It's About Them

Young People … Our Greatest Resource

Way to Go, Mrs. Einstein!

I’m currently reading a biography on Albert Einstein by acclaimed author Walter Isaacson. This is reported to be the most comprehensive biography of the famous physicist because it incorporates Einstein’s personal letters and correspondence that have only recently been released.

Albert Einstein was a master of one-liners. Perhaps one of the best, however, came from a different Einstein, his wife. It came while the couple were on their second trip to the United States in the winter of 1931. He was scheduled to lecture at Caltech.

While at Caltech, the Einsteins accepted an invitation from Edwin Hubble to make the short trip up the road to the Mount Wilson Observatory in the mountains above Pasadena. Hubble was anxious to show Einstein the 100-inch reflector telescope that had aided Hubble in verifying Einstein’s thoughts on the expanding nature of the universe.

Einstein was impressed, but Elsa was not. When the scientists tried to explain to her that this huge telescope helped them determine the scope and shape of the universe, Mrs. Einstein was reported to have said, “Well, my husband does that on the back of an old envelope.”

James D. Sutton, EdD, CSP

Consulting Psychologist/Certified Speaking Professional
PO Box 672, Pleasanton, TX 78064
(800) 659-6628 Email: suttonjd@Docspeak.com
Website: http://www.docspeak.com
Blog: https://itsaboutthem.wordpress.com

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February 20, 2011 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Santa in Civies

I was recently passing through Houston on the way home. While waiting for my Southwest Airlines flight to board, I noticed a distinguished looking gentlemen in his early 60’s. He was wearing a nice button-down shirt and tan slacks. His most prominent feature, however, was a full, snow-white beard with a shaved head.

As the agent called for the “A” boarding group, he picked up his briefcase and approached the gate. A young lad of about four years or so saw him and began pointing him out to his mother. His whispers were instantly interpreted.

Santa Claus?????

The bearded gentleman must have seen plenty of behavior like this. He leaned down and smiled broadly at the lad.

“You don’t think I wear that heavy old suit ALL the time, do you? It’s home in the closet,” he whispered. “Are you being GOOD?”

The youngster’s jaw dropped to the floor as he tried to nod “Yes”.

Three sentences, and he gave that little boy a thrill he’ll NEVER forget.

James D. Sutton, EdD, CSP

Consulting Psychologist/Certified Speaking Professional
PO Box 672, Pleasanton, TX 78064
(800) 659-6628 Email: suttonjd@Docspeak.com
Website: http://www.docspeak.com
Blog: https://itsaboutthem.wordpress.com

February 17, 2011 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Gain Compliance Through Discards

GAIN COMPLIANCE THROUGH DISCARDS: It’s a well-known fact that some adults have more success with difficult and defiant youngsters than others. One reason for the difference can be a youngster’s perception and belief adults are being reasonable, fair and logical in their expectations. One easy way to accomplish this with tasks is to offer a discard for satisfactory compliance. It worked great in our home with our oldest child, our son.

Here’s how it worked. In that period of time between coming home from school and supper, I would give him five chores to do. Before he had a chance to think much about resisting, I would say, “If you can finish three of these by 5:30pm, you can give two of them back to me.” As I recall, he always went for the deal. He relished giving unfinished chores BACK to me.

The strategy worked well, especially since I never told him I only wanted him to do THREE chores to start with.

This three of five approach works even better with cards showing the chores. For instance, “Take out the trash” might be a digital picture of the trash can; “Feed the dog” might be a picture of the dog’s bowl. The idea is to reduce verbal instruction and thereby reduce issues of equally verbal backlash. Laminate the cards, or cover them with wide tape so they can be used over and over.

In the example given, the youngster passes back two chores undone. What if they were given six, but the requirement was only to do three in the time specified? In this instance, the youngster gives back half of the chores in return for doing the remaining half within the time specified. Can you see how this makes chore time seem more reasonable, logical and fair?

Once this approach gets rolling, you won’t even need to give the chores to the youngster; simply leave them in an envelope with the instructions.

It also helps to mix the chores so they aren’t the same ones every time.

James D. Sutton, EdD, CSP

Consulting Psychologist/Certified Speaking Professional
PO Box 672, Pleasanton, TX 78064
(800) 659-6628 Email: suttonjd@Docspeak.com
Website: http://www.docspeak.com
Blog: https://itsaboutthem.wordpress.com

February 4, 2011 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment