www.ScottPeebles.com      Monday, May 3rd

Tips For Being A Great Parent!

In This Issue:

Dear Slightly Off the Wall Parents,

     Thank you for all the positive e-mails about the return of the SOWP News. It's my hope that it inspires you to be great parents with lots of tools and tricks to help your kids grow and mature (responsible and independent).

     This issue is filled with some of the "Best Of" the past newsletters for all the new subscribers and good reminders for those who have been on the list. I appreciate all the requests for certain storys. I've included as many as possible for this newsletter. Enjoy!

     I am already booking parent education seminars for next school year. Please pass my information along to your PTA President. If your school is looking for an exciting speaker or staff trainer call now to get the date you would like. Also, CD's are available on my website!

     Wishing you all the best as summer approaches,



Is It a Shopping Trip or a LookingTrip?                                     

Are you dreading those shopping days when you lug the kids around and all they do is whine and whine for things at the stores. Don't you just love how you can make your kids cry without really even trying? Just take them shopping and say "No!" a few times and the elephant tears are flooding the place! You see, for a child, a shopping trip equals getting something new -- for them. For parents it can equal a headache!

Here's what to do when your children seem to have a bad case of gim-me-itis:

Before you go to the store with them have a little talk. Let them know if this trip is going to be a "Shopping Trip" or a "Looking Trip." Looking Trips are just that -- only for looking -- no buying. It may be a "Shopping Trip" for you and only a "Looking Trip" for the kids. Make this perfectly clear before you go. When they decree that they want something, just remind them that this is only a "Looking Trip" for them! Also, let them know that if they choose to whine, they are choosing to go home.

OK, OK - for all you who are now asking -- "Well, that sounds great Scott, but what do I do when they start crying anyway?" They start crying because they really believe that if they do, you will give in and get them what they want -- because this is what you have done so many times in the past. You are so predictable! Your kids need to learn that you do what you say. So ..... when the child whines for something, simply ...

Say their name to get their attention and then say: "You have a choice. You can either chose to enjoy the "Looking Trip" with me, or you can chose to go home. Which will it be?" If your child continues to whine and fuss because he/she wants something, simply say ... "Well, I see you have chosen to go home. I can live with your decision, I just hope you can!"

Then take your beautiful little angel by the hand and head home. No yelling, no fuss, just head home. Yes! head home. You tell them once, and then you follow through -- no pleading for them to be good -- just head home. I know it may be an inconvenience to do this, but your child will learn very quickly that you mean what you say. Next time they will know that you will follow through with the choices you have given them. And the chance of them enjoying the looking trip is much greater. Happy "Looking Trips!"

P.S.  For you truly SOWP parents out there who know they have given in, and who know their children will not keep it together -- plan for the worst ...

Have your spouse at home ready to take the little angel off your hands when you return from "Looking" so you can go back out without them. This way you will be able to be consistent. And just remember - no matter how much pleading the kid does to go back out with you, claiming he/she will be good - leave them at home!!! They made their choice, now they have to live with it! What a great learning experience it will be for you and them! And, always remember to come home licking an ice cream cone saying, "Gosh, wish you could have stayed out with me and gotten a cone too."  Don't you just love being a SOWP parent!



No B's - No Keys!                                                                                                      

Teens want to drive. They can hardly wait for this milestone of independence. But, Slightly Off the Wall Parents know that driving is a privilege and not a right. Let your kids know long before they are old enough to apply for their learners permit that they must have a B average in school before they can apply for this privilege.

Tell your kids that they "have a choice." They can "choose" to get a B average and earn the privilege to drive, or they can "choose" to not get a B average and choose not to drive. Let them know it's their choice, and that you can live with whatever choice they make. You just hope they can!

P.S.   Also let them know that If they fall below a B average at any time, they are choosing not to drive. Again, you can live with whatever choice they make. Just keep saying to them "No B's, No Keys!"

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The Slightly Off the Wall Principal                                                                     

According to a radio report, a middle school in Oregon was faced with a unique problem. A number of girls were beginning to use lipstick and would put it on in the bathroom.

That was fine, but after they put on their lipstick, they would press their lips to the mirror leaving dozens of little lip prints. Finally the principal decided that something had to be done.

She called all the girls to the bathroom and met them there with the maintenance man. She explained that all these lip prints were causing a major problem for the custodian who had to clean the mirrors every night. To demonstrate how difficult it was to clean the mirrors, she asked the maintenance guy to clean one of the mirrors.

He took out a long-handled squeegee, dipped it into the toilet, and then cleaned the mirror!

Since then there have been no lip prints on the mirror. There are teachers and principals, and then there are TEACHERS and PRINCIPALS!!!

