Parenting Blog | Teaching Self-Government

Parenting Blog


Error message

Deprecated function: Array and string offset access syntax with curly braces is deprecated in include_once() (line 20 of /var/www/

Our Destiny and Daddies

Sick, horrified, disgusted, and worried are just some of the words that describe how I felt when an innocent search through the student portal of the Utah Online Library database pulled up graphic porn in a res... more

They Don’t Want to Disappoint You

When teaching and training children, many parents don’t often think about the heart and bond of the child, and how the child is processing what the parent does and says.... more

Save Room for Error

No one likes errors, but we don’t need to handle them in ways that set everyone up for failure. We’ve all been there.... more

The Truth About Ambitious Parents

One of the primary roles of parents is to be a leader of their children. Dedicated, motivated parents are usually one of two kinds of leaders; ambitious leaders or led leaders.... more

10 Lessons for Listening With Love

Much emotional agony is avoided and more relationship healing is possible when a person learns to listen with love. There were two similar conversations that had very different results.... more

How To Create Magical Family Memories

As I held my 15-year-old son’s hand and watched the magic of Christmas unfold around me with lights and nativity displays at the city center, I felt that date with my son was a parent’s dream come true.... more

A Vow to be Positive

Some might think that optimistic people are fake or somehow disconnected from reality, but I know for a fact that positivity is one of our choices no matter what circumstances are before us.... more

Who Drives You Crazy?

“But what if they just keep talking back and are driving me crazy,” a mother asked me while I was instructing a group of parents on how to teach their children to accept “no” answers.... more

The Artificial Extension of Childhood

Are we holding our children back? In the past 80-100 years, society has started holding children back with an artificial extension of childhood instead of empowering them forward toward purpose and ad... more
Happy Family of 3

Family Meeting Tips

Remember your family meetings! Family meetings are the core of Teaching Self-Government. If you have weekly family meetings, the whole family will stay focused on their family government. See what happens when... more

Who Wants Realistic?

When one of our foster daughters lived with us years ago, she did something that the others hadn’t done. She spent the first few weeks very intently watching me. She watched the way I kept house, the way I pa... more

"I don't remember..."

Many years ago, my four-year-old son awoke me one morning and said, "Mom, I don't remember what home looks like, but I do remember what you look like."... more

Parenting with Grace

Children aren’t perfect, and neither are parents. However, parenting isn’t about being perfect. And, there’s no such thing as a perfect child. Of course, perfection isn’t the goal of my parenting anyway... more

The 9-Year-Old Dawdler Dilemma

I’m in need of some help with my nine-year-old son. He is a major dawdler, and always has been. I am a very efficient person and try to get things done as quickly as possible. See the conflict already? It tak... more

Parenting Programs: Is There a Quick Fix?

If I planted a corn kernel in February, would I be disappointed when it didn’t turn into a large plant that same afternoon? Certainly not! Instead, I would get excited about the plant’s development as I wai... more

Teen-Culture and the Land of Make Believe

Historically, as young people approached the age of 18, they would start to spread their wings and transition into adulthood by stepping outside of their comfort zones. Sadly, times have changed.... more

Raising Independent Children

Freedom in the family is the key to raising children who are freer and more independent. The problem is, most people don’t understand freedom.... more

OCDs and Fears

I once received a note from a mother who had an eight-year-old son with obsessive tendencies. He was scared the upstairs of the house would break and drop everyone into the basement, so he constantly checked th... more

Lazy Chore Cure

In an ideal world, children would dutifully do their chores not only as effectively as Mom or Dad would do them, but also without delay.... more
Boy jealous of brother

Sibling Squabbles

Two sisters, Becky and Sara, didn’t always get along. On the day Sara got baptized, Becky approached her older sister and said, “I think it’s stupid you got baptized.”... more

Shepherding the Children

Parents are meant to shepherd their children toward truth and safety, as well as in learning  skills, in order to prepare them for the purposes of their lives. But not all shepherds are the same.... more

Motivation problems

A woman once asked me how to motivate her 18-year-old daughter to follow instructions and work more. Her daughter found following instruction insulting, and rewards or punishments like SODAS or TV time weren... more

Condolences Are Not Appropriate

The multiculturalism of modern society, or desire to promote all ideas or ways of living as good, no matter their opposition to moral, religious, social, and familial cultural norms, is creating negativity and... more

Controlling Anger Anxiety

I once received a letter from a mom asking how she could help her daughter navigate feelings of anxiety. The daughter would take her feelings out on whatever family member was closest. The mom had pre-taught he... more
woman and little boy reading at opposite ends of a park bench

Communication: More Than Talking

When my son was 12, he sang barbershop with his dad and grandpa. A few nights a week they had long rehearsals. One night, my son didn’t get to bed until midnight after a rehearsal. He slept in the next mor... more

A Whole Selfish Family

A week ago, I was standing in the kitchen canning peaches, and my whole family atmosphere fell apart all around me in a matter of five minutes.  My son was asked by his father to help with something in the bac... more

Healthy Independence vs. Rebellion

Many parents of teen- or pre-teen-aged youth are confused about whether teenage rebellion is an attitude problem or whether the child is displaying healthy independence.... more

Worry Not – Live Happy!

In his book, “The Power of Positive Thinking,” Norman Vincent Peale shares a story of a pastor talking to a painter about worrying.... more
Confused/thinking boy

The Children Want to Know Why...

I once received a note from a reader about her 14-year-old son who was quite the thinker. He always wanted to know “Why?” about everything, which is wonderful, but it was leading to problems respecting auth... more
Yellow Canary on barbed wire fence

I'm Not Looking!

A while ago, I was driving down the highway looking at the clear blue sky and the snow-capped mountains. A bird with a bright yellow head and a black body was perched on a wooden fence on the side of the road... more
Dad playing airplane with daughter

Fun... So Important!

Fun is so important for good personal and family health. Every Sunday we choose a family activity to do together sometime that week. My children also set a fun goal for the week with their father. He asks a... more

Does TSG Work On Trips?

I frequently get asked if Teaching Self-Government principles still work while you’re on a family vacation. The answer is a wholehearted yes! I’ve used the principles on many trips over the years, once for... more

Stitching That Holds the Family Together

“If our society is coming apart at the seams, it is because the tailor and the seamstress in the home are not producing the kind of stitching that will hold under stress.... more
Angry little girl

Ah, 3-Year-Olds!

I once heard from a mother who was struggling with her three-year-old. The girl didn’t take “No” answers well, even when they practiced. When she earned a consequence she either wouldn’tdo the chore or... more

Parenting in Public

I’m often asked how to parent in public. So many parents are tired of being the only ones trying to get their kids to behave properly and having their kids’ friends look at them like they’re acting like t... more

Charitable Parenting

Even though the mistakes our children make are glaring us in the face, we also know that each of our children has certain attributes that make them wonderful, individual, and precious to us.... more

Dealing with Negative Social Influences

A reader once wrote asking about her children, ages 2, 4, 6 and 8. The children were usually very well-behaved in situations away from home. The mom tried to expose them to different places so they would know h... more

How to Help Kids Enjoy Doing Work!

It’s all too common in many modern households to hear sighs, grumbling, complaining and whining from children when parents give reminders of daily work responsibilities, or when additional work assignments ar... more

Surviving Mom’s Worst Day Ever!

When the famed prime minister of England, William Pitt, was asked what made him a great prime minister, he didn’t say his hard work ethic, late night hours, or perseverance.... more

Age 13 – And Defiant

I once heard from a mother who was having a hard time getting her 13-year-old son on board with the family vision. The other children eagerly participated in role playing exercises of following instructions and... more

Teen Detachment: What Is Normal?

I’ve previously talked about how teens go through normal detachment from their families. That’s to be expected. It’s the abnormal detachment that parents should watch for. Parents need to know what normal... more
Woman swimming

Triathlon vs. Parenting: The Comparisons

I often tell the story of when I did the swimming leg of a triathlon. The deep water swim taught me many valuable lessons about parenting and life. Here’s a few that are beneficial for us all to remember:... more
Mother giving high five to daughter

Praising For Real

I once had a reader say that praising didn’t come naturally for her. In fact, she thought praising seemed fake and annoying. She wrote:  I don't want to be a cheerleader, always saying "Good job" no matter... more

Fighting Over The Judgement Seat

“There is no more war in my classroom, and there is no more war in my home.” Those were the words of a teacher from Kenya this summer.... more
Child light bulb

Sometimes They Figure It Out Themselves

Several years ago, my family had a tradition of occasionally deciding we were on vacation for a week. That meant we took a break from our regular routine. We did it a few times a year to focus on getting all of... more

Love of Instructions and Reproof

Janae and Trisha both have a 12-year-old son who has a habit of being defiant. Each woman struggles with having the confidence to help her son change his behaviors during his outbursts.... more

Lights, Camera, Action... with Energy!

Many years ago I co-directed a youth theater production of Shakespeare's "The Tempest.” On our last day of performances, we had a matinee and an evening performance. The matinee performance started... more
Grumpy Children Doing Dishes

He Won't Do His Chores?

A few years ago, I received a letter from a woman regarding her nine-year-old son, Colin. Her problem was one that many other parents face. Colin regularly spent the entire day procrastinating his chores. On to... more
Mother cuddling on bed with children

The Wrong List

I participate in a few discussion groups that have inspiring and thought-provoking conversations. I remember many years ago the topic on one of these groups was how much alone time parents need to be refreshed... more

Disagreeing Appropriately

A few years ago, a reader wrote, "My kids love being able to disagree appropriately, but I don't want them to do it every single time! They’re smart and have good reasons for wanting to do things a different... more
Girl making her bed

Morning Routine Motivation

2 - What kind of opportunities do you give for kids to follow through before getting consequences? Example:  It’s each of the children's responsibility to make their bed, tidy their bedroom and get dressed... more
Stressed woman

Look Up!

One morning I woke up with this list of things to do that day on my mind. Ok, I didn't plan on one of my children throwing up, but the rest was planned. Before I even got my swimsuit on to leave for the pool,... more

What Will You Sacrifice?

Sacrifice is vital for happiness. Most people think the word “sacrifice” is bad and sounds like a hardship, not a joyful journey. Happiness sounds much better!... more

Treasure the Little Ones

As I rounded the corner of a shopping isle at a local grocery store, I heard crying. Through tears a young girl, about 8 years old, said, “Tell me what it is Mom. Tell me what this is.”... more
Mother talking to son

Respecting Property

Some 10 years ago, my four-year-old son was standing on the back porch one afternoon, talking to his sister. They were trying to make each other laugh by doing funny things. This is a common game with the... more
Mother and daughter arguing

Staying Focused on Correct Parenting Principles

I remember one day talking with a dear friend about parenting. She told me that for about a month she was doing so good with the Teaching Self-Government principles in her home. She said she really saw resu... more

The Battle Hymn of a Just Parent

“I like Dad better than Mom,” I said to my younger brother one sunny afternoon while sitting on the back of our rusty old Suburban. The moment I said that I knew th... more
Moon shining in the clouds and stars

Families Of Light

"Mommy, what makes the moon shine?" asked my six-year-old daughter, Londyn.  "The moon reflects the light of the sun,"  I responded. After a brief discussion about the moon and the sun, I realized that her... more

Thanks to Pre-Teaching, Melanie Sees the Future

Years ago I was participating in a sewing activity at my church. Many women had gathered at the church with their sewing machines. At this activity, there was a four-year-old girl that kept touching the knobs o... more
Father correcting son

Voice Tone: How Do You Sound?

