Blue flax flower

A Parable

Sometimes when parents start teaching their children how to govern themselves, the children start to fight against the new system. Many people don’t cope with change well, and children are often more anxious during times of change than adults. People look at whatever they have become as normal and comfortable.We don’t like to step out of our comfort zones and start fresh in a whole new environment, especially when we knowthat we will never get the old environment back in this case.

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Girl stealing cookie

Certain Consequences For Certain Behaviors

A blog reader wrote:

1 – We don’t have a “rule” or certain consequence set up for every behavior in the book (nor do we want so many specific rules!) So, I’m wondering if “just-plain-not-doing-what-you-know-you-should” (be kind, be respectful, be responsible, be honest, don’t hit, tease, talk back, etc.) would be considered “not following instructions”, and would it then be followed up with the usual – an extra job, followed by SODAS, then major maintenance, and 24 hours without privileges…? Or is it better to assign certain consequences to certain behaviors?

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Angry Children

When Is It Tattling?

“I agree that there are definitely times I want my kids to tell me about what’s been happening, and you mentioned that you make sure your foster kids know the difference between the two–how do you that? Sometimes it’s really hard for ME to tell when it’s reporting, and when it’s tattling. Besides physically hurting one another, would you want your kids to report things like teasing, saying unkind things or rude words, not helping with a chore that everyone has been given to do together, or taking a toy from someone?”

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Tantrum Face

Poopy Pants and Tantrums


I have one problem I have not figured out how to resolve. My son (6)is a great kid, but there is one thing that sets him off every time to the point that he hits, kicks, screams, says unkind things, and basically acts like the whole world is against him so why try. This happens every time without fail when he is caught with poopy pants.

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Child with hand to ear

Don’t …

A lot of children have selective hearing; have you noticed? Some of this selective hearing is planned and some isn’t. They really don’t hear us correctly sometimes. We can do something to make sure this doesn’t happen as often. Have you ever said don’t run down the hall, and the first thing your child does is run down the hall? My mom used to say to me, “Don’t talk back to me.” The first thing I did after this instruction was talk back to her. Strange. It is never a good idea to start an instruction with the word don’t, because whatever you say after don’t might be

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Are You Assertive?

If you are going to effectively learn how to govern yourself, you have to be assertive. Teaching Self Government is essentially teaching how to act assertively as oppose to agressively or passively. Are you assertive? Take this test. You are in line at a grocery store and someone steps in front of you in line. Do you think bad thoughts about the person but choose not to say anything because it would feel uncomfortable? Do you say, “Excuse me sir, but I am in line. The back of the line is over there. Could you move to the back of th

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“It’s Time To Go To Bed.”

Nicholeen, I have a 9-year old boy. He is a typical 9-year old boy, I believe, in that his mind (and mouth) is constantly going 200 miles an hour. His siblings are always waiting for him to stop talking so they can get a word in edgewise. He is full of ideas and loves to take things apart. We are having a problem with bedtime. He goes to bed just fine, but once there, he won’t go to sleep. We let him read for about 15-30 minutes once he’s in bed, then we come down and turn the lights out (for him and his younger brother who is 4).

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Tell Them What to Say

Even after we teach our children how to follow an instruction or how to accept a NO answer, our children will sometimes forget that they can choose to say, “OK”. The other day I told my son that he needed to clean his room. I could tell that he didn’t want to do the task. His face started to pout. The second I saw this, I said, “Porter, say OK.” He looked right at me and said, “OK!” Then I praised him. It is alright to tell them exactly what to say. This helps them problem solve the very situation they are in. The child then gets the opportunity to see how easy it is to make the rig

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Powerful Pre-teaching

I thought this comment was worth sharing on the front page. ~Nicholeen

I just wanted to share a neat little conversation with 10yod tonight while we were cleaning the dinner dishes. She said, “You know that when you ask 4yod and 6yos to like, go make their bed. They whine and don’t want to do it, but if you say, ‘William, I’m going to give you an instruction. Please go make your bed.’ Than they say ‘OK’ and go do it right away.!” I praised her tons for making and sharing this observation and we talked about how interesting that was. I think the difference is that we practice

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A Great Start

I want to share “The Haroldsen Family Song” that I wrote the night after the seminar. Our family talked about creating a mission statement, but since that is going to take some time, I wanted something ‘right now!’ to pull us into the right frame of mind. I penned these words to be sung to the tune of “America the Beautiful.” We sing it together often and it has even stopped a couple of sibling fights.

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How Did I Learn Self-Government?

In the year 1998, my husband decided to make a career change which involved lower pay and additional schooling. We had already decided that I needed to stay home to raise our two children, so we didn’t exactly know how we were going to meet the needs of our growing family. I appealed to a higher power for direction and, by providence, was led to the Utah Youth Village in Salt Lake City, Utah.I had never thought of doing foster care before, but knew that at this time I wa

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Purpose of the blog

I would like to thank Kaisie Alba for helping me get this blog up and running. The purpose of this blog is to have a place for families who are trying to teach their children how govern themselves to ask questions to Nicholeen and find solutions to their struggles with parenthood. Teaching Self Government is a huge paradigm shift and often times questions come up along the way. This is the place to find a power source if you need one and ask questions. Nicholeen will check the blog as often as possible to try to answer all the many questions out there. She does do lots of things in life,

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