It’s what God gave us time for / Law of Polarity

Parenting Transformation Journey – page 17 (click here for page 1)

(Originally posted August 14, 2013)

All day yesterday, my 11 year-old son hoped I would find time to take him fishing. I had already picked up some hooks and bait the day before with the money he gave me, and he couldn’t wait to use them.

But yesterday was too hectic – my business commitment I thought I’d finish by 10:00 am took me until 5:30 pm instead. And his older brother was already in line for me to take shopping after I was done.

It was around 2 or 3 when my little fisherman asked again if we could go, and I finally had to say, “I need you to be okay if this doesn’t work out. I would much rather be fishing than doing business, believe me. But this is a promise I need to keep, and if I’m worried about how you’re feeling, I’m going to be stressed, and it will be harder for me to think. Are you going to be okay if we don’t go today?”

He said, “I’ll be okay if we don’t go today.”

I turned to his little sisters and said, “What about you girls? I need to know if you’ll be okay, too, so that I am not worried about you. If I’m not worried, I’ll be able to work faster.”

They both replied, “We’ll be okay if we don’t go today.”

Of course they were disappointed, but supportive. Talking it through with them like this was my attempt to pre-teach and help them accept a “no answer” calmly. I was proud of them for it.

I realize this sounds dangerously similar to the times when I was full-time building my business and I would say something like that to put my kids off. But the difference back then was that coming back to them was usually a token effort just so I could check it off the list and get back to work.

I always professed to want family time, but if I’m going to be honest with myself, I recognize that my actions showed otherwise. I had a really hard time breaking the pattern. It took a total emotional collapse to reboot my system and set me on a path to a more congruent existence. I’m grateful it happened, though, because now I only work my business about an hour a day, sometimes even only a couple hours a week. I’m not addicted to the work anymore, nor the charge I’d get from feeling like I was changing the world.

I truly don’t mean to diminish my work, because I know it was important and necessary for me to do at the time. But I’m just grateful that the joys I’m finding now in full-time motherhood are even deeper and longer lasting. When I receive emails from readers that describe what my books or materials have done for them, I’m super happy and I feel tremendous fulfillment and gratification that all of those hours, and the blood, sweat and tears were not for nothing. Like this one:

Hi Leslie 🙂  First of all, I can’t tell you how much your book [Portal to Genius] has changed my life.  I know you hear this all the time, but I still have to say it.  I have been an executive business coach for many years and … I have read every self-help, motivation, inspiration, sales book, etc…on the market and have been a reader of this type of material since I was about 25 years old.  I am now almost 45. 🙂  I have even held seminars, workshops, training sessions, etc…about the power of the mind and “change.”  I have trained groups as small as 3 and as large as 4,000…and NEVER have I felt the way I do right now…since I read your book just 4 weeks ago!  I can’t thank you enough!  In fact, my husband & I had been writing our own book for the past 2 years, never that thrilled with the content, but desiring to finish it because we know we can help people with their health.  As soon as I read Portal [to Genius], I gave it to my hubby, he read it the next weekend, and we’ve have been writin’ fools ever since.  The writer’s block has ended and we can’t stop…the ideas just keep comin’!!!  I have referred your book to a total of eight people now and I would say half of them have reported back to me, concurring with my sentiment! Nicole K., Ph D

But as much as I LOVE LOVE LOVE getting emails like that, (I really do!!) the thrill and joy only lasts a short time, and life marches on.

On the other hand, when I participate in helping one of my own children have a major breakthrough (which, interestingly enough is rarely of the variety that my business is even about), my gratification is pure joy, and I literally relish in it for days. I’ll sometimes even fall asleep rehearsing the victory and how it played out for several nights in a row. Even months and years later, I know that those are the breakthroughs that I will remember the most, and in which I will take the most pride.

And it’s not because of any praise I get for helping, it just from watching the children experience a change.

Most of the time, they don’t even realize they grew.

Like when my son didn’t show up for work on time because there was a miscommunication about his schedule. When he got the text that asked, “Aren’t you coming in?” he just about had a heart attack. It was his first job, he had only been there a week, and his brain kept firing shots of terror through his body, with all the ‘what ifs’ about what the consequences might be. As we raced to get him there (7 hours late), I tried to assure him that somewhere in this awful experience there is a seed of something good.

He shot back, “How can this POSSIBLY be good??” 

I had no answer. Only that it’s a true principle, and that somewhere there was a blessing in it. I didn’t know, maybe just that it was good he learned this lesson (whatever lesson it was) on a first job instead of a career job later when he’s trying to support a family.

He was convinced that everyone there was going to hate him, because he wasn’t there to do his part when they opened, and then for 7 hours, his team mates had to cover for him in a really stressful environment.

I practiced being calm for the both of us. Prayed for him that the good would be found. I knew that there was something good in it, because that’s one of the laws. I just hoped he would find it.

Then at the end of the day when I picked him up he was flying high. He told me excitedly about how everyone was really understanding, how the misunderstanding about the schedule meant that it was never posted publicly, so for those 7 hours nobody but his supervisor knew that it was him who was missing, and then because he was so late, he was there for some unexpected emergencies, and it was better for everyone that he worked the night shift instead of the early one. He came off heroic instead of delinquent.

Best of all, he got some BIG praise from his supervisor for showing up 7 hours late instead of not at all. He had faced his terror instead of just writing the day off, he overcame the fear of the unknown, grew in self-esteem, gained experience in communicating with people who he thought hated him, and saw real evidence that the law of polarity is actually true.  The experience changed him. I saw him grow two years in just one day, and I felt joy.

So back to the original story…

I finished my work without guilt, because I knew that the day was wide open, and I would not even be tempted to work. I knew I’d be able to spend some real time with my kids; and besides, I was ready for some recreation myself.

So I took my 18 year-old to work at 7:30 am, and ran home again to get his name tag. (On a scale of 1-10 where 10 is totally calm, I’m happy to say that I managed to stay up around an 8, even though returning for his forgotten name tag was not exactly what I wanted to be doing.)

Before I reached home the second time, I called the fishing preserve to ask about their hours. Since they had been open since dawn already, I was excited to surprise my youngest three with the news that we should go ASAP.

My 11 year-old son was super excited. We have a lake in our backyard, and he’s already caught countless fish there, but mostly only catfish, and only for catch and release. The lake we were going to is behind the library where you can catch about 5 different kinds of fish (including trout, which is what he really wanted), and, you can take them home to eat them.

So off we went.

photo (15)

While I was following them through the brush to find the best spot, I thought about how hot and uncomfortable I was (weather report says it was effectively 97 degrees), but how much in a rush I wasn’t. This is where they wanted to be, and I was mentally prepared to go along with it for a couple hours. I didn’t have something else on my mind that I “needed to get back to”, and I marveled that I had come so far. Two years ago I couldn’t get work off of my mind.

One of my previous parenting mentors (Matt Reichmann), always taught that if you want to have more power as a parent, you’ve got to play with your kids. When I was so caught up in work, I always had trouble making time for play. It’s getting easier, though, and I’ve noticed that the more I play with them, the less I have to correct them. Bottom line, they simply behave better when their emotional buckets are full, and their buckets stay full the more often I play with them.

I was also reminded of a video clip that put a smile on my face. It is simple but profound:

I love when the blogger said that “children aren’t something you collect because they’re cuter than stamps, [mothering is] not something you do if you can squeeze the time in, it’s what God gave you time… for.”

I know you may be thinking, “Yeah, that would be nice, if I didn’t have so many stresses that keep me from living that way…” because that’s what I thought for twenty years.

Well, I finally figured something out. When I was really ready to make that shift, when I was finally committed to living it no matter what, I had to let go. I had to let go of what people might think of me. I had to let go of the need for my lifestyle to look a certain way. I had to be ready to make the necessary sacrifices to claim it. I had to check my own priorities.

