%PM, %10 %896 %2012 %22:%Feb

It has become a complete nightmare with Sammy

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For the last three weeks when it comes to Saturday it has become a complete nightmare with Sammy. He wakes up and whines and moans and just seems to be unhappy.

It got to a point where it was upsetting the whole family.  I asked Sammy on a couple of occasions what it was that was bothering him. Initially he could not figure it out himself, but after a while he was able to verbalize what he was feeling and that he did not enjoy being in the mood that he was in, he just does not enjoy whining and being the way he was.

I listened to him as he explained what he was feeling inside and how he was able to own up to his emotions and that he really wanted to do something about it. So I suggested that he write down a list of things of what he can do to support himself when he feels frustrated as he has been feeling during the weekend lately.

He wrote a list and brought it to me and I told him that this was his and that he must use it to support himself during the weekend. This was also a lovely way for me to see what he would like to do and I said to him that I was more that happy to participate with a couple of the things (not all) he has written on the list.

We will see how it goes this weekend but by me engaging with him and helping him identify what he can do to help himself made him feel not only supported but also empowered.

For the last three weeks when it comes to Saturday it has become a complete nightmare with Sammy. He wakes up and whines and moans and just seems to be unhappy. It got to a point where it was upsetting the whole family.  I asked Sammy on a couple of occasions what it was that was bothering him. Initially he could not figure it out himself, but after a while he was able to verbalize what he was feeling and that he did not enjoy being in the mood that he was in, he just does not enjoy whining and being the way he was. I listened to him as he explained what he was feeling inside and how he was able to own up to his emotions and that he really wanted to do something about it. So I suggested that he write down a list of things of what he can do to support himself when he feels frustrated as he has been feeling during the weekend lately. He wrote a list and brought it to me and I told him that this was his and that he must use it to support himself during the weekend. This was also a lovely way for me to see what he would like to do and I said to him that I was more that happy to participate with a couple of the things (not all) he has written on the list. We will see how it goes this weekend but by me engaging with him and helping him identify what he can do to help himself made him feel not only supported but also empowered.

Liam caught his finger in a lid of a Tupperware, and started to whine. Rather than dismissing him, I asked him lots of questions about the pain, one of which was whether it felt like a crab had pinched him. 

The tears stopped instantly, as he was very intrigued by what a crab pinch felt like and he happily carried on a conversation about crabs, and their pinches and when they would pinch etc.

Although I know that this isn’t really acknowledging his emotions, I still did something different and it was better than what I was doing before!

Liam caught his finger in a lid of a Tupperware, and started to whine. Rather than dismissing him, I asked him lots of questions about the pain, one of which was whether it felt like a crab had pinched him.  The tears stopped instantly, as he was very intrigued by what a crab pinch felt like and he happily carried on a conversation about crabs, and their pinches and when they would pinch etc. Although I know that this isn’t really acknowledging his feelings, I still did something different and it was better than what I was doing before!

%AM, %09 %450 %2012 %11:%Feb

How I got my child to pack away their smelly shoes

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Although not usually bothered by where my son leaves his shoes, I decided I had to try out what I had learnt in session 2 inviting cooperation. My son (Angus) had been unusually compliant and I was running out of time to test the theory out before our next session.

I first told Angus "Sweetie, your shoes are on the floor." and was told "I know Mum, I put them there."
I then gave him the information "But don't shoes live in cupboards or on feet?"

Angus replied " Yes, but not when I take them off to watch tv - then they belong on the floor in a mess."  I then came out with "Angus, SHOES!"
To which he replied " Mum, SHOES WHAT?"

So, I made a wrinkled up nose face and put on a strange accent and said, "I am the monster that smells cheesy, stinky shoes and I can smell some in this room. I have to tickle anyone who hasn't put cheesy, sticky shoes away in a cupboard!"