Dear Nicholeen, I attended your seminar in Bountiful. I certainly had many other choices about how to use that time and I am very glad that I chose to come. I glanced at your blog the day before and because... more
Family Riding Bikes

Roles, Rights, Property and Parenting

Login or create a login to hear this audio class. (Don't forget to verify your email too.) Recently, I was asked to speak at the "Stand for the Family" conference. They requested that I give this presentation.... more

Praise for Parents!

I want to thank you all for your great comments over the years regarding your success and transformation as parents! It's so good to hear your stories.  I'm constantly receiving emails with comments... more
Falling Dominos

The Law of Cause and Effect is True

"Cause and effect is as absolute and undeviating in the hidden realm of thought as in the world of visible and material things."  We cannot change cause and effect no matter how hard we try. Bad will always... more
Grumpy girl

Always Stay Consistent with Consequences Earned

"Yesterday my 8 year old was grumpy when asked to do something, so he earned a negative consequence.  I asked him to choose a job from the job jar. I explained that the job would help him change his heart. ... more

Who Are You This Christmas?!

Christmas is full of symbols and characters that inspire us and that we can relate to. We all want to be Santa for someone each year, so we look for needs that we c... more
A Bug's Life Leaf

There Are Other Ways

A few years ago, Paije, my daughter who was seven at the time, asked me, “Why do all the ants get flustered when the leaf drops in their path on the movie Bugs Life?”  What a question.  I had never really... more

Communicating Honestly

Nicholeen, I spoke to you in Herriman about my 8-year-old daughter. She doesn't tell me things or talk to me or anyone for that fact (other than day-to-day stuff). I told you she wouldn't even tell me what... more
Bored Family

Loosen Up! It Makes Life Fun!

This comment was made by a blogger.  My comments are below. "Our family has serious lack of enjoyment issues.  I think we just don't know how to have fun because we are afraid to spend any money on frivolou... more

Freedom For Families: The Tree Bark Approach

“Give Me [Tree Bark], Or Give Me Death”: Liberty Yesterday And Today No speech has ever stirred the American people so much as Patrick Henry's “Give Me Liberty, or Give Me Death” speech. No matter if I... more

Important Things

Those voices all around me; “You’re wasting time,” they say. The yard, dishes, big project Were waiting for today   My lists are overwhelming; Still waiting to be checked.... more
overwhelmed teen boy

Freedom Without Consequences

Is your teenaged child not getting everything done that they need to in the day? Are they slacking off on their duties and assignments? I had a mother present me with a similar situation, concerned about her 16... more

Defending Motherhood

Considering the consistent shouts for equality for women and the blatant attacks on motherhood, motherhood needs defending.... more

Respecting Parental Authority

Training a horse is much like training a child. Treat a horse as if it were your friend, they become overly confident and take control, leaving you at your wit's end as you try to regain control of them.... more
mother talking to younger children

Stepping Away From What They Believe

It's hard to see a good family friend or loved one stray from the things you both know and believe. Things inevitably end up changing. The relationships become different and sometimes strained. However, you sti... more

A Heart-Melting Christmas

“Look what I got for Christmas,” said my friend Megan as she held up a single serving package of crackers with a small red stick for the spreadable cheese.... more

Dinner in a Pumpkin: Our Halloween Tradition

When I was young my mother traditionally made clam chowder in bread bowls for our Halloween dinner. It was hot, yummy and fast — which allowed us to quickly move along to the Halloween fun.... more

Hope For Homes Everywhere!

Sometimes, no matter how diligently parents try to teach their children and unify their families, they are met with opposition.... more

Teaching Children Respect Just Got Easier!

“Perhaps I shouldn’t even tell people about this because it’s probably bad, but I just felt I had to do it,” said a friend of mine shortly after a trip with her four-year-old son to the gas station.... more
Families in roller coaster car

Pre-Teaching For Summer Activities

Do you have some awesome family trips or activities planned for this Summer? It's going to be the best Summer ever! However, what are you going to do when the children start acting out? TSG on the go is always... more
Girl daydreaming

Helping Children With Asperger's To Stay Focused

High-functioning Autism/Asperger's can cause children to have a hard time focusing on the task at hand. Simple tasks often become hour-long undertakings, ending up with parent and child frustrated and angry.... more

A Sign Our Society Needs Self-Government

On a recent plane flight I happened to open the magazine provided for passengers by the airline in the seat back pocket. In the magazine there was an article titled “Break Room” about these “Anger Rooms... more
Fish in aquarium

Humanity And Changing Hearts

Humanity is such an interesting thing. Do we really understand it? Do we really know what it is? How do we define "being human?" In order to be human, we must understand nature; what God created. Once we under... more

A Mighty Mother's Heart!

The heart of every mother desires for her child to find his place in the world, but that same sweet mother’s heart just about breaks when her child goes into the world for his life’s journey. ... more
Boy's hand in girl's face

What Inspires Sibling Rivalry?

Fighting over seat positions in the car, teasing, bragging, one-uping... Does any of this sound familiar? Do situations like these arise frequently in your home between your children? These situations are class... more
Cop writing ticket

Even Adults Have To Use The Four Basics...

We might think that teaching the Four Basic skills is mainly for the children. They're the ones who need them the most, right? Well, maybe adults need them just as much as the children do.... more

Mother's Day Miracle: My Story

When I was about thirteen years old I was perfectly molded in the opinions of the current society.  I had my life all planned out, and was sure that my plans were socially pleasing to all of my friends.  I wa... more

5 Steps For Remodeling Your Family

What does it take for a family to remodel itself? Is it possible that it’s slightly like remodeling a home or room? We remodeled our home in three weeks. Can a family also be remodeled that fast?... more
Family At Christmas Time

New Exclusive Class! Merry Christmas!

This is a video of a new, exclusive class I gave at the World Congress of Families IX, a conference that brought together speakers from all over the world to talk about the family.... more

Christmas Gift Of Identity

Every year I read Christmas stories to my children each morning for the twelve days of Christmas, and then on December 23rd we read stories and sleep under the Christmas tree for Christmas Eve Eve.... more
Christmas Kisses

Christmas Contention Resolved!

I've never liked the part in the Christmas song It’s Beginning To Look Like Christmas when it says “Mom and Dad can hardly wait for school to start again.” Every time I hear this it makes me sad.  Sad th... more
Working alongside parents can create life-changing lessons and precious memories.

One Easy Way to Preserve Family Memories

Lasting memories can easily be forgotten if they’re not recorded. Keeping a record of them will ensure that the precious parts of your family’s past don’t get forgotten.... more

Teenaged Boy Shows Crowd the Spirit to Succeed

The air was sticky with moisture and it was noisy from the sound of parents and siblings talking in between heats. The next heat of swimmers was on the blocks ready to swim the 400-meter freestyle event.... more

Moral Back-To-School Lesson For Families

No matter where your children go to school or what age they are, there is one lesson they must have for their future happiness and success — and it's one only parents can teach properly.... more

Laugh Therapy For Families

There is hardly a day that goes by that I don't find myself laughing, belly-laugh type laughing, with my children.  Just the other day Porter and I were driving dow... more

It's Time to Talk

Technology can be a beautiful thing. It's great to be able to catch up with people I've lost contact with. I love being able to video chat with someone who lives in another country for free.... more

My Mother, My Hero

  To me, a hero is the person who liberates us from our ignorance or rescues us from bondage by teaching us the truths we need.  ... more

Gender Confessions: Valuing Men and Women Part 2

The success of the family depends upon each family member feeling valued and fulfilling their full potential.  In this one of a kind video Nicholeen and David talk about how men are facing an identity crisi... more

Public Shaming — Is It Creative or Just Wrong?

In recent months, there have been many news stories, YouTube videos and social media posts that show parents getting creative with their discipline techniques to get through to their children.  Everyone wants... more
happy husband and wife

Gender Confessions: Valuing Men & Women Part 1

The success of the family depends upon each family member feeling valued and fulfilling their full potential.  In this one of a kind video Nicholeen and David talk about how men are facing an identity crisis... more

The Easter Alternative

“The Easter Bunny didn't come to your house today?" the young boy said to me right before the neighborhood Easter egg hunt some years ago. "He came to our house.... more
Happy mom and daughter

[Support Group Gem Video] The Mother Stereotype

A friend of mine recently shared this video with me. It is very clever and I must admit that my first inclination was to laugh when I saw it. The video has become widely popular on the internet due to its abili... more

The Family Is Like A Book

Our family memorizes a poem and a scripture each week. Every day after we have our family scripture time, we say the poem and the scripture three times each. After a week, we usually have them memorized.... more

Are Your Children Slaves to the Media? 

Parenting Lessons From A Ten Year Old "Oh Mom, that is so sad!" said ten-year-old Porter when he got in the car after our fun family night activity. "What is so sad Porter?" I inquired.... more

[Support Group Gem] Laws And Family Leadership

Our world is a world of law and order.  The laws of the land may be just or unjust, but for all time there have been laws.  There have been laws for government, laws for clubs and organizations, laws for the... more

Is Emotional Throw Up Healthy?

Years ago I read an article about a woman who thought her children needed to emotionally throw up from time to time in order to stay emotionally healthy. She wasn't talking about real vomit from the stomach. Sh... more

Traditions Are Not Taboo

There was a time, not too long ago, when if something was described as “traditional” it was given special attention and even honored socially. Now days many people use the word in a negative way.... more

Fun And Easy Christmas Craft For Kids

When I was a little girl I remeber making Raggedy Ann and Raggedy Andy Christmas ornaments for our red, white and blue tree.  I also remember taking a yucky bite out of one of them too.... more

Party School: Learning Adult Skills For Life

 Becoming an adult requires doing adult things, and learning adult skills for daily living and communication.  Planning a party is a great way to do all three of these things. Recently, my children planned pa... more

Math Class Needs A Make-Over Video

Why does everyone think they are bad at math?  It's like an epidemic in our country.  Just saying the word math can make some people get anxiety.  ... more
basketball skills for young players

How Parents Sabotage Their Children Socially

Generally, most parents want their children to have good social skills. They want them to be well liked and to be kind, respectful communicators. Unfortunately, some of these very well-meaning parents might act... more

Can Spanking Be Okay Sometimes?

“Nicholeen, what do you think about spanking? Can it ever be okay? When I was a child in the early 1900s everyone was spanking. My mother always did it out of love. We never questioned her love for one minute... more
Three pairs of hands with coins

Support Group GEM: Should Parents Allow Allowance?

[Support Group GEM] People have different views about allowance. Some parents think that children have to have allowance to learn how to manage money. Others think that allowance teaches children to be lazy a... more
Little boy holding pumpkins

Harvesting And Canning: Why?

During this time of year, one of my favorite things to do is to harvest all the produce that I grow on my half-acre of land. But why is harvesting and canning so important?... more

Have Courage!

I have a few poems that are my all time favorites.  This is one of them.  It reminds me that to have courage when I need it most I must already have it within me.  I must nurture my courage each day as I ste... more
Brick Wall

Hitting Walls

There are times for all of us when we "hit walls." These walls can be tough. Walls are really big and really heavy.  To break one requires certain things.  But, it is possible to break these walls. To do so... more
Family Around Dinner Table

A Tip For A Smooth Dinnertime

Hands down, the craziest time of day is dinner time. It is a time when everyone gathers. Parents are often just walking in the door from work and from running errands or children to evening activities. Everyone... more

Support Group: Diplomatic Parenting

Have you ever found that as a child or as a parent, you were too blunt or passive?  That you had a hard time controlling your thoughts and being kind? All in all, being diplomatic?... more

Helping Children Succeed In School

In 2010 I was asked to go to China to help parents and children become more united. While there, one question kept coming up, no matter whether I was speaking on the radio, or speaking to parent or school group... more

Problem Solving Practice While Camping

“Quin, you left a mess in the bathroom! Clean it!” called Paije from the mini bathroom in our comfy travel trailer. “No, you take care of it.” said Quin. “Get in here and clean your mess!”... more

Becoming A Joyful Adult Part 5

So far, we have learned four of the five characteristics of "Becoming A Joyful Adult."  Now we get to learn about the fifth, being: Character. It is who we are.... more

Becoming A Joyful Adult Part 4

This is the fourth part of the "Becoming Joyful Adults" series. The topic of this part is: Relationships.  There are many reasons why relationships are so important to be joyful.... more
Dad and Daughter

Support Group: Can I Care Too Much?

