December 27, 2006

Messages of Love: Make It!

Make Something for a Child or with a Child!

It is very obvious that making something for a child is a way to show that you love that child because when you make something for someone it is tangible. When you make something with a child, you are giving that child the most cherished gift of love; TIME!

Both Dads and Moms Can Participate!

Make doll clothes or toy cars for your little ones. Dads can make stuff for dolls and moms can make stuff for cars. This act of making something does not have to be something that is cast in nature. Just making simple things often is the best for communicating love!
Make Things for them on Disappointing Days!

On a particularly disappointing day in the life of a young one, make the child’s favorite meal. It is easy to get things mixed up and make their favorite meal when something just happened that was great. Sure, I get the idea about rewarding positive action, but when the goal is to let a child know that they are loved unconditionally, nothing works better than making something for a child when something disappointing has happened! We take our kids out to dinner following a home run or making the honor roll and then when something disappointing happens we often sort of desert our kids. But that I when we need to show up! This does not mean that we must approve of what caused the disappointment. It just tells the child that we are on their side and will be there when things are tough.

With just a little bit of thought and care we can turn this around!

Think about this, your child comes home with a bad grade on a paper at school or has had some other really disappointing event happen. Sensing that this is a very though time for the child, you prepare tacos, the child’s favorite meal, for dinner. Following dinner you walk into the child’s room and simply say, “Hey, looks like something went bad at school today. How about letting me on your team to see if we can find a solution to the problem. I love you and want you to know that no matter what, I am on your side! The special dinner said, “I love you,” in a very tangible way so that the following conversation could be received!

The act of making the favorite food is proof positive that you are not the enemy and that you are available to help. The food just might be the confirmation of love that the child needs to allow you to help!
Parents Can Make Tapes for and with Kids!

There are so many ways to make things for children to just let them know that you love them. Parents can make tapes for them. As little ones, we can read their storybooks onto audiotapes for them so that they can listen to you reading to them while traveling or as they play in their rooms. We can sing songs onto tape for them. We can record them simply talking while they are young and let them listen to themselves a few years later as a clear demonstration to them of how much they have changed.

Making videotape works very well for communicating love to your children. Simply take videos of them playing or talking and then watch them together as they grow. It will show them how much they have grown and changed. “Edit” music onto the videotapes by purposely having a tape or CD playing in the background while you are shooting the video. The music will give them memories of their taste in music in the past, and by choosing the music carefully, parents can use the music to help create ideas in their children’s heads!
Music Need NOT Be a Negative Influence!

As children get older thoughtful parents can make tapes or CD’s of music for them to listen to while playing. In today’s world, so many parents become so angry about the quality of the music that is available for their children. However, families need not be victims of the recording industry! Technology can offer much more choice! With just a little bit of effort, we as parents can take an active role in the music our kids listen to, by simply recording music that our kids like but also music that meets with our own criterion of acceptability. Use those recordings to listen to while traveling in the car or while they play in the house. Tapes, CD's, Ipods, MP3 Players, and other modern technologies all offer great opportunities to teach children to actively choose what they listen to. And at the same time they will be receiving the message of love from their parents.

Just two days ago I watched as our son Drew and his wife Maura gave each of their four children their own personal CD player as a Christmas gift. With each player they gave each child a couple of CD’s that they had made from each child’s own personal music play list. You see, Drew and Maura have realized that music plays an important role in the lives of children and they also have realized that their children will listen to music... so as an act of love toward their children; they have begun the process of teaching their children to be discriminating in their choice of music. The CD’s that they have recorded with their children are carefully chosen selections of music that not only sound great to the kids but also the songs express ideas that they have discussed together with their children and that all have agreed are ideas that they would like to rule their worlds!

Check back soon for more ways to MAKE things for or with children as away of expressing love.

December 19, 2006

Climbers Missing on Mt. Hood

Missing Friends

It has now been over a week since three climbers were first reported missing on Oregon’s Mt Hood. I am writing this article to let all of you readers know that two of these climbers are very close to the hearts of all of us at Parenting with Dignity.

“Why would you be close to some guys climbing a mountain?” You ask.