We downsized our home. We sold some extra cars. We rearranged a lot of things to make this work. I don’t get my nails done any more. I make my kids work for things. If we have to choose between getting a new coat of paint on the car or investing in our children’s education, we choose their education.

Through my work I learned with absolute certainty that we really can have anything we want. We could have a new car if we wanted one badly enough. We could replace some old furniture if we were passionate enough about doing that. I understand the principles of success and the law of vibration, and how our results are a reflection of our application of those principles. But I also recognize that for every desire, there is some effort that is required. So I had to ask myself, what am I working toward? For what purpose do I invest my best time, money, and attention?

What I really wanted more than anything was a peaceful home and rich relationships with my husband and children. And now I’m finally directing my best efforts to my own family. It takes a LOT of time, and it takes effort. Sometimes I still say “no” to a profitable opportunity here and there because it is a distraction at the time from my primary focus. But so far, nothing else has been this rewarding.

So you can imagine my surprise when, after ‘letting go’ for about a year and a half, that the business began to grow on its own. Other resources also began finding their way to us more freely. I began to recognize a real correlation between the calmness I felt, and the increase in the flow of money and opportunities into our lives.

There were still stressful situations, but choosing calmness and trusting God always seemed to cause the problem to melt away entirely, or turn it into something unexpectedly good. In either case, we were okay.

Stay calm, be still (in your heart), and think of God as a loving Father who will take care of you. Trust Him with your life.

No, it’s not easy to raise a family, and it’s not easy keeping Mom home from work if that’s what the goal is. But it’s possible if you want it. Opportunities will come to those who work tenaciously toward their worthy ideal, whatever it is. I promise you that. The answers may not come when you want them to, but God is never late.

(If you’re struggling with money issues, then you can get some new hope by reading The Jackrabbit Factor, and then coming back to browse some of the favorite posts on the right side of this page – they’re mostly about dealing with financial stress.)

So anyway, there’s my thought for the day: Raising a family is not something you do if you have time for it, it’s what God gave us time for.


Laying it all down

I got a super fun video message from Jon and Trina Gunzel last night that I just had to share with you (video below). These folks have been students of The Jackrabbit Factor for some time now. They went through the Mindset Fundamentals Ecourse in 2015 (previously known as the Jackrabbit Factor Ecourse), and have taken what they’ve learned to launch themselves into a crazy new life.

Before I share the video, let me give you a little back story.

Meet Jon and Trina Gunzel:

Back in April of this year, they explained the following on their blog:

We had the most wonderful neighbors, our dream home and property!  We had the best friends, church family, and community!  Yet, we couldn’t ignore a prompting to lay it all down and go help a lot more people.  

After a lot of praying, some major ARE YOU SERIOUS??? moments, and designing an 8 week plan to make it happen, we decided to push ourselves outside our comfort zone and go on the road full time.  We’ll be touring all 50 states with our two children,  Wyatt and Abbie, over the next three years.  

Our goals are to grow closer as a family, continue to learn and develop individually, and to help a lot of people in the process.  Since our work goes with us anywhere, we’ll be hosting seminars, having book signing events, and coaching individuals and groups.  Of course we’ll share our exciting adventures and learning, homeschooling our kiddos, in a variety of locations.

Since beginning their new adventure, they created an ebook called, The Roadmap to More Time, Money, Love & Freedom, which reveals 3 destructive habits that prevent you from achieving more, and living MORE of your potential and purpose in life.

They had JUST launched the webpage that delivers their new ebook, when this happened…

I’ll let them tell you what happened in their own words:

We had the most awesome Jackrabbit Factor moment tonight! We just launched our online funnel for our flagship product and when we walked outside less than a minute later there were rabbits everywhere! It was so cool and we instantly thought of you.

Thank you for all that you do!

Thank YOU, Jon and Trina for thinking of me!! I can’t tell you how many people over the years have had similar experiences about seeing rabbits – real ones – that encouraged them along in their journey at just the right moment. I think I may need to start an official collection of all those rabbit-sighting stories.

To learn more about Jon and Trina Gunzel, click here. You can also download their free ebook: “The Roadmap To MORE Time, Money, Love and Freedom” at

Way to go, Jon and Trina, and thanks again!!!

Now, I want to spotlight YOU!

If you want YOUR story featured in an upcoming newsletter, describe your experience and provide any related pictures or videos that will help me inspire someone else. I want to know any of the following: what you’ve done with the principles, lessons you’ve learned, obstacles you’ve overcome, or just what was going on in your life when a rabbit sighting meant something special to YOU.

The principles DO work, and your story might be just the thing that someone else needs to read in order to brave a try. Just shoot me an email! Send it to leslie [at] thoughtsalive dot com.

Want to experience something worth sharing?

Start your journey now with the Mindset Fundamentals Ecourse – or just click here to learn more!


A message from Viviana

How many times have I said that there is so much going on behind the scenes that we can’t see, to help us accomplish the things we were put here to do, and to become the people we were meant to become?

I love when people write me letters. I read every one of them. They keep me going sometimes, when I might be having a rough day. I also know that when I share them with others, it can help other people around the world have a better day, too.

I’m sure this letter will be no different. Pay particular attention to the date stamps of each of the following incidents.

Viviana writes:

Hello Leslie,

I absolutely love your amazing contribution.  I felt strongly that I needed to write to you after reading the Jackrabbit Factor 2 years ago.  Last year I read Portal to Genius and Hidden Treasures and on Oct.15th, 2016 I ended my journal entry with: “Bottom line: WRITE TO LESLIE”

Exactly a year to the date, Oct 15th 2017, you made it easier when you offered access to your ecourse [to a small focus group] in exchange for feedback… [Well,] I got A LOT of feedback for you.  So much in fact, that I don’t know where to begin.  Just for today, while I try to gather my thoughts and put them into words, I’d like to share with you my journal entry about last Sunday night.  In the meantime, know that I am literally THRILLED with your books, your articles, your podcast, your insights, etc.  I feel extreme resonance with all of it. I just wanted to send this quick note before the day was over.  When you read my journal entry below you’ll understand why.

Journal entry

Sunday night while my son read Narnia to me, I had my computer without volume so I could listen to him. As he read I looked at my email see if I had any new mail from Leslie Householder.  I love her inspiring messages and reading them is a treat I give to myself.  I didn’t think she would have any new posts since she had just posted the day before. But for some reason as I went to her website, the words: “Follow me on Facebook” stood out to me.  I am pretty sure she has that on every single article.  Have I not gone to her Facebook before?  I know I hardly ever even open my own Facebook. But I thought, since there is no new article on her website, maybe I’ll find something I missed in her Facebook.  I logged in, went to her page, and as I glanced at the images while still nodding as my son read out loud his book, I saw that the Facebook posts were the same as the podcasts, which I have already listened to.  I am scrolling rather fast sort of thinking “I’ve read all this already”.  My attention was mostly focused on listening to the story my boy was reading to me, when I noticed my name being displayed on the screen. “Vivian, come on” “You can do this” “Come on honey…”

I got startled! What on earth??!! Is Leslie Chatting with me? Does Facebook show you when someone is on your page? Does Facebook work like those dating sites that when you view someones profile a chat box appears and they are communicating with you?  I don’t like those, since for some reason it takes me a while to put thoughts into words. The chat feels like too much pressure. I did get an email a few days ago from Leslie asking “Did you receive my gift?” But I figured it was one of those automated template responses. Was I supposed to give feedback now instead of at the end of the 8 weeks? All these thoughts just flashed through my head in a fraction of a second. Then I realized the words appearing on my screen were the caption to the video that was playing (since I had the volume off). So I clicked on it, and it was a man talking about God always leaving a gap for us to jump to him (leap of faith) So the speaker compared it to his daughter “Vivian” standing at the edge of the pool as he encourages her to take the jump, close the gap. Then it asked: Is God asking you to jump?

