Parenting With Dignity Website


Parenting Newsletter

July 2003

Effective Parenting Skills




Get the book . . . . Parenting With Dignity - click here.


Dear Parents and Supporters:

Hello again, and welcome to the July edition of the Parenting With Dignity newsletter. We hope everyone had a safe and carefree July 4th. holiday. 

To view this issue on the web, click here.

Christian Broadcasting NetworkThe big news this month is that Mac Bledsoe will be featured on CBN TV on the 700 Club Tuesday, July 15th. (we believe this airs at 7:00 PM EST - check your local listings). Don't miss this exciting interview about spending time with your kids.



Don't Call Me - and Gimme Five!

National "Do Not Call" Registry - click here to register your phone numbers.Dinnertime at your home will have fewer interruptions. Soon you will be able to limit the telemarketing calls you receive (for the next five years).  By now you have most likely heard of the Federal "Do Not Call" list managed by the FTC.

This free service takes effect in October, 2003, but your individual State may not be ready at that time. However, this service which was launched last month, permits people to block their phone numbers from annoying telemarketing calls. In case you were on vacation or missed the news, here's an online link to register your phone numbers or get additional information:

Summertime Suggestion

The lazy days of summer present the perfect opportunity to do something nice for yourself and maybe even help your career. I'm sure you've seen the TV commercials for Video Professor. We recently sent for a free lesson (you pay S&H only), and were amazed at how easy these programs are to learn. We use a spreadsheet for many applications, but never utilized the power behind this program. In almost no time, I was formatting cells, adding mathematical conventions and doing things I never knew how to carry out. You can get a free lesson on dozens of programs.  Check it out!


RAP is not a new kind of urban poetry . . . RAP is our acronym for
"Refer A Parent". We need your help in making PWD available to every parent in America. If you would refer just one parent and introduce them to our program you can help us make our world better for kids. There are a number of ways you can help us do this:

  1. Forward this newsletter to all your friends who are parents

  2. Give the PWD book to a family that needs it, buy it here.

  3. Donate a few tax-deductible dollars to our effort

Thank you, and stay safe,

The Editor

PS: Remember, that later this summer, we'll be announcing the availability of our DVDs. If you would like to be notified as soon as possible, send us an email.




In This


Ask Mac

A regular feature of our newsletter. Mac responds to your concerns. Send questions to: Ask Mac



Ask Mac?

Please Note:  This month's 'Ask Mac' segment is taken from email correspondence I had with a mom who had some great questions. To make it easier to follow, I've broken it down into Q&A format.

Dear Mac,

In the past, you were able to assist my mother in law and sister in law with some eating concerns for my niece. I was told that the advice you gave was helpful and appreciated. I now have a two year old of my own and am looking for some opinions on the following toddler situations.

My two year old still takes a bottle in the morning. This is the only way for me to get him to get a substantial amount of milk. If I put it into a sippy cup, he will prefer the water over the milk. He asks for this morning bottle on a daily basis. My pediatrician has suggested that I stop that, cold turkey. Any suggestions on how we can ensure that he get his milk allowance?

(Mac) I seldom wish to get crossways with pediatricians but my opinion on this one is different than your doctor’s advice. How many 15 year olds have you ever seen drinking from a bottle? None! This will take care of itself in due time. Why do you want the bottle to go away? He will eventually stop drinking from a bottle. He is two. The bottle has some obvious comfort for him right now and that is not a problem. He is drinking milk, which seems to be your goal! If you feel that you have to make the switch away from a bottle (and I think you need to have some logical reason for that) do it by making drinking out of a cup more attractive to him. When he drinks from a glass he gets your undivided attention or he receives some more time with you. Very simply go and sit with him when he is drinking from a cup. When he is drinking from a bottle do something else away from him.

My gosh, it seems that a bottle is a convenience for you. No spills, it can be used when he is doing other stuff like playing or lying down. It gets the milk to him. He can handle it all by himself. Why change that?