Well, the answer is really pretty simple… two of those climbers were very supportive of our Parenting with Dignity Program long before they ever went onto that mountain! As a matter of fact, about four months ago, Brian Hall, one of the men on the mountain, contacted me on behalf of the Performance Playground, a facility where he was a Physical Trainer. The reason Brian contacted me was to inform me that their top-rated workout center in Dallas would like to do some fundraising for us because they had chosen us as one charity that they would like to support!

I was Flabbergasted!

Brian shocked me when he proposed a very unique fund-raising event. He said that the Performance Playground would like to start the first of a few fundraisers to help support our Parenting with Dignity Program! He was proposing that they would like to do an “Open House Evening” at their facility sometime around Thanksgiving to raise funds for our program! Brian proposed that they would be showcasing the paintings of a local artist in their facility. Her work would be displayed on the walls around the workout areas of the health club and it would be offered for sale. Half of the proceeds from the sale of her beautiful, original paintings would go directly to Parenting with Dignity!

Climbers on Mt. Hood
During that event, Brian shared his love of mountain climbing, hiking, and camping. We started setting up preliminary plans for him to come to Montana to enjoy our beautiful area. He also told me that evening that soon he and his friend were either going to climb Mt. McKinley in Alaska or Mt. Hood in Oregon as a training mission for attempting to climb Mt. Everest!
Brian e-mailed me on November 28th to tell me that they had decided on going to Mt. Hood. That was the last that I have heard from him!

This brings me to a second of the climbers lost on Mt. Hood, 48-year-old Kelly James, an Architect from the Dallas, Texas area. Kelly is the husband of the artist, Karen, whose paintings were being sold at Performance Playground to help Parenting with Dignity!

I think that it is obvious to anyone who has followed the tragedy of these climbers and their plight on Mt. Hood that these were men of action.

Well, within only two weeks of Brian contacting me, the event at the Performance Playhouse was a reality! They invited me to come to an open house at their “gnarly” and beautiful workout center for an evening with many of their staff and clients. Let me tell you, it was a very cheerful and upbeat affair!

At the party they had a wonderful catered meal and some wine for tasting. Then after visiting with many wonderful folks for about an hour and a half, I was introduced to the James family, Kelly and Karen, his wife the artist. We talked for over an hour. These people were so full of the love of life. Kelly shared with me his love of mountains and climbing and camping. We even discussed having them up to Montana for a visit as well as Brian.
Karen shared some of her creative thoughts about some of her paintings that were hanging around the room. It was a delightful evening with some great people.

Before I left the gathering, the attendees had raised over a thousand dollars in cash and checks to go toward the work of PWD! Later that week Brian called to let me know that the sale of paintings had raised considerably more money for PWD!

I told Brian that his call offering to help was one of the first of such calls we had ever received and that his generosity was kind of overwhelming. He told me that he would like to have me come and visit Performance Playground again over the Christmas Holidays to, as he put it, “Pick up another really big check!”

I knew that our program had found some very wonderful new friends as I saw the tears in both Brian’s and Kelly’s as they presented me the money raised that evening. They wished me well on my way out the door that evening.

Now, the friendship and support that they offered to us has taken on a real emotional twist of fate as I heard last week that those two amazing guys had become lost on Mt. Hood along with a dear friend. I have read and watched the reports for that past week with my heart in my throat!

Yesterday, I learned that Kelly had been found dead in an ice cave at the summit of the mountain. Current reports are saying that things are looking bleak for Brian and the third climber, Jerry “Nikko” Cook. It is hard for me to not believe that somehow Brian will come through this simply because of his overpowering positive attitude. Climbers have been known to live for weeks in ice caves in the past!

Offer a Small bit of Help!

Now let me tell you the reason for including all of this in this blog about parenting… and it is pretty simple. These men believed in what we are doing! They were unique in the fact that they did not just give lip service to the belief in what we are doing either; they dug in to offer real help. I would like to return the favor. I am personally going to send a donation to the rescue efforts for these men!
Please Make a Donation!

I would like to suggest that you do the same. A fund has been created for just that purpose. Ten dollar donations are suggested to be made to:

Mount Hood Rescue Fund at:
Dallas National Bank
2725 Turtle Creek Blvd.
Dallas TX 75219
Robert G. Ortega []

December 15, 2006

Messages of Love: Write It! (Part lll)

Writing Is Important!

