Friday, December 16, 2011


 It has been crazy around here trying to get ready for the holidays! Where has the time gone?  When we have a free momen, my husband and I have been reading some great parenting books, called 'Grow the Tree You Have' and 'Parking Lot Rules and 75 other ways to raise great children' by Tom Sturges. 
He has some great ideas!
 I found some of his rules and wanted to share them with you!
Thanks Tom!
Rule #1: Parking Lot Rules - page 3
Whenever you are in a parking lot, your children must stand right next to you.
Rule #2: Fingers Fingers - page 5
Teach your children to pull their hands back when they're getting in and out of the car when you call "Fingers fingers."
Rule #3: Grow The Tree You Got - page 6
We must separate our own expectations from those of our children.
Rule #4: Smile When You See Them: The Nancy Armato Rule - page 9
Smile-let your child feel welcome from the first moment he sees you.
Rule #5: Once Seen, Never Unseen - page 11
Protect your children from sad sights that will stay with them forever because once seen, never unseen.
Rule #6: Treat Her Like Your Boss - page 13
When you are completely fed up with your child, try treating him/her like you would with your boss.
Rule #7: Almost Always Skip The First Thing That Comes To Mind - page 15
A careless remark can leave a mark that lasts a lifetime. It's almost always best to skip the first thing that comes to mind.
Rule #8: Five Little Philosophies - page 17
Good philosophies can help children find strength and courage.
Rule #9: Make Life Promises and Keep Them - page 20
Inspire your children to believe and trust you; make life promises and keep them.
Rule #10: Every Day Stay Healthy - page 23
Do everything possible to avoid catching colds, even if it is a little embarrassing at times.
Rule #11: (The) Four Best Times To Wash Hands - page 25
1) When you come home 2) When you use the bathroom 3) Before/after you eat 4) When you go to bed
Rule #12: No Hands to the Face: (The) Bon Jovi Rule - page 27
No hands to the face. This is one of the rules the band follows when they are out on the road touring to ensure that no one gets sick from a strange germ in a strange land.
Rule #13: Why Germs Love Money - page 29
Handling money is one of the most common ways germs travel and infect your children.
Rule #14: Yes-Not-What: (The) Leslie Bricusse Rule - page 33
Leslie Bricusse is a great songwriter ("Goldfinger" and "Candyman" among them) and one of the most polite men in the world. Whenever he hears his name called out, he always answers "Yes" or "Yes, my love..." Try this with your children, and whenever they call out to you, answer them Leslie Bricusse style and always say "Yes!"
Rule #15: (The) Excellent Question Game - page 35
Encourage your child to play the Excellent Question Game.
Rule #16: (The) Twenty Second Explanation - page 38
When you explain things to your child, try to condense it within 20 seconds.
Rule #17: The Importance of Children Telling Stories - page 40
Good listening inspires good storytelling.
Rule #18: (The) Five Best Times To Talk To Your Child - page 42
Best time to talk to your child: 1)Bath Time 2)Drive Time 3) Bedtime 4) Wake-up Time 5) Anytime they want.
Rule #19: Lyric & Melody: It's Not Just What You Say, It's How You Say It - page 44
Rule #20: Yes It's Okay To Go Off Topic - page 47
It's okay to go off topic in a conversation with your child.
Rule #21: Four Things You Can Say With Your Hands - page 49
When voices are inappropriate, speak with your hands to tell your children you love them.
Rule #22: When You Get Upset, Whisper - page 52
Rule #23: Kids Court - page 55
Give both sides in a heated argument a chance to be heard and improve the chances of resolving things quickly. Kids Court Rule recommends that each child get two minutes to explain what happened, and that you listen well and make a judgement that lands somewhere in the middle.
Rule #24: Start The Conversation Over - page 59
Sometimes children need a second chance. When things seem frustrating start the conversation over.
Rule #25: (The) Other Side Of the Freeway - page 61
Teach you r child to measure how much we love and respect them by using metaphors, smiles, language and concepts they can understand.
Rule #26: (The) Whisper Game - page 69
Use the "Whisper Game" to remind children that they do not need to shout to be heard.
Rule #27: First Bite/Last Bite - page 72
Using the "First Bite/Last Bite" rule can help your children avoid developing fussy-eating complex, and gives them plenty of reasons to be courageous and more polite at the dinner table.
Rule #28: Three Essential Table Manners - page 75
1) Chew with the mouth closed 2) Talk with mouth empty 3)Hold a knife and fork like a painter holds a brush.
Rule #29: Reverse Dinners - page 77
"Reverse Dinners" can break the monotony of too many healthful green vegetables and make eating fun again.
Rule #30: Opposite Pointing - page 79
Teach your children about "Opposite Pointing", allowing them to point out everything interesting without offending the person being pointed at.
Rule #31: Say The Awkward With A Question - page 81
Teach your child to say the awkward with a question.
Rule #32: The Significance of a Firm Handshake - page 84
Teach your child to give a firm handshake early on.
Rule #33: Thank You Notes - page 87
Encourage and facilitate the use of writing Thank-You Notes.
Rule #34: (The) Bill Walton Rule - page 89
If you can't be on time, be early.
Rule #35: Please And Thank You Races - page 91
Please and Thank You Races tell your child the importance of being polite and well-mannered at a restaurant table.
Rule #36: Dessert Demerits - page 93
Desert Demerits is a way to make eating politely one of the first things you child think about when eating.
Rule #37: Angels Angels Everywhere - page 94
Tell your children that there are angels everywhere to teach your children to be patient and understanding with those who are different from them, particularly people who are enduring difficult circumstances.
Rule #38: (The) John Elway Rule - page 99