My son is waking up at 5:00 am each morning. It seems to be his silent alarm. The time at which we put him to bed does not change this. He goes to bed at 8:30 and sleeps through until 5:00 or so. He seems so tired that by 8:30 or 9:00am he is falling asleep in his playroom. Any suggestions?

(Mac) Again, you need to think this through. What is your goal? Your son is a normal two-year-old kid. He wakes up with the light of day. That is normal, but I have a couple of suggestions. First, if you want him to sleep later try making his room very dark with a window shade that totally blocks the light of day! It still might not work but it is worth a try. Next, I will say that for a two-year-old it is normal for them to become tired and in need of a nap or rest during the day. Finally, there is a very common problem that arises in raising kids that involves sleep. Children need about ten hours of uninterrupted sleep. As they grow older we allow them to go to bed later and later but we do not adjust the time that they get up and thus we end up with kids getting less and less sleep. Always set up your son’s day to insure at least 10 hours of sleep otherwise he will become sleep deprived and that is not a good thing!

Oh, one last thing to keep in mind… I will be hearing back from you in about 10-12 years when you write with the exact opposite problem… my teenager simply will not get out of bed in the morning. Start your plan for that now!

Pacifier weaning- YIKES! Not only does my son love his pacifier, he has to have 3 of them. He rubs his face/nose and sniffs them. Any suggestions on stopping this habit?

(Mac) What do you mean “YIKES!” Who gave the thing to him in the first place? I hate to tell you this but his behavior is a learned behavior and you taught it to him. He didn’t dream up the “three-pacifier idea”. Somebody gave him three! I think that it might have been you. The problem here is not the kid. You need to change what you are doing. He will change to match. Now, just like the bottle “problem” above, how many adults do you see with pacifiers? None! This “problem” will take care of itself in due time. He obviously derives some kind of comfort from this activity.

My gut level observation would be that he is using this device because he feels some need for comfort that he is not getting elsewhere. Now, don’t overreact on this, but I would suggest that when he wants his pacifier that you sit down and read a book with him or play with some toy he likes and the pacifier might just disappear! But if it doesn’t don’t overreact to that either. It will go away. When he hits eighth grade the other kids will give him enough heat about the pacifier to have him stop. (Please know that I am joking here, but I am attempting to get you to see your “problem” in an appropriate light.

You gave him the pacifier, he enjoys it, and he will outgrow it. Get on to something really worthwhile like reading to him or playing with him or teaching him to dress himself or feed himself, or teach him how to share with other kids! Those are worth the effort. Don’t waste time, effort, and frustration on trying to rid him of a behavior that will go away naturally. Pick your battles with intelligent thought, with a plan, and with dignity!)

I know that this is a lot of questions, I am hoping that you can help. You were able to help my niece eat better! (I have used your suggestions on my son as well). Thank you for your help.

(Mac) Man, if these are the biggest problems that you are experiencing I would say that you ought to say a prayer of thanks. Your son is developing just fine. The one thing that I would advise very strongly is that you begin now to develop the plan for dealing with the really predictable situations that you will confront with your son before he reaches eighteen because problems are far better and more successfully dealt with BEFORE the happen rather than after they have begun. That is what my book is about! Parenting with Dignity is parenting with a plan. What are you going to teach him about appropriate behavior in a public place. Don’t wait until you are at a restaurant to try to teach the desired behavior to him! What are you going to teach him about making choices involving personal grooming? What are you going to teach him about appropriate behavior on a date? You better not wait until he has been on a date to teach that because he will probably have already selected some behavior that is inappropriate! Develop a plan. anticipate the problems he is going to face and teach him how to handle them before he is in the middle of them!


Mac Bledsoe
Mac and Barbara Bledsoe

PS: We cannot recommend strongly enough that you order a copy of Mac's book. It does little good to get advice for specific problems or difficulties because that will not help you the next time that you encounter a problem. What Mac outlines in his book is a complete plan that you can use for solving your parenting problems! To get your copy, see: and locate the Book Order link. Or you can go to any Barnes & Noble, Borders, or Walden Books store and get one there.




