Respect vs. Ridicule-Feedback that builds up vs. tears down

Respect Versus Ridicule – Giving Feedback That Builds Up Rather Than Tears Down People


Your intention is to motivate a child or employee to do better. You are clear in your mind what you want to achieve and the behavior that you want changed. You expect to be listened to and obeyed! You are right and they are wrong. Someday, they will be grateful that you cared enough to show them what they were doing incorrectly. The only “right way” is “my way.”

Sound familiar? When a situation calls for feedback, we tend to justify our position and come at the situation from a power standpoint. This tends to put the other person in a defensive status and what may have started out as a visit turns into a confrontation, with words and emotions expressed that are not helpful.

Giving feedback in an encouraging, empowering way will assist others to want to do better. Find many more books in the new "77 Ways to Parent Series" at You will be glad you did.


Criticism is Hurtful

Ridiculing someone is to mock by making fun or dismissing them in a contemptuous way. Sometimes the ridicule may be verbal as in a criticism; “You just can’t get this through your thick head, can you?” The disrespect may be done in a completely non-verbal but powerful way; rolling your eyes, crossing your arms and leaning back, smirking or looking away when the other person is talking.

Feedback is Helpful

Feedback is intended to provide helpful information for future decisions and development. If you feel that you need to offer pointers on how something should be done, first ask if they would like feedback. If it is offered without judgment or personal attacks, most people will welcome, or at least receive it.

Using the old sales jargon, you can sell any idea without making the recipient feel badly. “I know you feel that it was a hard assignment. I have felt that way when I was asked to do something for the first time and I didn’t understand the instructions. However, I found that when I went back and read the instructions or ask for an explanation, it was much easier and I was able to understand what the boss wanted and was able to do it.

What’s Right, Not What’s Wrong

If you want positive behavior with your family, co workers and friends, encourage what is good and downplay what is wrong or unacceptable. When you focus on something, right or wrong, you will get more of it. It is called the Law of Attraction.

Verbal vs Non-Verbal Language

Verbal or spoken language is the communication of information. Most people only remember about 20% of what is said. Non verbal or body language is the communication of relationships. People look at your facial expressions to see how you really feel about what you are saying and the person you are saying it to. They listen to your tone of voice to gauge how sincere you are.

If others perceive that you are standing in judgment of them, they will be much less likely to be co-operative and be open to suggestions. When you feel that you must offer feedback, touch them lightly on the back or arm to get their attention, look them in the eye and then ask for permission to share your ideas.

Mutual respect is foundation of strong, healthy relationships

As you work with your relationships, you will see that criticism and ridicule does not give you the positive results you were hoping for. Respect, encouragement and kind feedback is much more effective at motivating people and projects than criticism and ridicule.

Never Just One Way To Do Things
Before you jump in with an opinion, perhaps it is best to remember there is never just one way to do anything. Every problem or situation has at least five different ways to get it done. Are you absolutely sure that your way is best?

(c) Judy H. Wright You have permission to reprint this article in your blog, ezine or offline magazine as long as you keep the content and contact information intact. Thank You.

Artichoke Press is the home site of Judy H. Wright, family relationship coach and author of over 20 books. If your organization would like to schedule Auntie Artichoke, the storytelling trainer, for a workshop please call 406.549.9813.


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Help Kids be Problem Solvers

If you want your kids to be problem solvers, you have to let them solve their own problems, as much as possible.Empower them to find solutions.  Your job is to help them to help themselves.

Focus Attention on the Learning Experience

When parents and other caregivers focus only on the finished products, it does not encourage the child to be a problem solver. If only perfectly made beds are acceptable, then why keep trying because perfection is not possible. If A is an accepted and expected grade, then what happens when the child enjoys a subject but doesn’t get good grades on the test?

3 Problem Solving Steps

Give your child a "can do" attitude by helping them to become problem solvers.
  • Trail and error is a great teacher. Logical and natural consequences help children learn much more than one more lecture on how to do “my way.”