There are some other very important things that happen when you write to your kids.

In one way, it shouts to them that you think about them even when you are not with them. If they are not physically present to see you write the first message, what those written words communicate is that you were thinking about them when they were someplace else. Do you think about unimportant people when they are not around? Yes! Repeated writing says that you think about your kids often, because they are important to you.

Write Frequently!

Write often, even if the writing is brief and spontaneous. Many times the best form of writing a parent can do is on pieces of paper that tell your kids where you were when you wrote. Write on pieces of paper from work. Pick up a piece of wrapping paper that identifies itself as being from work and write on the back of it. Tear off a piece of cardboard from a welding rod carton and write on a clean space on it. Write on office stationary, write on envelopes, and write on the back of invoice copies that have been discarded.

Writing Works with Teens!

One of the difficulties in talking to teenage children is that when you are ready to talk, they are just not ready to listen! Then, many times, when they need to hear what you have to say, you are not around! However, when you have written to them they can go get what you have written and read what you have to say when they need it. I know that has happened with our own two sons. I also know that has happened with many of the kids that I wrote to while teaching. Many of those former students have called or written to mention that they appreciated what I had written to them years ago; and, that reading it now, they finally understand what it was that I was saying to them back when I wrote it!

Writing Can Be Permanent!

Next, when you write to your kids it becomes permanent. It says the same thing today, that it says tomorrow, that it says next week, that it says next year, that is says ten years from now. What you write to your children will say the same thing as long as they keep what you wrote. We can insure that children keep what we write by modeling for them what to do with things that have been written to us. Let them see that when we receive special cards from them, we keep them in a special place. Let them see that we, as adults, occasionally go back to those cards and letters we have kept and read them. Help them to select a place where they keep special written messages. Get them a locking box or leather bound notebook or scrapbook. Show them how to keep the important things that have been written to them over the years. Model it for them! Save the important things that have been written to you and let them see that you keep what THEY write to you.

In doing this, you are allowing your writing to speak to your children over a long and extended period of time. Do you desire immortality in the lives of your children? Then write to them!

Increase the Odds in Your Favor!

When you have often written to your children about important ideas over an extended period of time, your ideas will have a much greater chance of becoming “the ideas that rule their world!”

Check back tomorrow for more tips on sending messages of love to your children.

December 14, 2006

Messages of Love: Write It! (Part ll)

Writing Is Magic!

Writing is magic; it says you thought about your kids while you were not with them. It is there in black and white and they cannot deny it. If you wrote to them and they were not with you at the time, you had to be thinking of them while you were not with them!
Write notes and put them in their lunch box.

Written Words Say, "This Is Significant!"

Write notes and letters and put them in their clothing drawers to be discovered at unexpected times.

Write notes on bathroom mirrors in lipstick! Make picture albums and write captions under and around the pictures. In doing that, you will direct their memories of past events; often helping them to see significance they might otherwise have missed.

Letters Say, "This is Important and Formal!"

Write letters to your children and mail those letters to them. Let them go to the mailbox and find a letter from Dad that has a postmark on it. The postmark is proof that you have gone to the trouble of going to the post office to send the letter to them. Sure they live in your house, but a letter says that this is unusual and important. It will get their attention in a way that some little talk in the kitchen simply won’t! By the manner of its’ delivery, a letter says, “This is important and it is something that I want you to know. I want you to know this with some formality.”

Writing Ensures Careful Wording!

And when you write, you can word your thoughts and ideas very carefully and precisely before it "gets all over the kids". I know that everyone has had the experience of saying something at a time of heated emotions that you didn’t really mean. Writing prevents that mistake from happening; when you write, it is possible to write it over and over until you get it just right. One of the most loving things that a parent can do for their children is to write exactly what they believe about honesty, integrity, compassion, courage, spirituality, love, family, etc. As an act of love, writing does not have to be "gushy stuff." Write to them about exactly what you believe about critical issues. Write to them about your beliefs about honesty. Write down your precise spiritual beliefs. Write to your children about your beliefs about freedom, America, and Democracy. Write to your children about what your family means to you. Write down bits of wisdom about life that are important for your kids to have for making big decisions and give those writings to your kids on a regular basis.

