Parenting With Dignity Website


Monthly Newsletter

February 2005

Effective Parenting Skills - BIG News




Parenting With Dignity - THE EARLY YEARS

~ See below for limited time FREE offer ~

Dear Parents and Supporters:

Hello again and welcome to our February 2005 newsletter. We are very excited to announce that Mac Bledsoe's newest parenting book is now at the bookstores and it is now available on the Parenting with Dignity website, (see below) where each copy comes autographed by Mac. Over the years, Mac's had numerous requests to write a book focusing on how to begin teaching toddlers using the PWD concepts. Parenting with Dignity - The Early Years addresses many of those issues and reinforces the ideas Mac wrote about in his first bestseller.

In THE EARLY YEARS, you will learn the five rules for resolving the most common challenges with children two to six. The perfect companion to Mac's other book and videos below. And if you order this month (only), you'll get FREE shipping - AND... Mac Bledsoe will sign your book FREE - A must for every parent of toddlers. Order today!

Thank you and best wishes,

The Editor

PS:  If you know of someone who would benefit from Mac's new book, be sure to sign them up for this newsletter, or forward this to them now. 












PWD on DVD - learn more!Parenting With Dignity is 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:

PWD on DVD- 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)

Click here to order for immediate delivery!



In This


Ask Mac

Send your questions to:
Ask Mac



Ask Mac(Note, this is a two-part email from a mom)

Dear Mac:

I was glad to stumble upon "Parenting with Dignity" in a bookstore recently after several frustrating months of locking horns with my three-year-old son. He was such an easy-going infant and toddler that my struggles with him really took me by surprise! I found myself yelling and saying things I never thought I would! I intuitively understood that my overreaction was ineffective and making things worse between us, but I didn't have any better ideas to draw upon. I have become much more conscientious in how I speak to my child and there is a big improvement already--well, in my behavior at least! For that I am very grateful. If you don't mind, I would like to ask you one specific question that I have not seen addressed in your book or any other book. After bath and stories, I turn out the lights and say goodnight at 8:30 pm. My child stays up singing songs and telling stories to his stuffed animals until 10:00, 10:30--sometimes until 11:00 pm! The natural consequence is that he is very tired when I wake him up at 7:30 am to go to preschool, but other than that seems his normal cheerful self for the most part. For awhile, we turned on a second night light after 10 or 15 minutes that was the "no talking light." That worked beautifully for a few weeks, but no longer has any effect. We then tried using a timer, but that also no longer works. He also talks through his nap at preschool, much to the annoyance of his teachers. I am very concerned that he is not getting enough sleep! Thank you for your time and for the helpful book.


Calmer Mom


Dear Calmer Mom,

Wow, you need to get my new book that just came out... It has a whole chapter on bedtime for infants where I have a bunch of suggestions for that very problem. The book is titled "Parenting with Dignity for the Early Years" and it is in paperback so it is less expensive than my last book. You can get it at any Barnes & Nobel or Borders Books store or you can order it online from Amazon., but the best place to get it is right on our website! When you buy it on our website your copy will come autographed and more of the purchase price will go to our Foundation to help us do our good work.

But that does not answer your question right now so here is a short answer with some suggestions. First of all, it sounds like your son may not need as much sleep as most other kids his age. That being said, it still would be good for him if he could go to sleep before 10:00 P.M. He is getting 9 and a half hours of sleep with the schedule you described for me so he is within 1/2 hour of the recommended 10 hours of uninterrupted night time sleep so he is certainly not out of balance with what most pediatricians are recommending.

Now for some ideas to help him go to sleep: First, I must ask you a question, "What do you want him TO DO?" You have told me what he is doing and that you do not want him to do that but you do not describe what it is that you want him TO DO! That is the key. Once you describe the desired action, probably you will design a strategy for helping your son that will be better than anything I can devise for you... You know him, you love him, and he is your child and it is your home!