I loved the concept. And then I thought, “Who names their daughter Vivian now days???” I have felt I needed to write to Leslie, specially after reading her “Genius” book.  I even remember writing in my journal: “Bottom line, WRITE TO LESLIE.” That was a year ago…and now…I see my name…on HER Facebook, saying “Viviana, come on.”

I thought that was more than a coincidence. I’ve always FELT I should write to her, but now I even feel as if I am supposed to.  It’s as if God is reassuring me to follow through with it.  I mean, I was definitely going to write at the end of the 8 weeks to give feedback about her program. As I was thinking about this I glanced at the Facebook page again and noticed the video was released on April 13th. WHAT????!!!!!!! I don’t know what opened wider, if my eyes or my jaw, which dropped in astonishment.  This video, saying “Viviana, come on” on Leslie’s Facebook, was released on April 13th, which is…my birthday! WOW…this is soooo weird….

So I thought, “Ok, OK, Lord,  I’ll write, I would LOVE to write, but it is practically midnight now, and whenever I even think about communicating with Leslie I feel so overwhelmed with gratitude that tidal waves come out of my eyes, and Heavenly Father, you know when I cry my eyes get puffy, and I have to go to school tomorrow…I can’t show up puffy to school and scare the kids…BUT…this Thursday… I start the Thanksgiving brake, so on Thursday I can write her  (and cry) to my hearts content 🙂

I was sooo excited about the “synchronicity”. I explained to my boy what happened. Just a few hours prior, we had family Home Evening and he had given the lesson about the Holy Ghost. So I was very grateful that he was there with me to witness as this guidance happened so he could experience it with his own eyes. We turned the lights off and I said the night time prayer: “Thank Thee Heavenly Father for the guidance of the Holy Ghost and for the little secret messages to point us in the direction we should go. In the name of Jesus Christ, Amen.”  And my boy says:

“Little? Secret? They aren’t secret and they are definitely not little.”

Wow, I was sooo touched that my 11 year old boy could actually perceive it that way.

Before I started writing all this, my anti-virus program popped this message on my screen: “Don’t let your support expire.”

Then I switch to the internet and I had many tabs open.  The one displayed was one of Leslie’s articles which I had been reading a couple of days before.  It said in huge bold letters: What would happen if you don’t respond today?”

And I thought:  “I am responding today.  I AM responding today. I got the message.  Point taken already!”  🙂


Shortly after she reached out to me and we connected, she realized that the Mindset Fundamentals Ecourse (she was already in) and the Mindset Mastery Program were two DIFFERENT courses. She wrote:

Because I had already read all your books, articles, and listened to the podcasts… I thought: ‘I know my thoughts affect my reality, but I need a system to keep my thoughts on track…’ It wasn’t until 2 weeks into the [Fundamentals Ecourse] that I noticed an email from you which showed the Mindset Fundamentals and the Mindset Mastery SIDE BY SIDE! It was only THEN that I finally noticed they are TWO different programs. Immediately I purchased the Mindset MASTERY and I was delighted to see a workbook, questions, accountability check, journal, etc. YES! Thank you, thank you, thank you. Viviana

And then a few weeks later she shared part of her experience (to that point) in the Mastery Program, which reveals a very important and powerful principle that I want to share with the world! She wrote:



I watch the stickman video. My first thought was: I’ve already seen this. Then it got to the number patterns game. Again, I already know the pattern, but I did it anyway. I got up to 21. Then Leslie reveals that there are 4 quadrants, which I already knew. The lines defining the quadrants remained on the screen and I did it again. I did exactly… DOUBLE. Got up to 42, and it would have been more if I had not gotten stuck on 15 for a while. LOL

But what I LOVED about this little experiment is that even though I ALREADY knew about the pattern, having the lines on the screen STILL gave me DOUBLE the results. One of the issues I keep facing since the first time I came across “Thoughts Alive” is that I already know the information. It started when I was a kid when I read “the Silva Method.” Since then, several books, “long plays”, videos, tapes, movies, etc. have in mysterious ways found their way to me throughout the years. So what I am thinking now is: even though I already knew the pattern, I got DOUBLE the results when the grids were on the screen. So what if…even though I already know the laws of thought, about visualization, gratitude, act as if, etc…

…what if just having “the lines” (the program from Leslie) I simply get DOUBLE the results I am currently getting?

Hmmm… And the most amazing thing is that the improvement was INSTANT. I didn’t have to practice for a week. I am very visual. Those two lines across the screen gave me DOUBLE the results IMMEDIATELY! Wow.

As I continued watching the video, I loved the analogy of the math sum: Hard to do in your head, but super simple when writing the symbols down. I remember seeing the stickman figure on the video a couple of years ago, and I couldn’t see what was so great about it. Yes there is the conscious and the subconscious and the body. But were the rest of the stickman figures not on the video I saw 2 years ago?

I believe just the rest of the stick figures ALONE, will be the grid on the screen that will instantly DOUBLE my results. What would it be like to instantly have Double the time, double the ideas, double the faith, double the wisdom, double the health habits? hmmm…things can add up exponentially pretty rapidly. Of course there is a gestation period for certain things to blossom physically, but the exhilaration is instant.

The thrill is in the journey.

Well, that is my observation of my first week doing the Mindset Mastery program. That is what my BRAIN has observed.

However, my greatest excitement in doing this program is the witness I experience from the SPIRIT. I find great resonance. I have never been as excited about buying something as I was when purchasing the program. Why? I don’t know. I had just bought another program from someone else the week before and I didn’t get that excited about it. Neither did I get tsunamis building up in my eyes as I read. Why? I don’t know. But I know that my spirit is connected to the infinite. I know that my spirit knows things my mind doesn’t understand. Add to that the synchronicity I experience guiding me in this direction (Heavenly assistance), and its a triple combo 🙂

For instance, last week, as I was thinking about the power of thoughts, belief etc…I noticed the sun coming through my window, bouncing off the corner of my glass table and lighting up ONLY the picture that says “Faith, Hope & Joy.” My living room walls had no sunlight except for that little spot right then and there when I had that thought on my mind. I showed it to my son who was sitting next to me and then took a picture. I love being guided.

Whether I go to bed at 10, 10:30 or 11, I keep waking up at around 3. I get up, drink a glass of water, and then do the program…for about 3 hours. Then I go to sleep for a couple of hours. I am also paying attention to what I dream about. This is sooo fun! I am really looking forward to the time off from school to dive in and totally immerse myself in it 🙂

Thank you Leslie! It’s like Christmas morning every day!

With great gratitude,


Thank you Vivana – I love this. I hope this whole experience – captured so beautifully because you were willing to WRITE about it as it happened – helps other readers pay attention to, and act, on the promptings they feel as well. The promptings are there to nudge us in the right direction, to bring us to all of the help and resources we will need to grow into our greatest potential. Well done!!

Kick off the New Year with the guidance, training, and help you need. To learn more about the Mindset Mastery Program and get started now, click here. Now there are multiple ways to afford it!


#28: Parenting Principles Preview

Parenting can be hard!  So when difficult behaviors wreak havoc on the family, you might just need a few more tools in the toolbox. Finding the core principles that govern success in any area of life is absolutely key to succeeding in that area, and what you’ll find on this podcast is no exception.

This entertaining audio program will not only help parents who have small children, but also those with teenagers. It describes the parenting system that I used for many years as we raised our seven children, and it made ALL the difference!

My guest Matt Reichmann and his wife Julie raised five children while he worked in Los Angeles law enforcement. He saw countless parents lose control of their children and then look to police for help. This negative trend spurred a desire in Matt to use his experience to make a difference.

The combination of Julie’s home skills and Matt’s law enforcement experience gave them a unique perspective in the art of parenting.

Over the years, they developed a powerful system of discipline based on the principle of personal accountability. After using the system in their home with success, they were encouraged by friends and associates to share their parenting techniques with others. This encouragement and a strong desire to help others lead to the creation of Accountability Concepts.

