Parenting With Dignity Website


Monthly Newsletter

January 2004

Effective Parenting Skills


















New Year Resolution?

Dear parents and supporters:

Hello again and welcome to 2004.  We're almost one month into our New Year's resolutions (our well-intentioned promises to ourselves to change for the better or make improvements in our lives).  Although New Year's day has passed it is not too late to make a new resolution, one that really matters and will benefit so many people in your life.  Resolve to become a better parent this year - beginning today.

Can do

Unlike so many other resolutions, this will be one you don't have to do by yourself - we can help.  You CAN raise happy, self-directed children with a deep sense of their value structure and you CAN get appropriate behavior from your children.  Your kids CAN develop a sense of pride in their behavior, and develop a deep sense of accountability for their actions.  Parenting With Dignity CAN help you make this resolution a real success.  Together, we CAN do it!


At the end of December, we announced the availability of our new DVDs.  The response has been unbelievable, and the feedback we're receiving is gratifying.  The only thing wrong with our announcement was the timing.  We had hoped to release our DVDs in October, but manufacturing delays pushed us to the wire.  PWD on DVD - learn more!

In case you hadn't heard, Parenting With Dignity is now available on DVD.  All 10 Parenting With Dignity® segments are on 3 DVDs.  They have a Spanish language track too - and come packaged in a sturdy plastic box!  We have created a page that answers your questions about our new DVDs, including cost, FAQs, and more.  To learn about PWD on DVD, follow this link

As far as the content of the lessons, there is no difference between VHS and DVD. The DVDs and the VHS videos are the same.  Nevertheless, there are many reasons for choosing DVD over VHS. The DVDs offer:

- the ability to jump to any chapter or menu topic
- the Spanish translation track
- superior picture and sound quality
- are smaller to store and transport
- don't wear out (or break down) as tape will do
- the price is the same (no DVD premium pricing)

VHS / DVD Trade-in Offer

You asked for it - you got it!  After hearing from so many of you asking if we would consider a trade-in program, we decided it was the right thing to do.  PLUS... we'll accept your old VHS tapes in any condition.  For a limited time only, we are offering the opportunity for owners of Parenting With Dignity VHS videos to trade-in those old tapes and receive a $40 credit toward the purchase of new DVDs.  Click here to learn more about this offer!

Mac has written a great article this month.  Hope you enjoy it.

Thank you,

The Editor

PS:  Don't have a DVD player?  We wouldn't consider advising you how to manage your family finances, but at some point in the future you will probably have to consider buying a DVD player.  If you rent movies from Blockbuster®, they have announced that they will stop carrying VHS videos in the future.  DVDs are quickly becoming the media of choice for most people.  If you think that buying a DVD player makes sense for your family, Best Buy offers some terrific deals and if you buy from our link, our foundation earns a few dollars.

PPS:  Do you know a Spanish speaking family, community or school?  Please refer them to our new website,



No owner's manual?

They still don't come with an Owner's Manual.

But you can get one here!

Get your owner's manual!
  It doesn't matter how old YOUR baby is, toddler or late teen, you can make your job easier by learning effective techniques for raising responsible, independent children. PWD teaches you to rethink your approach to discipline, punishment and empowerment. Get your copy today.



In This


Ask Mac

Ask Mac is a new feature of our newsletter. Send your questions to: Ask Mac



Ask Mac?

Dear Mac,

My wife and I recently purchased a set of you DVD curriculum and we love it. The techniques are working with amazing success. We cannot believe the change in the climate in our family, and both of us feel so much calmer since we are actually approaching our three kids with a real plan. We are about halfway through the Assignment sheets and have just finished with Segment 5.

Our question for you is regarding the starting of a class. We love the curriculum but on your website you are continually trying to get parents to get together and watch the sessions as a group or class with other parents and we are not sure that we see that added value in going through the curriculum with other parents. Why should we put forth the effort to meet with others since the curriculum is working so well for us?


Father and Mother from West Virginia

Dear Father and Mother,

Your question is very perceptive and it is one that I receive almost weekly, so I will answer your question (and the questions of others) regarding the value of holding Parenting with Dignity classes!

It is really quite simple when you think about it; from the day your kids enter school at the common age of five they will spend more waking hours with the kids of other families than they spend with you! Those kids from other families are going to exert a very real and powerful force in the lives of your kids (this is commonly called "peer pressure"). You don’t say how old your kids are but if you have three it is probably pretty safe to assume that at least one of your kids is already of school age and maybe all of them are already in school.

Just like it says in our curriculum, “The ideas in the heads of you kids will rule their world! And it does not matter where those ideas come from”. In the American culture many of the ideas in kids heads come from the kids that they spend time with at school! If you are NOT willing to engage in discussions with the families of those kids and insist on doing “your own thing in your own home” with little or no interaction with the families of the kids that your kids go to school with and play with, then you are committing a fatal error. Those other kids and families will exert lots of pressure on you kids with some pretty dysfunctional ideas; and if you are unwilling to interact you must accept what you get! But peer pressure need not be a negative force!

It works like this: It is so much easier for you to teach something as simple as saying “please” and “thank-you” at your dinner table if, when your kids visit another family home and your kid says, “Hey gimme a biscuit,” and then someone at that table asks them to use “Please!” All of a sudden you are not so weird for demanding the same in your home.

Roll the camera ahead a few years and your daughter or son is on a date to the Prom. It is so much easier for your kid to practice appropriate dating behavior if the kid he or she is dating is practicing the same behavior!

It is so much more reasonable to expect your kid to say “no” to drugs if he or she has friends who are cool, and who are also saying “no” surrounding them! It is much easier to place productive and healthy ideas in your kids’ heads if the kids that they go to school with and hang out with have similar ideas in their heads!

