Archive for the 'Total Transformation Review' Category

Throwing Temper Tantrums

I wrote the previous entry dealing with kids throwing temper tantrums. I mentioned the problem of unchecked behavioral fits in childhood leading to magnified issues in teens and adults. In this entry, I want to share some personal observations of outright temper tantrums that I’ve witnessed. These go far beyond a child whining in a store and crying at the checkout line because the mother refuses to buy candy or a toy that the kid wants. However, I’m willing bet that in all the stories below, the people initially threw milder temper tantrums that were not handled properly by their parents. They later escalated into the kinds of behavior I witnessed below.

Throwing Tempter Tantrums At School

The first one goes back to school days. There was a kid in school who used to have temper outbursts when he got upset. I remember one incident that happened outside on the playground during recess. I don’t recall now what set off the boy off on this particular day, but no doubt it was just a simple everyday childhood occurrence that should not set off some kind of behavioral fit.

Some kids think throwing temper tantrums is fun.

Wouldn’t you just love to deal with a temper tantrum like this?

He started screaming gesturing wildly. That led to hyperventilating and his yes rolling back in his head. That wasn’t even the most dramatic stage! That came when he rolled around on the groung kicking and crying. The whole incident finally ended when he was literally carried off the playground in a heap into the school by several older boys from higher grades.

Do you think there is any way in the world that was his first ever temper tantrum or were there perhaps a few others before they got bad like that?

Throwing Temper Tantrums At Work

The second story is about a workplace tantrum. There was a disagreement about procedures in the department. The participants in the discussion happened to be standing. One of them started grunting and stamping his feet when the discussion was clearly not going his way. One of the coworkers asked him later why he was stamping his feet like a little kid when he couldn’t get his own way. He looked right at her and answered honestly, “Because it has always worked when I do that.”


Adult Throwing Temper Tantrums

Adults throwing temper tantrums aren’t pretty to witness.

Lest you think it is only men or boys or who have these tempter tantrum fits, the last story features a woman. This is also a workplace incident. The woman was upset over something justifiably frustrating that happened. She stood up from her desk and slammed the side of the computer. She knocked the chair over as she pushed it out of her way to leave the cubicle. She punched the wall on her way to the door. She kicked the door open and then slammed it behind her. She didn’t return to her desk that day. Nobody knew where she went, but I assume she home. The best part? She actually came back to work the next day and continued to work there!

Seriously, if you are a parent, learn to control temper tantrums right now or someone may be writing stories like this about your kid when he or she is thirty years old.

Temper Tantrums

We’ve all seen kids throw temper tantrums. If you haven’t seen a temper tantrum recently and you feel you need a refresher course, just go to a busy department store or grocery store. It won’t take long to find a kid throwing a fit in public because a mother or father refuses to buy something that the kid wants.

Teenage Temper Tantrums

Uncontrolled childhood temper tantrums lead to adult temper tantrums.

If children’s temper tantrums are bad (and they definitely are), what about adult temper tantrums? Have you ever witnessed one of those in public at a store? Or worse, at your workplace? Or even worse, in your own household?

Why Childhood Temper Tantrums Lead To Adult Temper Tantrums

Did you ever wonder why on earth an adult would throw a tantrum? I’ll tell you why. It’s a direct result of how the adult’s parents reacted when that adult was throwing fits as a child. Don’t kid yourself. Seriously, it really is that simple to understand. As James Lehman states it, “The way you respond to a tantrum will shape every tantrum a kid has from now until he is sixty years old.” Let me say: GOD, IS THAT TRUE!

Lehman also added an accurate and frightening thought. “A temper tantrum at age thirteen or fourteen will put holes in your wall.” That’s why you need to get temper issues under control as soon as possible. Whatever stage your kid happens to be at when it comes to throwing fits, you need to deal with them IMMEDIATELY. If you don’t you can pretty much guarantee that things are going to get worse.

If you don’t want things like happening with your kids, check out The Total Transformation Program for help with dealing with temper tantrums.

