Brett was awesome when I called to order your CDs last May. I have made great progress making my home more calm. Everyday I hear things on your podcasts and CDs that help us. Just wanted to say THANK YOU! Please keep doing what you are doing….you are changing lives.
I can not express enough gratitude for you bringing Kirk Martin to our school. Of all the meetings and professional development I attend, this was one of the most practical and beneficial speakers I have heard. I have already used a couple ideas with some students!
Your CDs are changing my life!
Today, I celebrate imperfection and everything beautiful that entails. I celebrate my humanity, that I am dust, that my imperfection gives me opportunities for redemption in my relationships. Imperfection means I walk without the burden of the perfect answer, the perfect solution…because sometimes there isn’t one. It relieves me of the compulsion to control people and situations–sometimes days are meant to be gray and messy. Imperfection means right relationships are more important than right behavior.
(Click SHARE below this with others who are burdened with making everything just so.)
Calm is not a doormat. We don’t let kids “get away” with anything. Quite to the contrary. When you are in control of yourself, you can see clearly and discipline effectively. When you are yelling and upset, your kids are actually in control of you. And that never works well. Here’s a tough discipline tool.
When kids declare, “I don’t have to do my chores,” our typical response is to rationally point out how much we do for our kids, how we need to work together as a family, how important it is to learn the value of a good work ethic for future success. Blah blah blah. Your kids don’t care. So here’s what I did with Casey when he was younger.
Casey marched into the room and declared, “I don’t have to do my chores and you can’t make me.” I sat down and replied evenly, “Hey, I’m great with that choice if that’s the way you want our home to work. I’m not going to MAKE you do anything. As long as you understand your choices have consequences. So next time you want dinner, Mom doesn’t have to make it. Next time you just have to go to Best Buy, I don’t have to take you. Excellent.”
He walked away thinking, “Wow, this is cool.” He didn’t do his chores. Fine. A couple days later, he came downstairs. “Dad, I’ve got a hockey game this morning. We have to go.” I sat down, crossed my legs and said matter-of-factly, “Remember the other day, Casey, you chose some new house rules. I don’t have to take you.”
“Dad, come on. This is my hockey game. I can’t miss this.”
“Casey, you chose this. Not me.”
He started getting upset. “You-have-to-take-me-now!” His face was red. I could see my wife in the other room with pleading eyes. She knew what was coming. 5-4-3-2-1. A huge meltdown.
“My coach is going to bench me! I’m letting down my teammates! Dad, this isn’t fair. If you don’t take me, you’re a jerk!”
“Casey, I completely understand why you’d be so upset and frustrated. You’ll have to explain to your coach and teammates why you missed the game.”
“Okay, okay, I get the stupid your-choices-have-consequences thing. I’ll do all my chores after the game. Can we go now, please?”
Needless to say, it was a miserable day. He fumed and complained and whined and yelled the entire day. My wife wisely went out for the day! I sat and endured it. I didn’t lecture, badger or justify anything. That’s a huge key. Do not make this about YOU because they are making the day miserable. “Well, if you had listened to me, I wouldn’t have to do this. So it’s your fault!” That’s us being a big baby and throwing our own tantrum isn’t it?
There is a deep inner joy that comes when you know you are putting your child’s future ahead of your present pain. Read that again. This is hard work. But you are putting up with the present meltdown and ugliness because you know you are building something eternal and strong inside your child.
Now here’s where we transition. Later that day, I heard him muttering as he walked outside and started raking the leaves. I smiled inside. Then I walked outside, grabbed a rake and started helping him. We worked in silence together. Nothing needed to be said. He had learned his lesson. After awhile, I said softly, “What about making a huge pile of leaves and jumping off the trampoline into them?” An hour later, we wrestled in the leaves and I held my little boy in my arms as we looked up at the sky.
“I love you, Casey.”
“I love you, too, Dad. Sorry about today.”
You CAN discipline your child AND build your relationship at the same time. And that’s what you want.