Mac & Barbara Bledsoe

"You Can Fake Like You Care,
 But You Can't Fake Being There."

By Mac Bledsoe



In the lives of our kids it is often easy to become caught up in the hustle and bustle of daily life and forget to "show up" in our kid's lives. It is common, in the hurry of the day to speak much more cheerfully to the person serving coffee at the Quick-Stop on the way to work than to those in our family that we love. With summer upon us and a busier schedule for all it never hurts to stop and develop a plan for SOWING THAT WE CARE, and not just assuming that others know it.

Here is a list of ways that we can show our love for our children: (and remember that spouses can benefit from the same loving actions!)

  1. Notice them... get caught staring at them-even throw in a wink.
  2. Answer their questions with full attention at eye level.
  3. Create traditions and fight for them.
  4. Laugh at their jokes.
  5. Include them in your jokes. (If that makes you uncomfortable, Maybe you ought to change the jokes you tell.)
  6. Smile a lot
  7. Acknowledge them with a heartfelt "Good morning!" and a "Hi!" when you see them.
  8. Discuss their dreams (nightmares included.)
  9. Be relaxed in their presence. Just sit with them.
  10. Say their names.
  11. Contribute to their collections.
  12. Hide surprises for them to find.
  13. Kneel, squat, sit so that you are at their eye level.
  14. Go and find them at unexpected times.
  15. Play outside together.
  16. Surprise them.
  17. Remember their birthdays and other significant days in their lives. ("This was the day that you took your first step, trip to the doctor, etc.)
  18. Ask them about themselves.
  19. When they ask your advice give them options.
  20. Listen to the answers.
  21. Stay with them when they are afraid.
  22. Notice when they are absent.
  23. Follow them when they lead.
  24. Play with them... Adults can start the water balloon fight!
  25. Expect their best... and accept that it is not perfection.
  26. Be available.
  27. Do what they like to do.
  28. Share their excitement.
  29. Be honest.
  30. Be sincere.
  31. Include them in conversations.
  32. Brag about them when they don't think you know they are listening.
  33. Call them from work.
  34. Eat meals together.
  35. Plan discussion topics for dinner and announce them ahead of time.
  36. Tell them what your expectations are for their behavior.
  37. Practice the behaviors with them before they are in the situation.
  38. Introduce them to adults and tell the adult something of significance about them.
  39. Help to see mistakes as learning opportunities and not failures.
  40. Tape record messages to them.
  41. Tape record them.
  42. Video tape them just being themselves... like during one of those dinner conversations.
  43. Write them letters and send them in the mail.
  44. Go places together... take them along on errands.
  45. Build something together.
  46. Give them jobs at home that require thought and planning.
  47. Welcome their suggestions and use them.
  48. Make decisions together.
  49. When you make decisions for them include them in your thought processes.
  50. Help them to take stands on moral and ethical issues and then stand with them.
  51. Hug them.
  52. Set boundaries but help them to understand the reasons for them.
  53. Believe what they say.
  54. Tackle new tasks together.
  55. Cheer for their accomplishments.
  56. Encourage them to help others and recognize them when they do.
  57. Create a safe environment for them.
  58. Share secrets.
  59. Laugh
  60. Stop and enjoy time together. Even a minute at the bathroom sink.
  61. Be consistent but flexible.
  62. Praise loudly, criticize softly.
  63. Let them act their age.
  64. Tell them about yourself.
  65. Tell them what you believe and why you believe it.
  66. Help them to become an expert at something.
  67. Laugh.
  68. Ask their opinion about things.
  69. Show that you are excited to see them.
  70. Let them tell you how they feel.
  71. Display their artwork around the house... nicely framed.
  72. Thank them!
  73. Smile at them constantly.
  74. Keep promises... even small ones. In there eyes they are all the same size.
  75. Laugh
  76. Find a common interest.
  77. Let them pick the music and listen to it with them.
  78. Apologize when you've done something wrong.
  79. Hold hands.
  80. Take a walk.
  81. Read aloud together.
  82. Read moral literature and help them understand it.
  83. Use your ears more than your mouth.
  84. Show up at events.
  85. Learn from them and let them know what you learned.
  86. Tell them how terrific they are.
  87. Always suggest a better behavior when they have chosen an inappropriate one.
  88. Laugh.
  89. Be nice.
  90. Look them in the eye when you talk to them.
  91. Give them space when they need it.
  92. Use the car as interaction time.
  93. Tell them how much you like being with them.
  94. Develop a "secret word" for your family.
  95. Meet their friends.
  96. Meet their friends parents.
  97. Admit it when you make a mistake.
  98. Be honest
  99. Give them a private nickname and don't use it in front of others. (let them do the same with you.)
  100. Above all laugh, Laugh, LAUGH, and laugh some more.