Write Nicely and Very Precisely

You can even write poetry for your kids. I said this to a class of parents we were working with in Walla Walla one night and a big dad in the back of the room raised his hand and said, “That is fine for you Bledsoe, but I can’t write poetry! I quit school in the eighth grade and I am a welder for a living. I simply can’t write poetry!”

I thought for a second and decided to risk a little bit of personal information about myself with the man. “Sir,” I said, “the only class I was ever kicked out of in high school was English! I only took one class in English while in college. I do not have a degree in English… I just teach it!”
“However, sir, here is a little tip on writing poetry to your kids for you, if you are willing to accept it. Get a little notebook or folded piece of paper and put it in your pocket along with a pen or pencil. Then go on down to the Hallmark Card Shop. Their cards are even categorized for the type of an occasion for you. Spend a little time there and read over some of the cards until you find one that sort of says what you want to say… then get out your pen and paper and copy it down!”

“You can do that?” he asked in a rather loud voice.

“Well, I don’t know if it is legal, but I have been down there a few times myself and I have never been arrested by The Plagiarism Police!”

“However, if you are worried about copyright law, just buy the card and give the author his due and go out into your old pickup and copy it down because I know what will happen to you. You will start writing the other person’s words and you will say ‘I wouldn’t say it quite like that’ and you will change it into words more to your liking. I also know that there is another thing that will happen to you. You will arrive at the end of the other fellow’s words and you will not feel like you are finished but now you kind of have a rhythm going and you will write another verse or two.”

“No author has ever had a totally original thought. Every author gets inspiration somewhere, take a risk and write nicely to fit special occasions."

Writing can open lines of communication between parents and children that might not happen in any other way. (Order my book today and get lots of other neat ideas about writing to your children.)

Tune in tomorrow for more on sending messages of love to your children.

December 13, 2006

Messages of Love: Write It!

Write Your Words!

Writing is a magic form of human communication. There are a number of very tangible reasons for writing being a unique and wonderful and very effective method of communicating.

First, when you write to some one it is rather permanent. It will last as long as the other person keeps what you have written. It says the same thing today that it says tomorrow, that it says next year, that it says ten years from now. If you write something to someone it will last. If you would like to have a degree of immortality with your children and with future generations just write to your kids. Write often, write from the heart, and be sure to touch on many subjects. When you write to kids it does not have to be mushy or “lovey-dovey.” Just write about things that are important to you; ethics and moral issues close to your heart. Write about values and spiritual issues.

A Wonderful Way to Teach Children.

Our grandfather, Albert McQueen (Mac) Bledsoe was a great example of this. He used to write regularly to all of us 18 grand children, and it seems, in retrospect, he was a little devious in his methods. You see, he would write his letters but in the margins he would write little sayings. It seems now, that he wrote the letters just so that he would then have the margins and an excuse to fill those margins with thoughts and ideas that he felt we would need in life.

The Great Lessons about Life... Written in the Margins!

He wrote little things like, “Never trust a man who is always well dressed!” (When you stop and think about that little gem, there is a real lesson of truth in it.) He even took me aside later and told me what he intended by that little pearl of wisdom. He said, “Young man, I am not telling you to distrust well dressed people. The controlling word in that sentence is always. If a man is always well dressed, he is either a phony or he is not doing much! If a man is really doing something of significance occasionally he is going to get a little sweaty and roll up his sleeves, get a little dirt on his hands, or grass stains on his knees.”

Grandad Put Thoughts on Paper so Now I Still Have Them!

In the margin of another letter he wrote “Nobody can make you feel inferior without your consent.” Now, I have discovered that Granddad was not the original author of that wonderful bit of wisdom (he was often pretty careless about citing sources of his wisdom); it was Eleanor Roosevelt who is given credit for that bit of wisdom and granddad was on the opposite side of the political spectrum from that great lady, but he still thought that was a bit of wisdom that I should have so he wrote it down and sent it to me.

Long-Lasting Influence and Guidance

He shared so many of those wonderful ideas with us Grandkids! By putting those ideas on paper, he has directed my actions for years even though he is no longer alive! I still read his teachings daily! Granddad's written words are still some of the critical ideas that rule my world. He is immortal because he is still alive in the wisdom and the words that he wrote.