Should Parents Love Kids Unconditionally

How did you respond when you first saw the title: Should Parents Love Kids Unconditionally? Did you think I was asking a rhetorical question? Did you think the question was silly because everyone in the world would automatically respond with the same answer?

I have to admit when I first head the parents discussing that in The Total Transformation Program, I thought to myself, why are they wasting time with something like that? I was surprised to hear The Total Transformation Program creator James Lehman (a licensed family therapist) say the answer to the question of whether parents should love kids unconditionally is no!

Unconditional Parental Love as Explained in The Total Transformation

When he explained his answer though, it makes sense. You just need to get over the initial shock and think about what he is saying to realize he is right.

He said, “I don’t know about you, but I don’t love people who assault me.” With all the stuff you read in the news practically every day about children threatening, hurting and even murdering their parents, I can see why James Lehman would reasonably make that distinction. He went even further stating that a parent’s attitude should be “I love the idea of you being my son, but you must treat me with respect.” Lehman says he calls that the concept of loving someone responsibly as opposed to unconditionally. I think he’s on to something there.


Should Parents Love Kids Unconditionally

The question of whether parents should love kids unconditionally deserves critical attention.

It reminds me of different families I’ve known over the years. Some kids knew they could literally get away with anything because their parents would forgive them and everything would always be all right at the end no matter how disobedient they were or what trouble they caused. Ultimately, those kids really had no long lasting consequences for anything they did.

Other kids I knew wouldn’t dare do anything wrong because they literally feared their parents wouldn’t forgive them or love them anymore, thus bad behavior would have serious negative consequences.

Although neither of those two situations may be ideal, you need to ask yourself which of the two is better in the long term for the kids.

Task Oriented Consequences

I love the phrase “task oriented consequences” which I heard in audio lesson number three of The Total Transformation Program. It’s one of those things that James Lehman and the parents discuss on the CD that just jumps out at you when you listen to it. I had to comment upon it here.

There is a point in this section of the Total Transformation Program DVD which is crucial to implementing the whole program successfully in your household. Everyone in our society wants instant fixes to everything like get rich quick schemes instead of doing the work it takes to build a solid foundation of income and assets over the years.

Total Transformation Program Review Illustration Task Oriented Consequences

Repetition, practice, and rehearsal set kids up for success with task oriented consequences.

Of course, it comes as no surprise (and who could rally blame them) that frustrated parents want an instant fix to bad behaviors exhibited by their kids. There are many ideas in The Total Transformation Program that actually can help make improvements very quickly in problem areas. However, the overall program is one of improving parenting skills which means, like all skill building, things improve over time.

Achieving Task Oriented Consequences Success

In the introductory portion of the parenting workbook, James Lehman even says specifically that many parents will want to rush through the whole package immediately, but they should take their time working on one lesson a week. That way, they can absorb the information better and focus on that one parenting skill / behavioral outcome for the week and see it in action in multiple circumstances.

Anyway, the point is that parents need to set reasonable goals in a progressive manner for themselves. It stands to reason that the same concept applies when setting the goals for the changes in the child’s behavior. Parents need to establish reasonable goals from wherever the child is at the moment. Yes, the overall goal at the end is still the same, but parents need to be able to see and celebrate the individual steps it takes to reach the goal at the top of the stairway!

To reach that final goal, James Lehman explains in The Total Transformation that repetition, practice, and rehearsal will be necessary. He also points out that kids hate those things, but that’s how they learn. He is so right. That made me think of two things – taking music lessons and memorizing multiplication tables. When a kid first attempts to learn an instrument or tackle the concept of multiplication in math class, the basic instruction required must ensure that the kids understand what is being taught. Beyond that, the only way to master musical skills or math skills is to constantly practice and repeat.

Parent Coaching Role

Despite the title, this blog entry isn’t about parents acting as coaches for their kids’ sports teams. It’s about the role that parents play as coaches in their kids’ lives as discussed in The Total Transformation Program.

Parents need to teach kids to comply with authority. That is further broken down into two steps:

    Recognizing Legitimate Authority
    Responding Appropriately

Parent Coaching Role In Action

The example that James Lehman used in the parenting course materials was a child being told to sit down by a teacher during class time. The child has to recognize that the teacher has the authority to determine when a students should be sitting. Then the child has to respond appropriately by complying with the request without arguing, making excuses, etc.