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As I started to become overbearing on my son (4), and more and more frustrated with the lack of any positive result, my wife reminded me that she had your CDs at her office and suggested that I listen to them. What a revelation!
When my parents’ authority was challenged, the challenge was met with swift and painful punishment and I knew by my early teenage years that if I were to ever have a child, I would never use physical punishment on them. This led me to believe that talking everything through was the best way to deal with my son. What I didn’t realize was that barking orders while lording over a four-year-old isn’t a very effective way to communicate or parent.
I found your words very helpful, especially the CD for Dads (Defiance & Disrespect set), which I have now stolen from my wife’s office library, and keep in my car, and I thank you for helping to improve the relationship I now have with my son. In remaining calm with my son and respecting his time and space, our relationship has become fun and engaging rather than the dictatorship I once tried to make it.
Last weekend I felt very proud of our relationship as we sat talking at the counter of our local bakery eating donuts (our new Saturday morning ritual). A gentleman that I didn’t know walked up to me on his way out and said that he had been sitting at the end of the counter listening to our conversation. He said that he wished he would have communicated with his son, when he was younger, the way that I was communicating with my son and that because of the way we talked to one another, we would truly know each other as men one day.
I appreciate you and your family for opening your lives to the world and helping me create a closer bond with my family. Thanks.
A Proud Father
Monday, October 3 7:00pm – 9:00pm
Robeson Elementary / 801 White Bear Rd. / Birdsboro, PA 19508
Tuesday, October 4 7:00pm – 9:00pm
Twin Valley Elementary / 50 Mast Drive / Elverson, PA 19520
Wednesday, October 5 7:00pm – 9:00pm
Honey Brook Elementary / 1530 W. Walnut Rd. / Honey Brook, PA 19344
Bring Friends to these FREE Workshops! There is no need to register.
Want a sneak peak? Click below.
We have more FREE Workshops later this week:
Thursday, October 6 7:00pm – 9:00pm
Crofton Meadows Elementary School / 2020 Tilghman Drive / Crofton, MD 21114
Friday, October 7 7:00pm – 9:00pm
Anne Arundel Community College-Pascal Center for Fine Arts / 101 College Pkwy / Arnold, MD 21012
Saturday, October 8 10:00am – 12:00pm
Location TBD Northern Virginia
I refuse to sacrifice my family because I am afraid to disappoint my own parents. I refuse to put my parents’ happiness (and often manipulation) before that of my wife/husband and kids. Early on, my wife felt unsafe and rightfully resentful because I didn’t have the strength to be firm with my Dad about boundaries. You must learn to cut the cords appropriately. Are you still looking for acceptance from your Mom and Dad in unhealthy ways? Are you ready to say no to manipulation and earn self-respect? This is critical.
If you need help with this, go see a marriage counselor, listen to the Calm Couples CDs or enroll in our Relationship Rescue. Your marriage CANNOT be whole if the husband or wife is putting parents ahead of spouse.
Today, I assume the best about others’ intentions. Instead of blaming, I give people tools to succeed. Instead of assuming my child is just being difficult, I discover the root of the issue–does he need tools to help with his anxiety or stress? Is that student lazy…or overwhelmed? Is that child misbehaving or just in need of some purposeful stimulation?
Did my spouse really mean to sound that short with me, or is she overwhelmed? Instead of being defensive, I put myself in his shoes for a few minutes. When you assume the worst, you blame, judge. When you assume the best, you find solutions, you help, you make life better.
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Today, I make myself a priority. My peace of mind is important. Even though I am busy, I carve 20 minutes out of my day/evening to read, garden, listen to music on my headphones, rock in a chair alone, pray, call a friend, be creative, use MY gifts, exercise, learn something *I* am interested in. My time is important. I get respect from my kids and spouse when I respect myself and my time. What are YOU going to do today to show self-respect?
Can you relate to this email (reprinted with permission) I received this morning?
