By Mac Bledsoe There is so much being written about bullying in the media the past couple of weeks because of a few events that have caught the attention of the national media, and I would just like to weigh in on the commentary. So much of the advice being offered seems to me to be waiting until it is a little late. PREVENTION is the only rational solution! Granted, there may be some rar... Read More

A "Quick Fix for Misbehavin' Kids"?

By Mac 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 ... Read More

The Ideas in Your Head Will Rule Your World

By Mac Bledsoe It does not matter where the ideas come from, and it doesn't matter whether they are right or wrong, once an idea is in your head, it will rule your world. Only a few months ago I gave a keynote address to 3,000 people at a regional parenting conference. In the talk I had mentioned the difficulties parents face with Drug abuse by their children. During the question and ans... Read More

"Back When I Was a Kid..."

By Mac Bledsoe We must eliminate from our minds a few phrases when we are making decisions about how we will be raising our kids. They are the sayings like: "When I was a kid..." and "If I had done that when I was a kid, my dad would have..." or "Back when we were in school they used to..." Now, this may sound odd to you coming on the heels of our last article w... Read More


By Mac Bledsoe In today's society like in the past, kids have heroes. This is a good thing. However, in modern society it seems the process of selecting heroes has become rather muddled or confused. Fame should not necessarily make a person a hero. We have experienced this from both sides: first as parents of two sons who chose heroes while growing up, and now with two sons who have disting... Read More

Bike riding and present wrapping

By Mac Bledsoe A little examination of two behaviors, which are learned almost universally by all Americans, reveals some shocking information about the effectiveness of some of the teaching techniques that we choose to use to educate our children. In the last six months we have been conducting a little informal survey as we travel across America, and it has yielded some very interesting and... Read More

Shaping kids lives with love

By Mac Bledsoe As we said in our last article of our Newsletter, our "Parenting with Dignity" curriculum operates around one basic and simple principle, which is that the ideas in your head will rule your world. Therefore, we also believe the ideas in the heads of our children will rule their world. We believe that the single most powerful behavior-shaping tool at the disposal of pare... Read More

A Familiar Sound . . . America Needs the Sound of Our Children Among Us

By Mac Bledsoe One of the real dangers of traveling around the country conducting conferences on parenting issues and writing articles like this one about parenting is that a person can begin thinking that he really is an expert. However, every once in a while something happens to bring us back to earth and demonstrates that we has barely scratched the surface of knowledge about parenting. Just... Read More


By Mac Bledsoe Do not assume that your kids have heard what you have said simply because you have said it.  Repeat it! Repetition is fundamental in almost any learning so when you are attempting to teach your children use repetition!  As we travel the country speaking with and listening to parents there is an almost universal comment we hear being stated by frustrated parents a... Read More

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 a... Read More


Love is not just something you say; it is something you do… and listening is one of the most loving acts a parent can do for children! By Mac Bledsoe Listening to children is absolute confirmation to children that they are important to us and important in the world. When a child wants to talk to us, we must make the time to stop and listen. Think about it, what message does the follow... Read More

Reasons Punishment Doesn't Work

By Mac Bledsoe Buck Minor, the cowboy on our ranch, used to always say, "If you teach an animal a lesson by meanness or cruelty, don't be surprised if the animal remembers the meanness and cruelty and forgets the lesson!" His statement, for the first time, caused me to investigate the effectiveness of punishment as a tool for changing human behavior. Here's what I found when I... Read More

"Tricking" kids into self-discovery

By Mac Bledsoe My best friend, John Matau, was an amazing teacher! He was a master at "tricking" kids into self-discovering positive ideas about themselves. Here is just one example of his amazing skill as a teacher that you may be able to imitate as you work with your own kids. Almost every year, John would have what he called his "Cheater's Test" in his U.S. history... Read More

What if they don't?

Reasons to Ask Kids to Limit or Adjust Their Behavior By Mac Bledsoe So often when people ask us for help with their children's behavior they include the phrase "What if they don't…. ?" It seems so many parents want to jump to the consequences of failure before even considering the concept of structuring a situation of success. In a nutshell, they seem to be more wor... Read More

Attitude is Everything!

By Mac Bledsoe The other day I was talking with a very frustrated mother about her daughter who was driving her crazy. She was at wits end and wanted to know what to do to change her daughter. Then she described her daughter to me. "She is argumentative, stubborn, defiant, surly, rude, and she throws fits!" the mother said. I listened as the frustrated mother described in detail each ... Read More

Five Great Lessons

By Mac Bledsoe I picked these ideas true stories up in different places and put them together here because I feel that they are well worth passing on because there are some things in life that are not taught in classes nor do we need a college professor to tell us are true! I hope that they will stimulate some meaningful discussions at your dinner table or on your next trip in the car with your... Read More

The alarm is sounding

They are our kids and we must answer the alarm! By Mac Bledsoe Please be warned that, in this article, we may seem to be alarmed or worried. Well, we are alarmed and worried and it is because we are scared! We are scared for the children of America, some of whom belong to you. About 23 years ago we had a very shocking experience… we were awakened from our sleep by our neighbor bang... Read More

Play With Your Kids

By Mac Bledsoe During summertime, family life becomes more chaotic and less routine. However, summer presents a wonderful new opportunity for parents who choose to grasp it! As I travel the nation putting on parenting events there is one very common question that keeps being asked… "How do you talk to kids, especially to teenagers?" Well, let me tell you, I do not believe th... Read More

Listening to our kids

By Mac Bledsoe All too often, when people say that they can't communicate with their kids what they really mean is that they don't know how to talk so that their kids will listen. What they forget is that their own listening habits are probably more important than any thing they might say! One of the most loving and personality-shaping things that a parent can do for a child is to si... Read More

Thanks for Family!

By Mac Bledsoe (Sometimes the things that annoy us are really things for which we should give thanks!) For the husband/wife who snores all night, because he/she is at home asleep with me and not with someone else and it means that I have a family. For the teenager who is complaining about doing dishes, because that means he/she is at home & not on the streets, and doing dishes usually... Read More

Happiness is an Attitude of Choice

By Mac Bledsoe Many times in the past few years I have been asked, “If you could only teach one idea to every kid you taught in your 29 years as a teacher, what would that idea be?” My answer has always been the same! If I could only teach one idea to every kid I ever taught it would be that “Happiness is an attitude of choice!” If I were successful in teaching eve... Read More

Fulfilling a Dream

By Mac Bledsoe Back in 1996, when we set out upon this journey to create our parenting foundation, we developed our "wish-list" of what we most wanted to accomplish.  First, we wanted to create a videotape version of our Parenting with Dignity program.  We realized that objective during our first year!  Then we wanted to create a Parent's Workbook and we did that so... Read More

What Parents Do For Kids

By Mac 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 sec... Read More

Speaking of Kids…

By Mac Bledsoe Far too many people in the world today speak of children as if they had nothing to do with them! Just last week we went to watch some young neighbor kids play in a youth football game at our beautiful athletic park here in Kalispell, Montana. It was a glorious morning! Six football fields and six soccer fields filled with hundreds of kids competing in some very healthy physica... Read More


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