If he were my child, I would want him to relax and feel like he was ready to drop off to sleep at 8:30 or 9:00 so I would make the time leading up to bedtime one of progressive relaxation and quiet time. I would start by turning off any TVs in the house and playing some quiet and relaxing music. I would sit down and play a quiet game with the little guy. Next, I would get him into his PJ's and ready for bed and then go to his room with him where I would read a book with him. The book that I would read would be a book that was soothing in nature rather than one about monsters and such. (Sometimes I cannot believe what authors write for children.) Since he is over three I would pick a nice children's novel to read with him so that each night he is hearing a continuation of the same story and the same characters. After 15-20 minutes of reading I would then sing a soothing song or two with him. (My grandkids always ask me to sing an old camp song, and "the one about the camel caravan crossing the desert", that gets progressively louder as the camels get closer and then quieter as the camels travel off into the distance [sounds a little like counting sheep huh?] until they can barely be heard.) Then, right before leaving him alone I would rub his back in a quiet massage. (there are some great books on infant massage that are pretty compelling. I like this one: Infant Massage--Revised Edition : A Handbook for Loving Parents because I have e-mailed with the author and she really sounds like she has lots of real world experience and she is not just writing a book just to make money.

You see, what I am describing to you is creating in your son the feeling that he is ready to CHOOSE to go to sleep because it is really an attractive and natural choice! It sounds to me like he is simply having trouble letting go and the desired action is for him to feel that he is ready to go to sleep. He is most likely still madly thinking about the excitement of the day and the excitement of the upcoming day and he needs some help in letting go of those perfectly normal and wonderful ideas and accepting the idea of peace and relaxation.

Give him specific actions to do. "close your eyes and relax your toes. Now relax your whole feet. Now relax your calves. (you will probably have to touch the parts of his body as he learns to relax each part) and so on until he has relaxed each part of his body. Perhaps you could do this as you are giving him his massage. Be careful… I usually fall asleep when I do this with kids!

Think about your strategy for him and get back to me. I would be glad to give you my reactions. In reality the only reaction that really matters is your son's reaction. Give it some time! You may have to use Rule #3 and repeat it a few times before it take hold.

If you would like to talk about this please feel free to give me a call.

In closing let me put this in perspective for you. Soon your son will be a teenager and you will be writing me wondering how you can keep your son from sleeping his life away! This will pass. Keep your sense of humor. Do like we grandparents would do. Instead of worrying about him in his room talking to himself, take a voice recorder in there and record the words he is saying so you can listen to them when he has outgrown that wonderful stage!