You Can Have a Copy of Granddad's Wisdom!

Looking back, I am amazed to reflect upon what I did at about age ten; I began to write down Granddad’s sayings. I still have most of them. My only regret is that I didn’t save his letters so I would have his wisdom in his scrawley old handwriting. (If you would like to read many of my Granddad's sayings, the are compiled for you in the back of my book Parenting with Dignity, and if you order today, the book will arrive, autographed, in time for Christmas!)

To show the power of writing one need only go the book titled Make the Right Call that was co-written by our son Drew and a wonderful author by the name of David Brown ( In that book Drew thought that Granddad’s sayings were significant enough to put one at the bottom of each page of the book. Now, there are literally hundreds of thousands of kids and families who are benefiting from Granddad’s habit of writing about key ideas to his grandkids!

Check back tomorrow for more tips on sending messages of love to your children.

December 12, 2006

Messages of Love: Say the Words

Just Say it!

Kids should hear us saying, “I love you” to them! It should be the first thing that they hear every morning, and the last thing that they hear every night. They should hear it in the middle or at the end of arguments, on the phone, and at unexpected times. No matter what, you must say the words, "I love you!" If parents do not say the words, then it is very likely that all other attempts at expressing love will fail. Without the words, our kids just might miss the message completely!

Let me say it again! “I love you,” must be the first thing that our kids hear in the morning and the last thing that they hear before they go to sleep at night and they must hear those words repeatedly all day long! Our kids will not know that we love them just because they live in our homes. If we fail to tell them regularly that we unconditionally love them, they may miss the message when we send it in other very critical ways. While I was growing up, my Dad told me that he loved me in every other way, but... because he did not say the words I had missed the message until I was thirty-one. then he finally said the words.

Get the full Story!

In my book, Parenting with Dignity, and in our video curriculum, I reveal the full story of my father and how he finally said the words, “I love you!” to me. I would recommend that you get my book or the video curriculum to learn the full story (you can get either by Christmas with free postage), because I find that many people shared a similar experience with their parents! However, for the sake of this article, let it suffice to say that he communicated his love for me in every other way that I could name, but, because he did not say the words, I missed the rest of the message!

Do not take that risk with your children! Tell them that you love them today! And every day! In these words! “I love you!”

Two Additional Observations

It is also important to note two additional observations that are of real significance in this event with my dad.

1. It Is Never Too Late!

The first, it is that it is never to late to say “I love you!” My dad waited until I was thirty-six and he was fifty-eight to say those words to me but, when he finally did, it meant the whole world to me. He only lived six more years after that night when he first told me that he loved me, but I never saw that wonderful man ever again that he did not tell me that he loved me. Those were six of the best years of my life and certainly the best of the best years of my relationship with my dad.

2. Build a Relationship with Parents Too!

Next, it would have been a real crime if my amazing and loving father had gone to his grave never having heard the words “thank you” from his son! It is never to late for that either. Many people have told me that after hearing the amazing story about my dad and me that they finally realized what had been missing between them and their parents and hearing that story simply motivated them to build some emotional bridges of their own. If you are one of those people let me encourage you to take the necessary action to build the relationship with a parent. It is an effort well worth the giving.

December 11, 2006

10 Actions that Say, "I Love You!"

Kids spell love T-I-M-E!

Parents must give freely, and lovingly of their time.
If you are not willing to give some time to your children stop reading because this article will not apply to you!

What I have put together for you here is a list of ten ways to send a message of love to a child (or any person, for that matter.) In this article I have attempted to list ten behaviorally described actions that say, “I love you!” to a child. I would be foolish to say that this is in any way a complete list of the methods of expressing love. It is not and I know that, but this list sure is a great place to start.

In my next ten articles I will take each of these and amplify them for you. I would suggest that you print copies of this list and keep them handy around your house to refer to from time to time.

If you order either of my books or get a copy of the Parenting with Dignity Video Curriculum, you can learn even more details about communicating your love to your children. (If you order any of our PWD products this week, they will arrive by Christmas... with free shipping!)

There are many, many other ways of expressing love but, like I said, this is a good place to start. It is a nice list and each one describes an action… something that you can DO!