“Nicholeen, is it possible for me to care too much about my child? I feel really bad when they make a wrong choice and seem to have a tendency to want to protect them from making any mistake. Is this okay?... more

The Clingy Child Cure: From Clingy To Confident

  “What do I do about my child? She will not leave my side. I know I should love her attention and affection, but she is smothering me. I can't do anything without her hanging and clinging onto me. Me and... more

Becoming A Joyful Adult Part 3

This week's Gem is the continuation of the "Becoming A Joyful Adult" series.  Part three is about another amazing charactaristic: Purpose.  We have to have purpose in order to have any amount of happiness.... more

Becoming A Joyful Adult Part 2

In this second part of Becoming Joyful Adults, we learn about the second characteristic that we need to be, indeed, a joyful adult and how to help our children be joyful as well.... more

Patriotism Today

What is a patriot?  Do they exist today?   In Webster's 1828 dictionary, it says that the word "patriot" comes from the Latin word "patria" which means "father or native country." This detailed dictionary al... more

Love And Logic VS Teaching Self-Government

There are many different types of parenting.  One of the most commonly known and used system is Love and Logic.  Some people have asked if Love and Logic is similar to Teaching Self-Government. Is it?... more

How Can The Family Transform The World

Recently, I came across a quote that said that the “spiritual solidarity of the family” would determine the success of many things, such as churches and societies. This inspired a lot of thought.... more

Obedience: What And How?

Have your children ever been disobedient?  Obedience is an important aspect in the home.  It creates unity and brings happiness.  But not all people are willing to give it easily.  What has to be in place... more

Parents Say The Darndest Things

I have heard some pretty creative and ridiculous things from the mouths of adults. Here are some of my favorite silly parent things to say and why the parent should pick a new thing to say.   ... more

Drama Queens Getting Hurt

Have problems with negative attention seeking...and drama queens?  This is an answer to one mother's question about her children, who have a tendancy to have emotional meltdowns.... more

Nicholeen Peck On Trial

Have your children ever expressed a dislike for Teaching Self-Government at one point or another?   If so, watch this video!... more

Making Logical Parenting Choices

Have you ever made a decision that didn't seem quite logical, to you or other people, but you felt it was the right thing to do? Listen to this audio clip!... more

Low Energy Days

One thing that fails first on low energy days is parenting consistency. Parents start not seeing or correcting mistakes because they are distracted by their low energy.... more

Being Positive And Staying Positive

Have you ever had trouble looking on the bright side of a situation and staying there?  Listen to this audio clip to see what you can do to stay positive and keep your family happy!... more

Media Wars

What do you do when your spouse doesn't agree with you about media choices?  A woman I met explained that it was very hard for her to maintain consistent media standards for the family when her husband doesn'... more

The Importance Of Work

"Work is the anectdote for a sick character." This is what one of my favorite authors, Samuel Smiles, says about work.  Work keeps the family united and happy.  It keeps someone's character strong. ... more

Learning Patience

I got the chance to interview Spencer about his experiences with patience and I got to ask him what advice he had for dads who are struggling to maintain their patience.... more

"Master Your Mother Tongue": Building Character

My father used to always say, "Master your mother tongue and you will make a mark upon the world that will be noticed."  This advice changed my life.  I am still not perfectly articulate, but it is always on... more

The Family Fabric Of Love

This audio segment gives deeper understanding of what love really is and how to foster it with your family and friends.  Some people misunderstand love and how interactions between those who love each other sh... more

Video Of SODAS

My daughter, Paije, and I were asked to do a podcast with Karen Trifiletti, the host of "I Believe."  This video is a portion of that podcast on the subject of SODAS.... more

I Believe Podcast Interview

Have you felt overwhelmed as a parent? Have you reached the end of your rope? Are you looking for new ways to communicate more effectively with your children?  ... more

What is a reactionship?

You won't find the word “reactionship” in any dictionary, because I just made it up a short time ago.  This is how it happened.... more

TSG Builds Strong Relationships

Before I found Teaching Self-Government, building relationships used to be a mystery to me. I remember about 5 years ago I began to learn that building relationships was a good thing to focus on. I used to thin... more

From A Family In England!

I thought you would like to see this.  This is an email I just got from a family near Nottingham, England that came to the Teaching Self-Government event we did there.  It was one of our smaller events, but s... more

Lumps Of Coal For Christmas

“If you're not good, Santa will bring you a lump of coal in your stocking instead of presents.” my older brother explained to me when I was about five years old. Is telling children about lumps of coal bein... more

Audio Gem: Is Time Stressing You Out?

Are the holidays stressing you out? How can using Teaching Self-Government skills help you? The holiday season is a very busy time with lots of people to think about, lots of get togethers, and yet we stil... more

Video Gem: Group Problem Solving

As we work toward greater peace in our home, periods of chaos will happen. That doesn't mean we have to choose to make it worse by adding our negative emotion to what is already causing the problem. Instead,... more

Audio Gem: How Do I Trust?

This week's Gem is on improving your tone. It answers the question “How do you trust and help to change their hearts?” “In your homes all you have to do is set up the system and trust that it will work.... more

Can We Have A Relationship With Money?

This is a Gem from a conversation between Nicholeen and millionaire Jerry Norton. Jerry Norton said "Having money does not make you greedy or bad. It makes you more of what you already are. So if you're a gi... more

Having a Moral Family Government

Read Nicholeen's exclusive article for TSG Gems on creating stable moral government in your home. She says, "There are many things that are attacking the morals in our families these days. In fact, along with... more

Video Gem: Recognizing Power Struggles

Do you have a hard time recognizing a power struggle? This week's Video Gem is on recognizing power struggles so we can stop them without getting sucked into them. I heard a description a while ago that a powe... more

Yelling At My Family: How To Break The Habit

The human voice is amazing!  Think of all the things it can do.  It can whisper, laugh, make animal noises, talk, sing, and yell.  All these different voice tricks are useful in commu... more

What is the vision of your character?

My favorite quote from this Gem is this: "We need to start by forming a vision of what we want our characters to be, and our children need to have the opportunity to form that vision about themselves as well.... more

What Does A Changed Heart Look Like?

No matter where teenagers are, they often behave similarly. So, even though I don't know each teenager personally, I do know how to help them decide to change. And, after teaching for a month in the UK I see ev... more

The Reason Self-Government Matters To People

Some people may have never heard the term self-government. Others may not really see why they should care about the term at all. Lots of the those people are children. Why should a person care about about lear... more

Becoming Free Through Self-Government

This is my favorite quote from Nicholeen on this Gem: “What we're talking about today is freedom for yourselves: freedom for your body, freedom for your mind, and freedom for your heart. Those are the 3 part... more

Interrupting Porter – Child Behavior Problems

Child Behavior I don't know a parent who wouldn't say, “My child is so smart!” We all recognize the intelligence our children possess. But, what about when they just can't stop themselves from blurtin... more

Stressed Out To Chilled Out ~ My True Story

I am not a stress out type person. My part 'yellow' personality usually keeps me rather laid back and happy no matter what troubles come my way. This has been a blessing many times in my life. But, I can feel s... more

20 Month Old Learns Self-Government

Awesome Success story of 20 month old boy doing Self-Government!  If he can, anyone can! (audio recording from weekly Implementation Course Conference Call)  ... more

I Have Some Reporting To Do!

   This video is a report of what teaching self government has been doing lately to help teach the world self-government. And I give you a FREE gift at the end.   As you may already know, the book Parentin... more

How to Quit Porn: A Spiritual Transformation

Hopefully the moment you clicked the link to this article your computer gave you a warning that this article will have the word porn in it. That is a sign that you are trying to keep your family away from porno... more

Efficiency Disease & Dealing With Stress

  What is Efficiency?   At this time of year we set goals. We resolve to change our ways and become better than we are. The most common resolutions usually have something to do with time or body size. I don't... more

Educational Christmas Advent For Children

This year our family is doing a new educational Christmas Advent for the 12 days of Christmas.  This advent idea was given to me by my good friend, Yvonne Averett.  She has two girls ages 9 and 11, and made i... more

Home Made Christmas Gifts For Kids

  Over the years we have had a variety of Christmases. Some years we have had more money than other years, but no matter the income we have always felt like we wanted to give our children something which would... more

Bodies For Sale! Teaching Modesty

“...Everyone is selling something,” I said as I talked to a young girl one evening.   Her mother had just made a comment about how the outfit the girl was wearing was “too revealing” and so she wou... more

Thanksgiving Drama!

  Who will end up feeling like a turkey this Thanksgiving?   Even though most people look forward to eating a traditional Thanksgiving dinner with family, there are a few who get a little anxious when they t... more

Children Need Sleep! ~ Getting Them To Bed Happy

  When the end of the day comes I find myself looking forward to bedtime. My bedtime is always exciting to anticipate since all my days are usually purpose-filled and very busy. However, I also look forward to... more

The Crying Game

I love working with and playing with my children. But, the crying game is a game I don't play. Many children treat the crying behavior as if it is part of a game. They are able to go in and out of the crying... more

Living The Joyful Life: Audio Class

If you need a self-government refocus here is a great FREE opportunity to hear a one hour class with new material!     I have been invited to speak on a Free tele-summit called Living The Joyful Life: Learn... more

Pink Hair Lesson: One Family's Story

  This past weekend at the Teaching Self-Government couple's retreat this story was shared by one couple. And, their daughter was there to tell her side of the story too.... more

New TSG Children's Book

Just in time for Christmas! The second children's book in the four book TSG children's series: Porter Earns A Quarter   Londyn LaRae Says Okay  inspired the children and families around the world to follow... more

Parents Are Confused

  The conflicting voices in society about raising children leave many parents feeling confused about what their parental focus needs to be. Should parents focus on autonomy and let children guide their own liv... more

Feeling The Heat: Anger Issues

The west is on fire! Islands, mountains, and farm lands are burning all over. Even in cities where there are no fires burning there is smoke which looks like winter fog. What should we do? What can we do?... more

It Doesn't Have To Be That Way: Role Reversal

About 75 years ago, ten year old Tommy Monson had a Sunday School teacher only six years older than he was named Phyllis Bowden. Even though Phyllis was young, she knew the fundamentals of being a teacher to... more

Toddler Tantrums: Positive Parenting Solutions

Nicholeen, Your peaceful parenting methods obviously work so well with older children and troubled teenagers. But, I have a house full of little children. Each day I face terrible twos, three year old tantrums,... more

Miracle Anger Cure: Managing Conflict

  Dealing with conflict is tough! Some days it seems like everyone is against you. No matter what you do, someone is offended and takes it personally. Then you take it personally. Then you start fantasizing ab... more

Communication Skills Training: The Teaching Tone

  “Porter, what is that?” asked my Chinese friend Phil when he was visiting our home this last week from China.   “The moon.” replied eight year old Porter as he looked at the sky.   “In Chinese th... more

How To Control Your Emotions

Buzz, buzz! “Why won't the flies stop buzzing around my head?” I wondered as I sat out in the mountain shade trying to digest my new book. First one, then four, all buzzing around my head. It seemed like it... more

School Problems? Making Your Child A Genius!