This audio was originally recorded ten years ago. I have been wanting to share it on my podcast, but his sweet wife (my dear friend Julie) was diagnosed with cancer and then lost her courageous battle in 2014. During those difficult years, their website was shut down, their business was put on hold, and the audio remained hidden in my archives. But it is my pleasure now to announce that Matt’s website is once again back on line, and he has given me the green light to finally share this audio FREE with you now.

To learn more about Matt Reichmann’s powerful parenting program, visit Accountability Concepts.


ANNOUNCER: Welcome to the Rare Faith Podcast where the solution to every problem is only an idea away, and where the same activity with just a little more awareness always yield better results. Award-winning, best-selling author Leslie Householder brings some of her best information to this inspiring series of life-changing episodes that you won’t want to miss. Show notes for this episode can be found at

LESLIE: Hi everybody. Welcome to Parenting Principals Preview. This is about accountability concepts. We have Matt Reichman with us. He is a good friend of mine and a friend of our family who has taught us some really fabulous things about parenting principles that I wanted to share with my readers. I know that there are principles that help us achieve the prosperity that we’re looking for and by the same token there are also principles that help us be the most effective parents that we can be. So I’m real excited to have Matt with us tonight. Matt, thank you for being willing to do this with us tonight. I’m going to turn the time over to you, let you have the floor, and then hopefully at the end we’ll have a few minutes to answer questions or do whatever, so take it away.

MATT REICHMAN: Well I am excited to meet with everybody. We always have people asking for more sessions and stuff so this is exciting. Now, this is a concept that we originally started, we teach in schools. I have some 250 elementary schools that have used this program throughout the past ten years and they currently are using it throughout the United States, and they use this concept in their class when I teach the parents at home, or the parents come to a session at the school and then we teach it there. So we’ve had it around for quite a while and I’ve usually done it through the schools, so if you have any schools after we’re done, if you have any schools that are interested email me or get ahold of Leslie and we can introduce this into the schools. Let me let me do a quick introduction of myself. My name is Matt Reichman. Myself, along with my wife Julie, we are the founders of Accountability Concepts. We started this program years ago. My wife and I, we’ve been married now 24 years. We have five children; our oldest is 23 and our youngest is 15. My wife has always been a stay-at-home mom and when I’m not doing Accountability Concepts, I currently work for Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department. I’m a deputy sheriff in Los Angeles County. So I come to you not only as a parent who has a lot of kids, not as many as Leslie but I do have my fair share, but I also come to you to see what happens to our kids down the road when they get out of control. And I got to tell you, I have so many stories that would just make you sick where good people have lost control of their kids. And I got sick of seeing that so my wife and I, we designed this program and originally we designed it not to do what I’m doing now but just for our own kids, because I wanted to teach my children accountability. Not the kind of accountability that’s being taught today in the world where it’s everyone else’s fault, I’m talking about the true accountability where if you make a mistake there’s a consequence. Every action that you have there is a reaction. If you’re going to stay in school and you’re going to work hard to get good grades there’s a reaction to that. You’re gonna do well. But if you decide to drop out of school then there is a consequence for that and we as a society have gotten away from that. What we teach now is it’s not your fault. It’s someone else’s fault. That’s what society teaches and that is why we’re beginning the problems that we have today. It’s never anyone else’s fault.

So we’re going to teach this concept. Now when I teach this what’s going to happen is you’ve never heard this before but it’s going to sound very familiar to you because I’m going to teach principles that I’ll bet you were raised on. And I’m gonna show you how to bring those back into your home, although this is going to be a process that you will never have seen before. Now I wanted to let you guys know I’m just a regular guy. I’m not a professional speaker; I’m just a dad and a working stiff just like everyone else. I’m not gonna be politically correct. I don’t say things that everyone wants to hear so we can all feel warm and fuzzy but it’s an absolutely complete lie. I’m going to tell you the truth.

Now, I don’t know anyone, I don’t know who you are. I’m not out trying to offend anybody but I’m going to speak the truth. I’m not gonna speak words just to make us all warm and fuzzy because I don’t think that gets us anywhere. What I’m going to do here in this brief period of time is I’m going to give you the first 20 minutes or so of my seminar because I want you to understand the concept. I need you to get the concepts and as soon as you’ve got the concept we’ll expand from there and we’ll go into all kinds of areas and we’ll talk about that a little bit later on. And again, I just want you to understand the concept, okay? So here we go.

When I was a child I was spanked by my parents, probably like you folks were. Now my parents were not excessive spankers. They’d give me a little tap every once in a while, not a big deal. So when my wife and I started raising our children, we spanked our kids and we weren’t excessive. We’d give them a little pat on the popo every once while when they needed it. Now there’s an interesting thing about spanking. When a child does something wrong they get a little pat on the popo, and again it’s not a big deal. The interesting part starts when a child does something worse we feel the need to spank them just a little bit harder because they need to know that this is worse than the last thing they did. The problem with that is when they become teenagers you have to kill them. And I know this because my oldest boy was approaching the death stage. Now I’d looked at my wife and I’d say, “Let’s kill this boy. We’ll just make another one.” It’s not that hard you know, for me anyway. Anyway, so knowing that if I killed the boy my wife wasn’t a big fan of that and also the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department has a problem with that, their deputies killing their children, so we decided to shift gears and become nineties parents. We’re going to communicate with these kids and it was going to be beautiful. I’ll never forget the first time we sat down our boy. We put him in the middle and my wife got on one side and I got on the other. We militarily flanked the child. And my wife started in and she gave this boy four or five minutes of sound parental instruction. It was beautiful stuff. I’ll never forget, it was just life changing. When she was done I jumped in and filled in all the gaps. We gave this boy ten, twelve minutes of life-altering information and man I felt good afterwards. When we were done I stood up puffed my chest out, looked at the boy and I said, “Greg,” that’s his name “Greg,” I said, “how do you feel about what we just shared with you?” And he got this look on his face and he said, “Dad, I didn’t know you were talking to me.” Now, I looked at this boy and I looked at my wife and I said, “Let’s kill this boy,” and my wife said, “Okay, kill him,” you know. Well the nineties thing’s a great idea. We can bring a PhD in here and he could get it up on the board and he could draw out all these things and we’d all say ooh and aah and ooh and aah and we’d all be impressed. The problem is the 90s thing does not work in most homes. Because to have the nineties thing work you need four things.

First of all, you need parents who are willing to talk. Generally not a problem, we love to talk. The second thing you need is parents who are willing to listen. Now, we’re not always the best listeners. The third thing is, you need children who are willing to talk. Not always something that we get. And the final thing is, you need children who are willing to listen, and that’s a huge problem. If you don’t have those four things the 90s thing is not going to work. As much as you try, it’s not going to work. So here I am looking at the 90s thing and I’m going, “Okay it’s not working in our home.” I look over at Spanky and I know that’s not working in our home and I’m thinking there’s got to be something better. Folks, I got it for you. I can put more power back in your home than has ever been realized before and it’s so simple it’s almost ridiculous. We have what we call the accountability pyramid. It’s the shape of a triangle, but we call it the accountability pyramid and it has six categories on it: trust, attitude, work ethic, selflessness, self-control, responsibility. Now, before I go into the accountability pyramid, if I can change the way that people think just a little bit, just tweak it a little bit, you would be amazed at how much power that puts back in the home with the parents and it’s a very basic philosophy. And the philosophy goes like this. We give our kids the world and then we take it away at appropriate times, meaning our children, by the virtual fact that they are our children, are entitled to all that we have. And I am not referring to material things. I’m talking about our time, our listening to, our talking to, but more importantly fun. If I can get parents to play with their kids you would be amazed at how much difference that makes in your own home. Now I’m going to spend weeks pounding this into your head because I want you to understand it, but let me give you a couple examples in my own home. First of all, one of the things that my children have always loved to do even when they were much younger is to drive our cars. Now obviously, when my children were much younger, I have to put out a disclaimer here, Accountability Concepts does not endorse anyone driving a motor vehicle without a proper driver’s license, nor does Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department. So now I’m getting all that out of the way. So, now that that’s aside, in my home what I used to do is, I live in the high desert in Southern California so I would take my children and we would go out into the desert and I’d let my children drive. Worst thing we’re going to do is hit a cactus, right? We’re jumping over things and sliding around. My kids love this. All they have to do to qualify is to have a pulse. If they have a pulse they automatically get to drive. However, they step outside the boundaries of our home we’re going to go driving and they’re gonna go with us, but they will not drive. I want you to remember this because we’re going to revisit this in a few minutes down the road. Let me give you an example. I do work for the Sheriff’s Department. I do work out of Los Angeles County.

