Parenting With Dignity - a resource where parents learn new effective parenting skills.  HOME Sponsored by The Drew Bledsoe Foundation - see What's New See the Five Rules of Parenting and the ideas in your head will rule your world! The Foundation contacts parents through existing youth activities and agencies including Juvenile Court Services. Drew Bledsoe's dream with this foundation is to address some of the problems which kids are facing, at their source. This foundation provides a source of information for parents, giving them the tools necessary to create an encouraging, and loving home for their children Information for kids, teens, children of all ages. From proper parenting skills to substance abuse and gang activity. Mac & Barbara Bledsoe are the creators of the Parenting With Dignity curriculum. Drew Bledsoe (Quarterback for the New England Patriots). SPONSORS  

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December
2002

Parenting With Dignity

 

Effective Parenting Skills


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Happy Holidays!

 

Dear Parents and Supporters:

Can you believe the holidays are just around the corner? If you're like me, there are a thousand things yet to do and not enough time to get everything done. In the interest of conserving your precious time, we'll jump right to our newsletter. But first, all of us at the Drew Bledsoe foundation would like to wish you a safe, happy and joyous holiday.

   

 

Just in time for your Holidays!

Last month we sent out a special newsletter announcing the availability of Mac Bledsoe's new book, Parenting With Dignity. We couldn't believe the response. People from all over are discovering what we've known all along. We sold hundreds of copies within hours of our announcement.

The wit and wisdom of Mac Bledsoe is something that every parent should have on their bookshelf. This year, give the perfect gift for every parent on your list.

Order it today and save 25% off the cover price AND get it before the holidays.

Parenting With Dignity. Order it today and save 25% off the cover price AND get it before the holidays.

Also, see the Drew Bledsoe foundation store for other great gift ideas. Proceeds from every sale support our foundation.

Last minute gifts that support the Drew Bledsoe Foundation.

A great idea for our men and women in uniform

Here's a great idea in honor of national military appreciation month!  Visit the Department of Defense web page below and sign a brief message thanking the men and women of the U.S. Military for defending our freedom.  The compiled list of names will be sent to our soldiers at the end of the month.  So far, only about 1.3 million people have signed up - - what a shame.  It literally only takes about 10 seconds to add your name to the list.  Please pass it along.
http://www.defendamerica.mil/nmam.html

Thank you, and stay safe,

The Editor

PS: Please do us a BIG favor? While it is fresh in your mind, will you please forward this newsletter to every parent in your address book and encourage them to subscribe to our free newsletter. Thanks, we really appreciate your help!

 


   

In This
Issue:


   

Ask Mac Bledsoe your parenting question.

Ask Mac is a new feature of our newsletter. Send your questions to: Ask Mac

 

 

Ask Mac?

Dear Mac,

I plan to order your tapes, but first I'd like to know if you are in favor of, or opposed to spanking.

Mom in Florida

 


Dear Mom,

About your question about "Spanking"; the short answer is: no, I do not advocate spanking!

Now, please let me explain my answer. First of all I prefer the term "Hit" to the term "Spank" because I believe that it more accurately describes what is happening. I am opposed to hitting kids as a means of teaching not because I am inherently opposed to hitting as a technique but rather, I am opposed to it because it simply does not work! Hitting does not teach! I will grant you that hitting a child may stop a behavior for the immediate present but it does not teach a child how to reach the decision to change their behavior in the future.

Punishment of all kinds is proven to fail at all levels. Prisons are monuments to that very fact. 7 out of 10 men sent to prison will re-offend within a year of being released! My gosh, I was sent to my room at least 5000 times for teasing my sisters. Many of those times I was spanked before being sent to my room. I was told to "go to my room and think about how to treat my sisters!" I did. I thought about how I was going to grab them as soon as I got out of my room and drag them out behind the barn and hold their heads under water in the horse through for tattling on me. Then I thought about how I would tie their braids in knots and how I would throw their toy horses in the creek and many other diabolical schemes. I also thought about how I hated my parents and how they were unfair to always take the side of my sisters and how I was going to run away from home. It would have been so much easier and more helpful if someone had taught me how to get along with my sisters before I had offended them!

Another reason that spanking fails is that punishment is failure based. In order to use it as a strategy, by definition, you must wait for the child to fail first before you can use it! (Unless, you are going to spank your kids before they misbehave!)

For demonstration sake, let's just imagine that I am going to try to teach you how to use a computer and you know nothing about operating a computer. I sit you down in front of the machine and set about teaching you to operate that machine via spanking. To do this I sit next to you and hit you with a leather strap right across the back of the hands every time you make a mistake or push a wrong button. Now, after a week of spanking you until I made your hands bleed, I doubt that you would ever have discovered that pressing the Ctrl button simultaneously with the P button would make a printer print what is on the screen! I'm sure that you would never self-discover that Ctrl, Alt, and Del pressed simultaneously would free you from any program you could not un-jam! Punishment would bring about sore hands, a hatred of computers and resentment of my leather strap and me but it would never teach you anything useful about operating a computer!

Wouldn't it be much smarter to simply tell you those simple moves before you began making mistakes? Your child's life is very much like operating a computer. Certain actions bring about certain results. Why wait for them to make the wrong move and then spank them? Why not tell them how to make good decisions and good actions ahead of time? "You know son, the 'Ctrl, Alt, Del' for life is a smile. If things are not going well just give someone a smile! If you don't feel like smiling, fake it for a moment and rest assured that someone will give you a reason to smile!"