If the soccer uniform does not get in the laundry, then the child will have to wear a stained shirt to the game.  Questions such as “What did you learn from this experience today?” or even “Given how this turned out for you, what do you think you could do next time?”

  • Next Time….

As you help the child evaluate, plan for the next time and encourage them to problem solve on their own, you will be adding to the core of confidence.

By stressing that failure is never final and we are all on a learning curve, you will be giving them permission to start over.

  • Who Owns the Problem?

If you and your child have agreed on chores and school responsiblity and you keep bugging and reminding, you still own the problem.  Why should he remember when he knows from experience that you will keep nagging.

Even if you get mad, that is still attention and interaction with you, so it is not all bad. Gradually, your child will learn to be inner-directed, rather than outer-directed. He or she will

In Kids, Chores and More you will learn to not only work together to divide up the chores, but what the consequences are for not doing your job.  When the expectations are clear, you no longer have to be the referee and judge.

Generally your child wants to please you and for everyone to do their share. Sometimes, the task is too overwhelming and it is easier to give up.

Perhaps you feel that way about teaching your child to assume personal responsibility. Teaching your child to  become a problem solver is not easy but possible. Especially with the assistance and guidance of the tips, techniques and methods located at Kids,Chores and More.

Get it today.  It will be an investment in your families harmony and the future of your child.

You can help your kids to be problems solvers.  I know, because I have done it. You can too. I have confidence in you.

Blessings, Judy

Stages and Seasons of a Balanced Life

Balancing Stages and Segments

What is a balance, anyway? This is such an elusive concept, because it is different for each person. What is a well-balanced diet for one person is not necessarily what is right for everyone. What is a balanced life is different for a young mother than for a mid-life executive.

There is no “one way fits all.” We each have our own journey towards our own individual destiny. Each of us is in our own ever-changing environment.

Stage of Life 

Juggling lots of balls in life? Makes it easier to know that there are stages and segments to life and there will be time for all that is important to you.

Our attention is sometimes governed by which stage of life we are in. When you are a young parent, you will be spending the majority of your time and focus on your children.  To everything there is a season.  You can do anything you want, just not all at the same time.

My mother used to tell me that there would be time to do all the fun things I wanted to do.  She tried so hard to teach me that if you are worried about the past and concerned about the future, you are going to miss the miracles of the now.

As I age, it is easier to see and understand.  There is no need to rush. Those things that we are destined to do will all come in their own time frame.

Segments of Time

Our day is made up of segments or periods of time.  We accomplish more when we bunch similar tasks together and prioritize our day in a more organized way. Segment intentions is a concept I learned many years ago that has helped me to focus on what I want to do, be and have in this one little stage of my life.

For instance, when I have errands to run, I speak and feel an intention (which is really a prayer) that I will be able to find all that our family needs and find it quickly, efficiently and at a fair price. I intend that I will find parking places close to the store, as well as products that are easy to locate and on sale. I also intend that I will bless the people I interact with in a loving, kind manner. My smile and genuine appreciation will uplift their day.

Intend Your Purpose

When that segment or portion of my day is drawing to a successful close, then I can intend or pray that the next period will be profitable in time, energy and thought processes.

Yes, the segments often overlap or change, but flexibility is what healthy people strive for. Be flexible as you move forward toward what you ultimately want to accomplish.

True unhappiness comes when you give up what you really want , for what you want right now.

You will get where you want to be, if you don’t stop. Always be in an open process headed towards your goals and dreams.

The Universe rewards action and movement. But inspiration and creativity come to you in the quiet moments between activities.  Balance is taking appropriate action, but not losing focus on the ultimate goal, even if circumstances shift.

Self-Awareness Quiz

  1. Do you set an intention for your day so you are not wandering aimlessly?
  2. Do you recognize the segments and stages of your life and how the demands will differ?
  3. Do you save a space for quiet contemplation, so you can be guided on your life journey?