Print this list and pick one each day to use.

You can plan to show your love for your kids. Make a list of your own. Find lists elsewhere of ways of showing love and care. We found many of these in YMCA handouts, church bulletins, childcare brochures, and other places.

Remember that you can fake like you care but you can't fake being there. The common element to each item on the above list is time.

Kids spell love "t-i-m-e!"





Time out . . .


A wise schoolteacher sends this note to all parents on the first day of school: "If you promise not to believe everything your child says happens at school, I'll promise not to believe everything he says happens at home.


A school teacher injured his back and had to wear a plaster cast around the upper part of his body. It fit under his shirt and was not noticeable at all. On the first day of the term, still with the cast under his shirt, he found himself assigned to the toughest students in school.

Walking confidently into the rowdy classroom, he opened the window as wide as possible and then busied himself with desk work. The classroom became a bit unruly and he admonished them. This happened several times.

When he could do work at his desk, the strong breeze from the window made his tie flap annoyingly. He kept rearranging and rearranging the tie as the class raised it's level of unruliness.

Finally, becoming disgusted with the wayward tie, he stood up and took a big stapler off his desk and stapled the tie to his chest in several places.

Discipline was not a problem from that day forth.




Make a

Why Support Parenting With Dignity

Friends, a subscriber took the time to send us an email last month expressing his confusion about our appeal for donations. In so many words, he asked why Drew Bledsoe was soliciting money.

This is a great question, so permit us a moment to explain this misguided impression. Drew Bledsoe is not asking for money. Drew and his wife Maura have been the primary financial sponsors of Parenting With Dignity since our inception in 1996. They have generously donated almost two-million dollars of their own money to help us create this program and realize our mission. 

Individuals like yourself and companies such as Nike, Prince Pasta, National Vacuum and others have donated money because they believe in the value of what we are doing. Raising operating funds is the most critical component of achieving our goal – making our world a better place for kids, yet it is also the most difficult aspect of any charitable endeavor. Asking you to share your hard-earned money is something we’ve just never been comfortable in doing. But, this non-profit organization and our mission have grown to be much bigger than our discomfort in asking you for help.

We want to help more people. As important as our goals are, they can only be accomplished if good people like you commit to help us. That is why we ask you to consider donating a few tax-free dollars to our efforts. The ultimate success of our mission is more important than our discomfort in asking you for help. Every dollar gets us closer to realizing our purpose!  If your lend a hand we can and will build a better world for kids!

Will you please help us help kids?

Your tax-exempt donation can be made
securely online via Network For Good.

Do it today while it is fresh in your mind.
Network For Good - Click Here

Or, send your tax-deductible check to:

The Drew Bledsoe Foundation
730 Capistrano Drive
Kalispell, MT 59901



  Parents, learn the "Warning Signs" of Drugs, Alcohol, Gangs and Computer Addiction.

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to  visit

  Warning Signs


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