If you wish to hear more, watch Tape 9 of our Parenting with Dignity courseJust a note... the whole curriculum will be of ten times as much value to you if you watch them with other parents.

Sincerely,

Mac Bledsoe
Mac and Barbara Bledsoe

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Mac & Barbara Bledsoe

 

Attitude is Everything
By Mac Bledsoe

 

The other day I was talking with a very frustrated mother about her daughter who was driving her crazy. She was at wits end and wanted to know what to do to change her daughter. Then she described her daughter to me. "She is argumentative, stubborn, defiant, surly, rude, and she throws fits!" the mother said. I listened as the frustrated mother described in detail each of these annoying attributes of her daughter.

When she paused long enough for me to get in a word I asked, "How old is this child, fourteen, sixteen?"

I was shocked when the mother told me, "No, she is two and a half!"

Her answer hit me so suddenly I must say that I broke out laughing. I know the mother must have been offended by my laughter but I could not help myself. This lady had just told me she was being totally dominated by a two and a half year old child. Whoa! Who is the adult in this situation? Which person in this interaction is capable of anticipating future conflicts and developing some effective strategies to deal with the situation in a dignified and constructive manner?

After regaining control of my laughter and apologizing profusely I attempted to give the lady some guidance. As I meet parents all across the country, I find this mother's dilemma to be so similar to the difficulties that many parents express to me.

I meet so many parents who are so focused on what their children are doing wrong that they fail to see that the child is simply responding to the actions and expectations of the adults in their world! I know this parental attitude is an easy trap to fall into. My gosh, I was caught in the trap myself for my first eight years of teaching. Our attitude toward our children and our role in their world is so critical. We must be the ones who are controlled. We must be the ones who have the plan. We must be the ones who devise the guidance for them so they can learn to behave differently in a productive manner.

Let me make myself clear here. Kids are not all the same and the same technique will not necessarily work for all kids. Some kids are born to be more stubborn than others. I am not saying that the only determining factor in a child's development is the action of the parents. What I am saying is that parents have a vital role in teaching their children appropriate behaviors for dealing with their world. A parent's attitude is critical! The behavior of children is a direct reflection of the expectations of adults in their world!

So what advice did I give this mother? I simply told her that she needed to decide exactly what she wanted to teach her daughter and then to go about teaching that! The change needed in the situation was her ATTITUDE! If she wished for her daughter to ask politely when she wants something instead of whining, crying and throwing a fit, she needed to teach the youngster what that behavior is. What it sounds like; what it looks like; what her face looks like when she is asking. The one time when it will be impossible to teach the desired behavior is when her daughter is using the undesired behavior. Mom needs to teach before the daughter is misbehaving.( for the skills to use in teaching the desired behavior I referred her to our Parenting with Dignity video series and to our new book, Parenting with Dignity.)

The attitude of the parent must be the controlling element in the process of effectively raising kids. This mother had come to me for advice on changing her daughter but received advice on changing herself! If her child knew how to behave differently and get the desired result-the toy, the cookie-she would use that behavior. That is almost always the case. When people come to us for advice on changing their kids they almost always get advice on changing themselves.

I visit schools all across the country. I hear school personnel make statements about the conduct of students and from my point of view the statements sound almost ridiculous. I hear statements like, "The kids in this school just won't listen." Or I hear, "There is just no respect among the kids in our student body." I also hear equally ridiculous sounding statements like, "Oh, we just have such great kids in our school. They just behave so nicely!" What is ridiculous about these statements, you ask. Think about those statements for just a minute.

What each of those statements is telling me is that the adult making the statement believes that the behavior of kids is somehow determined by factors other than the attitude of the adults who are teaching them! I do not believe that one geographic area will produce a collective group of misbehaving kids nor that it will produce a collective group of polite, considerate kids. Kids' behavior is not geographically determined: kids' behavior is determined by the attitude of the adults who are teaching them!

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Your Holiday Shopping

There is still time to visit www.SHOPandDONATE.info to do some last minute shopping. You can help support Parenting With Dignity™ by shopping online via our links. We are affiliates of the companies listed on these pages and receive a commission on any sales generated from our links. Whether you need a new computer or a tennis ball, a good book or to book a trip, click from our page and donate to our foundation.


   

Make A Difference

'tis the season

2001 and 2002 have been exceptionally difficult years for non-profits. The events of 9/11 and our lackluster economy, have caused most people to cut back on their everyday expenses. Managing our finances in these difficult times is only prudent.

Our foundation, like your family, has had to make do with less because there just isn't enough money to accomplish all that we need to do (or are asked to do).

If you don't help, who will?

Won't you please give a few tax-free dollars to our foundation's efforts? Every little bit helps! With your help we can and will build a better world for kids!

We can change the world by making sure that our children know how to make good decisions. This takes money and commitment. We are more committed than ever, but we need your help. Won't you please consider making a cash donation to our foundation? Just click on the icon below.

Help us help America's Kids

Or, send your tax-deductible contribution to:

The Drew Bledsoe Foundation
730 Capistrano Drive
Kalispell, MT 59901

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  Parents, learn the "Warning Signs" of Drugs, Alcohol, Gangs and Computer Addiction.
 

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  Warning Signs

 

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2002