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Nurturing kids with the right words

Chick Moorman has advice for parents and teachers

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Parents will be taught to choose their words wisely at an upcoming presentation.

Seven Oaks School Division is hosting Michigan-based public speaker Chick Moorman on Thurs., Oct. 24 at Garden City Collegiate (711 Jefferson Ave.) from 7 to 9 p.m.

Moorman will be delivering a talk for parents titled "Words that Inspire, Words that Wound", where he will demonstrate how certain words, phrases and ways of speaking can nurture, empower and inspire children, whereas others only shame and belittle.

"We’re not always conscious of the weight that words carry and how kids react to them," says Moorman, 71, during a phone interview before a speaking engagement in Mexico.

"I’m going to tell parents there are always two levels. There are the words that come out of our mouth but then there’s the silent message, the implied message.

"For instance, when I say the simple phrase ‘check yourself,’ it’s because we’re getting ready to go to grandma’s place. It means check yourself to see if you got enough stuff to play with in the car because it’s three hours to grandma’s.

"But, the implied message is ‘It’s your job to check on you, not mine.’ I teach parents a bunch of things like that, helping them deliver messages of self-responsibility and independence."

A former classroom teacher, Moorman has been sharing his verbal skills and motivational knowledge for almost 50 years, as well as writing many books for parents and teachers alike. He’s also a parent and a grandfather, even raising two of his grandchildren for a number of years.

During his talk in Winnipeg, Moorman will share his "10 Best/Worst Things You Can Say to Children."

"This surprises parents sometimes, but on my best list is the word ‘no,’" Moorman says. "It’s about structure and boundaries, and that there are choices within these boundaries but not outside. It’s about being a parent and not trying to be a friend.

"One on my worst list is ‘good job.’ Parents say that all the time, ‘good job’, ‘good boy’, ‘that’s so good’. I find that kind of fake praise creates praise junkies. Kids get hooked on it and chase after it all the time. They don’t know inside themselves if they’re good unless somebody tells them, because they haven’t developed that internal standard."

Moorman will also be speaking to educators on the topic of "Motivating the Unmotivated" at Canad Inns Garden City (2100 McPhillips St.) on Fri., Oct. 25 from 9:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.

Whether its parents, teachers or kids, Moorman wants to "help people use their words to raise responsible, caring, conscious children."

"I don’t know what it’s like in Winnipeg, but where I live, we don’t have enough responsible, caring, conscious people walking around, much less parents," Moorman says.

For more information or to register contact Ron Lauder at (204) 953-5875 or rlauder@aclwpg.ca

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