Several years ago I was working in the City of Industry on patrol. It was about six o’clock in the morning. I was working early mornings so I was getting off about seven or eight. I had received a call to go to the station and handle a domestic problem. There was a family in there with a domestic problem. So I go to the station and in the station house there’s a man there and standing next to him is his 16-year-old daughter. As I walk in, I see the 16 year old. I see she’s not happy cuz she’s stomping her feet and breathing heavy. Anyone who has a 16-year-old daughter ought to have recognized this. I’ve had one, I have one right now that’s 15, so this is very familiar to me. I walk in. I say, “Can I help you sir?” He says, “Yes I’d like you to arrest my 16-year-old daughter.” Now, in a sick sort of way I’m excited because not very often do I have a parent deliver to me a teenager on a silver platter. So I said, “What did she do?” He says, “Last night, she snuck out of my house at midnight and she got home this morning at 5:00, and she was with a boy.” Now if there’s any dads listening, any time I share that story I always know what’s going through the dads’ minds. The first thing the dad’s think, and the first thing I think is bring me the boy, right? We’ll take care of that. But unfortunately, I had to tell this man I said, “Look at there’s nothing I can do here. This is a civil problem and I only handle criminal problems.” He says to me he says, “I don’t know what to do.” He says, “I have four children, all teenagers, and they’re all out of control.” He said, “I don’t get it,” he says, “my wife and I worked long hard hours to provide our children the things that they need and want and they couldn’t care less. Ungrateful they are.” He says, “In fact last week I bought this girl” (the 16 year old girl) “I bought her a thousand dollar bedroom set and this is how she repays me.” And she says to him in front of me, “Dad, I don’t care about the bedroom set. You can take it back.” And I looked into this man’s eyes, and unfortunately I see this a lot in my job, he’s got no place to go when he wants me to fix this problem, but I can’t fix it as a deputy sheriff.

I wanted to explain to him the same thing I explain to all parents and folks, you better understand this – it is not the things you buy your children, it’s your time! It always has been and it always will be and if you think it’s anything else you’re wrong! See, mom and dad were so busy working and getting money, they had no time for their daughter so guess what she did? She went out and found someone who would give her time. And there’s lots of young men out there that want to give our daughters lots of time, and that’s bad. See, now this young man was not buying her things he was giving her time, and this time is so important to this young lady that she’s willing to go against her parents to keep this young man happy. That’s bad, too. But I know how this whole thing got started. Back when we were kids we used to hear all the time, “I want to give my children a better life than what I had you know once we started thinking that way so as grown-ups we started thinking I want to give my children a better life than what I had, too. So we start mom’s working, dad’s working, everyone starting to work as much as they can and we’re not actually giving our children what they need the most, and actually where our power base is, and that is our time. See folks, this is how gangs got started. I don’t know what the gang problem is in your area but in Los Angeles County it’s a significant thing and I can tell you how gangs got started.

Now we could fly in all the people all over the country and have this big gang seminar and pay them all kinds of money to tell you how gangs get started, right, but I very simply can tell you how gangs got started. Dads not spending time with their boys and those boys going out and find other boys whose dads don’t spend time with them and they spend time together. Now, these boys are not buying each other gifts they’re spending time and that time that they spend together is so important to them that they build a loyalty and a bond towards one another that the threat of death and jail will not break it and I know this is true because this is the world that I work in. So the concept that I am sharing with you is absolutely true.

Now, I’m going to show you how we take this concept and we put it in your homes. Now, we turn our attention to the accountability pyramid even though you don’t have one when we do the seminar you will see one and you’ll be able to relate to it. But what we do with this pyramid is, it has individual sections with a back piece and each piece is held on with Velcro. So when you have it up on the wall it looks just like a regular pyramid and while that pyramid is intact your children, my children are allowed to do whatever they want to do as long as they stay within the family boundaries. So my son comes home from school and he says, “Dad can I go to the park?” I look at his pyramid. His pyramid… he’s done his chores he’s done his homework his pyramids up, absolutely he can go. However if a piece is removed, for whatever reason, we just take the piece down it’s only held on by Velcro. With their pieces removed they no longer have the privileges they no longer get to do what they want to do, they no longer get to go where they want to go. And now that they have all this extra time where they can’t do the things that they want to do I find things for them to do, like weeding, or you know cleaning toilets or whatever. I actually at one time I had my children, a couple of them had their pyramid pieces down and I had a woodpile. I told them to take the woodpile down sweep underneath it and stack it back up. They were like, with their mouths open, look at me, “Are you serious dad?” I go “Oh, yeah.” But they don’t have the freedom to do whatever they want to do and it isn’t until that peace is restored that they once again get to do what they want to do, as long as they stay within the family boundaries. Now let me give you an idea of how this has worked in my home.

Now, I share this story every time I do a seminar because this is absolutely true what happened and when it happened my wife and I were dumbfounded. Now my oldest boy Greg, and most of my stories are about my oldest boy because you know, that’s your experimental child, that’s when you make all the mistakes with and you hope he doesn’t get ruined and you don’t do that with the rest of them. Well we’re no different than anyone else here. We have Greg, he’s 14 years old and he had lost his attitude piece. Now he knew what he had done to lose his attitude piece, and I know it’s a shocker for 14-year-old to lose his attitude piece but he had lost it. He knew what he’d done but he was feeling 14 and didn’t want to fix it yet, which is his prerogative, but he has no privileges. Now if he does not fix this pretty soon I’m going to turn the heat up, and we’ll talk about that later, but I’m going to turn the heat up on him if he doesn’t fix it. But I’m gonna give a little bit of time to see if he fixes it. Now I’m in the house, I’m in the kitchen and I hear some noise out in the garage. I go out to the garage and there’s my boy Greg. He has a bunch of his friends over and they’re roughhousing in the in the garage. And I said, “Greg, what are you doing? Your pyramid is down.” He says, “Oh dad, that’s right. I forgot.” Okay, not a big deal. I go back in the house. I’m gonna give him a few minutes to dismiss his friends. Well 15 minutes go by. I don’t see the boy and I still hear noise in that garage so I go back out to the garage and there he is still roughhousing with his buddies. Now this is a crossroads for a dad. What do you do? Some dads would start yelling and screaming, “Gregory, I told you!” Or some dads would say, “You know what? This boy has crossed me. I’m gonna take him to the whooping shed.”