1. Say it. Actually say the words in many ways.
2. Write it. Put your thoughts and words on paper.
3. Make it. Create something for them or with them.
4. Play it. Play with them.
5. Use Eyes. Look at them and let them catch you.
6. Listen. Shut your mouth and open your ears.
7. Touch. Hug ‘em!
8. Control the emotional meaning of words. Define Mom, Dad, Family, etc. by your actions.
9. Shout down the haters. Do not let others be the only words your kids hear.
10. Teach it. Make a copy of this list and teach your children to express love.

Check back tomorrow to read about "Saying it!"

December 08, 2006

Send a Constant Message of Unconditional Love

There Is No Switch to Turn On "Quality Time"

There is a fallacy afoot in the world. It is the statement that, "We give quality time to our kids." Baloney! It is impossible to turn on quality time. We adults can't turn on quality time with each other and it is even more impossible to do it with our children. There is TIME, period! There is not a person alive who owns the switch for turning on quality time.
Science and research have told us very little about how mankind learns language. It is still quite a mystery just exactly how humans acquire language and how we are able to use it in such a universally powerful manner. However, there are a few things that we do know.

All Humans Speak a Language

First, all humans in every culture speak some sort of language. In France, people speak French. In China, people speak Chinese. In Japan, people speak Japanese. In Mexico, people speak Spanish. In The United States, people predominantly speak English. There are as many languages as there are cultures.

Second, it is even quite easy to identify a region of a country by the particular accent used by the people of one culture who live in different areas. “Y’all c’mon back and see us!” can distinguish a person as being from a Southern State, while “Paak your Caa!” can just as easily identify a person as being from a region in the Northeastern United States! Ending a sentence with “Hey,” can just as easily identify one as being from North Dakota, Wisconsin or a country known as Canada!

We All Speak the Language We are Exposed To!

But here is the final and most important thing that we know about the learning of language; acquisition of language is not genetically determined. Take a French child and raise her in a Japanese home and she will speak Japanese. Raise a Japanese child in a Chinese home and he will speak Chinese. Raise American twins in a Japanese home and they will both speak Japanese but separate them at birth and raise one in Japan and one in Mexico and you will find two kids that look identical but speak different languages; one speaking Japanese and the other speaking Spanish!
We speak the language that we are exposed to! Language is a learned behavior. We learn the language that we hear!

Love Is a Language

I will propose to you that Love is a language! If we are not exposed to it, we will not speak it! 29 years in the American Public Schools has taught me that there are many kids being raised in our country who do not speak the language of love. What I mean by this is that I found that telling a child of 15 that you care about him/her could often not be understood because the child does not speak that language. I might as well have told the child something in a foreign language because it is just as difficult for the child to understand.

If we wish to have our children speak the language of love, we must expose them to that language, daily!

Over the next few days I will be writing about some of the key methods that parents can use to send messages of love to their children.

Stay tuned!

December 06, 2006

The Old Ways (cont.)

Internet Safety

Dealing with Spam, Pornography and Annoying Pop-up Ads And Protecting Children from Predators and Other Online Dangers

In my last article I spoke about how it is often necessary to change our methods to fit modern times. One area of concern that is particular to our era is the use of the internet by our children. My ancestors had to protect their children from the perils of wild animal attacks and today we must protect our children from the dangers presented to them on the Internet. This article is aimed at helping your family deal with those perils and pitfalls of the Internet.

Internet Usage Can Be a Wonderful Thing!

Now, as many of you know, our Parenting with Dignity Foundation has embraced the Internet as one of our primary means of reaching and communicating with our constituents about our curriculum. You are reading our use of one of our “internet tools” that does wonderful things to help many families.

Oh, if it Were Just That Simple!

If only "good Stuff" was on the internet! But it is NOT just good stuff! As a matter of fact, what might be good to me might be bad to lots of others. Sorting out what you feel is "good" from what you feel is "bad" on the Internet is NOT at all simple for parents raising children in today’s world. Believe me, I have the utmost respect for all the positive aspects of the Internet. But, unfortunately, with all its’ positive potential and significant positive applications, the Internet can be a very dangerous place for youngsters - and an aggravating experience for many of the rest of us.

