In the past two chapters, you learned a very powerful five-star tool:


  1. Descriptive encouragement that develops
  2. Internal qualities that build self-esteem, by focusing on the
  3. Positive.

This tool, when you use it as a part of your daily parenting, can prevent discouragement, which is the root cause of all misbehavior. So I want you to take today to just practice using this tool before you learn the remaining five-star tools in the Prevention Toolbox.

It’s always best to practice live — and you can actually practice using this tool in any relationship! So if you don’t happen to be around children today, give a D.I.P. to your spouse/partner a co-worker, neighbor, friend, relative, boss, employee…you get the picture.

Always observe the  facial expression and response you get from giving a D.I.P. Often, you’ll not only see a smile, but a glow — and often that person then tries to say or do something nice for you later (no guarantees and that’s not why you are doing it). The point is that it makes them feel better so they act better.

Now you are likely to slip back into praising. If you are observant, you’ll see a different reaction if you do. They may puff up, or seem proud or pleased at the compliment, but also observe whether it increases their concern about what others think or on getting outside approval.

Obviously, if you get a negative reaction to trying to be positive, there’s a good chance you used praise and not encouragement. Reflect on not only what you said but how you said it and see if you can figure out a way to restate it as a D.I.P. Then test that out and see if you get a different response. Don’t take my word for any of what you are learning — test it out yourself and see the results you get the longer and more consistently you use these tools.


1. If you want to practice giving descriptive encouragement on paper before you use it “live,” here is a practice exercise from The Parent’s Toolshop® book.  Use your family members’ names and information to fill the blanks. Tell them these statements sometime this week.

  1. “I like the way you __________________. Will you help us by __________________________?”
  2. “Thanks for doing ______________________ It ___________________________________.” (describe how it helped you or the family)
  3. Something ________________________ does well is ________________________.
  4. Something _____________________ accomplished this week is __________________________.
  5. Something _________________ did that helped someone is ______________________________.
  6. Something _________________did that took courage is ________________________________.
  7. One way _______________ has improved in __________________is _____________________.
  8. A good habit __________________ has is ___________________________________________.
  9. Something __________ did for me this week that I never thanked him/her for is ______________.


Become a Parent Success Club Member, if you haven’t already, so you can join the weekly webinar/call to get support in understanding and applying the Foundation-Building Toolbox to your parenting and unique family situations.  By participating in the Parent Success Club Membership calls, you will:

  • Get your questions answered.
  • Be inspired by hearing how others are doing as they share their questions and successes.
  • Get even clearer on how the Universal Blueprint® can support you in parenting more easily.
  • Receive personalized problem-solving with group support from other parents and certified Parents Toolshop® Leaders.
  • Hear ideas and get resources that have helped other parents.

To your parenting success!