Your presence occupies a valuable segment in this stage of my life and I am grateful for you being you.  Please check out the for fun life lessons to post on your social media accounts.

Family of Friends Gather to Share

Family of Friends

I have a group of women friends who join together at least every two weeks for a Sacred Journey. We study inspirational books and have lively discussions, but we also support one another in tragedy and triumph.

This is a family of friends that I have selected.  My husband has a family of friends that goes bowling twice a week.  My sister has a family of friends that does charity work. My brother has a family of friends that rides horses every Tuesday night and most weekends. Our daughter Debra has a family of friends that goes hiking in the mountains.

Who is your family of friends?  They may be in a number of different areas of interest. No matter who is in your tribe, you need the social network of support that comes from others who care about you.

We each have a number of family friends, but it is also important to have a family of friends. Those who will support you in tragedy and triumph.

Who is Your Tribe?

Seth Godin, an internet marketing guru and bestselling author, helped many of us to be aware of the tribes we were in or leading.

A tribe is a group of people connected to one another through similar thoughts, philosophies and goals either online or off-line. This tribe and community may be made up of people who are not related by blood but rather by interest and common direction of movement.

I think of the tribes that we belong to; organizations that support caring for the environment, online groups that support writers, groups of runners, people we meet at classic car shows, etc.  There is a connection but not the level of intimacy that you might find in a smaller family of friends or neighborhood community.

For every human being to feel connected and a part of something bigger, each must have a feeling of belonging. If you did not have that feeling of belonging when you were growing up, you will always have a yearning for it in your heart.  Your eyes will be searching for your home or tribe or the group that feels right and secure.

Many clients and friends have told me they always felt they were born in the wrong family.  They kept searching for the group that resonated with them.  They found it in a church or a neighborhood or even a square dancing group!

Lisa, a client, said the first time she put on a bunch of petticoats and a twirl skirt, she felt at home.  The friendships and culture of dancing and celebrating life together with those who had similar tastes were what she had been searching for all her life.

Her body picked up the rhythm of the dance as if she had been born to it.  Maybe she was.

Who is your family of friends?  Do you have a group of people who support your efforts? Be sure to claim your free eBook on the use of encouraging words in relationships.  You will be so glad you did.

Making Sense of It – Decide to Be Happy

How do we make sense of all the incongruities and inequalities of life? How do we understand how this innocent little child dies and this sexual pervert gets away to harm another and another?

In times of despair, depression or ultimate happiness and joy, we hunger for more. We ache to understand how to understand. We are searching for meaning and for wholeness. We long to be comforted and consoled. We want to know we are safe and there is something or someone who has our best interests at heart and will stand by us in troubling times.

Decide To Be Happy

You always stand in choice. I wonder how many times I have said that in this book and every coaching call or speech. It is true and I guess I will keep saying it until those I meet on a daily basis “get it.”

The most powerful move you make each day is to make a decision. Either yes or no, but never “I don’t know” or “maybe.”

Each segment of your day you decide to make a sacred choice. Remember how I asked you to recognize when you were in joy so you could recreate that feeling again and again? That is a touchstone (a standard to judge other events) of happiness. You will also want a touchstone or memory of the worst day in your life, so you will know that you lived through it.

If you choose to feel good; mentally, physically, spiritually, financially and in relationships, you will experience that happy feeling more often.

If you simply can’t bring yourself to feel good then make a decision to feel better. Each time you feel a little better rate your joy. Determine that you will want to increase your periods of felling good and decrease your feeling of doubt and despair.

As a pearl of wisdom; when you change yourself, you change the people and events around you.

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Self Soothing Tool Kit

As an empowerment coach and life educator, I teach families about the importance of self-soothing rituals and calming techniques for each member of the family. When you are feeling overwhelmed and stressed you can more easily relax by finding ways to be kind, gentle and comforting to yourself.