Mac Bledsoe
Mac and Barbara Bledsoe

~~~~~~~~~ Part II

Dear Mr. Bledsoe,

Thanks for your prompt response! Your two books have helped! The new one is the one that is helping me the most right now. The tone of our household is much improved since I read it. I have been spending a little more time with my son after I turn out the lights. We talk about the day ahead and do a little more cuddling. I say goodnight to all of his "babies." He has agreed to talk to his "babies" for 5 more minutes and then he quiets down when I come back in 5 or 10 minutes later. Several nights he was already asleep and I didn't need to come in to remind him to be quiet. A big improvement, I'd say! Naptime at preschool is another story, but I don't have much control over that! Thanks for everything!


Calmer Mom with a Sleeping Boy!


Dear Calmer Mom,

Things sound much improved. Savor the moments because he will outgrow this wonderful stage of development faster than you can believe.

Now I must comment upon your last statement about school… contrary to what you say, you do have a great deal of control over your son's behavior at school! You can practice the desired naptime behavior at home before he goes to preschool so he will be able to comply with the teachers expectations much more successfully!

Saying that you have little control over your son's behavior at school is kind of like saying that you have not taught your son the language that he speaks when he goes to school. I believe that it is up to you to teach your son the appropriate and approved (by you and the teacher) behavior that he will use while in school. That behavior must be taught by you before he goes there just like you have taught him the language he speaks. You have already taught him to dress himself for school; now teach him how to act at naptime! I really believe that it is very simple. Look at our five rules and pick a couple of them and devise a method for teaching him what to do when it is naptime at school. If you try a manner of teaching him do not give up; use rule #3 and do it again. Then if it still does not work try another way to present it, but TEACH HIM!

Nobody can do that as well as you... You are his mother and you know him better and above all you love him more than anyone else in the world!

Speaking as a High School teacher with 29 years of experience, I will tell you that the biggest problem for me as a teacher was dealing with kids at school whose parents had not taught their children how to behave (manners, respect for authority, respect for the rights of others, appropriate treatment of others who are different from them, etc.) and how to act at school so I had to spend all of my time teaching the kids how to behave and therefore I could not spend much time teaching the subject that I was bonded to teach!

Please do not be one of the mothers who sends her kids to school to be raised by the teacher. The fact that you have written to me and have bought the books says that you are not!

Keep me posted and let me know how it goes!


Mac Bledsoe
Mac and Barbara Bledsoe




Mac & Barbara Bledsoe

A "Quick Fix for Misbehavin' Kids"?

By Mac and Barbara Bledsoe


Ever since I began teaching parenting skills almost 26 years ago, one of the most common fallacies that I have encountered is the mistaken idea in the heads of so many parents that there is some great "Quick Fix" for raising kids that are well behaved, self-assured and well adjusted. There is no short cut! Raising kids who are self-assured, well adjusted, self-directed and well behaved requires that parents make permanent and reasoned changes in the way that they relate to their children! In the same way that fad diets help people to lose weight only to regain it immediately; "Quick-Fix" parenting techniques usually result in failure to bring about long-term and meaningful changes in the behaviors of children.

The key to making the Parenting with Dignity Program (or any other parenting program) work lies in permanently changing the manner in which you communicate with and relate to your children! In our program there are assignment sheets that go with each lesson. To make the program work in your family and in your community, every parent in class must do the assignments with their own children during the week between classes. Then the next week the parents must begin class by discussing the results of their attempts at using the skills taught in the last lesson. Most often the parents in the class will find that they learn more from the things that they try and that don't work than they learn from the things that do work! In the process of correcting the things that don't work they will be internalizing their own skills and thoughts. Also, many classes find that as their class reaches the second week, the discussion takes so much time that they postpone some or all of class two in order to discuss the results from the first lesson. In doing this they may find that it takes longer to complete the course but in the long run the permanent changes that they make will ultimately save time as they move into their lives with their kids.

The key to changing the behavior of children lies in the ensuing weeks, months, and years. The changes that parents make in their thinking and behavior must become permanent. There is no short cut to permanent change. It must become a way of life.

Now, I will grant you that over months and years, parents will save lots of time for themselves if they take the time to permanently change their behavior early in their lives as parents. A child who is taught to feed herself with regard to acceptable manners and a well balanced diet will be much easier to live with at seventeen. Once the idea of appropriate manners and eating healthily is well established in both the mind of the parent and child, it will only take occasional reminders and reinforcement spaced over time to maintain the desired behavior in later stages of maturation and development.

Remember this simple adage: "It takes no more time to develop a good habit than it takes to develop a bad habit!" However there is one thing to remember about bad habits… to erase a bad habit takes lots of time; and then… you still must spend the time to develop a new and desirable habit. If there is a "Quick Fix" to use in raising children it lies in making permanent changes and developing good habits as early a possible! Even if it takes more time at the beginning; start immediately developing good habits in your children and they will last a lifetime. If you have waited until your kids are in their teens, it may take more time to develop good habits in your children but every day that you put off starting means that it will just take longer when you begin.

In closing, what I am saying is that the only "Quick Fix" for effective parenting lies in starting to make permanent change today!





Time out . . .

Gone to
the Dogs...



10. T0o0p hqa5rxd 6tt0[o 6ty[p3e 2w9igtjh;pa3wds
     (Too hard to type with paws)

9. "Sit" and "stay" were hard enough; "delete" and "save" are out of the question.

8. Saliva-coated floppy disks refuse to work.

7. Carpal Paw Syndrome.

6. Involuntary tail wagging is dead giveaway he's browsing

5. Fire hydrant icon simply frustrating.

4. Can't help attacking the screen when he hears, "you've got mail".

3. Too messy to mark every Web site he visits.

2. Fetch command not available on all platforms.

1. Can't stick his head out of Windows 98.


Words to Ponder


  • If you can start the day without caffeine or pep pills,

  • If you can be cheerful, ignoring aches and pains,

  • If you can resist complaining and boring people with you troubles,

  • If you can eat the same food everyday and be grateful for it,

  • If you can understand when loved ones are too busy to give you time,

  • If you can overlook when people take things out on you, when through no fault of your, something goes wrong,

  • If you can take criticism and blame without resentment,

  • If you can face the world without lies and deceit,

  • If you can conquer tension without medical help,

  • If you can relax without liquor,

  • If you can sleep without the aid of drugs,

Then, you are almost as good as your dog.




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




Comments about our Newsletter -
send to

Subscribe a friend to PWD!
Subscribe to the "Parenting with Dignity" Newsletter.
Please pass this along to other parents in your address book
and recommend they subscribe to our newsletter. Thanks.


God bless America and her kids!


With Dignity



Drew Bledsoe

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