Many parents wonder what to do about problems at school.  Sometimes the best behavior therapy for classroom behaviors happens at home.  The video interview below discusses what parents can do about school re... more

Toddler Tantrums At The Most Inconvenient Times!

  “But, what do you do when they are screaming, and it's time to walk out the door?” a father asked me at a recent conference. “My strong willed three year old son is very difficult at those times.”  ... more

Child Discipline: Consequences For Children

  Question:   “What do you think about those systems of parenting that teach NOT using the words consequences or punishments. I know you don't use the word punishments and I don't much. But it is a script... more

Announcing: "Porter Earns A Quarter"

If you loved Londyn LaRae Says Okay, you will be excited to know that the second book in the Teaching Self-Government children's series is almost here.  It is in production right now and be available for pre-s... more

Becoming A Youth: The Answer To Teenager Problems

  “I am not a teenager and here's why...” said a group of youth one day during a discussion on the article by Dr. Michael Platt, The Myth Of The Teenager. One after one each of the group of fifteen or so y... more

Interview With Nicholeen Peck #2: Calmness Tips

People often ask me how to be calm when someone else isn't.  Without calmness self-government is impossible.  In part 2 of 3 parts on the Family Voice Talk Radio with family therapist, BJ Stober we talked abo... more

Interiew With Nicholeen Peck: Strict Parenting

BJ Stober, family therapist and hostess of Family Voice Talk Radio, interviewed Nicholeen Peck on April 19, 2012 about strict parenting.  This is a link to the audio/video version of the show.    Nicholeen d... more

BJ Stober from "Family Voice Talk Radio"

Nicholeen Peck and Teaching self Government go on air! BJ Stober from "Family Voice Talk Radio" has Nicholeen on her show for the first of three interviews about parenting.... more

Parenting Myths: Living A Lie VS Parenting Facts

What does “living a lie” mean? It is when we believe something that is not true and which controls our thoughts, feelings, and other beliefs. For example, when I was pregnant with our first child, I would... more

Family Structure Definition: Nicholeen Peck on TV

Changing family structure can be difficult.  Our parenting habits probably started in our childhood.  And, even when we promised we wouldn't do the same thing, practice the same negative parenting styles, we... more

KJZZ TV Interviews

World's Strictest Parents Utah interviewed about their parenting principles. Nicholeen Peck, parenting guru author and public speaker, gives a brief expaination of basic teaching self government principles.... more

Positive Parenting: Justice or Mercy?

The Parenting Question Justice or mercy? That is the question. When your child gets frustrated at his sister and hits her does he need justice or mercy? When your youth comes home from a date after curfew... more

It's Finally Arrived! Londyn LaRae Says Okay!

 See the book and hear what Londyn and Porter think about it.  This book about teaching children self control has been a year in the making, but it is finally ready to own.  Comments about how wonderful the... more

Do As I Say, Not As I Do. Parenting Radio!

Recognizing good parenting principles is the easy part!  Actually living them is something else entirely.     I know none of us want to admit it, but it is really easy to become a lazy mother or a lazy fathe... more

You've Got Mail! Love Note Ideas

There are many ways to show love for family members. However, in our family, we don't write to each other as much as we talk to each other or do acts of service. So, for one of our family activities we decide... more

Back Talking Cure

Question: “How do you stop children from back talking?” Answer: Children talking back, or sassing, to their parents seems to be a behavior many children experiment with. At different phases of developm... more

How To Get Children To Behave

“HI Nicholeen. I have the biggest problem in implementing your method... when  you give a consequence but they refuse to do it...???then WHAT?? I can give  them all the jobs they "earned" but can't make the... more

OT: How To Motivate Students To Learn

This might seem off topic, but I don't know if it really is.  I think having motivated students is something all parents work for.  The question was posed to me: Nicholeen, what do you do to prepare your teen... more

Clark Family Flag

This is the flage described in the article about family mission statements called: Family Mission Statement Success: One Family's Story... more

11 Year Old Shares His Self-Government Resolutions

Eleven year old, Jacob, shares his New Years Resolutions ideas.  I recently met Jacob's family and helped them learn some self-government principles. When I came to visit a second time he showed me his inspiri... more

Spoiled Rotten? The Christmas Cure!

Question: “Is it possible to spoil children at Christmas? It seems like my children never stop asking for stuff during the holidays. How do you know if your children are spoiled?” Answer:... more

Nails For Christmas: A Neighbor Gift Idea

Off Topic:  Christmas Ideas seem useful to me, so I hope they are useful to you too!    Our Love Is His Love   Christmas is about Christ. The day bares His name and should bring us closer to Him. It instill... more

Healthy Recipes: Free Book!

Be sure to read to the end for Free book details.    Question:   “Nicholeen, I have been trying to eat gluten free in order to help my child focus better. It's really hard, and my children don't like the... more

Sibling Rivalry Movie: Computer Fights

  Last week my post was about sibling rivalry.  Here is a movie which shows how knowing to disagree appropriately is a skill which helps sibling rivalry.    This sibling rivalry solution video was filmed wh... more

Great Thanksgiving Traditions: Showing Gratitude

  Traditions establish identity. I don't know a person who isn't proud of their family traditions. Those traditions make us who we are. They teach us what “the good life” looks like and create feelings of... more

Nicholeen's New Book For Kids!

Have you ever had one of those creative conversations with your children where you all get so excited that the talking never seems to stop and the energy feels almost electric?  Well, my children and I had one... more

Dealing With Difficult Family Members?

The Question: “Nicholeen, I have been working really hard at having self-government with my spouse and children, but I don't see how to have self-government with people in my extended family who are extremel... more

Halloween: Two Ways To View The Holiday

The Question: “Nicholeen, what do you do for Halloween? It seems like such a dark holiday, and I really don't like participating.” My Answer: I love the quote, “Bring your children up in light an... more

Teenagers And Cell Phone Use: Warning!

A few years ago I noticed a new sign posted at our local swimming pool. The sign read, “Absolutely no cell phone use in the locker rooms!”   At first, when I saw the sign I felt like some of my rights... more

Paying Children Allowances

  Paying Children Allowances   At the Peck house we don't pay allowance. We also don't pay for chores to be done. Here's why and what some other people think about the issue.   We have two businesses we ow... more

Talking To Teenagers: Three Tips

  “Nicholeen, I can't seem to correct my 16 year old son without him getting upset. He rolls his eyes and looks away from me. He just seems to have a wall surrounding him that none of us can penetrate. I kn... more

Difficulty Waking Up

  Question:   “I just purchased your book online.  I am excited to read it.  I am a mother  of 3 boys, 16, 13, and 11.  Years ago we got each boy his own alarm clock &  talked about being responsi... more

They Can Smell It: Parenting Videos

Have you ever heard that old phrase about how dogs can “smell fear?” Well, dogs aren't the only ones who can smell fear; children can too. Children know the moment they have you. They know when mom is out o... more

Help For Messy Bedrooms

  (A Story From My Life)   It's Monday morning and mom is ready to start the week out right. After a summer full of going here and there it is time for family structure again.   “Time to clean your rooms... more

What! Adversity is good?

We live in very difficult times. Many people worry about what is on the horizon, and what future adversities will come. No need to worry. Adversity shouldn't be feared. It should be accepted and embraced... more

Social Success: Too Little Friend Time Part 2

Last week I talked about how there are certain skills which are important to posess for social success.  These skills are different from the self-government skills I teach in my Parenting A House United ... more

Getting Children To Practice Piano

For years now people have emailed me questions about what to do about a child who won't practice piano when told to.  My children don't have that problem because of how I began piano with them.  The secret to... more

So Exciting!

Ever since the 10 Step Implementation Course was released, people have asked me if I could take monthly payments.  At first we were not set up to do that.  But, now we are!!!... more

Free Book Give Away

Recently, momessentials asked me to write some posts and participate in a free book give away.  The book is my book: Parenting A House United. Here are the details to the contest:... more

Can Too Much Friend Time Hurt Children?

"Nicholeen, can my child have too much friend time?  I have noticed that he begs for it all the time, but doesn't really want to play with his brothers and sisters that much.  What should I do?"    As many... more

Keeping Teens Safe: The Internet Threat

“Mrs. Peck, I am afraid I can't believe in God.” “What do you mean? How do you know?” “I just don't do things I should do and I do some things girls my age shouldn't do...” “What are you... more

Yes Or No? ~Parent Choices

Is it easier to tell children yes or no when they ask a question? The answer to this question could depend on what kind of person you are. Are the kind of parent who really likes to be in control of the g... more

Accepting No After Disagreeing Appropriately

"I've been using the 4 basic skills with my children, ages 7 and 4. It has been such a help. Thank you, Nicholeen! But I'm not sure what to do to help my 4 yo understand the concept of disagree appropriately... more

New 10 Step Implementation Course

It's finally ready!  People have been begging for this! For two years I have been working on making what I think is the best I have to offer to help families succeed with Teaching Self-Government princip... more

How To Stop Nagging? ~Help For Parents

Each week I hold a special telephone mentor call for people who are enrolled in my Teaching Self-Government 10 Step Implementation Course. During these calls I personally answer people's parenting questions. On... more

Top 10 Parenting Questions People Ask

Top 10 Videos of Frequently Asked QuestionsFriends,I get asked parenting questions all the time.  Frequently, I get the same questions over and over again.  So, I have taken the time to make video answers t... more

Way To Be: Optimism

“How do you maintain optimism in a depressing world? How do you teach your children to do the same?” A Not-So-Pretend Story [Another day of oatmeal for breakfast. I know it's healthy, but some variety... more

Help For Teenagers: "I am NOT a teenager!"

If you are tired of teenage attitudes and problems this is something you will want to know. has a free book preview written by youth for teens. The book shows teenagers there is a diff... more

Power Struggles

This video has a few sync problems, but the message is still good.  You may want to close your eyes as you listen.  ;)  ... more

Classroom Behavior Problems

A parent's work isn't limited to working with our own children. Sometimes we are in situations when we are in charge of other people's children. Occasions where this most likely happens are at church, when frie... more

“My Child Won’t Listen to Me”

I have a daughter who frequently rages and manipulates. She is out of control almost as often as she is in control. When I talk to her about her behaviors she doesn't listen. She looks away and tries to manipul... more

World Wide Parenting Principles

In the spring of this year I was approached by an American woman who does service work in China, and asked if I would go to Beijing, China... more

Parenting Help: Don't Do It For Them

How often do you pick up the slack for your children? Do you ask them to do a task and then later fix it or finish it for them? What do you do when you realize the task wasn't done? Most parents just do it them... more

The World's Strictest Parents

The World's Strictest Parents (or World's Strictest Parents) is a television series developed by TwentyTwenty Television, originally broadcast by British Broadcastin... more

Peck Family Sings: What Is A Family?

Since our whole family enjoys singing we have wanted a family song for a while.  Well, finally we did it.  Our great friend and mentor, Lawrence Gee put music to some words about family that I wrote out.  La... more

Christmas Traditions Your Family Will Love

Many people ask me what we do for Christmas and how we keep the family feeling united during all the hustle and bustle of the holidays. One of those ways is traditions.   I am excited to have an article for... more

On The Radio In China

In China we were invited to be on a one hour radio talk show all about strengthening families.  Spencer and I were the guests of the night.  We talked about helping your children succeed in school by improvin... more

Chinese Children

Spencer and I loved the time we spent with a group of Chinese Children.  We taught them a class, with activities, about how saying okay can help them be more happy.  We had a great time!... more

Photos of China

This is a photo of some of my new Chinese friends.  They were at a seminar I did there.  If you haven't listened to the audio about our trip or had problems before, it is fixed now.  http://teachingselfgover... more

Video Games Addiction: They Are Asking for Help

"How do you parent a child who is red/yellow when you are a white/blue? My son and I are so entirely different and he's so impulsive (almost destructive) that it completely shakes my world. I often find him... more

I Need Your Help!