--Submitted to me by my SOWP cousin, Gena Haskel. Thanks Gena for the great story!

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Pinups In the House?                                                                                              

Remember, you are a Slightly Off the Wall Parent. This means you have to be a little creative - go in the back door, or maybe the side door. True SOWP's find a window open and slide in without anyone even noticing.

So, you found pictures of naked ladies on his wall this morning. Whatcha gonna do? Rip them down, then scream and yell when he comes home. Perhaps a little grounding for dessert to top off the mess you've already made of your relationship.  NOOO!  Besides - screamin' never gets you anywhere, makes you tired, and your kids just tune you our anyway. Can we say "parent deaf." Like I say, screaming at the kids is about as effective as trying to drive the car by honking the horn.

So, being the fun loving SOWP, you leave them up and pull out your collection of multi colored fruit flavored markers (or paints if you are quite the artist), and paint clothes on those naked ladies while he's at school! You can let your child declare his manhood while you make it very clear that the message is: "Not in my house!" Kids give us so much material to work with, we just need to have a little fun with all of it. Go get your markers ready you crazy fun loving SOWP!

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Got a Crib Climber?                                                                                                   

Do you have a one or so year old who likes to climb out of his/her crib during the night (or know a family who does)? A midnight wandering bandit creating havoc and worrying the poor mother to death as to what he/she might get into? Thought you did! Here's how to solve this simple problem:

Take your child's one piece jumper/sleepers and sew a triangular piece of knit fabric between the top of the legs of the sleeper and just below the knees. This will solve the climbing problem! With the fabric sewed in, it's like a webbing, and the little one can't swing his/her leg over the crib to climb out. But, your child can still walk around and crawl in the crib.

Got a really bright kid who's figured out how to unzip the jumper and escape? Then, just put it on backwards so the zipper is in the back. It doesn't take a rocket scientist to outsmart a kiddy!

Please share this idea with all your friends. So many kids climb out of their cribs at night and get themselves into all kinds of troubles. These troubles are very preventable. 


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The Joy Jar!!!                                                                                                               

Sounds a little flirtatious doesn't it? But this parent tip is great for those kids who haven't realized that there is a give and take to relationships. Kids and teens always want something from their parents -- like a car ride to the mall, beach, friends house, etc... and they seem to expect that they deserve it at the very moment they ask. And, when parents balk at their request because you may be involved in another project they can sometimes act like you have offended them to the 'nth degree. Sound familiar? So here's what you do to bring some JOY back into your life:

Create the Joy Jar. This is a jar you fill with slips of paper with simple chores on them. When they ask you for a "favor" just let them know that you would be happy to accommodate them as soon as they do a favor for you. It IS important to be fair!

They pick a favor out of the Joy Jar, complete it, and then you would be willing to take them to the mall. Oh - one more thing - for some favors let them know that you need a one day notice to accommodate them. Hey, you have a schedule, and kids need to learn that part of growing up is planning ahead. This is a skill you can teach them with "the days notice" approach. So bring more joy back into your parenting with the Joy Jar. Happy chores!

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The Whining Towel                                                                                                   

Does your child whine? Great! It means they're normal. Now - what to do about it. Simply try this ... let your child whine. Let them whine all they want. In fact, encourage it! Ask them if they would like to whine about whatever it is they want. Your child will be asking, "Okay Pop's, what's the catch? Where's the fine print Big Daddy-O?" Glad you asked oh child of mine ...

All whining must be done with "The Whining Towel" securely fastened around your neck!

Just tell him/her that whining is allowed only when they have the whining towel in place. Designate a special towel to be "The Whining Towel" and tell your little one(s) they have to place it around their neck when they are whining. No exceptions.

For habitual whiners make sure you instruct the child to bring it with him/her when you leave the house. No tellin' when or where you may need it! And make sure you point out to everyone around what the towel's for and why it's around your child's neck. You might even want to get your child's name or initials embroidered on it to make it a little more festive. You creative SOWP!!! Perhaps you were trying to think of the perfect gift for your little one this holiday season, now you've found it - The Whining Towel. Makes a lovely gift. Spread the good cheer - tell a friend!

Makes whining fun - for you! Kids hate it. Remember, you are a crazed Slightly Off the Wall Parent who will stoop to nothing to help their children grow and learn and become independent. By using "The Whining Towel" you will be amazed at how simple  -consistent-  consequences can affect speech patterns.

Always remember this simple principal when disciplining your kids -- it's not the severity of the consequence that makes the difference, it's the certainty that it's going to happen. The certainty and consistency is what makes all the difference.