Angus jumped up, ran out the room with his shoes, laughing his little head off and put the shoes in his cupboard.
I duly put a note in the cupboard near his shoes.

Dear Angus. We love this dark, smelly cupboard, please put us back here when you have finished wearing us. Love your cheesy, stinky shoes.

When we put his shoes on the next morning, he was fascinated by the note and asked me what it said. As I told him the giggles began again.

%PM, %02 %544 %2012 %14:%Feb

I don't want to go to school unless...

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Jason had been sick for a couple of days and had been off school. I told him that he was returning to school the next day, and he said that he didn’t want to go to school. I humoured him, and the conversation went like this:

Me: “but you wouldn’t want to miss playball tomorrow would you?”

Jason “ Oh No – I love playball.”

Me: “ Okay, we will tell your teacher that you are just coming to school for playball, and then you will come home again. But what about show and tell, are you happy to miss that?”

Jason “ Oh no, I want to go to show and tell – and playball, but come home for the other things.”

Me: “ Okay, just for playball, and show and tell, but what about story time?”

And so the conversation continued, until he wanted to be there for everything except for snack time – he decided he would pop home for snack time. We then decided that if he had something fun in his lunchbox it would also definitely be worth staying for that too. It really was a fun conversation, and Jason was laughing and very engaged as he felt very empowered.

It was a great way for him to realise that he in fact loved school, and I didn’t have to do any persuading!

Philip, my younger child, started seeing a girlfriend during the holidays.  They went to the movies a couple of times as well as to lunch. I was a little concerned that my older son, Matthew, would tease Philip about Tara and try to embarrass him. Much to my surprise he didn't. 

I mentioned this at the workshop and Robin asked me whether I'd let Matthew know that I had noticed his behaviour. I decided to write him a note, praising him, which I did.  I've just gone and got the note out of his box where he keeps special things - he still has it 3-4 months later.

Dear Matthew.    Since Tuesday - Philip and Tara’s date - I've been thinking a lot about how well you handled this 'new situation'. I wanted to tell you that I noticed how you gave Phil the opportunity to be with Tara without interfering. I have also noticed that since the date has happened, you've once again not intruded on his friendship with her.  You've behaved in a very understanding and mature way and I wanted you to know that I've noticed your behaviour and I've been feeling very proud of your maturity.  It can be tough growing into a young man. This is certainly an excellent beginning.  

Thanks Maths.
love Mom   xxxx

This note had a profound effect on Matthew - he suddenly became more sure of himself - not in a cocky way - but in a quietly confident way. He acknowledged the note with a smile and we have never discussed it, but it was one of the most positive interactions I've had with him.

I have been really making a conscious effort to acknowledge my girls this week. One day when I needed to take Lucy to an appointment straight after school I asked Belinda if she would stay home with Zuki, our Domestic.

Belinda doesn’t really like being left behind and usually kicks up a bit of a fuss but she agreed in the end. I fully expected her to fall asleep but when we got back she was wide awake and had been playing happily for a couple of hours on her own.

I especially thanked her for playing so nicely while we were out and told her that I thought that was really patient of her. She said: ‘Okay, mom’, but it seemed like she was quite chuffed. What has been interesting is that in the days since then if I have to quickly pop out she has been a lot more accommodating and instead of a whole long discussion, she just says, ‘okay, but don’t be too long!’.

Have you said this before in an attempt to gert your children to eat or pack away?

  • "Do you know how many children there are in the world who do not have food?"
  • "How would you like it if I gave all your toys away to the children who don't have any toys? maybe that would teach you to look after them."

Length: 1 minute

{mp3remote}https://s3.amazonaws.com/Audio-interviews/SAFM_manipulation(mp3).MP3{/mp3remote}

 

This interview is part of longer one on SAFM radio. The longer one can be heard here

%PM, %10 %907 %2012 %22:%Jan

Conflict is a challenging source for development

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Overall this past week has actually emphasised the ‘’fun’’ in parenting and that I don’t always have to be so serious and it has also shifted my conditioned belief that conflict is ‘’bad’’ and I should rather ‘’avoid’’ it at any cost and hence compromise on my boundaries to an awareness that conflict is rather a challenging source for development.