This is pretty straightforward. I’m sure you can think of a million other examples. The important point here is thinking of the parent as a coach – here’s where the sports analogy comes in. A coach doesn’t just tell a team member to do something and expect it will be done perfectly every time.


Parent Coaching Role means setting behavior standards and encouraging them.

The first step in a parent coaching role is emulating the desired behavior.

First, the coach explains or models the behavior he or she wants the child to emulate. Then the coach provides numerous practice opportunities. He or she also offers encouragement along the way and consequences if a player willfully violates a rule or purposefully does something wrong.

Getting the individual players and team in shape to win a game and ultimately a championship definitely doesn’t happen overnight. It is a long term effort needing continuous attention. Unfortunately, the trajectory will not be completely forward either. There will be setbacks and disappointments. The important thing to remember is keeping one’s eye on the ultimate prize.

When you frame it that way, it really illustrates why thinking about parents in a coaching role makes perfect sense.

Should Kids Talk About Their Feelings

How does family therapist James Lehman feel about kids talking about their feelings? The answer may surprise you…

Today’s topic is about an interesting section of the third Total Transformation Program audio lesson. It is actually surprising (and refreshing, depending on your point of view) to hear a licensed family therapist with so many years of counseling experience say what James Lehman said on the CD about kids talking about their feelings. He was asked, “Should kids talk about their feelings?”

He stated that there was no reason for kids to talk about their feelings! Should I repeat that? Are you shocked to hear a behavioral therapist say that?

Angry parent needs help from The Total Transformation Program.

This mom is NOT in the mood to hear an excuse from her kids as to how to their feelings supposedly caused their bad behavior.

To be fair and accurate, Lehman is specifically referring to the connection between feelings and behavior. (Even more specifically, this topic deals with the connection between feelings and misbehavior.)

Kids, Feelings, and Behavior in Two Sentences:

I love the way James Lehman states the following:

You can’t feel your way to better behavior.

You can behave your way to better feelings.

This philosophy certainly makes sense, especially when you consider that the point and goals of this program are behavior outcome based.

Those two lines also make a great sound bite for a commercial as well as a a perfect caption for a motivational poster. That in no way makes them trite. In fact, this is a classic case of the brilliance being in the simplicity.

Parenting Quote

Great Parenting Quote of the Day

OK, this is going to be a short entry today, but I just wanted to share a James Lehman quote from The Total Transformation Program. The topic was about what parents and kids should expect from each other from the parental point of view.

“I expect you to do the right thing and you can expect me to teach you how to do the right thing.”

Now that is a powerful parenting quote for all parents to think about because it applies to all aspects of parenthood.

What Is Effective Parenting

The Definition of Effective Parenting

In The Total Transformation Program, James Lehman defines effective parenting as parenting that teaches skills and brings about change.

That’s a simple enough definition and it really does encompass what could be volumes of information to define effective parenting.


Effective Parenting Skills Total Transformation

Effective Parenting Skills help parents deal with situations that look like this.

As always, when it comes to this parenting course material, think more deeply about what Lehman is saying. He often talks about parenting itself as a set of skills. What I like about that is it means that, like all skills, it can be learned. You don’t have to throw up your hands in defeat if you don’t feel that you innately possess the right parenting abilities and instincts. Skills can be learned. That’s what “skill” means.

Effective Parenting – A Set Of Skills

Anyway, in this case, the founder of The Total Transformation Program is talking about teaching skills. He’s referring to the skills that kids needs to cope with their lives and society. The word “coping” has a connotation beyond the discussion here. When we say we have to “cope” with something, that usually implies there is something onerous or burdensome to be overcome. That’s now what Lehman means. He uses the word “coping” to more like a meaning of “how to successfully get along as a normal person in everyday life.”

The change he wants parents to bring about is in reference to kids behaving better or in ways that enhance their lives and those of the lives around them rather than behavior which has negative consequences.