Common Problems

Ask anyone what bothers them the most about using the “Net” and someplace in their answer, you'll usually hear about frustrations with spam, chat rooms, sites like “My Space”, unsolicited pornography and pop-up ads. As parents, we MUST HAVE serious concerns about the problems surrounding "chat rooms", online predators, violent and hate mongering websites, and other Internet "attractions". I cannot hope to solve all of these issues in this article, but hopefully I can offer some suggestions that will help you gain some control of your family's “Internet experience”.

The Evolution of This Article

As a website owner whose email address is and has been available for all to access, I used to receive almost every spam e-mail that was sent every day! That “spam e-mail” used to be a terrible waste of our resources. I have received as many as 3,000+ unsolicited emails in one day! Sorting through that "pile of spam junkmail" used to sap hours from my days.

We Found a Solution!

After much research and trying countless different programs, we finally found something that really works. Knowing that you may have faced similar problems, I wanted to share this knowledge with you. Then it occurred to me that it would be helpful to also discuss some internet issues other than just spam with you. A little over a year ago, I asked our "resident geek" Tom Heatherington, our CEO, to compile some helpful information about Internet Management and Internet Safety. He did so magnificiently and you may benefit from his extensive work!

Warning Signs is a Website for Help!

He created an entire website that is attached to our Parenting with Dignity website that is called Warning Signs. You need to check this out! It is loaded with lots of direct help and hundreds of links to other sites that can offer even more help. Bookmark this link to Warning Signs!

Friends, take heart, there are things you can do to make the Internet less annoying for you and much, much safer for your children. You really can block unwanted spam and get rid of pop-ups. If you will just follow these links you will find some help:

Spam Blockers
SpamArrest (Gets our vote as the best spam blocker!)
Chat Rooms
Internet Addiction
Internet Safety Resources
(This might be the “best ever” compilation of Family Internet Safety Tools!)
Internet Predators
Blocking Porn
"Phishing" and "Pharming"

Pop-Up Ads

The Best Filter of Them All

Let me close by just saying that I believe that the best filter for protecting your children from the dangers of the internet lie in the ideas in their heads! That being said, it does not hurt to have some filters in place on your computer too.

Please guard yourself against the fallacy of thinking that this technology discussed in this article will be the only protection you family will ever need. Without a doubt, the best internet filter ever designed is the Idea: "I just do not go to those kinds of sites and I do not allow myself to read or look at any of that stuff!" Place that idea in the head of your children and the internet becomes a wonderful and helpful resource for your family.

December 05, 2006

The Old Ways Are Not Necessarily Wrong… There May Just Be A Better Way!

"Back when I was a kid..."

As we look at parenting techniques, it is important to never rely on the phrase, “When I was a kid, my parents would have…” Simply because something was done to you as a child is no reason to do that same thing to your children! Please do not think that I am saying that everything that our parents did with us was wrong. On the contrary, most of what our parents did with us was probably the best that they could do with what they knew at the time!

The point is that there might just be a BETTER WAY to approach some of these issues. In making this point I often like to help parents to realize that the challenges of raising children in our generation are not necessarily worse than they used to be… they may just be different. Too many parents have bought the idea that “there has never been a tougher time to raise children.” I disagree! However I do believe that this era presents its’ own new, unique, and difficult challenges.

Our family has, in our possession, a diary of our great, great, great, grandparents crossing the plains in a covered wagon. In the handwritten entry made on about the eighth or ninth day of the long trek across the western half of North America, they wrote of burying an eight-year-old daughter who died during the night, and then traveling eight or nine more miles that same day. I have to believe that was a rather difficult time to raise children too. The lessons needed to simply preserve life and the challenges of living were so different back then, that the parenting practices of that era would probably would not be particularly valuable if transferred from that generation to ours. Many of the skills those parents needed to teach to their kids as the family crossed to plains in their covered wagon would be most likely be worthless lessons for the children of today.

Conversely, the skills we need to teach our children today about drug-free living, and Internet safety would have been worthless to my ancestors as they were crossing the plains!

Now, I am in agreement that the lessons of honesty and integrity would be relevant to each generation of youngsters but even those wonderful lessons might require a different method of teaching.

Question Techniques

If we are willing to admit that some lessons might not apply to our children today, does it not stand to reason or just seem logical for parents to question some of the techniques parents used to use teach children as well? If we need to teach different skills could it not be possible that we need to teach some of those skills using some new and different techniques.