%AM, %10 %355 %2012 %09:%Jan

Being a single parent has its challenges

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Reflecting back I’m realizing that being a divorced parent and only having Johanna 2 days a week, I have probably been overcompensating and even succumbing on a level to Johanna’s needs, wants and desires purely for happiness.

I want her time with Dad to be filled with love, fun and a happy environment. I find myself at times backing down in particular situations to gain this. I realize this works short term, but can be damaging in the long term.

An example of this…. Johanna was eating a naartjie in the lounge, she peeled it and tossed the peels on to the coffee table, some hitting and landing others fell on the floor. She then also spat the pips, trying to hit the table, most landing around the table onto the floor.

We were getting ready to leave for mom’s house and I walked past and asked her to pick them up, she replied she needed help. I told her it was her mess clean up. I continued to get ready. After a while I walked past and said “Naartjie peels!”

She ignored me. Now time to go so I just cleaned it up to keep the peace. And I wonder why she doesn’t want to clean her room? …hmmmm I find that the 2 days I have Johanna fly by, and find myself a little behind the rest of the group in the workshop, this doesn’t concern me, and am happy to slow it down and work at my own pace.

I was invited to attend a pre-school groups’ ‘camp fire evening’.  The 6 year old group came together on a Friday evening to eat boerewors rolls around a fire and sing songs at school. Each child also needed to bring a torch as the school lights would be turned off later in the evening.

It was a beautiful evening and the children were very excited and ran around the garden exploring the darkness with their torches. Soon enough a young boy came over holding out his torch which had fallen and had stopped working. He was crying.

“Well you’ll have to share with someone else then, Gary.”

“But I don’t want to!” Gary managed to sob out.

“Well, Gary, it’s broken and there’s nothing we can do about it. Crying won’t do you any good, but smiling sometimes does.”

“My mom will be really angry. Its my new torch.”

“Come now Gary, we are going to light the sparklers soon.”

More sobbing while trying to shake the torch into operation.

“Gary, your tears will put the lights out. Don’t ruin our evening. Look, Liam’s torch doesn’t work either and he isn’t crying.”

By now I was about to take the torch and smash it over the teacher’s head hoping to shake her into decent operation.

Later on in the evening, they lit the sparklers. As the children ran around waving the sparklers in the air, one child’s jersey caught alight. She came running over and it was soon put on with no injury.

“Who did this?” shouted the teacher. “Who lit the jersey? Anthony was it you? I saw you were playing close by.”

“No, it wasn’t me. I swear it wasn’t me.”

“Come on everyone. Who was it?”

I don’t know what the teacher had expected to gain by asking that question. The children had been playing around, waving their sparklers and occasionally they bumped into each other. I noticed Anthony looking very uncomfortable. I went over to him and said,

“It looks like it was an accident. Sometimes accidents like this happen easily. I don’t think anyone really meant to burn the jersey.”

Anthony looked at me. He looked a bit surprised but I could see he was sizing me up. He was wondering if I could be trusted.

“It was me, but it was an accident. I didn’t mean it.”

I nodded my head. “Accidents happen, Anthony. It’s okay.”

As your awareness sharpens, and as you find respectful ways to resolve these kinds of issues, it can become unsettling to listen to the communication patterns of our spouses, friends and your child’s teachers. In every workshop the concern comes up of how to convey this awareness to spouses and other relevant people. It brings up dynamics of power, and perhaps new conflict. In the case above, the teacher was the principle of a well-known Cape Town school. Did I feel comfortable in pointing out to her another way of communicating that conveys respect? The thought of it was too uncomfortable.