Whenever you are going to be in a crowd, make sure that you child is easy to spot by dressing him in the jersey of your favorite NFL player.
Rule #39: Stay Where You Are and Fly Like An Angel - page 101
Teach your child if they get lost, to "stay where they are and fly like an angel."
Rule #40: Walk Big And Tall - page 104
Parents should dress as distinctively as possible when we are taking our children to crowded places.
Rule #41: Matching Wrist Bands - page 105
In any large group, brightly colored wristbands can easily serve to identify all of the members.
Rule #42: Dog Tags - page 106
Have your child wear "Dog Tags" especially for a trip that lasts several days in a foreign city.
Rule #43: (The) Caboose Rule - page 108
To keep your children in sight, assign a designated adult or an older child to be the last one in the group.
Rule #44: Anonymous Clothing/Anonymous Cars - page 110
It's a dangerous world for children. Give them a little protection via pure anonymity and never put names on clothes or car windows or anywhere that would allow a stranger the advantage.
Rule #45: Your Child Has To Know Where You Are - page 112
Rule #46: Keep 'Em Wired - page 114
Make it easy for your child to stay in touch when the family is going out- devise memorable methods for your child to contact you.
Rule #47: Buddy Diving - page 115
This is one of the fundamental lessons of safe scuba diving: always swim with a buddy. One way to ensure children never get lost on a trip is to have children of a like size or age always stay together, never more than an arms length apart.
Rule #48: (The) Truth Reduces The Punishment By 90% - page 119
Rule #49: (The) Ten Second Rule - page 122
Take ten seconds before you make your first move in punishing your child.
Rule #50: (The) List of Joys and the Threat of Discipline - page 124
Remind your child their list of joys would be taken away if he did not improve his grades.
Rule #51: Food and Punishment - page 126
Never deny your child food as part of any punishment.
Rule #52: No Reason To Hit - Ever - page 127
Rule #53: No Yelling Rules - page 128
No yelling at children.
Rule #54: (The) Power of Forgiveness - page 129
To make a foolish mistake is what children do. Let the power of forgiveness guide your parenting.
Rule #55: Whatever You Do, Avoid Tautology - page 132
Be clear when you tell your children what they did wrong; avoid tautology.
Rule #56: Five Non-Violent Yet Very Effective Punishments - page 133
1)Silent Treatment 2) Do Not Go To Your Room 3) The Writing Punishment 4) Make Him Apologize 5) Have Your Child Run Laps
Rule #57: Take The Pain Away - page 139
Use collective humor to "Take the pain away"
Rule #58: Slow Motion Replays - page 141
Use "Slow-Motion" to help your child laugh away his tears.
Rule #59: Freeze It Then Clean It - page 143
Use "Freeze it/Clean it" in the event of an injury.
Rule #60: My Big Fat Icy Greek Wedding - page 145
No matter what else it does for you injured child, ice does something immediately.
Rule #61: (The) Ground Is On Fire - page 147
Let your children believe "the ground is on fire" to encourage them in sports.
Rule #62: Squeeze My Hand As Much As It Hurts - page 149
After an injury, let your child squeeze your hand as much as it hurts for them.
Rule #63: Do Not Rush To End The Tears - page 151
When your child is in pain, just hold him in you arms and let him cry it out. There should be no rush to end the tears.
Rule #64: How To Put Out A Fire, Red Adair Style - page 153
Control dire situations by disrupting patterns and changing the agenda.
Rule #65: Team Sports: Sign 'Em Up - page 159
Sign your child up to play a team sport whenever there's a chance.
Rule #66: Game Day/Next Day - page 162
On the day of your child's game, or recital, or speech, or any important event, treat him or her like your hero, like you are living with Michael Jordan and taking him to the big game. Afterward, say nothing but kind things. Save all your comments, criticisms and suggestions until the next day.
Rule #67: Coaching Is A Privilege - page 164
If you want to make a difference in a child's life, become a good, respecting, and inspiring coach.
Rule #68: (The) ESPN Rule - page 167
Tell the story of your child's proudest efforts and moments over and over, but not for too long.
Rule #69: Complete Victories - page 170
Give your child the satisfaction of earning your unconditional praise.
Rule #70: Mandatory Attendance - page 172
Parents should try to attend every organized league game that their children play.
Rule #71: (The) Carryover of the Unrealized Dream - page 173
Try not to convert your child into your own unrealized dream.
Rule #72: Adjust The Level of Difficulty - page 175
Just like video games offer different levels of game-play, Let your child adjust all the aspects of difficulty during their playtime with you.
Rule #73: (The) Tap-Tap Rule - page 177
The game stops anytime anywhere when your child calls "tap tap."
Rule #74: No Dares - page 74
If your child has gotten into the habit of issuing dares, this is a habit worth losing.
Rule #75: Any Game/Any Time - page 181
Got a roomful of children and nothing to do? Any game any time is the rule for you. All you need are these four things: 1) a competition 2) lots of points and scoring 3) a distinct advantage provided for younger players 4) a very obvious finish line or ending point. Mix together with enthusiasm and off you go.
Rule #76: Courage and Encouragement - page 184
Encouraging our children at every chance will enable their courage to take root, grow and blossom.


  1. These are now on my to read list.

  2. Im going to have to read these!!

  3. With regards to #1 ... my rule is "stand on the line" when the kids get out of the car, the line being the divider line between parking places. it gives them a very concrete (no pun intended), limited place to be. #44 is a pet peeve of mine ... how easy would it be to follow the kids to practice and then take johnny or suzy aside, calling them by name. Thanks for sharing a great list!

  4. I'm going to get his book from the library - these are great! Thanks for sharing!