Hypocrisy in how we treat some students?

This is primarily directed to educators and parents.

Have you have ever made a diet or exercise plan?

Did you ever “break your plan” after 2, 3, 5 days?

Does that mean you weren’t sincere when you said it was important to exercise more or lose weight?

When I ask the question in my Choosing ExcellenceTM workshops, everyone says they were sincere, but it was difficult.

I agree!

If a student makes a plan for change and then has problems after 2 or 3 days, most educators say, “the student wasn’t serious about changing.” Or “They were just telling me what I wanted to hear.”

If an adult fails after a few days with a diet or exercise plan, does it mean that it wasn’t or isn’t a good idea?  Does it mean they weren’t serious?  Does it mean they were telling themselves what they wanted to hear?

In most cases the answer is “No.”  The plan began with sincerity and good intention.  Some changes are difficult.

My question is, if adults have difficulty changing, why shouldn’t a 5 year-old, 10 year-old, or 15 year old?

Ask one or several of the following questions.

  • Was the plan a good idea?
  • Is it still important to you improve ________?
  • Do you want to make any changes to the plan?
  • When will you recommit to the plan?

Using the Questioning Process at Home – Part 4 – Goals/Action Steps

These are questions that I wrote for a colleague who was dealing with a specific member of her family, but I believe they are helpful as a reference point for any situation.  Please read s previous Using the Questions with Family Members for a more detailed explanation…

Life in general…(SMART Goals and Plans)

  • Do you have any goals?
  • If not, does not having goals help you move towards happiness?
  • Do you have action steps that will really help you accomplish your goal(s)?
  • How do you know if you are making progress?
  • S = Specific
    M = Measurable
    A = Aligned with Quality World Picture (What you want)
    R = Results Oriented (Success)
    T = Time-Bound and Transferable (Would it work at home and at school?)
  • Example:   By the end of the week I will spend at least three, 15 minute sessions of quality (fun) time with each of my children.  I will record each fun event in a notebook and review it on Sunday.
  • Alternate Way:  Involve the children and let them graph or record the times….

Obviously, if you are asking a family member these questions, you will want to make the questions sound like you – so work them into your own language.  Remember that you are just the questioner; it is not as effective if you just tell the person what you think.

Using the Questioning Process At Home – Part 3 – Parenting

These are questions that I wrote for a colleague who was dealing with a specific member of her family (by phone), but I believe they are helpful as a reference point for any situation.

The questioning process, when used with family members, is a little different than in a counseling or teaching setting.   We, as family members, are their relatives, not their counselor.   Having said that, using the questioning process can at least plant seeds and help a family member look at their life a little differently.  Also, remember to ask the questions in a way that the family member realizes that the questions are only for him/her to answer – you don’t need the answer.  If they want to share, that’s fine.  If not, realize that they can’t not answer the question in their head before getting defensive or rationalizing.


  • What kind of a parent do you want to be?
  • What parts of that picture are you matching or close to matching?
  • What parts are you not matching?
  • What are some of your happiest moments as a parent?
  • What is happening when you don’t like parenting?
  • What can you do to re-frame your thinking or change an action when that happens?

Let me know your thoughts…

Tomorrow’s Topic – Goals and Plans

Suggested Reading:  Nancy Buck’s Peaceful Parenting.