“I am ashamed to admit that I am glad it’s Monday. I hate weekends. I wondered why I was feeling hopeless yesterday. I mean it’s a break from the chaos of the school week–and that’s nothing but non-stop rushing for us. So I should like the weekend, right, time to be with my husband and kids like everyone else? Here’s what I came up with. I don’t like weekends because when life slows down, I realize how miserable I am in my marriage. Don’t get me wrong. We don’t hate each other. We don’t even fight. Sometimes I think a good fight would make me feel like we actually care. There’s no connection. I read the Relationship Rescue blog you did and you nailed us. We’re playing this game where I let him think everything is okay, but inside I get more resentful and hurt every day. But you know what? It’s my fault, too. You’re right. Because I never say anything and when I do, it’s usually out of anger and I’m sure that pushes him away. His father was distant so I don’t think DH knows how to be different. Can you help?”
Ashamed & Afraid In PA
I can assure you that you are not alone. By the way, you just described our marriage several years ago. It may seem hopeless now, but you both can learn new tools IF you are honest with yourselves and each other. You are in Pennsylvania–I encourage you to make the drive to D.C. or Long Island to attend the Relationship Rescue. You’ve already invested 16 years in your marriage–make the time. Click here to learn more about the Relationship Rescue. (And feel free to call Brett at 888-506-1871 if you have any questions or need payment plans.)
Can you relate to this sentiment? (You may post below anonymously with a fake name and fake email address.)
Our LIVE workshops are most often described as life-changing, practical and laugh-out-loud funny. We can train teachers, parents and students on the same day. You can view videos and get more information by clicking Celebrate Calm Workshops or Calm Christian Parenting Workshops. We serve schools, churches, synagogues, homeschooling groups, associations (i.e. keynote Foster & Adoptive Care conventions).
We can come to ANY CITY at ANY TIME. Our travel schedule is entirely dictated by YOU. We look for enthusiastic organizations to get the word out so we can impact as many people as possible. So if you want us to come to your town, email Brett@CelebrateCalm or call Brett at 888-506-1871. He is the nicest guy you have ever met and he’ll make it easy for you. We don’t have this long list of demands! In fact, we do the opposite. We come to serve. We provide flyers and do much of the marketing. We bring our own handouts, materials and water so we’re not a burden for our hosts.
While we can come anywhere at any time, we do have special opportunities arise when we are going to be near certain cities as we travel from one event to another. For example, we’ll be traveling from Long Island to Louisiana. Along the way, we like to stop in different cities. IF you can work with our schedule and be flexible with dates, we can provide significant discounts! See below for specific cities and dates where we have special opportunities.
Friday, September 23 Northern Virginia, Maryland, D.C.
Saturday, October 1 Northern Virginia, Maryland, D.C.
Monday, October 17 Atlanta, GA area
Tuesday, October 18 Atlanta, GA area
Monday, October 24 Nashville
Wednesday, October 26 Nashville
Wednesday, Nov. 9 Chattanooga, TN
Thursday, Nov. 10 Alabama or Louisiana
Sunday, November 13 Church event in Alabama or Louisiana
Monday, November 14 Birmingham, AL
Tuesday, November 15 Birmingham or Montgomery, AL
February, 2012 Opportunities throughout western states!
Oklahoma, New Mexico, Arizona, California, Utah, Colorado, Kansas
Call or email Brett for details. 888-506-1871. Brett@CelebrateCalm.com
April 12 Memphis, TN
April 16 – 19 Lexington & Louisville, KY; Cincinnati, OH
April 23-25 Indianapolis, Chicago, Wisconsin, Minnesota
Monday, April 30 Tulsa, OK
Tuesday, May 1 Tulsa, OK
Wednesday, May 2 Tulsa, OK
Thursday, May 3 Oklahoma City, OK
Friday, May 4 Oklahoma City, OK
More dates to come. Check back often. Or be proactive, call and say, “We want calm in our city!” See you soon.