I've found it very helpful this week to think of ways to achieve the desired outcome with constructive dialogue as outlined in the notes, rather than targeting the child with comments like "you never do this or that" or "why don't you listen when I ask you to do something".

I've found in a couple of situations especially with my 6 year old son that by describing the problem or giving him choices, he seems to respond better than when I blow a fuse at him not obeying my instructions without me having to ask over and over.

My two boys were playing tennis for the first time and the youngest was being a really bad loser. As I was watching, I saw my eldest son relax and allow Phil to win.

Afterwards when Phil had beaten Matthew, he started to show off and I could see Matthew starting to feel angry and wanting to retaliate. I walked over to Matthew said quietly, “I saw what happened on the court - it takes a big person to do what you did to keep the peace”. He immediately smiled and was his old self again and the moment passed.

%PM, %10 %908 %2011 %22:%Dec

It was an accident. I took the Barbie home

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On our way to school today I asked Cailin what we needed to do with the Barbie (which she had taken from th school the day before) when we arrived at school.  She said: “Mommy, when you gone I will speak to Malie, (her teacher) only when you gone”. 

I realised that she didn’t want me to support her in this process and at the same time I was a bit nervous that she would not engage Malie around the Barbie incident.  I then asked her what she is going to say to Malie, and she replied:  “It was an accident. I took the Barbie home”. 

As I wanted to complete the process by asking her what we can do next time so that it doesn’t happen again Cailin said: “I will say to Malie, next time I will only hold the Barbie during story time and when we finished I will give it to back”.

As we arrived at school she saw Malie at the tree and she asked me to move away as she wanted to speak to Malie.  I wanted to share with Malie around the incident before Cailin does so I said to Cailin tha she must wait here and I will ask Malie to come to her.

I also assured her that I will go and put her bag in the locker so she can have privacy when sharing with Malie. I briefly shared with Malie what happened last night and how Robin dealt with the incident and what Cailin wants to share with her. Malie then walked to Cailin where they had their little meeting. 

Later Malie shared with me that Cailin did share that she took the Barbie by accident and that she will ask Malie next time.” I then later asked Cailin how the meeting went, she replied: “She said that next time I must ask then I can take it and bring it back again”.

My four-year-old son has got into the habit of throwing a golf ball against our garage door. We have told him many times not to do so as it may come back and hit him in the face. As I was about to leave to come to the workshop, I heard the knock-knock of the ball against the door and soon a loud howl from my son.

I ran out to see him, fearing the worst as he was holding his eye. I caught myself before I said “I told you you would hurt yourself but you didn’t listen.”

This time I said, “Ouch, that must be really sore. The ball gave you a big fright.” He nodded his head and he calmed down amazingly quickly. My husband came out to see what had happened and was just about to say “How many times did I tell you…” when I gave him a look and said, “Don’t say anything, I’ll explain later.” Amazing.

%AM, %10 %349 %2011 %09:%Aug

I play with imagination, but she inhabits hers

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I want to share a little story with you that made me laugh yesterday. Margaret and I were outside for the first time in a week, it has been so cold and wet on the beach front!

On the ground outside the house there is a patch where grass struggles to grow but clover does well. For the second year Margaret has called this her Radish patch. She pretends to grow and produce radishes and we play games involving harvesting her crop and taking it to sell at market.

Yesterday as she was harvesting she said "Oh I to pee NOW". I said "OK take off your leggings and pee on the grass", knowing that she wasn't going to make it to the loo. As she stood half naked with bent knees she called back "But not on my radishes!", as she pulled back onto the pathway.

I was again reminded that although I am playing with my imagination, she is inhabiting hers.

%AM, %10 %415 %2011 %10:%Apr

This is where you can put your bucket

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My young 2 year old son Jacob likes to play with water and to move the water around. He fills his bucket and then empties it somewhere else. This time he was heading for the lounge, so I quickly stopped him and showed him and used the skill of showing him where he could empty his bucket instead and with just as much fun. And it worked!