“How do we get there?” you ask. Well it is really pretty simple; you have to get together with the parents of the kids that your kids play with, and go to school with, you need to sit down with the other parents and look each other in the eye and agree on some similar techniques and ideas.

At this point so many parents say, “But we will never agree with other parents on everything!” Granted, but, you know, I have now been in communities in every one of the fifty states, and let me tell you it is not nearly as hard as it may appear at first glance! If you put twenty adults in a room and ask them to form a list of the twenty biggest problems that they anticipate that their kids will face before they are twenty-one, almost every group will come up with the same list! The key is to anticipate what your kids will face and to give them the guidance BEFORE they are in the situation. If a whole group of parents have agreed that they want their kids to know what to do in the event that drugs are offered, then they must develop those positive expectations in the heads of their kids!  This works so much better if those same actions are in the heads of many of your kids friends and classmates!

Our classes are a great medium for stimulating those discussions in a very non-threatening way! If you will hold the classes with twelve other families then you will have twelve allies in placing productive and positive ideas in your kids heads!

I cannot encourage you strongly enough to set up a class with Parenting with Dignity solely for the purpose of engaging with other parents in building strategies for collectively creating the community to raise your kids. Believe me it works!  (And the review of the curriculum will not hurt you either!)

In closing let me offer just one more side benefit to holding classes… you will learn more from the other people in the class than you learn from the curriculum! It is true. You will learn more from the ideas and experiences that the other parents bring to class than you will learn from the curriculum itself.  The other families will bring in examples and situations typical to your community and your local culture!

Good luck and if you need help setting up your class just go to and print that page. It is a compilation of things we have learned about setting up successful classes.

Go for it and let me know if I can be of help in setting up your class.


Mac Bledsoe
Mac and Barbara Bledsoe




Mac & Barbara Bledsoe

What Parents Do For Kids

By Mac and Barbara Bledsoe


Yesterday, Barbara and I had a wonderful experience that began our New Year on such a great note that we want to share it.   Following a late morning appointment we stopped for breakfast at a local restaurant. The most cheerful gentleman waited us on. While making the usual small talk he mentioned that as soon as he got off work at the restaurant he was going to his second job as a meat cutter at the local grocery store. The fellow looked about my age so I said, “Wow, you must be putting a kid or two through college!”

His answer brought tears to our eyes! “I have seven kids… but only two still at home! Five are out on their own and supporting themselves and the two at home are in college now. Won’t be too long before I won’t need to work two jobs!” The key is that he said all of this with a smile!

I said, “Wow, what a sacrifice!”

In his answer we found an ace we could keep. He said, “It has been worth every minute of the work. All of our kids are fantastic adults. One is a painter at the Chevrolet dealership in Whitefish, another has a construction business in Delaware, another is a teacher, and another is a Doctor! That fifth one was amazing,” he said. “She had bad grades all through school but then one day she said she was going to become a doctor. She went to work, brought her grades up went to med school and now she is a doctor! The last two are in college and it looks like we got lucky, all are going to turn out all right!”

“Sir, there is very little luck involved in how your kids turned out", I responded. It was not an accident. The sacrifices you made on their behalf and the obvious work ethic you taught them is the reason that they turned out to be fine adults!”

This hard working man clearly was a living lesson for his kids. Yes, he worked two jobs but he did it gladly and cheerfully. He obviously taught his kids to be their own miracles. None of them could wait for luck or good fortune to land on their doorstep. Each would become what they chose to become and get just about what they worked for. It was interesting to us to note that this loving father did not seem to place any more or less value or pride in the various professions of his kids. He was obviously equally proud of the unique accomplishments of each child.

Another lesson he seemed to be teaching us was that parents must never give up on kids. Keep teaching them and eventually they will get the message. The daughter with the poorest track record in early school eventually went the furthest with formal education. As he put it, “I just never gave up in believing in her! I knew that someday she would find her dream.”

As he talked of his kids his eyes filled with tears and his permanent smile just got bigger. That is a man who will probably go to his grave with little of material value to show for all of his long hours of work… but he will go to his grave a rich, rich man! He was important in the lives of his children. He delights in the really important things in life; his kids and his family!

So why do I share this experience about this simple, loving, hardworking man with you parents? Because his life is a living lesson that loving, teaching, supporting, and believing in your kids is a wonderful way to find real meaning in life! I believe that parents who focus on the positive in their children while continuing to teach, teach, teach by word and example will find their days filled with a lot more joy and a lot less stress. When it is all said and done, about the only footprint any of us will leave on the world will lie in what we have taught to children.


Mac Bledsoe
Mac and Barbara Bledsoe




Make a

Invest in YOUR Family

"Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it is the only thing that ever has."

Margaret Mead, anthropologist

Friends, the meaning in the quote above is something to which we have always subscribed; that people like you and I can change the world - one family at a time. That is why we created this Foundation, to help make the world a better place for our children, and it all begins with you - parents.

We would like to make a suggestion that could have huge implications to you, your family and our foundation.  We are asking you to invest in your family and purchase a set of our DVDs. . . . and just possibly change the world.

Invest in your family, and our Foundation. If you already have our VHS videos, get the new DVDs and donate your VHS tapes to a local school, church or a family who would benefit from watching them.  Together. . .

We can change the world by making sure that our children know how to make good decisions. To do this, we must teach parents effective parenting skills that work. This takes your commitment.

Will you please help us help more 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




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God bless America and her kids!


With Dignity



Drew Bledsoe

730 Capistrano Drive
Kalispell, MT 59901
(406) 752-8035