By utilizing the five senses of feel, taste, touch, smell and sound you can build an arsenal of empowering experiences.

Is it is art, a special chair, a clean kitchen, the color on the wall or a rock in your pocket?  What helps you relax when you are “home.”

When I was a young mother trying to do way too much for way too many people, I found rejuvenation and relaxation by smelling the essential oil of lavender. One client, Pat, found that she could calm down by touching a tree in her yard.  Just leaning against it and breathing deeply was enough to move her into an emotionally healthy place and a much more appreciated member of the family.

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Is There A Book Hiding Inside You?

Have you always wanted to write?

Are there ideas churning in your mind waiting for just the right time to get them down on paper? Do you have a unique perspective on a subject or problem facing many people? Do you read a book or article and think, “I could write better than that?” Have you ever said “someday, when I have time, I am going to write a book?”

Perhaps now is the moment for you to put your excuses in the garbage and your fingers on the keys. You will never ‘find’ time; you simply have to ‘make’ time to write. It is important to carve out little bits and pieces of your day to organize the information churning in your head to an outline on paper.

Where to begin?

Although I have started thousands of books in the shower or in my dreams, the first book I ever completed was done in half hour segments over a nine-month period. By getting up at six am every morning and writing on my old typewriter in a corner of the bedroom before the children woke up, I was able to finally pull what was hiding in my brain and put it into book form.

We were living in frigid Glasgow, Montana and you can’t even imagine how tempting those flannel sheets were every morning. But I knew that my soul was hungry to get the information that I had to share in a format that would reach thousands of people and change lives. The thousands of people, mostly relatives, who bought that book turned out to be numbered in the hundreds or less , but I was now an author and determined to write about what I knew best, parenting.

Fiction or non-fiction?

Since 90% of the books sold are non-fiction and most of those are not sold in bookstores, I knew that if I wanted to reach my particular audience, parents and child care providers, I had to come up with an angle. My goal was to teach, not to entertain but I wanted to write what people would buy. Focus groups told me that young parents want small booklets with narrow subjects, lots of bullet points and stories of other families they could relate to.

They did not want psychobabble from so-called experts, statistics or be laden with guilt. They wanted and needed real life experiences from people they could trust. The main information that came out of the focus groups was that the books had to be “hand-around” size and under $10.00. I knew I could sell my product at my parenting workshops and also through local bookstores.

Long or short?

You don’t have to write a 200 hundred page book to be considered an author. How about starting out with an article of 300-750 words on a subject you know about for this magazine? You may want to consider a booklet (6 -50 pages), a special report (3-25 pages) a workbook (7-30 pages), or a book ( 32, 64, 96 or 128 pages). If you want to begin with a personal essay, see my website for a free article on how to write an effective “Slice of Your Life.”

Another viable option is the e-book, which is rapidly becoming the way information is sold and delivered. When I attended a seminar put on by Mark Victor Hansen of Chicken Soup for the Soul
fame, one of the speakers said that e-books typically sell for 4 times what anybody in the right mind would pay for them! The information buyer is impulse driven and ready to pay for a solution to an immediate problem.

What will you write about?

What do you know that I don’t? Pretend I am having tea with you and asking you all about raising Icelandic Sheep dogs or whatever your area of expertise is. Write down every question I ask and leave a large space. Go back later and answer the questions and you have your book outline or chapter thesis. When I learned this formula from Judy Cullins at I was amazed how easy it was to write a short book fast.

Is it worth the effort?

Yes. You have information that people want and need. You know something about a certain niche that only you can teach. This information has been churning in your head and heart long enough. It is time to squeeze out half an hour each morning or evening to put your thoughts on paper. It has never been easier to get your book in print since the advent of self publishing. Wouldn’t you just love to be able to say at your twentieth high school reunion, “I live in beautiful Montana and write books that change people’s lives?”

Trust me; it doesn’t get much better than that.