As many of you may know I am a woman with a mission. Quite simply, the mission is to assist in healing homes in preparation for difficult and exciting times to come. If the families of the world follow correc... more

My Child Hates Homework!

My daughter has a hard time to stay on task with homework.  Yet when she reads a book, she can not get away from the book.  We are trying to praise her more often.  What other suggestion(s) do you have to h... more

Lying, Stealing, and Negative Attention Seeking

  10 Years Old And Needs Calmness “I love your book.  In many ways, your book has helped our family.  I am faced with a situation that I don’t know what to do about....My son is 10 years old and we have... more

Parenting Three Year Olds: They Really Understand

Many people ask me when they should start teaching their children self government skills.  It is never too early to start talking in a deliberate, describing way or to teach the word "okay."  Even the words... more

Back To School Suggestions

If you are sending your children back to school this year or if you homeschool your children you have the perfect opportunity to make fresh starts and new relationships.  Fall is e... more

Teenage Attitude Problems

This last week my twelve year old daughter had an attitude problem a number of times in one day.  This is very unusual for her and definitely had me analyzing her and the day.  She earned negative consequence... more

The Last All Day Seminar of the Summer

Teaching Self-GovernmentinWellsville, UtahDate: Saturday, August 28, 2010Time:  9:00 - 5:00Content: Spencer's New Class about relationships and FocusThe foundation of Parenting: Family VisionBuilding Your Fami... more

How Do You Get Them To Work?

...yes but how do you get them to work? My oldest (5yrs) always has to get get a drink or suddenly is tired or has a tummy ache when ever she hears the word “work” or “clean up.” It’s too “boring”... more

A New Look!!!

If you have been visiting Teaching Self-Government for a while you will notice we have a new look and new features to our site!  We are so excited to be off and running with a more user friendly, and nice look... more

Straight Talk About Sex: Children And Sex

I am pretty sure that just putting the word sex in the title of a blog post will make my blog not show up on a lot of your computers.  If so, that is good.  That means you have a good filter and are trying to... more

Real Control! -Help For Parents

So many people ask me how to control their out of control children... A man I really admire named Jeffrey Holland said, "...the only real control in life is self control."  I couldn't agree more.  You can con... more

Too Much Play Time?-Solving the Boredom Problem

My two youngest children are best friends, and play a lot with each other.  It is so fun to see them enjoy each other.  This summer we have noticed that they are getting a bit too much play lately though. The... more

Teaching Honesty: What About Gray Area?

"Just wondering what you do when a child denies doing something like this even though you know it was them or else they try to deceive you about it even though they know that no punishment will be given out for... more

Family TV Watching: Parenting Tip

"I came across your ideas on the LDSEHE website, and have been so inspired by all of it.  I'm starting to read your book, hoping to fill in a few holes.  I really like your idea for Friday family movie nigh... more

Brave Parenting: Being Too Soft

Can parents actually be too soft?  Isn't love and affection always the answer?  If a parent isn't being soft aren't they being angry? ... more

Summer Fun for the Children; and the Parents Too!

My children have started a fun new game this Summer thanks to a very creative friend.  They play camping.  Their friend found lots of old odds and ends around the house and garage and loaded them into his wag... more

"Master Your Mother Tongue": Building Character

My father used to always say, "Master your mother tongue and you will make a mark upon the world that will be noticed."  This advice changed my life.  I am still not perfectly articulate, but it is always on... more

Negative Consequence Rutt: Parenting Tips

"My two oldest boys, ages 8 and 7 are really giving me a run...........I know that if I stay strong, it will all pay off. We have a family mission statement, we have a job jar, we have been roll playing. They k... more

Depressed Teenager: Hope For Happiness

I have attended your classes at home school conferences and bought the mp3;s.  I am currently purchasing your book, however, I am in crisis.  I have a 17 rd old son that has  been homeschooled since fourth g... more

Family Meetings :Parenting Tips

Sometimes I get some stories sent to me which simply must be shared.  I would love to share one with you today.  This is a great family meeting success story which had me sweating for a few seconds: <block... more

Calm In A Hurry?

The opposite of calm is hurry.  If you feel like you have to hurry all the time, then you will never be calm.  Also, if you feel like you have to hurry through your teaching interactions with your children th... more

“Mom is on the phone” ~Discipline Problem

  “I do struggle and maybe you could give me some advice.  I spend quite a bit of time with my kids in the morning going over little activities like school workbooks and story time and exercising togethe... more

KJZZ Morning Show This Friday

If you are up to watching television this Friday, May 14,  from 9-10 in the morning, Spencer and I will be appearing on channel 14 in Utah and surrounding areas.  The call station is KJZZ 14.  We will be fea... more

Mother's Day Miracle: My Story

When I was about thirteen years old I was perfectly molded in the opinions of the current society. I had my life all planned out, and was sure that my plans were socially pleasing to all of my friends. I was... more

The Dreaded Attitude Problem

As I go around the country teaching parenting seminars and trying to help parents make healthy changes in their family relationships, I notice there are two things which get asked the most. 1.  What do you do... more

Order at Home

One of my passions is astronomy. When I go out in my backyard and look through my telescope at my friends, the planets and stars, I feel so close to God. Not because heaven is in space, but because it is so obv... more

Character Book: Must Read

I found Character, by Samuel Smiles in ebook format for free. So cool! Here's the link if you want to pass it along: more

School Problems ~When The Classroom Comes Home

"I have a 5 year old son that is in kindergarten.  He loves school because of all his friends there...  Unfortunately with school I see him still coming home with some bad habits that we must work to break. ... more

Peck Family on TV: Following Instructions

KJZZ television Morning Show  April 9, 2010Segment One: Segment Two: was also featured in a news... more

Unruly Child

"My question, as it relates to the above entries and to my four year old is what to do when he will not stay in time-out (on our washer)? He will not stay there. He runs after me, screaming. I put him back - tr... more

Become a Fan

Are you a fan of Teaching Self Government?  Make sure you join the official Teaching Self Government Facebook Fan page <a href=" more

Toddlers with Tantrums

"Where am I going wrong?!?!?!?! I had started to think that things were on the up, but lately it seems as though my daughter's behaviour has taken a nosedive. I think she's just asserting herself but I find... more

Problem Solving with Children ~SODAS

Here is a link to a great idea on how to teach SODAS, or problem solving exercises.  Have a SODA party.  Alison, aka mommymita blogger, posted a great idea with pictures of how she and her children used SODAS... more

Nicholeen Peck ebook ~Bad News

If you are looking for the ebook "Parenting A House United" by Nicholeen Peck you are in the right place, but it is no longer available. We encountered some problems and have chosen to only sell actu... more

Television clips from today ~Parenting Tips

Today we had a great day with Debbie and Ron on The KJZZ morning show hosted by KUTV2 news station.  Below are the links to the two segments we appeared in.  Today's topic was consequences and how to choose t... more

Nicholeen and Spencer Peck on TV

This Friday, March 12,  Spencer and I will be featured to appear again for two segments on the KJZZ morning show.  This show airs in Utah on channel 14 from 9 - 10 in the morning.  This Friday's topic i... more

Changing Perspective...You Can Do It.

Nicholeen, I’ve got “bubblegum pink” paint all over the carpet (and some furniture) right now that should NOT be there, and I have yelled and got angry at 3 of the 9 kids one who is under 24 hr priviledg... more

Parenting Discipline ~Another Perspective

One of Those Days Have you ever had one of those days where you go, go, go?  On these days there are lots of places to get to, you are always running late and your children seem to be grumpy, whiny, and agg... more

Obedience -- Inspiring a Change in Behavior

Another idea might be having a family meeting, I teach about those too, and discuss a POSITIVE motivational system for the family if everyone follows instructions the first time asked for a few days.  I have a... more

Changing Parenting Styles ~The Honeymoon

...We just started this approach to parenting a few weeks ago, and while the first couple of weeks went well because the kids all loved the praise and even the novelty of picking jobs out of a jar, we’ve hit... more

Parenting Success Story

Jason Alba, well known author, blogger, and public speaker  shared some the Teaching Self-Government successes at his home on this link     It's so gre... more

Happy Children Choose to be Happy

Nicholeen: we're doing our best to implement a system of family government following your plan.  I have the 6 cd set and I've listened to them twice, and I'm reading the book as well... ...What do you do abou... more


I just want all of you who have asked me questions lately to know that I have been swamped with questions.  I have a very long list at this point.  I am still working away at them, but only have so much time... more

Tips For Using Time-out With Toddlers

"My 2yo has started crying a LOT the past few days.  Over every little thing.   Nothing is different physically or environmentally that I can tell.  He already has his 2yo molars, too..   He's just been c... more

Stopping the Name Calling, and Crass Words

"I was wondering….what do you do about name calling, or when children say bad words? My children say crap, stupid, dumb, etc… No matter how many times I tell them to stop, they don’t. So would you have th... more

James and Hannah Reflecting on the BBC show

Seeing James and Hannah so much improved and obviously happier makes it all worth it.  We love them!  Well done James!  Well done Hannah!  ~Nicholeen <object width="425" height="350"... more

Are You In Crisis?

The first page of  Parenting A House United says: "Is your home in crisis?  Do your children never do what they are told?  Do you find yourself completely overwhelmed and hating to interact with your childr... more

Shipping the Book

I have told many people the pre-sold books would start shipping today.  I went to pick them up from the printer today and couldn't bring them home because there was a problem with the printing.  The pri... more


My problem is that I never can think of appropriate consequences when my kids misbehave. Do you have any suggestions? I have five children ages 9-18. Thanks, Amy Consequences can be difficult to think up, but... more

Last Chance!