A Great Lesson

Also, there is a great lesson all parents need to learn no matter what age of their children or what the current parenting challenges may be. That valuable lessons it that “it is insanity to keep doing the same thing and expect a different result!”

The other day I was called by a distraught mother who was upset because her 6-year-old son was so unruly and wild in grocery stores and shopping malls. Her statement to me was, “I try to be consistent with him and I spank him every time he misbehaves! I just don’t know what to do. It is just not working!”

When I suggested to her that she practice the desired behavior at home before going on a shopping trip she said that might take too much time. I also suggested that she explain the rules to her son. Tell him that if he uses the practiced behavior then they will complete their shopping trip, but if he varies from the practiced behavior they will leave and go home.

To this the mother then said to me, “Well, if we just go home, won’t I be punishing myself? Why isn’t the spanking sufficient?” She actually was suggesting that she some how wanted to do exactly the same thing that had not worked for six years and she wanted me to tell how she could do that and expect it to work!

Try It! Who Knows, It Might Work!

When some one gives you a suggestion for a change in your parenting technique, do not insist on doing it the “Old Way”! If the new way is not a violation of your personal values and ethics, give it a try. You will never know if the new technique will work until you try it.

Usually the moment when parents actually start to see that the techniques taught in the Parenting with Dignity course is when they actually try them. When they actually go home and complete the assignment is when they see that there are some new ways of doing things the actually do work!

What Do You Know, a New Technique Worked!

By the way, that lady called back three days later just raving about how simple it was to practice for a little bit before going to the store! She said she could not believe how simple that was to do.

December 01, 2006

The Perfect Family Christmas Gift

A Gift for Your Family That Will Last Forever

If you knew that there was a very special Christmas present you could give to your family - that would keep on giving to every member of your family - every day - all year long - would that be of interest to you?

What if this special Christmas present was capable of bestowing additional benefits to every member of your family - every day - for a lifetime, would that be appealing to you?

And if this special Christmas present could help prevent family squabbles and lessen family crises, would this be a gift worthy of consideration?

You must be asking yourself… could such an extraordinary family Christmas present really exist?

What if you also discovered that this very special Christmas present could be yours for less than it costs to take most families out for dinner and a movie?

Well my friends… I am delighted to tell you that not only is such a remarkable gift available - but it can also open doors to communication that most families would not believe possible. This special family Christmas gift will be revealed when you unwrap a boxed set of 3 DVDs entitled, “Parenting With Dignity”.

There is no greater present to give your family than a proven method of resolving those challenges that are faced by every family in America.

Christmas is magic for many of us, but there is no magic in fine-tuning our parenting skills or creating a home where there is harmony, respect, and dignity. These things must be learned, they must be cultivated appropriately. But wait; there is even more to this perfect family Christmas present…

Imagine seeing your youngsters go to bed willingly and cheerfully each night and your toddlers become potty trained naturally and easily.

Discover how to motivate your children to eat healthily rather than becoming “picky” eaters.

Learn how to encourage your children to dress in a manner that is not offensive to you while allowing them to be accepted by their peers.

Build Foolproof Protection Against Drugs

Protect your children from the drugs that are ruining the lives of so many children, and safeguard them from making choices that could land them in juvenile court or worse!

Learn how to avoid the bickering and arguing that is so common in so many American homes.

Develop a filter in your children’s mind that will help protect them from all of the junk that is on the Internet.

Feel relaxed and confident when your children begin dating because you know they will behave appropriately and respectfully.

A Perfect Family Gift

Fortunately, there is a perfect family Christmas gift and it can help your family solve problems, get closer to each other and teach everyone how to make better choices and create a more loving family environment. There is a reason why Patenting With Dignity has become the preferred teaching choice of professional family counselors, schools, churches and many thousands of families around the world… it works.

This extraordinary family Christmas present is now even more incredible… If you order right away you will not only receive the 3 DVDs packed full of 10 hours of proven parenting advice, but you can choose one of the award-winning Parenting with Dignity books at no additional cost - AND – we will ship your order by Priority Mail – FREE!

Get it in time for Christmas – Get it just it in time!