Page 10 of 10

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  • Mom, he is not letting me have a turn on the ipad!
    Mom, he is not letting me have a turn on the ipad!   What would you do if your two children kept fighting over whose turn it was on the ipad? How do you decide whose turn it is, and what is fair for both children?
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  • You can't use my ipad ever again!
    You can't use my ipad ever again! Here's a story about a mother who was worried about her 11 year old son playing too many games on her ipad. So should she forbid him to ever play it again, or maybe try this idea I shared with her...
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  • Your choice of words may be harming your child
    Your choice of words may be harming your child Avoid these words below as they hamper your child's language development.Of course you want the best for your child! And I know you don't want to see a look like this picture above on your child's face. But your choice of words may be doing more harm than good. So I am going to share with you how you can change that with the following simple skil.
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  • What a child says after me getting her to be more respectful: Problem Solving
    What a child says after me getting her to be more respectful: Problem Solving You want your child to be more polite and respectful. But how do you get that? And how do you get her to feel inspired to take on that challenge? Robin shows you the results of a problem solving session where she rated herself at a 4 out of 10 in being respectful at the beginning of the session, and ended off with a big smile and inspired by the possibilty of being 10 out…
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  • Star charts: The Observation Model in detail
    Star charts: The Observation Model in detail This is the most powerful model of the star chart concept that I know. Its the simplest and most powerful of all the models as it requires the least skill, the least time and effort, and is the simplest to understand for both you and your child.  
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  • The Top 5 things Robin Booth learnt about Parenting and Cooperation with Randi Zuckerberg
    The Top 5 things Robin Booth learnt about Parenting and Cooperation with Randi Zuckerberg Randi Zuckerberg and her brother Mark started Facebook together. In many ways she has been accredited with the phenomenal growth of Facebook due to her marketing skills. And she is a parent. I met her last year (2013) in the USA, and have listed below the Top 5 things I learnt from her during that  conversation on parenting, children and what motivates people.  Read on...
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  • Amanda has other parents watching her as she deals with her fighting and upset children
    Amanda has other parents watching her as she deals with her fighting and upset children So you have some conflict between your children? Maybe they are fighting over a toy? Maybe you are at a child's party and the other parents are watching you. The pressure is on. Here is a sharing from Amanda, a parent who has done my workshops. Read how she worked with the conflict, how she supported the children with their ideas, and how she created the flow again, in spite of a high degree of…
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  • Taflyn takes her injured and screaming child to the hospital, and is scared herself
    Taflyn takes her injured and screaming child to the hospital, and is scared herself A dog bites a 6 year old boy, and blood is gushing out of the wound. He thinks he is going to die and keeps asking his mom that. The mom, Taflyn is traumatised, but is reminding herself to stay focused and support her son while driving to the hospital for stiches. By the time they get to the hospital, he is telling everyone else he is okay, and after the stiches, still goes home…
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  • Star charts: The Perseverance Model
    Star charts: The Perseverance  Model Just one model of a star chart is not enough. Your child may be excited to start, but if they don't experience some form of success continously, they may lose interest and drive. So how do you keep them motivated, even while they may be slipping up and not always succeeding at what they are learning? Learning is a process... so read on to find out how to keep their sprits up and feeling they…
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  • Star charts: Bribery and Manipulation, or a great tool? The Observation Model
    Star charts: Bribery and Manipulation, or a great tool? The Observation Model Are star charts just another form of Bribery? And how can you keep a child motivated over a long period of time? And how do you determine what the prize/ celebration will be? In all my research on Star charts, there is only one basic model, and it really only works in certain situations, and for a short amount of time. That's not good enough for me. So I want to share some of my…
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  • Rene cleverly uses the DISC profile to get a pay increase