There are only a few more days to get your copy of <em>Parenting A House United</em> for 25% off the regular price.  Next week the book will be done printing and at that point it will be regular pr... more

BBC's Hannah Teaches Parents a Great Lesson

My sister, Janelle, who was featured on the BBC World's Strictest Parents spoke with me recently about her one regret about the show.  If you have seen the show, you will remember we took our British guests to... more

Runaway Two Year Old

Q: "With my 2 and half yr old. She frequently will run away from me when I call her, wanting to turn it into a game of chase. Sometimes this is at a store or getting into the car, sometimes it is when she needs... more

Order at Home

One of my passions is astronomy.  When I go out in my backyard and look through my telescope at my friends, the planets and stars, I feel so close to God.  Not because heaven is in space, but because it is... more

Making Toddler Store Time Happy

Mommy's "Said Okay" Song       Have you ever been in the store and heard a small child ask their parent for a candy bar, or a toy?  Most resonable parents don't go around buying everything their child a... more

From Spencer

This is Spencer, the father in the show. Thank you so much for your comments about the show and our family. As portrayed in the show, we love to spend as much time with our children as possible. I have realized... more

Teaching Self-Government in Marriage

<blockquote>I was introduced to your program at a conference last year &amp; fell in love with it.  It's for adults as well as kids!  Would you be able to offer me some advise on how a husband migh... more

Advice From the World's Strictest Parent

"Hi Nicholeen, I hope you don't mind me messaging you/adding you as a friend....I saw you recently on tv here in England, and as a mother of two I was so impressed and humbled by your patience and love. Nothing... more

Porter Peck Talks about James and Hannah

I transcribed this rememberance of our BBC "World's Strictest Parents" experience straight from the mouth of my five year old son Porter.....The grammar is unedited on purpose.  This is how he speaks.  :) My... more

Update from James' Mom

I talked to James' mom and she said he is doing well. She said that he is back in school and seems to be doing well. He is also trying to make other positive changes in his life. Their relationship is not perfe... more

Comment on World's Strictest Parents

A comment on a previous post said: Saw the show last night. And I felt credit where it's due ... I had to cringe at the behaviour of the two kids (because that's what they were). And speaking as someone who is... more

BBC three "The World's Strictest Parents"

The whole show is finally up for everyone to see.  It was editing nicely.  I really appreciate how truthful the BBC was in their interpretation of our lives and how we parent.  My only regret is that you all... more

World's Strictest Parents Utah

"I've just seen you on the TV Programme, the Wor'ds strictest parents here in the UK and would like to say what a superb job your family did with Hannah and James.  Your family was so patient and understanding... more

Getting Each Other in Trouble

We have a problem with people getting into things in the house without asking.  For example chocolate chips, cookies in the freezer and so on.  We also have a problem with dishonesty. The consequence for t... more

Book Update

Many people have expressed interest in my upcoming book: Parenting A House United: Changing Children's Hearts and Behaviors by Teaching Self-Government.  I have started pre-selling copies of this book to... more

BBC Update

Just so all of you know.  My show is airing on BBC Three in Britain on November 5th.  We won't be able to see it in the U.S. but the BBC is sending a copy of the show in the mail to me the day it airs. ... more

"It's Bedtime"

Bedtime negative behaviors. my 5 year old just will not settle down. I get really frustrated with him. I don't feel like I can do the rule of three or extra chores when he is supposed to be going to sleep, and... more

Are you listening to me?

Q:  "With my 5 year old, when I am correcting negative behavior and I ask him to practice with me, he goes into goofy mode and doesn't want to practice correct behavior, or does it silly. Should I give him con... more

Stand For Something

     One afternoon my children and I went on a walk to our local library.  The library is about one and a half miles from our home.  After a great time reading and exploring together in the library, we st... more

Don't Overreact

     While making bread one day I heard confusion coming from downstairs.  After asking the children what was happening I found out that one of our darling little friends, who was over playing, broke a toy... more

Fathers figuring things out

Recently I have had multiple people email with questions about their husbands.  It seems that some fathers are reluctant to make changes in their family culture and systems even when the rest of the family is... more

Teaching How to Stop Teasing

“Waaaaahaaaaa!” screamed Porter, my five year old, from the other side of the family room.  I looked over there just is time to see Paije, his much older sister, trying to pry one of her shoes from her lit... more

Choose Communication Not Sides

My daughter had one of her best friends over to play.  After playing for about 45 minutes, the friend came from the basement in tears to her mother.  She was really upset because she was having a hard time co... more

The Power to Change

Can one person change the world just by being herself? I think so. That is where the power in all of us lies; in the person we were meant to become. If we find this person, we will then find our power to cha... more

Free Download -The Eight Missions

Parenting is the grand mission. It is all eight missions talked about in Dr. DeMille's lecture. Whenever I speak about missions in my seminars, people always want more about the eight missions, so I thought it... more

Teaching Self Government requires Self Government

        Another way I change my children's hearts is to see what changes I have to make in myself.  If a relationship is suffering, it is usually a two person problem.  So, if I feel disconnected from... more

Parenting On the Go ~Car and Store Struggles

Hi, Nicholeen,   I have a quick question for you.  I'm struggling with what to do for discipline/consequences when we're away from home.  (Specifically in the car or in a store.)   My kids tend to pick... more

It Changed My Life

I recently received a very inspiring email which answers the question "How will Teaching Self Government change my family?"   I love to see what Teaching Self Government looks like in other homes, so I though... more

Book Title

Thank you all so much for your wonderful advice and suggestions for my book title!  It is really valuable to get your opinions.   After reviewing a great poll and reading through many comments which weren�... more

Buy the Book for Cheap!

<blockquote>        I've read about Love and Logic, Power of Positive Parenting and other books that were ok, but not memorable.  You know how I feel about L and L, too confusing, too inconsi... more

Mentoring Opportunity

I still continue to work through as many of the questions which have been sent to me as possible, and feel bad that I don't have time to get to them as quickly as I would like to.  Recently, I have done lots o... more

Cedar City on August 22

<p style="text-align: center;"><strong>Teaching Self Government</strong></p> <p style="text-align: center;">Full Day Seminar</p> <p style="text-al... more

Problem Solving in groups

      Problem solving is a great group skill as well as an individual skill.  Group discussions and family meetings are great places to use SODAS.  My children are not perfect, and never will be, so we g... more


My kids are really hard workers (At least I've taught them one thing right!) so they are not bothered at all by doing an extra job or even doing jobs for one hour or all day.  It's not their favorite thing to... more

Success Stories and Some Questions

Thank you so much for your teaching this subject!  I purchased the CDs about two months ago when I heard about them through the LEMI mentors association, listened to them, took lots of notes, and put it into... more

Vote for my Book Title

<strong>UPDATE:</strong>  We are getting closer to having the book.  I took some of the great ideas presented here and made a <a href=" more

“Mom is on the phone”

“I do struggle and maybe you could give me some advice.  I spend quite a bit of time with my kids in the morning going over little activities like school workbooks and story time and exercising together.  Y... more

Nicholeen Asks You!

<strong>UPDATE:</strong>  We are getting closer to having the book.  I took some of the great ideas presented here and made a <a href=" more

Success Stories and Some Questions

Thank you so much for your teaching this subject! I purchased the CDs about two months ago when I heard about them through the LEMI mentors association, listened to them, took lots of notes, and put it into ac... more

“Mom is on the phone”

“I do struggle and maybe you could give me some advice.  I spend quite a bit of time with my kids in the morning going over little activities like school workbooks and story time and exercising together. ... more

Questions, Questions

In the past couple of months I have been swamped with questions.  I am so sorry if I have not been able to answer your question in a reasonable time.  With the filming of the BBC show and trying to work on my... more

Great Family Activity Idea!

This year our family is going to the American Family Fest in Cedar City, Utah.  It is going to be amazing!  I can't believe how many family memories can be made at this wonderful, inspiring event.  I will... more

The Power of a Hug

         A week ago I had six children instead of four.  We adopted two British 17 year old teens for a television show we were asked to be on.  Even though the filming was only 8 days, I think all o... more

How long should a chore take? 4 Hours?

“I read your post about the Dawdler getting in the way of family routines, but what do I do with a dawdler when it comes to accepting consequences.  Here is the situation:  ... more

Have You Ever Done This?

A parent says, "Billy, come make your bed."  Billy doesn't come immediately so the parent says,"One.......Two.........Three." to get Billy to come.  Have you ever done this?  Everyone knows Billy better st... more


It has come to my attention that I made it really hard for people to contact the hostess of my upcoming seminar by putting the wrong email.  Emily Satterthwaite's email is <a href="mailto:emilysat... more

Rachel's Bean Counter Magic

<p class="MsoNormal" style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt;"><strong style="mso-bidi-font-weight: normal;"><span style="font-size: small;"><span style="fon... more


<p class="MsoNormal" style="text-align: center;" align="center"><strong><span style="font-size: 24pt;">Teaching Self Government Seminar</span><... more

TSG with older children

My children range from 30 -7 and there are 13 of them.  I am wondering how you start this with your older children and how you brought your husband on board.... more

Sneaky Six Year Old 6 year old is up to his old tricks.  He LOVED following instructions when I first started concentrating on this. But, today, he became his regular difficult self.  He hasn't been following... more

A comment for At Wits End

This comment is definately realavent to the previous post.  This was a great response.  I couldn't have said it better myself! One thing Nicholeen didn’t mention was that this mom should try hard to find t... more

At Wit's End...

I have a 14yo son who I cannot deal with any more.  It isn't a new thing.  He's my oldest and ever since he was little I have felt like I can't deal with him.  He is defiant, impulsive, selfish, and almost a... more

New Seminar in Utah

<p class="MsoNormal" style="text-align: center;" align="center"><strong><span style="font-size: 18pt;">Date:</span></strong><span style=&... more

Positively Wonderful!

This last week I have had the amazing opportunity to parent two of the cutest little boys you could ever see; my nephews James and Henry.  My nephews are both still toddlers, so life was a little crazy sometim... more

Religion Comment

Your advice sounds similar to what we did with my son. He said he didn’t believe in our church anymore. We told him he didn’t have to believe it, but he did need to attend to show respect for the family and... more

Religion Affects Self Government Learning Capacity

Lately, my teenage son doesn't want to go to church with the family.  I don't really want to make him go.  Even though he is not especially religious right now, he is still a good boy.  Should I be worried a... more

I don't know any bad children.

<p class="MsoNormal" style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt; text-indent: 0.5in; line-height: 200%;"><span style="font-size: small;"><span style="font-family: Times New Rom... more

Comment on Babies Sleeping

<blockquote>... a comment to your response to <a href="mhtml:{7D6F8DD4-BC2E-4432-91DC-F10F088C0ACE}mid://00000101/!x-usc:;view=js&a... more

James Madison once said...

<blockquote> <p class="MsoNormal" style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt; text-align: center;" align="center"><span style="font-size: small; font-family: Times New Roman;&q... more

My baby won't sleep through the night.

I had a question about getting my 9 month old baby to sleep? I have been nursing him to sleep since he was born. Because he needs to be nursed to sleep, he sleeps in our bed. When I try to put him to sleep i... more

Is Giving Criticism Bad?

You use the word "criticism" often when you're talking about corrective teaching...That word however, has a very negative connotation to me, and each time I hear you say it on your CD's, I cringe inwardly... I... more

Our Mission Statement

We used you family standard made some changes and put it in our family book. My question is, do you have a family mission statement? I am so glad you liked the standard.  Ours is also in our family meeting bo... more

The Power Within Us!

         Everything I teach in my home leads to duty and then VOICE.  Because, how can you be a leader in this world and not have any voice, or way to lead people?  Even example is a form of voice. ... more

Lies. How do I know?

Thanks for your post.  It gave me a lot to think about.  The one part I am still unsure about (and I know I just need to take it to prayer) is about treating them as if they have lied even when you just sus... more

Therapy? Lying? Attention seeking?

I have one son who doesn't seem to be responding much to the changes in our family, and I am starting to worry about him.  I know you have dealt with many children who have come from dysfunctional situations a... more

Separate Behaviors from People

Most parents I know would say they love their children unconditionally.  This unconditional love is the most powerful kind of love there is.  Some Christians call this kind of love, "Christ-like Love.&qu... more

Tantrums, Time-Out and Tired Moms

Hi, I am a tired mom who is really trying very hard to have all the time and the spirit in our home. I have 2 kids. My lovely daughter, is freshly 4 years old and my sweet son, is 20 months old. Ours days are p... more


With the SODAS - do you only use these when you see a problem, or do you do them randomly and/or on a regular basis?  I use SODAS whenever I think we practice problem solving, but especially if we have had a... more

A strict parent?

I was recently asked if I thought I was a strict parent. I've never liked the word strict, because I associat it with a parent who yells a lot, is stern looking and engages in power struggles. So, in response t... more

Sunday chores again.

What about extra chores? On Sundays we don't do heavy work, or major maintenances in order to keep our Sabbath.  But children still make bad choices on Sundays.  My policy is this: If my child chooses to ea... more

What about lying?

