Say What's Wrong and Make It Right

Proven system that develops children's independence in conflict resolution and communication



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Harmonious Homework Hints 101B

Posted on 10 September, 2015 at 13:05 Comments comments (17247)

Setting the Place

1.  Does your child have a designated place to do homework (a work station)?

  • Young children, kindergarten through second grade, for occasional guidance may need to be near where a parent is cooking, folding laundry, reading, etc.
  • Older children may be more able to concentrate if they are in a more private place.
2.  Are the necessary materials readily available in a drawer, toolbox, treasure chest, tote, or on a nearby shelf so that homework time is not wasted looking for supplies?

3.  Does this cover the materials your child will need:
  • paper and pencils?
  • pencil sharpener?
  • dictionary and thesaurus?
  • computer and printer?
Please let me know if any of these hints for Setting the Place work for your child.  I look forward to any additional hints that have worked with your children.

Stay tuned for the next installment of Harmonious Homework Hints 101 C, Setting the Mood.

Harmonious Homework Hints 101A

Posted on 8 September, 2015 at 16:45 Comments comments (4512)

If this idea appeals to you, the following quiz may be the best test you have ever taken.  There is no grade.  It is just a guide to assist you in finding ways to create greater harmony around homework.  It is written in three parts: A) Setting the Time; B) Setting the Place; and C) Setting the Mood. Parts B & C will follow in the days to come.

Setting the Time

1.  Does your child have a homework schedule in place?

2.  Is the homework plan individualized for each child (as much as possible)?

3.  Is a different schedule needed for each day because of a variety of after school activities?

4.  Does your child need to:

  • have a snack first?
  • have a break before starting homework?
  • complete homework before sports due to fatigue afterward?
  • do a form of phsical activity first in order to be more focused and less fidgety?
5.  Does your family set time aside to do non-electronic activities during homework time? 

6.  Did your child and you plan the schedule together?

Remember, ownership and follow-through are created when input comes through the child's brain and mouth.

If you are able to answer "YES!" to any of the questions above, congratulate yourself.  Since it is a new school year, it may be easy to incorporate some of the other hints in your repertoire.

I would love to hear from parents, teachers, tutors, and anyone else that has found any of the above hints useful.  Also, please feel free to share any other ideas that have contributed to happier and more successful homework times.  In the next few days I will address 101B, Setting the Place and 101C, Setting the Mood.


It's a brand new year!

Posted on 26 August, 2015 at 22:30 Comments comments (5266) the school world that is.  This is an opportunity to introduce change.  We as a society think about making a positive change in our lives every January first.  Think about something you've been wanting to change in your life or your family life.  Here are some ideas to stimulate your thinking:

  • Schedule family game nights throughout the next few months.
  • Plan and provide for more fun and laughter in your life.
  • Connect to feelings and needs of others and yourself.
  • Learn a new skill.
  • Help those in need.
  • Ask more questions to increase understanding and clarity.
Are you or your family in the process of making a positive change in your life?  I would love to hear from you in the next few weeks.

Speaking of Feelings

Posted on 4 August, 2015 at 17:15 Comments comments (4861)

Todd Parr, a best-selling children's author and illustrator has written a lovely book, "It's Okay to Be Different" (2001) Little, Brown, and Company. The book introduces and validates many feelings.  The focus is, also, on the specialness and uniqueness of every individual.

A fun way to broaden a child's vocablary and understanding of feeling is, "Feelings Flashcards" by Todd Parr (2010) Chronicle Books.  Each of the twenty cards is a colorful illustration of a common experience such as proud.  The other side of the card portrays the opposite feeling, ashamed. An added benefit is these cards can be helpful to children when they are having difficulty identifying what they are feeling.

For older youth, the animated movie, "Inside Out" by Pixar is a great springboard for conversations about the contribution feelings play in our lives.

Children as Problem-solvers

Posted on 22 July, 2015 at 14:10 Comments comments (4740)

The following example of the value of "Say What's Wrong and Make It Right" was relayed to me by an elementary school principal.

While on yard duty, a kndergarten girl complained, to the principal, "Tommy is chasing me."

Mrs. Brown, the principal responded, "Let's go talk to him."

Tommy's immediate response was: "I didn't chase her."

Mrs. Brown: "I didn't say you did.  You're not in trouble.  You just need to listen to Lisa."

Mrs. Brown guided them through the Five-Step Process with Lisa looking in Tommy's eyes and stating: "I don't like it when you chase me.  I want you to stop.  It makes me mad."

At this point, Tommy surprisingly offered: "I'm sad."

Mrs. Brown to Tommy: "What are you sad about?"

Tommy to Lisa: "That I chased you. I'm sorry."

Mrs. Brown: "How are you both feeling now?"

Lisa and Tommy in unison and smiling: "Fine!"

Throughout the whole process there was no blaming or guilt.  Lisa simply made an observation of her view of the situation.  Because of that Tommy was able to take responsibility, make amends, and solve the problem quickly.  So many lessons were introduced in a short amount of time:


  • Saying what one is upset about, identifying feelings, using eye contact, and listening to each other leads to win-win solutions.
  • Conflict can be solved without anyone getting in trouble or being punished.
  • Children are capable of solving problems when given tools.



Posted on 7 July, 2015 at 21:30 Comments comments (7342)

I wish you all could have been with me this morning.  I was given the rare opportunity to see and hear the Dalai Lama.  He radiates complete joy and compassion for all.  I was filled with joy just being in his presence.  It definitely rubbed off.  

The main thought I took away is, "We all have to do what we can to make a difference."  So now I'm even more motivated to find ways to share "Say What's Wrong and Make It Right."

Off we go!!

Posted on 23 May, 2015 at 14:30 Comments comments (5310)

Off we go!!!

I am very excited!!  Say What's Wrong and Make It Right, the book, is finally completed. I am so grateful to so many of you for using the Five-Step Process in your own families, classrooms, and even, workplaces.  Your input has helped me hone the program to the useful, workable communication tool it is today.  Your encouragement has added to the joy I receive from teaching the program.  Also, your words and support have helped me stay with the  writing of this book to completion.