Well, I looked at him and he looked at me. I left the garage, went next door to his room, went into his room and I took another piece of his pyramid– the bottom piece, responsibility. Now I walk back in with that piece in my hand. He says, “What do you got there?” I said, “You lost another piece of your pyramid.” He says, “Dad, that’s not fair!” and he starts in. Now again, I could engage the boy; gonna get the same results. Or some dads at this point would take the boy to the whoopin’ shed. I simply looked at him; he looked at me. I turned around, walked back into his room. He followed me this time and I removed a third piece– self control– and he gasped. He went *gasp* and I said, “You got anything else to say to me?” He says, “NO!” I said, “When you’re calmed down we will talk about it,” and I left. I walked into the garage and shooed those boys away and shut the garage door. About 15-20 minutes later he comes up into the room, you know, he’s staring at the ground, you know, kind of kicking his feet around. He says, “Dad, I want to talk to you about my pyramid.” I said, “Okay.” He says, “I know why I lost my pyramid pieces.” I said, “Why?” He reached into his pocket and he pulled out a piece of paper. He had lost so many pieces he had to write it all down. He says, “I lost my attitude because this… lost my responsibility because of this… lost my self-control because of this…” I said, “That’s right. Now what are you gonna do to earn your pieces back up?” He flips the paper over and he has all the solutions. He says, “For my attitude piece I will have nothing but a positive attitude, nothing negative will come out of my mouth for two days.” Of course I burst out in laughter. I go, “Come on! What are you doing?” He says, “I’m serious, Dad.” I say, “Come on.” He says, “I’m serious.” I look at him and I can see that he is. Now in my mind, I’m thinking to myself this boy’s never gonna have freedom again because for a 14-year-old that be positive for two days will kill him, right? But I said, “You know what, son? You got yourself a deal.” He says, “For my responsibility piece I, will do my normal chores plus two additional jobs, whatever you want me to do, to your complete and total satisfaction.” Now at this point I don’t know who this boy is but I like him. I said, “You got a deal.” He says, for his self-control piece he says, “I will not have”– at this time his younger sister, six years old, used to drive him right up the flagpole, little Chelsea, and he says, “I will be particularly nice to Chelsea.” Now this is awesome and I’m thinking to myself you’ve got yourself a deal. But now I’m thinking, I know this boy so I said, “You got yourself a deal, Greg, but I want the paper that you wrote this on,” see because I that’s what I do for a living. I collect physical evidence and I know him because in two days from now he’s gonna say, “Dad I know what you talking about, I don’t know what deal you’re talking about.” So I got the paper, the physical evidence. So two days later he comes to me and he says, “Dad, I’m finished.” And I go, “What?” He says, “I’m finished. I’ve earned all my pieces back.” I run to my wife. I said, “Can you believe that this boy has said that he has earned all his pieces back?” And my wife looks at me and says, “The boy did exactly everything he said he was going to do.” Well, I’m dumbfounded. I go back to our room, I find his three pieces, I hand them back to him and he takes them to his room and he puts them back up and he puts his pyramid back and I’ve just taken this boy through the accountability process.

Now, if you’re like most people, when I share those stories most people think something like this, they go well that looks good and that sounds good and probably works really well in the Cleaver home with Ward and June, Wally and the Beav, but this is not reality based. Well folks, simply by the nature of my job I am probably more reality-based than most people. I’ve had to handle some things that most people could never imagine in their nightmares: murders, rapes, robberies, burglaries, child abuse, spousal assault. I’ve handled nasty stuff. So, I’m very reality-based. So let’s talk about how it really works. Let’s say that I remove a piece of my son’s pyramid and he doesn’t care. Kind of laughs at me looks at me and he thinks goofy old man with his goofy pyramid. What do you do? Well, most parents will say, “I’ll take down another piece of his pyramid.” The boy doesn’t care. I could take down every piece and burn it. He doesn’t care. So I have the caring problem. So I’m looking at him and he’s looking at me, laughing, cuz I’m, you know, some dumb pyramid. And I announce to the family, “Hey everybody, let’s go driving.” And he goes, “D-d-d-d-driving. Dad I did not know that we were gonna go driving.” And I say to him, “You know what? You’re never gonna know when we’re gonna go driving.” He said, “D-d-dad-dad, when did you decide to go driving?” “Just now.” He says, “Well, how are we gonna drive if my pyramid pieces down?” “It’s just gonna be simple. We’re gonna climb in the car and we’re gonna go driving.” Then the reality comes and he says, “Dad, I’m not gonna drive, am I?” And I say to him, “No, you’re not.” And he says to me, “I guess I’ll stay home then.” And I get a smile on my face and I said, “Oh, no you won’t. You will ride in that car but you will not drive.” Folks you understand what I’m laying out for you. You have all the power in the world if you’ll first play with your kids, and then when they step out of bounds you do it anyway. Man, it’s, it’s… the concept is so simple it’s almost ridiculous. Let me give you another example.

Any time I take a pyramid piece down for my children I watch them and I want to see how they react. If I take a pyramid piece down and I have a child that goes “Oh, man I can’t believe I did that one!” And that’s good see, there’s sorrow there. I can work with that. But it’s when I take a pyramid piece down and I get no response, that’s when it gets my attention. Now, let’s say that I’m sitting there and I just took my child’s pyramid piece down and there’s no response. Now let me tell you the two worst things you can do as a parent when you take your child’s pyramid piece down and they don’t care, okay? The worst thing you can do is to tell your child “CARE!” You know, tell your son “Care or I’ll make you care, mister!” That’s the worst thing you can do. The second worst thing you can do is to look at them and go, “It doesn’t work, he doesn’t care,” and walk away. This is what I do. Whenever I take down a pyramid piece for my children and they don’t care, I start to giggle. See, because I know what they like to do and I’m gonna do it. And I’m gonna turn the heat up and I’m going to turn the heat up and I’m gonna turn the heat up until they rue the day. Now if I’ve removed a piece of my child’s pyramid piece and they don’t try to fix it, I’ll wait. I’m not going to get all excited about it. I’ll wait. I might wait fifteen minutes, I might wait an hour, I might wait till later on that evening. Then I’ll say something like this, “Hey everybody, come on let’s go.” “Where are we going?” “Just get in the car, let’s go. I’m going to show you where we’re going. Everyone piles in the car now and now there’s seven of us and we’re driving in the car and they go “Dad, where are we going?” I said, “Well, I’ll tell you in just a minute.” We pull into a fast-food place and I go through the drive-through and we go up to the window and I say, “Hi! I’ll take six ice creams please.” And they go, “Dad, you’re not having an ice cream?” and I go, “Oh, I’m having an ice cream.” They go, “What, mom isn’t having an ice cream?” I say, “Mom’s having an ice cream too.” “Well, who’s not having an ice cream?” “Who’s ever Pyramid is down.” Now, of course the boy whose pyramid is down takes a gasp of air and says, “Well *gasp* I don’t like ice cream.” Now, I’ve known this boy for 14 years, he loved ice cream. But I expect it. That’s a defense mechanism. “I see, you don’t like ice cream?” “No, I don’t like ice cream.” “Well that’s too bad because afterwards I think we’re gonna get some pizza.” “*Gasp* Well, I don’t like pizza either.” Again I expect this. “That’s too bad because right afterwards we’re going to go to the park.” But I will make this child so miserable that their pyramid piece is down that they will break their neck to get it back up. Consequences for their behavior, something every one of us was taught, something we live by today, but for some reason lots of parents don’t teach the children that and I don’t get it.

I don’t understand what PhD wingnut came up with the idea that when you do something wrong you’re not supposed to feel bad. Of course you’re supposed to feel bad. Now I’m not talking about to kind of feel bad where you say you’re stupid, I’m talking about the kind of feel bad where you’ve made a mistake and you’ve stepped out of bounds and you don’t have access to the goodies until you put yourself back in bounds, until you fix it. Folks, if your children don’t feel bad there’s never a reason to change. So how do we make children feel bad? Now, we know we call names, we spank and we do all kinds of crazy stuff and it doesn’t work. It doesn’t work after a while. What I’m trying to tell you is, I’ve raised my children on this since they were young – now they’re teenagers and out of the house and I have an excellent relationship with my kids. They’ve been taught accountability. My children are probably allowed to do more than most, but they will do it under the direction of accountability. If they step out of bounds nothing’s worse than having your freedoms taken away and what keeps, they have to earn back, you gotta fix it. That is the appropriate way to teach accountability. It doesn’t matter if you’re 3 or 93, when you’re held by the principles of accountability you will change. It’s like driving down the road. You know what? People go 100 miles an hour until they see me on the road and they slow down. They don’t want to go that fast anymore because they do not want the consequence. Well, you teach your children when they’re in your home and I’ll spend on this way more, but you teach your children when they’re young and they have consequences when they’re young when you can control it and you don’t have to worry about it. I got to tell you all my kids have all been through their teenage years and some of them are in them right now, but I love my teenagers! They are a blast. We do not have confrontations. We do not. If they’re stepping down the road and going the wrong way I’ll just go, “Is that the way you want to go?” because they know that there’s a consequence, and they’ll go, “Oh, wait a minute.” Now, I have the secret behind teenagers. I know what you need to do to get teenagers to go in the right direction. I’ll teach that. It’s a very simple thing. What most people don’t do, it’s just very simple. I just can’t get people to, to, they just don’t understand it. They don’t plug into it.