I was asked how I handle lying.  This is a very common problem with children who are trying to gain control of their lives and other people.  In the past I have written many posts on lying.  Two posts wh... more

What about Sundays?

As I was looking at your chore chart, I thought of another question I've been meaning to ask about chores. I noticed Sunday is listed as a day of rest on the charts–how does that work with things that have to... more

Peck Family Standard

This last weekend at the seminar in Clearfield, UT I was asked for a copy of my family standard.  In case it is useful to anyone else, it is below.  Warning, this is three pages long on word.  You should be... more

Voice Raising and Critical Attitude

I walked out of the room and was faced with disrespectful behavior...voice raising and critical attitude for no apparent reason....It made me glad I can look forward to the publishing of your book!  I am star... more

"I didn't hear you."

What about when they say, "I didn't hear you" as their reason/excuse for not following instructions...but you think they must have?  This is a classic!  It is either one of two things.  Either your child... more

Comment on chores...

Thank you–this was very helpful! One more question. . .On the specifics, like letting the children know chores are a “standing instruction”, the children having to make up the time if you do the chore for... more

Are Chores Instructions too?

I know you've written posts about chores before, but I can't seem to find them on your website.  So I'll ask my questions, and maybe you can direct me to the proper posts if you've already answered them!  Are... more

Question about "perfect families"

There was a comment left on the "perfect families" post which said, Have you found ways to keep from joining in the competition when you speak about your kids, and shut down competitive questions/remarks from... more

The simple things

Yesterday, my daughter was playing with her toy horses and stables.  She was having a great time.  I was reading on the couch.  Then I got this thought, "Ask her if you can play with her."  I must... more

The "Perfect Family"

After moving to a new neighborhood, many years ago, I found myself talking to a nice woman about who the different families were who lived around me.... more

Bubbles are no big deal.

One day I was walking passed my daughters bedroom when, out of the corner of my eye, I noticed my daughter’s 3 year old friend emptying the last of a HUGE 100oz refill bottle of bubbles onto the carpet.  She... more

Christmas Wishes

<font size="2" face="Arial"><font size="2" face="Arial">2008 has been a very noisy year!  </font></font><font size="2" face="Ar... more

Truth is simple

<font size="2" face="Arial">A Comment: </font><font size="2" face="Arial"> <blockquote>I’ve just bookmarked your site here - I’ll be back!... more

Gratitude Tip

In the post below I discussed teaching our children gratitude.  I forgot to mention one thing we do which teaches gratefulness the most; thank you notes.  Thank you notes are almost a thing of the past.  Thi... more

Christmas Character Building

Samuel Smiles said, "Worst of all are the grumblers and growlers at fortune--who find that whatever is, is wrong," or not enough. Quiet a few years ago, we had a Christmas day that changed all the Christmas... more

Christmas Captivity

Today I was reading my scriptures and came across the word captive.  I pondered on this word for some time.  <strong>Captive</strong>comes from the Latin word "Captivus", which means to... more

Christmas Sweater

I recently read a book called the Christmas Sweater.  In this book, the main character (a teenager) makes a lot of mistakes.  Glenn Beck, the author, tells what the teenager was thinking and how he really wan... more

Learning from the Dutch

 Before the United States of America even existed, there were these colonies of many different people from different lands.  One of these colonies was called New Amsterdam.  The Dutch people settled this col... more

Time-out for youngsters tip

One more tip for making time-out effective. If your son doesn't say OK to anything, take him to time-out.  If you say NO, and he whines, he goes to time-out.  If you tell him to do something, and he doesn'... more

Out of Control on Time-out

"My almost 3 yo fights and kicks and cries when I take him to time-out (I have to carry him there), and then cries very loudly and even will scream at me when I'm telling him that he needs to stay there until h... more

Upcoming Seminar

There will be a 7 hour Teaching Self Government Seminar on January 24, 2009 at Clearfield Community Church at 200 S. 500 E. in Clearfield, Utah  84015 from 9-5 pm with a one-hour, off-campus lunch.  All are i... more

"Line upon Line"

The very first time I was asked to speak to a group of people about Teaching Self Government, I was in such a rush.  I tried to tell the audience everything they would need to make all the changes necessary to... more

Dealing with Friends part 4

How do you help your children stand up for what's right without being "preachy" or "goody-goody"? The most important skill you can teach your child is how to determine what is right and what is wrong and how... more

Dealing with Friends part 3

How do you help your children respond appropriately to unkind behavior and deal with conflicts?  I am assuming this question is referring to conflicts with friends and not siblings, although the conflicts ar... more

Dealing with Friends part 2

 "How do these things change as your children get older?" Too much friend time makes children selfish.  Children who are around peers too often start to think more about their peers than their family.  This... more

Dealing with Friends

How often do your children play with friends, and under what conditions?  How do these things change as your children get older?  How do you help your children respond appropriately to unkind behavior and dea... more

Family Activities

Family activities don't necessarily need to be elaborate!  I am a bit of a romantic, so I always try to think up things that sound memorable.  Tonight we drove around our small town until we found a plac... more

My Book

Readers,  I have been spending a lot of time writing my Teaching Self government book lately.  It is so exciting to see the progress and know that I am getting closer to accomplishing this goal.  On this sit... more

Talkers vs. Listeners

<p style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt; line-height: 200%" class="MsoNormal"><font face="Times New Roman"><span>            </span>My oldest son is a talk... more

Changing generations

The Universe is governed by laws. One of those laws is that an older, wiser species comes before the new, innocent young of the same species to guide the younger toward right choices and acceptable behaviors.... more

My vision

“Where there is no vision, the people perish…” (Proverbs 29:18) I have a 20 year vision for my family:... more

What is YOUR attitude like?

I have many posts on this site about how to change attitude problems in our children.  This is important to know how to do, but even more important for our family is knowing how to change our own attitude pro... more

Family Meeting Question

"In a family meeting, do the kids actually get to vote on the final decision, or are they just giving input and opinions, and then the parents make the decision?" Good question.  Everyone votes in the family... more

Going against the grain.

There is an old saying which says, "Don't put off until tomorrow what you can do today."  This is going to shock you all......WHY?   Seriously, I think this is sound advice for school assignments that are... more

But she won't do it!

"What do you do if a child is punished with a chore and they refuse to do it (no matter how much time you spend in the same room with the child)?  Child in question is 8 years old." This sounds like a cause o... more

Balance for a mission mom?

How do you balance your mission with your family mission?  Obviously helping others learn to teach their children self-government takes a good deal of your time away from your family so I'd love some tips. ... more

Screaming part 2

On September 11th I wrote a post titled "For Crying out Loud ~ Screaming"  This was the first screaming post.  I am now adding another part to screaming, because I have another question.  My almost-5-year-o... more

What should I expect?

 "I'm having trouble figuring out what behavior is  "normal" for my 4- and 8-year-old boys, what chores I can expect them  to be able to perform, and what kinds of rewards and consequences  work for the... more

Out of Instructional control behavior

"You mention in "Intensive Teaching/Rule of Three that if a child is  "out of instructional control", that if the child chooses not to  follow an instruction, he/she "...... more

Touch time

Tonight as I was sending my children off to bed, I felt like something was missing.  Then the words of Gene Cook came to mind.  He related in his book "Raising up a Family to the Lord" how he notice... more

Do Less.....Our Victory!

Our family culture involves lots of music time.  It is a huge focus for all of us.  My older two children both spend lots of time singing, and playing piano.  They have a special music mentor who helps them... more

Impulsivness, ADHD and consequences

 "My son has ADHD...My main concerns are the impulsiveness...and  the fighting with his brothers- he literally cannot walk past without hitting them, punching them,   teasing them.  Car rides can be a re... more

Fighting with non-family members

"I have been reading your website and listening to your CD’s and practicing what I’ve learned from you.  It has helped tremendously with the level of peace in our home.  A situation occurred last night... more

What consequences do small children earn?

 "In your house, what are the privileges that are taken away when they lose 'everything' for 24 hours?   At what age can they understand that?   Or, what do you do with very little ones who are testing bou... more

I'm hurt Mom...

"I've just been wondering about how to respond appropriately when my children get hurt.  I don't want to be unsympathetic or cruel, but how do you respond if it's something you have pointed out they shouldn't... more


<font size="2" face="Arial">Enjoy all that the children are and do.  Interact a lot with them.  Play!  They grow too fast to waste any time.  I have spent too many days trying to b... more

Time for Mom & Toddlers who won't rest

There are some great questions in some of the recent comments.  "...Most women I know are neglecting taking care of themselves on some level (physical or spiritual) to take care of their families or other o... more


Tomorrow our family has to leave early for the day.  While driving the car tonight I realized that we didn't have any gas, and if we had to get gas tomorrow morning, we would probably end up running late for o... more

Bad Habits

"Some of my kids have developed bad habits such as finger-sucking, nose picking (and eating it), fingernail chewing, and touching their genitals.  Do you have any experience or advice on helping children succe... more

Look "em" in the eyes

We close the end of each day with a prayer as a family.  This is a time of reverence and quiet.  Tonight my four year old son was a little bit hyper.  Normally as soon as prayer begins everyone is silent a... more

Effective use of consequences

"On your CDs you mention coming up with three predetermined consequences--a minor consequence, a major consequence, and a big whammy, but throughout the presentations it sounded like you gave examples of more t... more

For Crying out Loud ~Screaming

"I have listened to the cd’s from your mini-seminar at our LDSEHE conference. I am so amazed at your system! I can see how it would work wonderfully in my home - especially with my 3 older children. My fourth... more

The number one mission

"My husband and I are listening to your CDs.  We've heard you speak a few times but never got the whole thing before.  Your CDs are definitely an answer to prayer.  I've tried for a long time to figure out h... more

For our youth.

True Story from my life:  I share this story with youth when I present "Scholar Warriors ~ The Not So Secret Weapon"  I will be presenting this to a group of Ogden, Utah youth tomorrow morning. ... more

What do you do when...?

"How do you go about rewarding the kids who did not lose privileges in a way that the child who chose to lose his privileges looks at his own behavior as the cause of him missing out, instead of just feeling li... more


In the post below titled Honesty, I said that there is an article already written on the subject.  Some people have had a hard time accessing it.  Type communicating honestly into the search bar at your top r... more


"I have two boys ages 7 and 4.  My 7yo has developed a couple problems: stealing and lying.  I think that I/we have been making the problem worse in the way we have handled it.  We also have a HUGE problem w... more


...I am presenting a class to the youth in my area called, "Scholar Warriors ~ The Not So Secret Weapon", based upon my character and warrior presentations.  This should be lots of fun!  We will hav... more

I hear you!

"I can understand this, mom! I have a 7 year old who pretty much spent most of his first 5 years in timeout. About 2 years ago, I attended one of Nicholeen’s seminars. We decided to implement the losing of p... more

Mom's hang-up

"Thanks so much for all the wisdom and inspiration you share.  I have a son (age 11) who zapps so much emotional energy from me.  Over the last several months, I've really been trying to see things as they ar... more

Some Days

Some days I am running so fast from thing to thing that my full life makes me feel empty. Some days I have such a long list of things to do that I feel overwhelmed. Some days I realize I am overwhelmed and emp... more

Using the Rule of Three

"Another question I had was, does the rule of 3 start over for each incident?  Are the 3 consequences for staying out of instructional control as relating to the first incident?  I just want to make sure I un... more

If it's right, it's right!

