it different from the last school? Let's find out what you like and don't like about it.

Transition Step No. 3: Debrief the visitation. After the visitation, ask your child what looked fun and what sounded interesting about the new school. "What surprised you?" is a question that often produces helpful dialogue. "Did you see anything exciting or scary?" is another. Your goal here is to get your child talking. Your job during the debriefing is to give your child an opportunity to describe what he or she heard, saw, and felt. Concentrate on getting information, not on giving information. As your child talks about the experience, your child will move through it and be freed up from places where he or she might have become stuck.

Transition Step No. 4: Demonstrate understanding by granting in fantasy what you cannot grant in reality. A child faced with a big transition will often remark, "I like my old school better" or "I don't want a new teacher." Here it is not helpful to attempt reassurance with comments such as, "You'll get used to it in time" or "Just give it a chance. You'll probably end up liking it better." It is more helpful to use parent talk that demonstrates your understanding of your child's experience by recognizing and honoring his or her wish. "You wish you could stay with Miss Sally forever" shows empathy and understanding, while helping your child to feel heard. "You'd like it best if you could pick your own teacher" tunes into your child's fantasy without communicating that the wish will be granted.

Transition Step No. 5: Send your child a capability message. "I know you can handle it" or "I know you are up to it" are examples of parent talk that sends the message, "I see you as capable." "I know you can handle it" does not communicate that everything will be wonderful; it just lets your child know you believe he or she can handle whatever occurs.

Implement the Five Steps to Effective Transitions to help your child deal with change. I know you can handle it.


(To access similar articles check out


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




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