    Rene cleverly uses the DISC profile to get a pay increase Rene has asked for a pay-rise on two previous occasions. She was now angry ,frustrated, and impatient. And then she realised that her boss was a high "C" in the disc profile and she was approaching him with her high "D" profile. So she figured out what to do and got her pay rise. Watch the video to see how she did it. length: 05:15
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  • Choices within a boundary - what if they reply... I don't want to...?
    Choices within a boundary - what if they reply... I don't want to...? Have you had that situation where you apply a skill and it doesn't work? So you apply a variation of the skill, and it still doesn't work? Your child replies with, "I don't want to..." Well this happened to Mari and she asked me what she could do... This video was my reply, taking her deeper into the insights of the skill of "Setting the boundary and giving choices within the boundary." length: 13:25
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  • 3 children in my bed - and how I changed it to a morning of flow
    3 children in my bed - and how I changed it to a morning of flow Every few days I get a story from a parent who has had a breakthrough in using their new skills. This one really shows how Intelligent skills can create amazing results and blissful flow. And this is for real. I did not edit her story except just change the names.
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  • Filming teachers using the Praise skills with Children
    Filming teachers using the Praise skills with Children I want to show you the praise skills in live action, on children, at school in a class. And watch their faces as their smiles beam from ear to ear. You can also do this, consciously and intelligently by learning these skills!  length: 5:46
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  • How to avoid the mistakes that parents make when using praise
    How to avoid the mistakes that parents make when using praise Do you also experience praising your children at times and they just don't believe you? Are you making the same mistake as this parent in the way she is praising? Do you know how to avoid the most common mistake when praising your children?  This video clip shares how to avoid making those same mistakes.  length: 3:31
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  • Why these parents are getting these incredible results.
    Why these parents are getting these incredible results. I have often wondered what it is that gets these parents these results. Cooperation, trust, flow, harmony. I think I know at least one answer. To get these results, this is what you have to understand, and do.
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  • I want the truth. Who started it?
    I want the truth. Who started it? “I walked in to the bathroom where my twin sons were having a bath. There was water on the floor, water on the mirror and my sons’ four year old faces grinning up at me. I asked them who had splashed water on the floor. No one said anything. I told them I wasn’t going to punish them, that I just wanted them to be honest.” I said I wasn't going punish them, but that…
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  • If you ever get stuck, ask yourself these questions
    If you ever get stuck, ask yourself these questions Here are a list of questions that are guarenteed to get yourself unstuck from any situation you find yourself in. A free e-book which is a quick and easy read.
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  • When I was 7 yrs old, my mother made this gift for my children.
    When I was 7 yrs old, my mother made this gift for my children. 33 years after my mother died (when I was 7 she died), I find out she knitted some clothes for MY children (which would be her grandchildren). Out of the blue I have something made from her own hands.
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  • A parent takes Robin's suggestion on how to get their son to sleep in his own bed.
    A parent takes Robin's suggestion on how to get their son to sleep in his own bed. Your child keeps nagging you to sleep in your bed with you? Robin shared how he solved that in his own home, and Amanda decided to try it out. And it worked. See the video clip of her sharing her new found skills.
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  • Is every day of my parenting life going to be like this? Hear Brad's response
    Is every day of my parenting life going to be like this? Hear Brad's response Brad asks this question regarding some of the everyday challenges he faces in being a parent: "Is this going to be my life for the next 20 years?" and everyone laughs because we all seem to have these kinds of days. This video clip is taken from the workshop session on "The introduction to Intelligent parenting". And when parents have finished the session, we ask them what they got from the session and what they…
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  • The top 5 reasons why intelligent parenting will lead to success
    The top 5 reasons why intelligent parenting will lead to success I ask the parents in the workshop, "Why are you here tonight?". This stumps many of them. Some reply back humorously, "I asked my wife the same thing. I thought we were perfect parents." Amidst the grins and chuckles, my reply to them is to share why I WAS THERE that night, what could I offer and what could become possible for each and every parent there.
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