So let me give you one more quick example on how this has worked in my home. Now my oldest boy, Greg, again another story about him, he had turned 15 and a half a year later after we started using this, and he got his learner’s permit. So now he could drive, but we let him drive, you know. I want to teach this boy how to drive, that’s my job, you know. And we bought a suburban because we have a big family. Got to have a suburban. And my boy loved to drive the suburban. “Dad, I’d love to drive the suburban.” I let him drive. You know, a lot of time I let him drive. He lost his pyramid piece one day and he was thinking to himself, “Eh, got nothing really I want to do right now, I think I’ll just leave it down for a while;” again, his prerogative. But if he leaves it down too long I’m going to turn up the heat. He did so that’s what I did. I turned up the heat. He’s getting out of school one day, high school, and it’s a beautiful day in Southern California in the high desert. As he comes walking out with his buddies. He sees the suburban parked against the curb. The windows are rolled down and I’m in the passenger side. The driver’s side is open so he knows what that means; he’s driving. So he starts to talk to his buddies, “Hey fellas, I gotta go, you know. I drive that’s what I, I drive the suburban that’s what I do you know.” He, you know, he’s telling him that “You see that old man in the in the passenger side there? That’s my dad. He’s not a very good driver, you know. I’m gonna have to go home, show him how to drive.” So he’s walking all tough and all of his buddies are going “Ooh aah, ooh aah.” They’re just totally impressed. He gets in the suburban, he looks at me and he smiles. He says, “How you doing, dad?” I said I’m doing good how are you doing? He says, “I’m doing good.” He says, “I think I’ll drive now,” and I say to him I go, “Oh, Greg, I just remembered something. Your pyramid is down. You cannot drive.” He goes, “Oh, no.” He says, “Um… listen dad…uh, can you uh, walk around the front and get in the driver’s side and let me slide over?” See, I know what he’s doing. His buddies are watching. He doesn’t want them to know. I said, “No Greg, I’m old. I need to slide down, you walk around.” So he gets out and he’s running around the front real fast hoping his buddies don’t see, and of course they’re yelling to him, “Greg, how come you’re not driving?” He gets in the car and he goes, “Let’s go Dad, let’s go!” So we drive off. First thing he says to me when we get home he says, “I…I…I need to fix my pyramid.” “That’s right.” I got everything you want and I will freely give it, but you step out of bounds and I will turn the heat up and I will turn it up until you rue the day. And during this whole time I’m playing with my kids. I’m having a good time with them. See it’s funny how parents today, they tell their children, “I love you. I love you. I love you.” But they never spend time with them. When you tell a child you love them every day but you don’t show them in any way, children process love that means something different than what it is. Now on the other end of the spectrum, if you’ve never told your children you love them but you hugged and you squeezed them, you loved them over there, then they would have somewhat of an idea.

What I’m trying to do is you tell your children you love them then you show them that you love them by spending time with them. Guess what happens when you spend time with your kids? They talk to you. You might just be kicking the ball back and forth and guess what? “Hey Dad, you won’t believe what happened to me today at school.” I had my youngest son say this to me one day. He says, “One of the girls was trying to get me to go into the bathroom with her,” and of course my antenna goes up. What the heck’s that mean, you know? I don’t know, so I go I’m kicking the ball back. I’m not you know getting… “So what does that mean Mattie?” And he tells me. Well the boy wouldn’t have just come up and told me but he’s talking to me. See? We’re teaching communication and I’m not even making a big deal. I’m just playing with him. I’m just kicking the ball back and forth, but you get communication. You learn to laugh with your kids. You teach them that you love them. I will go into this. I will talk about little children. I’ll talk about guilty parents. I will go over single parents. I have a couple other tools that we go through and then after I’ve got you to become professional people with the pyramids I’m going to teach you how to take them out for a spin. What I mean by that is I believe that children should be working in the home. Now doggone it, I don’t understand why moms are doing all the work! You guys have lost your minds if you’re doing all the work. The house should be done by everybody. Now I learned this a long time ago. In our house we teach our children to work and that’s what we did. We teach them how to work and there’s a couple reasons for that.

First of all, I want my children to learn how to work because when they leave my home, and they are leaving, I don’t want to come back. I don’t want them to have to move back into my house with their spouse and three children because they don’t know how to work. I’m going to teach them how to work. Now my daughter Chelsea, my youngest, when she was 8 years old she was getting the laundry, put it in machines and running it by herself. I learned an interesting principle a long time ago. I’ll never forget, I used to clean the windows on our van every Saturday and the windows would be just plastered. It would take me 45 minutes to clean them and then as soon as they were clean we’d get in to go someplace that afternoon, they plaster them back out, handprints all over them. I’ll never forget the first time I told my boy Greg, I said, “Greg, go out and clean the windows in the van,” and he went out there and he cleaned them and he did a good job. And I’ll never forget that afternoon when we get in the car to go someplace. I hear this from the backseat, he says, “Have you lost your mind? Get your cotton-picking hands off that window! I just cleaned that!” And all of a sudden, the light went on upstairs and I realized that this boy, now he cared. He cared because he now was a part of it. Children who don’t have to do anything don’t care, but when they become part of the household… I’m going to teach you how to get your children to work. We’re going to use the pyramid and a work system that teaches your children how to work. That’s the basic concept. Leslie, can you think of anything else that I’ve missed?

LESLIE: Matt, you’ve done a fabulous job. This has been… I had to mute myself because I couldn’t quit laughing.

Matt and Leslie laughing.

MATT: Why don’t we open it up for questions.

LESLIE: Okay, does anybody have any questions? You can do star six and introduce yourself. Tell us your name and what your question might be. I think they’re mesmerized Matt.

MATT: Okay, no questions.

TAUNA: Matt, this is Tauna.

MATT: Tauna?

TAUNA: Yes. How young did you start your kids on this?

MATT: I started, my youngest was five but we teach and when we do the seminar I’ll teach you how we can start this at three years old.


MATT: It’s used obviously different because you’re not going to tell a little three-year-old that you’ve not been responsible or you’ve not been, you know, selflessness. We’re gonna teach it on a very basic and I’ll show you how to do that but, yeah, start them at three. When we do the seminars and people are getting their material I always tell them if you have a one-year-old grab a pyramid for them. They need to have it if nothing else they need, the kids need to see that they have one, too. And because you’re going to introduce it to them as soon as they get to the point where you think that they can start to comprehend what’s going on.

TAUNA: So the pyramids are different for the different ages probably.

MATT: They’re the same but you will use it different.


LESLIE: Good question

MATT: Thanks, Tauna.

LESLIE: I know that when you’ve done this in the schools, you know that’s generally up to age 12 but some of the things that you were talking about tonight seem to have been very beneficial to you even with teenagers.

MATT: Oh, absolutely. The only reason why we put it in the schools at elementary schools because parents generally have control over them plus they stay in one classroom. That’s why the schools use it because the discipline is much different than it is in in the high school and junior high. So the elementary is a much easier component to use it in so that’s where we’ve had the most success. But then what the schools will do is invite their parents to come and then I teach them it to them. Teenagers it works excellent for. If you if you can get your children when they’re younger that’s the best because they know what accountability is and back when they were younger, when they were little children, they didn’t get a candy bar and it about killed ’em, so now when they’re 16 and you tell them this is the way it needs to be they know that there’s consequences and they’re more likely to stay in those boundaries.