Write “Your” Slice of Life: 6 Quick and Easy Steps to Writing a Personal Essay

Do you know why the “Chicken Soup for the Soul” series is so popular? Aside from terrific marketing and unequaled publicity, readers love the stories and personal essays. They are short, personal and teach a lesson or moral. If you would like to be a better writer of the personal essay, opinion pieces, reports and letters to the editor just follow the suggestions listed below:

1. Be brief. Many written reports or stories are 500 words or less. However, there is a general rule that an essay is between two and twenty typed, double-spaced pages. The most important criteria to remember is that a good piece needs to be an unbroken reading experience. The reader will lose interest if it is too long or wordy.

2. Tell a story. A personal essay is a story that has happened to you or that you know about firsthand. The reader assumes that it is nonfiction and that it will contain details and descriptions with which we are familiar. Structure your story around examples, using a pencil as your paintbrush to evoke images and paint a picture in the reader’s mind.

3. Make a point. You will want to illustrate your point, teach a lesson, explain a specific topic, or even support or criticize an idea. Your goal is to win sympathy or agreement. Do not turn it into a sermon or a soapbox to present the superiority of your ideas by including “shoulds” or “musts” aimed at the reader.

4. Use your senses. Enliven your essay with sensuous detail like how it smelled, tasted, sounded or felt. Make the reader feel like they are seeing and experiencing it through your body.

5. Tell about the ordinary. Personal essays are often best when they describe a common but freely shared experience. It doesn’t have to be about being a survivor of the Twin Towers. Talk about your reaction to 911. Or tell us about watching a sunset or baking bread. When you talk about walking your dog, take us along.

6. Make it engaging. An essay should arouse curiosity about life. Instead of preaching, invite us to consider your point of view by sharing the particular experience that brought you there, describe what happened, how you reacted, and why you interpret your experiences the way you do.

Think about your own interests and areas of special knowledge, activities, skills, attitudes, problems as well as typical obstacles faced in life. Teach us what you gained or lost in your life lesson. It is much easier to be convincing when you can draw from personal and firsthand information. Write it today. Submit it to Chicken Soup for the Soul or your local newspaper and become a published author. There are readers out there who want to share your slice of life.

The Second Half of My Life

Have you ever wondered where destiny would lead you? Have you ever pondered whether the road you are taking would lead to fulfillment and happiness? Unlike so many of my friends and family, I have always had the sure knowledge of what was expected of me.

It was under a shade tree surrounded by my teddy bears and dolls that it came to me- I would have six children, write books that would help families, have the opportunity to speak and teach all over the world, and I would live to be 97 years old. That is pretty heavy stuff for a six year old.

I shared this epiphany with my mother, and she never doubted the message. She continued to encourage and support me through every milestone until she died in my arms at age 93. Even while nurturing my family of six children and following my husband’s military career, I was gathering the skills to prepare me to “do my own thing.” When my children were grown and my parents were gone, I realized that the portion of my life devoted to care-giving and nurturing of my family was complete.

I had 40 years of productive time left on this earth to accomplish all I had set forth to do. However, after carrying so much physical weight on my body for years, I was facing inevitable diabetes and arthritis. My future looked like pain, wheel chairs and doctor’s offices. Unless I took action, medical complications would curtail me from fulfilling my destiny.

I approached this issue as I have the many books I have written. I investigated “one more diet” that I could live with for the rest of my life. I interviewed over 100 men and women across the country that had tried the same diets that didn’t work before finally finding a method that proved successful. My mind was made up. I chose gastric bypass surgery as a one-time solution. On July 30, 2002, I underwent a procedure called laparoscopic Roux-en-Y. This surgery creates a small stomach pouch which holds less than a cup of food. A section of the small intestine is attached to the pouch that absorbs less food than before. Most patients lose over half their excess weight in the first year and a half. Since my operation, I have lost 115 pounds. This is equivalent to the combined weight of my three granddaughters, Amanda, Lexi and Melissa!