P.S.  When your child is using his/her words rather than whining - make a HUGE deal about it and let them know you notice how mature they are becoming.


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If Your Dad Will Let You, Then I'll Let You ...                                            

Another subscriber shared this story with me about their son ...

Their 17 year old wanted to use the family car for a special event that was happening on a recent Saturday. AND, he wanted to "borrow" $12 to attend the event. Problem was, his parents had decided that for him to use the family car he had to have a job. He had no job! But, this young man was persistent (this will be a good skill for him in the future).

His persistence paid off! Mom finally said, "Well, if your dad will let you borrow the car, I'll let you borrow the $12!"  Mom was thinking inside  --  "There's NO WAY his dad is going to let him borrow the car without a job. I'll just let Dad deal with this one!"  She was tired of his persistence.

At this point our hero went to dad and said ... "Mom said she would give me the $12 to go to the event if you let me borrow the car."  Dad knew that they had decided together that their son could drive AS SOON AS he had a job. "He doesn't have a job," dad thought, "and there is NO WAY his Mom would make that kind of a deal with him. I'll just call his bluff ... "

So dad, knowing how he was absolutely sure mom would never say this, said to his persistent son ... "I'll let you borrow the car if mom will give you the money to attend the event."

BINGO! CHA CHING! And yes, our hero went to the event in the family car! And, he got the $12 to boot!!! His parents were mystified about how all this happened. They had decided to be consistent, to follow through, and to even have a plan. So how did this get away from them so quickly and easily?

They forgot to talk with one another and verify the stories before making a decision. Kids and teens are very sneaky. SOWP's always check first with the other parent before making important decisions about their children. "Mom said" and "Dad said" are great ways kids divide and conquer. So, just remember ... once you make a decision about the family rules just keep saying "NO!" until your tongue bleeds!

Also, if your kids play the Mom or Dad said trick on you just do this ... say to your lovely conniving little one ... "Wow, that's really interesting stuff Mom/Dad said! Let's go and talk with him/her about it!" The message is -- we always work together. SOWP's work together for the good of their kids! And for their own sanity!!!


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The Slightly Off The Wall Parenting Newsletter

The Slightly Off the Wall Parenting News is delivered directly to your e-mailbox with practical parenting tips and advice from one of Southern California's leading experts on children, teens, and parenting -- Scott Peebles, M.A., MFCC, H.B. Scott is a Licensed Marriage, Family, & Child Counselor, and a Professional Speaker and Staff Development Trainer. The Slightly Off the Wall Parenting News is sent out every month or so only to those requesting it. SUBSCRIPTIONS ARE FREE.

To Subscribe, or Unsubscribe, go to: http://www.com/  and click on the Subscribe/Unsubscribe button at the bottom of the home page. Tell a Friend!

The SOWP News is an e-mail newsletter published as a free community service to help parents not just make it, but thrive and be great parents for their kids. Parenting is hard work. I hear everyday how much of a responsibility parenting is - I say, "What an opportunity!" The SOWP news is here to help make parenting easier for you as a parent, and give you the tools to succeed.

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How To Book Scott As A Speaker For Your School, Group, or Conference

Are you looking for an exciting and motivating speaker for your school or organization? Give me a call and I would be happy to give you more information about my speaking and training services. My expertise is in providing parents, teachers, school administrators and counselors with expert information and innovative strategies for solving the everyday problems of children from early childhood through adolescence.

I am available for parent education nights, staff development in-service training, conferences and conventions. I have designed my powerful messages to leave audiences feeling motivated and inspired for one of the most exciting opportunities available ~ being an extraordinary parent or educator. My goal as a speaker and trainer is simple ... "To provide parents and educators with the most useful, practical, and exciting presentation they have ever attended!"

For more information on my speaking and training services, along with a list of speaking topics, please go to my website:   http://www.com/


*** Please Note:  All the tips contained in The Slightly Off the Wall Parenting News are just that, tips. Each child is an individual, and these tips may or may not be suitable for your child. If you have any questions about what to do with a problem your child may be having, please, always consult a licensed professional for advice on your situation. By using any of these tips, my recommendation is for you to use common sense and your intimate knowledge of your child, and to keep safety in mind at all times. We cannot be held responsible for the use or misuse of any information in this newsletter.

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2009 Scott Peebles, all rights reserved

    email:  Scott@com                                 phone:  (949) 833-1599

    Scott Peebles, M.A., MFCC, H.B.
    Licensed Marriage, Family, & Child Counselor
    Professional Speaker, Staff Development Trainer, and Consultant
   1151 Dover Street Suite #160
    Newport Beach, CA 92660