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
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
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
Is It a
Shopping Trip or a
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
Here's what to do when your children
seem to have a bad case of gim-me-itis:
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
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
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 -
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
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
The Slightly Off the Wall
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
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.
out a long-handled squeegee, dipped it into the
toilet, and then
Since then there have been no lip
prints on the mirror. There are teachers and
principals, and then there are TEACHERS and
--Submitted to me by my SOWP cousin,
Gena Haskel. Thanks Gena for the great story!
Pinups In the
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
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
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!
Got a Crib
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
consequences can affect speech patterns.
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
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.
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
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
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
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
Off The Wall
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.
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The SOWP News is an e-mail newsletter
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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
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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
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... "To provide parents and educators with the
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For more information on my speaking and training services,
along with a list of speaking topics, please go to my
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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