For the first time in years, I feel normal and in control when making food choices. Now I am able to enjoy life to the fullest and have the energy and stamina required helping other families raise their standard of living through my books and workshops. Finally, my spirit and body are in sync and I am ready to go forward. I am able to concentrate on my spirit’s promptings during yoga because I am no longer concerned with whether my body will be able to balance, bend or straighten up. For me, this option was a success. It gave me the ability to concentrate again on my writing, and to feel confident when I facilitate workshops or speak to groups. Yes, I have met my goal of being an international speaker and writer!

To travel, teach, and fulfill my destiny I must be a woman of strength, and I must maintain that spirit and energy for the rest of my life. We each create our own reality by our thoughts, actions and belief systems. Hopefully that belief system will include guardian angels and a success team who will guide and assist us in our journey.

I have an obligation to that little girl under the shade tree who understood her life’s purpose half a life time ago. The message that was shared with me and I now share with my children, my grandchildren, and the families that I work with is to listen carefully to the still small voice within that tells us we are important and have something of value to share with the world. The time to share your unique gift may not be now, but it will be someday and so always be in the process of becoming, learning and growing. Be open to possibilities that life and the angels have in store for you, and you will find the right road to fulfillment of your destiny.

This article was written by Judy H. Wright, Missoula, Mt for a book called Women of Strength and Spirit. Soon to be available on her website: To sign up for the free e-zine, purchase books, tapes and workshops on human relations in the journey of life, please go to the website or call

Assume Personal Responsibility? Who me?

As thinking, acting human beings we have the ability to choose our response to events, people and circumstances. We do not become responsible when we mature; we mature when we become responsible.

Psychologists teach that the only reasons people are ever motivated or moved to action is to gain a reward or avoid a penalty. As you teach this principal to the children in your charge be sure to explain what they will gain or lose by the choices they make.

Personal Responsiblity is an ever widening circle of people, places and events affected by our decisions. In the center of that circle, an area which many people never get beyond is:

ME: I am in charge of those things that directly affect me as a person. Examples are: Grooming, nutrition, exercise, education, choosing friends, a mate or a career. My choices might irritate or disappoint others but the consequences will ultimately hurt only me.

The next circle of influence is:

YOU: My actions in this circle affect those I love and care about. I want you to like and approve of me, so I am motivated to do what will please you. I have a responsibility to those who work or live with me to do the things I say I will, accept blame when I am wrong, make restitution, be co-operative, care for my possessions and safeguard other people’s resources. Consequences have a ripple effect on those around me and will affect my daily life.

And as we mature and become more sensitive, we are concerned about:

US: The community within 10 miles of wherever I am standing determines us. Some people and organizations I know, some I don’t know yet, but they are a part of my extended neighborhood. This is the place to practice random acts of kindness, courtesy and service. We are each the representative of the groups we belong to; family, teenagers, school, soccer team etc. The whole may be judged and influenced by our individual actions and role model. The reward may come later in life in the form of recommendations, job offers, networking and a stronger more vibrant community.

The widest rim of the circle is to those we may or may not know:

The Universe: I have a responsibility to the universal family of humankind to make the world a better place. I need to be a part of the solution of preserving the earth, eliminating bigotry, giving service, and treating others, as I would like to be treated. The Universe may never give me a tangible reward, but I will gain an inner reward of doing right and making good choices for the higher good of all. I recognize that I have a responsibility to not only have positive actions, but thoughts, words and intentions towards others and to act with dignity, respect and love.

As parents and leaders we need to give children the opportunity to be responsible as early as possible. Teach the concept of a pause button in order to stop, think and choose before acting. Whenever they are allowed to have a voice and a choice, they will grow up knowing that they have the power to guide the outcome of their life and contribute to the well being of the group.

Assuming personal responsibility is the ultimate goal of growing up. So the answer to the question,Who, me? is Yes, you.

Plug In Your Power & Light Up Your Future