TAUNA: Good. Good.

MATT: Anyone else?

TAUNA: Could you list the six categories again?

MATT: The six categories are trust, attitude, work ethic, selflessness, self-control and responsibility.

TAUNA: Thank you.

MATT: We feel those are all encompassed. Nothing can happen that something can’t be taken down, those are all encompassed in the concept of accountability. Again, I don’t teach the kind of accountability that the world teaches today. I don’t teach that, I think that’s a bogus accountability where society teaches that everyone else is accountable. They don’t teach where you’re accountable. If you make a mistake you got to fix it.

LESLIE: Matt, that’s reality for us as adults too. Whether or not we have a parent applying consequences, life has consequences and I’ve seen that children that come out of this program understand that, and when they’re gone, when they’re not in your presence you have a greater confidence that they’re making right choices even when you’re not around.

MATT: Absolutely. The thing that’s interesting to me is parents will raise children on a different set of rules and then when they become 18 the child has to now be run by the world’s set of rules. Which, the world can be ugly and they’re not prepared because they’ve not been held accountable. Mommy or daddy have always protected them and now they’re out there in the world. Mommy daddy can’t protect them anymore. I’ve got a great story about how I almost arrested the mom because I was having to arrest their 20 year old son and she tried to step in the way and I almost arrested her, which is not something that I wanted to do. But mommy had always protected this boy and now she no longer could legally protect him. So now he’s in the mean, big, bad world and he’s doing things he shouldn’t be doing and now the world has to buy them and there’s no protection anymore. See, I don’t want to do that to my children. I want them, like I said, to go without a candy bar sometime and have the tears and everything else I’m comfortable with that so that when they become 18, 19, 20, 21 years old they remember that candy bar. They remember what consequences are and so they make good decisions because they don’t want consequences.

LELSLIE: You know, and one thing I found with the program too, Matt, is that when a child has to be deprived of something good, a goodie or, you know, candy bar or ice cream or whatever, it’s a tough thing to apply but when you look in the long run and what the benefits are going to be it’s worth it. And the thing that it’s done for my children is that they gain compassion for each other. The rest of them feel bad for the one that is missing out and to see tenderness between the siblings is a reward in itself.

MATT: Exactly and there’s a lot of things that go along with that when you have multiple children like Leslie and I have. What happens to one the rest of them see that they go “I’m not doing that.” See what would happen to Ashley and “I’m not doing that. That was horrible,” you know, and so then they’re not likely to make those mistakes or not likely to go in that direction. I’m telling you, teenage years are the absolute best. I love teenage years. I’m having so much fun with my teenagers and I do not worry about these major things that go on, and in the world when I go out to work I see terrible, terrible things. And I don’t worry about it with my kids because I know my kids know better. They’ve experienced, they know what the consequences are. Yeah and I’m telling you that is such a huge benefit, and all I need parents to do is start playing with their kids. That’s all I need. They can take this program and you could be a professional by tonight.

LESLIE: For a person that feels like they don’t have time to give, Matt has solutions for that.

SUSAN: I had a question for you about two different things.

MATT: What’s your name?

SUSAN: My name is Susan. I’m from Arizona.

MATT: Hi Susan.

SUSAN: Hi. How do you incorporate, do you incorporate television at all?

MATT: I do and you’re going to see when we get to, it’ll probably be in the fourth week, we’ll actually get to the nuts and bolts and I will actually address TV. I actually have a TV card that limits their TV. You can say, “You got an hour of TV each day and that’s it.” And when they’re done with their hour you punch the card and that’s done.


MATT: So we have a lot of tools that you’re not seeing right now but we have a lot of tools all along with that.

SUSAN: Okay, and then the other thing is, and this may be a tool also, as far as like different things that you want them to do around the house. I did this with my older daughters and they had specific things they had to do Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, and now I’m just raising one and, you know, it’s almost easier for me to do it myself.

MATT: I understand that concept and the problem with doing it yourself is moms say it would be easier to do it themselves but in the long run it is not because you got to teach your children that, we have a work system where the house gets cleaned every day by all the children, and if they have the kitchen that day… but it would be easy for mom to do it but it does not get the end result. And you have to do things not according to what’s the easiest but what’s the best end result. So I know that when my children leave my house they are self-sufficient. They can cook, they can clean, they can do their laundry, they can do everything and my wife has taught them this simply by managing them. Now, if you only have one you’re not going to be able to have them do everything.

SUSAN: Well, I have more they just don’t live here anymore. They grew up.

MATT: Well right, but if you’re only doing one now and you have, like my wife took our house and divided up into five areas. Well if you only have one you can’t have them do all five areas.

SUSAN: Right.

MATT: You have to pick up the slack and pick up the four areas and have the one do the one. But it has to rotate, see? I love these people who have a child pick up trash that have been doing it for 12 years. Well, the child is gonna be a great trash man one day and he has no idea how to fold clothes.

SUSAN: Mmmm. Okay, so balance it out.

MATT: The idea is, I understand my job and my wife’s job is to get my children so when they leave my home they are self-sufficient. That’s my job. My job is not to put my kids on teenage retirement or social security. It’s my job to get them ready so when they leave my home they’re good to go. So now that I have some that have left they’re doing great and so I’m excited about that! There’s nothing better than having a family that functions correctly. There’s nothing better in life. I don’t care how much money you have, nothing is as good as a well-functioning family. Nothing brings you more happiness than having your kids, everyone close together, everyone working together, having fun together; there’s nothing better. No money can buy that, nothing could duplicate that. I’m not my kids buddy. I’m not looking, and my kids don’t need a buddy. They need a parent. But I certainly can have fun with them and laugh with them and do all those sorts of things so that when they do become grownups themselves we have a much better relationship. And my son’s in the CHP Academy right now and he’s calling me three or four times a week and we’re just shooting the breeze “Hey Dad, how’s it going? Tell me what’s going here, what’s doing.” And I’m asking him and we have a grown-up relationship that is very, very close and that’s fantastic! I love it! And there’s nothing better. So I really would admonish you guys that if you’re interested in that sort of thing you need to do this thing. You actually can view that the material if you want to on and you guys can actually get an idea of what we’re talking about there.

LESLIE: And lest anybody be concerned about the prices and everything, just know that this is something that the public school systems have approved. So if it’s affordable enough for the public school systems then you know that it’s not going to break your pocketbook.

MATT: The assignment that I want you guys to do now, if you want to test this out go play with your kids. Watch what happens. You’d be amazed. You’ll be amazed at how much different things even function in your house just by playing with your kids. And I’m not talking about making a big deal, the dumber the things the better. If you’re kicking a ball back and forth, coloring books. Color with your little girls, or you boys. It doesn’t matter what they like to do, just whatever it is they like to do. It’s the little inserts of time that you give your children that you will get back. Remember, in the beginning every child all they wanted their parents. That’s all they want. And what happens is, because we’re so busy, we send them out, send them out, send them out. We’re the ones that actually make it so our children don’t want us anymore. Unfortunately, we’re the ones that do that and so I’m going to teach you how to use that all the way until your children leave your home.

SUSAN: That website again is

MATT: Yes.

SUSAN: Okay.

MATT: Thanks everybody.

LESLIE: Okay, hey Matt thank you so much for doing this has been fun. Have a good night everybody.

MATT: Okay, Leslie, thanks.

LESLIE: Take care. Bye-bye.

ANNOUNCER: This concludes today’s episode of the Rare Faith podcast. You’ve been listening to Leslie Householder, author of The Jackrabbit Factor, Portal to Genius, and Hidden Treasures: Heavens Astonishing Help with Your Money Matters. All three books can be downloaded free at So tell your friends and join Leslie again next time as she goes even deeper into the principles that will help you change your life.