Getting to the Truth of the Matter

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I had a house rule that my son was not to hit or throw the ball toward the house. One day I heard the smash of glass and went out to the back yard to find a back bedroom window broken.  I also found my son in the back yard with his baseball cap on and his glove on his hand.  He proceeded to tell me that a ball had come flying over the fence from a neighbor’s yard and broke the window.  I instantly saw this as an opportunity to “practice what I preach” so I remained calm and listened to his story. 

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One thing that parents do in their moment of anger is to attempt to “drill down” to the truth to find out who did what, but it is rarely productive.  Children will naturally go into a defensive mode to protect themselves, especially if their parents instantly get angry in situations like this.  Instead, I just said, “Hmm, looks like we have a broken window here, will you help me out and go retrieve the broom and dustpan to help me clean this up. “ He quickly insisted, “But Dad, I didn’t do it!”  I replied calmly, “I know, let’s just get it cleaned up together.” 

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bill corbett parenting cooperative kids discipline parenting help coachingAfter the cleanup, I convinced him to come along with me to the hardware store to get the supplies I needed to fix the window and a few more times, he attempted to convince me that he didn’t do it.  Each time I simply agreed and ignored my natural parent desire to want to get him to own up to what he did.  Later that day and after I had repaired the window with a new pane, he came to me with somewhere around $5 in his hand.  He had taken it out of this piggy bank and offered it to me to help pay for the window.  A few days later he owned up to the deed.

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This is a brief excerpt from Bill Corbett’s new eBook, “10 Little-Known Facts About Kids That Will Change How You Parent Forever!”  Download the book today for just $4.99 by going to

Bill Corbett is the author of the award-winning parenting book series, LOVE, LIMITS, & LESSONS: A PARENT'S GUIDE TO RAISING COOPERATIVE KIDS (in English and in Spanish) and the executive producer and host of the public access television show CREATING COOPERATIVE KIDS. As a member of the American Psychological Association and the North American Society for Adlerian Psychology, Bill provides parent coaching and keynote presentations to parent and 

love limits lessons cooperative kids tv show producer and hostprofessional audiences across the country ( He sits on the board of the Network Against Domestic Abuse, the Resource Advisory Committee for Attachment Parenting International, and the management team of the Springfield Parent Academy. Bill's practical experience comes as a father of 3 grown children, a grandfather of two, and a stepdad to three.  Get more parenting help at


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