The following question and answer deals with something that many families deal with.  In order to raise the kind of family that is going to reach our 20 year vision, we have to make choices that are different... more

Comment on post below

"Thanks!  It helps a lot to know that I can have both personal standards and a family standard, and to hear your experiences.  I think I have been afraid to set an example and refuse things for myself that he... more

Tires Teach Parents

What tools do parents need to teach mission? There isn’t a “one size fits all” answer to this question, but I can tell you what I have learned that I need.  Recently, while on a family camp-out, I... more

Mentor Sessions change the tide.

There are many times when I feel like my children have a different vision of how the day should go than I do.  They want to play around and get distracted and I want to be efficient and get lots of things don... more

Great Comment

Well I am back from my camping trip now, and back to my computer.  I wrote a post that suggested taking a week off of the computer.  I hope some of your took me up on the challenge.  It is easier said than d... more

Should I Medicate?

"Help! I’ve been browing your website for a couple of days. Trying to find some answers- If I had the $ I’d be sending for the cd’s. But it’s not in the budget right now. I’m totally at my wits end wi... more

Stop Being so efficient!!!

Two days ago my son set up all of his little army figures in army formation and came to me and said, "Mom, will you play army with me?"  The first thought I had was, 'I can't right now, because I am trying... more

Too many reminders?

"With young children like my 3 yr old, I am very tempted to give at least one reminder, another chance, before they get a consequence.  So if he starts to whine and say no to an instruction, I remind him of ea... more

Rationales that Matter

“Coming up with rationales that matter to my kids is very difficult for me!  Do you have any tips on this?”... more

Longer Meetings?

 "I just thought I would mention that our meetings often go over 20 minutes but my kids still look forward to them. They love picking the family activity, they like problem solving too.... more

Earning Money...

"Do you have a way for your kids to earn money?  Could you elaborate on that?" There was a time when we paid our children an allowance of sorts.  Each child had a calendar.  Their consequence for a minor of... more

It's the truth!

A wise friend of mine sent me this in an email. <blockquote><font size="2" face="Arial">"</font><span style="font-size: 11pt; color: #1f497d; font-family: ... more

Fights? continued

" in the course of asking from youngest to oldest their account of what happened, do their accounts factor in the consequences they receive?  Because all of them are disrupting the family feeling and not... more


"When your kids are fighting, do you try to instruct them in the middle of that?  I often try to intervene but maybe too often - they don't seem to be learning to problem solve with each-other rather than tatt... more

Respectful play

"I have an 8 year old boy and a 6 year old boy and an 18 month old girl. One of the most frustrating things for me is when I’m trying to talk to my boys and give instructions and they ignore me by rough housi... more

Getting Started

"I was just wondering, when trying to set up this type of family government for the first time, does it take several family meetings before you can actually implement it?  You talk about how each meeting shoul... more

A comment

In case some of you don't look at the comments, I wanted to share this one.  "I definitely relate to this mother’s feelings. It is really overwhelming to implement this new system and I make mistakes all th... more

All at once?

"I first just want to thank you for the wonderful things you do.  I attended the LDSEHE conference in Virginia in May and LOVED the classes I went to from you so much that I bought your CDs.  Since then, I've... more


Helpful tips.  #1.  Really look into the eyes of your child when she is talking.  And watch the movements and gestures of her body and face while she plays and communicates to you.  This simple thing brings... more
mother hugging child

Poor Richard

"He that cannot bear with other people's passions, cannot govern his own."  ~Benjamin Franklin This applies, in many ways, to self-government.... more
boy cleaning room

Cleaning a Bedroom

How do you find a good consequence for a thre-year-old who won't participate in cleaning a shared bedroom? This mother explained to me of her struggle with this issue. This is the advice I gave her. ... more

Should I Pre-teach EVERY instruction?

This mother's son has a hard time following instructions if there isn't a pre-teach before every instruction. Does she have to pre-teach before every instruction?... more

Job Jar

Job jars are great, but what to put in them? How many chores can you really do around one house? Here's a list of jobs you can use!... more

Strong Willed 3 Year Old

"I'm trying to figure out how to make this work for my 3 year old. He is very high spirited, very defiant and REALLY can't take no for an answer. I struggle minute to minute with obedience and with whining and... more
teenage boy on bed

Using The Bedroom As A Consequence

How does 24 hours loss of privileges work in your house?  Let's say a 13 year old boy doesn't want to get on board. But he shouldn't be allowed to just hole up in his room away from the rest of the family!... more

Time-Out Talk

I should have corrected him right there, but for some reason, I let him whine at me. It is always better to correct all negative behaviors as soon as possible.  ... more
little boy crying

4 Year-Old Stress

We got home late.  My four year old fell asleep on the way home.  After waking up, he came in to go potty, get dressed and go to bed.  From the bathroom I heard crying.  He was in there for a long time. He... more

Is Hovering Necessary?

Hovering gives a message of not trusting.  If he thinks that you don't trust him, he will think of himself as a dishonest person based upon your behaviors.  Hovering is also a form of a power struggle. So,... more
Showing success

What Are Your Successes? Part One

Stories of success from others is always a good boost of confidence for ourselves. If you have success stories, feel free to share! We love you hear how Teaching Self-Government is going for you! Here's some th... more
boy waiting

He Won't Clean His Room?

I'm having trouble figuring out a good consequence beyond time out for my 3 yr old.  He and his brother who just turned 6 share a room.  I gave them an instruction to clean their room this morning, and he lef... more
Happy and sad face girl

Do You See What I See?

Over the last year, my niece has gone through a change.  The once happy, helpful girl changed into a whiny, depressed, girl that didn't look at life the same.  One day I got left home with the all the childre... more
Father sending child to her room

Speed Things Up

"My daughter takes 10 minutes to actually say 'OK' to an instruction.  How do I speed things up?" If it's taking 10 minutes for the daughter to say "Okay" to an instruction, then she is having a power struggl... more
Girl explaining something to Dad

The Why's To Disagreeing Appropriately

When I see my children are getting frustrated, I gently remind them that they can disagree appropriately.  I even tell my children exactly how to disagree with ME sometimes.  The point of the skill is to lear... more
Little boy folding his arms and sulking

When To Give Consequences And Do Corrections

When and how do you give consequences?  For example, if you instruct your son to go clean his room (assuming you've prepped him for accepting a consequence) and he whines and says, "I don't want to do it... more
Son won't listen to his parents

Establishing Consequences

"...We taught the 4 basic skills and the kids had a lot of fun role-playing the way to respond to the different situations, they especially loved disagreeing appropriately! :)  Well, I hadn't determined what... more
Guy hugging girl

Appropriate Touch

"You mentioned you have touching rules for friends, family, and neighbors–do you mind sharing them?" There are rules and boundaries for touching for different groups of people. Know what they are and make su... more
Girl in doorway

The Times We Live In Part 2

"My husband works at a jail and just a few weeks ago a man we both know from school and church was brought in on sexual charges. His niece was supposedly the victim. Both of us were very surprised, as we wouldn... more
Little girl covering her eyes

The Times We Live In Part 1

A reader wrote to me telling me about a young neighborhood child that introduced things of a sexual nature to her daughter.  This is not a fun subject.  I have been avoiding putting it on the site, but the mo... more

Whose Fault is It?

About five years ago I met a couple who seemed to have happiness in marriage completely figured out.  They shared some of their secrets with me.  One of them has made a huge impact on our home.  It is called... more
Referee blowing whistle

Should They Fight it Out?

There are sometimes when an argument is a natural consequence of a bad behavior. Do I stand back and let them or continue to be a referee between them?... more

Adult Chore Chart?

A reader loves the chore chart we have for our children and wants to try it, but also wants to know if we have a chore chart for us, the adults. ... more
Teen girls cleaning

Chore Chart

I have had a few requests for a copy of my chore chart.  My system is very simple.  Probably not revolutionary, but here it is.  This chart is the one that my big children use.  They switch chore lists each... more

Fathers: Parent or Playmate Part 3

My husband is a neat and tidy sort of a person.  There was a time when our family was living out of laundry baskets instead of closets and drawers, because I just wasn’t able to stay on top of the laundry... more

Fathers: Parent or Playmate Part 2

We have just made a pretty good argument for Dad’s to parent differently and have different experiences with their children.  However, having a different God given role doesn’t mean that Dad should feel se... more

Fathers: Parent or Playmate Part 1

I have had many questions lately asking if fathers should parent different and how to help father become part of mother's vision for the family.  There are many different situations and personalities, so th... more

Perspective And Self-Preservation

Dear Parents,     My son happened to lose his hat in the Air and Space Museum in DC.  We didn't find out that he had lost the NEW hat until we had been kicked out of the museum at closing time.  It t... more

A Lesson Learned

     We came to DC thinking we could get mugged.  We left our hotel this morning, with our money hidden, and pinned in our pockets, and no bags visible to steal.  We were ready to battle the muggers of DC... more
Girl with flower bouquet

Slow Down, Mom

FAMILY I ran into a stranger as he passed by, 'Oh excuse me please' was my reply. He said, 'Please excuse me too; I wasn't watching for you.' We were very polite, this stranger and I. W... more


Being over critical of things that don’t really matter, like table manners, personal grooming, age appropriate actions, and school grades tells the child that you don’t accept them for who they are or are t... more
Mother reading to daughter on couch

Mission By Example

I was sitting on the couch today going over plans for our next trip when my six year old daughter, Londyn, sat down next to me and said, "We have to go to Virginia because you want to make the world better, don... more
Broom, dustpan, and child's feet

Why Not?

I instructed my daughter to sweep the floor.  She said, “OK Mom, but I don’t know how.”    This surprised me.  She had seen me sweep the floor so many times, that I forgot she might not even know ho... more
Happy Older Family

Have A Mission Book

In order to teach our children how to govern themselves in a family setting, we have to give them a vision, or picture of what the family is working toward.  This vision, or goal, begins the family's mission.... more
Little boy writing

About S.O.D.A.S.

Recently, I have had a number of emails asking questions about how to use SODAS.  If you aren't aware, SODAS are a problem solving exercise that I learned how to use while working for the Utah Youth Village. ... more
Child pouting

Helping Young Children Accept "No" Answers

"Nicholeen, I was wondering how you teach these principles to the younger children.  My children are (almost) 8, (almost) 6, 3.5, 20 months, and a 2 week old.  (not that I expect to be doing this with the new... more
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... more
Birds and bees

When do you talk about "it"?

I have to ask it because it’s something I struggle with talking about to my kids . . . when do you talk to your children about sex?  How do you go about it so that they understand that sex is actually a goo... more

Character Building

In our family meeting this Sunday a topic was brought up that our family needs to do more service.  We asked for suggestions.  After going over many options, we decided that Dad would call a ranch in our c... more
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-... more
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?  Some... more
Tantrum Face

Poopy Pants and Tantrums

Nicholeen, 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 th... more
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... more
Baby Crying

“Crying Doesn’t Bug You, Right?”

            A few days after I gave birth to my fourth child I found out that I didn’t have enough milk for him.  This was very stressful.  (Which I am sure didn’t help me make more milk.)  I... more

What Does It Sound Like?

April asked how the song is supposed to sound so that she could use it.    All the words to the song are : Every time you're silly  (Hold this last y note for 3 counts)  somebody always gets hurt.   ... more
Mom And Little Boy

Important Things

Those voices all around me; “You’re wasting time,” they say. The yard, dishes, big project... more

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... more

"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... more

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... more

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 tha... more

Fixing Things With Father

I received a question from a mother who is struggling with her husband not being motivated or involved in family life.  This is OUR response. Dear Motivated Mother:... more

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... more

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 exac... more

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 ques... more
Excuse our dust! We are currently in the process of updating to a new website. If you see errors, please continue as if they didn't exist. As more of the new site is completed you will be directed more to that site. If you have any questions, please contact us.