Kid Acting Badly? Try the Total Transformation Scam

By: Keith

 

Kids don’t behave like we think they should.  Parents know kids are crazy and behave irrationally.  There’s nothing abnormal about that; children testing limits and trying our patience isn’t a problem, it’s growth.  Some of what we perceive as bad behavior is just experimentation on their part; it’s not wrong and it’s not bad.  The irrationality comes because they can’t control themselves like adults can.  Their actions do not always coincide with their intentions.  They get frustrated just like you and I, but because they lack maturity to turn the tap to the calm setting when things get tough, they freak out. And that’s when we find ourselves with a  hysterical little person (or teenager) that needs dealing with.  Now, unless you’re just a total nincompoop, you’ll confront the situation by first trying logic and reason (which won’t work).  Then you’ll dictate a solution.  That also won’t work.  Then you’ll begin getting a bit frustrated yourself and have the urge the throttle your 7 year old son – err, I mean your child.  But, you won’t flatten him; you’ll tell him you love him and you want to help but that you can’t until he calms down.  Finally you’ll leave him to work it out for himself.  Minutes later he’ll come to you feeling a little better having had time to think.  That’s when you can finish what you started earlier by talking it out and making sense of it all. 

  

How Not To Parent: Total Transformation Con-Artist wants your Money. 

  

Maybe he really believes there’s a fix-it-all solutions to children’s temperaments and that the Total Transformation program is it.  I don’t see how it could be.  Instances of real bad behavior are much less than this guy wants us to believe, and those who do require real help are genuine basket cases who’s needs go beyond the magic of infomercials.  But maybe I’m missing something.  The guy’s name is James Lehman, and he sells a product called The Total Transformation Program. You’ve probably heard the commercials on the radio or on late night TV (where every other trustworthy salesman can be found).  In his program he promises that he’ll fix (much like the dog whisperer) any bad behavior your kid has, never mind how normal said behavior actually is.  Your life will be fixed in just a couple of easy steps.  Wow, that sounds great.  I’ve got a unicorn that needs brushing, too.  Want to help?  If only kids were as behaviorally simplistic as dogs. Here are just a couple of his promises:  

How to stop any argument with your kid instantly 

“This is a powerful technique parents love because it pulls the plug on any argument with your child. You’ll be stunned at how quickly it works. Even if your teenage son is 6 foot two you’re 5 foot four.” 

  

The 10 words to say when he gets mouthy 

“The technique that stops back talk and cursing…no matter how nasty your child gets.” 

  

He’s selling a magic formula.  That’s great.  Why not put it in a book and sell it for 25 bucks at Barnes and Noble?  Why is he selling this miracle for “three easy payments of $109”?  It seems to me there’s a relationship between this particular con, the types of parents who buy this con and the kids for whom this product purported to help.  Parents who make bad life decisions also make bad parenting decisions.  Bad parenting produces kids who don’t learn how to behave and how to control themselves.  The poor decision making parent gets desperate and starts looking for a quick fix.  That’s when James swoops in asking for just one more bad decision, this time in his favor – $327 plus shipping. Fat people could lose weight by buying a nutrition book and studying or they could be conned by The Biggest Loser into buying a bazillion and one useless products.  Studying takes effort while buying useless products simply takes the belief in miracle.  Where there are desperate people, there will be at least one person ready to take them to the cleaners. 

  

The Outliers: 

  

There will always be kids who, for whatever reason, act outside what’s considered normal behavior.  Some of them need qualified help in the form of a psychiatrist.  Other times the fault lies in the parenting.  Whatever the case, when kids start having serious problems it’s never just one thing that needs correcting, and there’s never a simple CD based program that’s going to magically make everything better.  If your kid is bad enough that you’re worried about it then you can rule out an easy fix and should probably start thinking about professional help (and by professional I don’t mean some dude with a concerned look on his face pitching something on TV). 

  

Suckers are a dime a dozen, apparently.  There are scams for every personality — health scams, fitness scams, money making scams and even scams involving parenting.  The Total Transformation Program is no different than any of these other things that people buy thinking there’s an easy way out of their problems.  Getting fit takes hard work.  Getting smart takes hard learning.  Parenting doesn’t take place after a CD course that you can listen to on your way to work as you eat a donut.  If you want to spend 300 dollars, why not invest in a family trip and some quality time?  Why give it to James when you know deep down you’re being conned?

Update 06/04/10:

James Lehman, creator of the Total Transformation program, died last month (May 2010) of a long illness which was unspecified by news reports. His family and friends will miss him and my condolences go to them. I think his program is a scam and I disagree with his claims. Still, I am saddened to hear of his death.

 

276 Responses to “Kid Acting Badly? Try the Total Transformation Scam”
  1. Tamy Pelletier March 23, 2010 at 3:27 pm #

    spot on!

    • Barb Harburg February 14, 2012 at 8:29 am #

      Hi,
      I just want to say that I did try the program and it really did help. I also got all my money back when I filled out a survey of how I used the techniques. We adopted 2 very damage emotionally impaired kids and everything he taught we have used successfully. We had tried many other methods and programs before that which did NOT work.

      • Evilyn C April 3, 2012 at 7:44 pm #

        So, what are these 10 elusive words? I’m dying to know, but really don’t have $300 to discover 10 magic words… My daughter doesn’t argue with me, but I have a friend who is a single mom to a boy, who is just getting bigger and bigger, and more unpleasant all the time. Again, he doesn’t argue with me, but says awful things to his mother…

        • Holly June 1, 2012 at 7:44 am #

          If you go to the website, you can try the program for free, as the person above you noted…it takes some time and work to get through the cd’s…but I found them helpful.

        • Jay June 5, 2012 at 5:20 am #

          “Son, if you do not behave I will disown you.” lol

      • Pam Harper January 4, 2013 at 6:38 am #

        I’m a mother of 6 children-2 are bipolar. This program helped me to make the changes I needed to make in order to be a more effective parent. This program is worth the time. You have to practice the strategies and communicate and practice with your child. This program has made a huge difference in my family. I no longer walk on egg shells to keep from setting off my son or daughter. I am the parent, and I run my household.

        • larry February 2, 2013 at 7:03 pm #

          i can’t believe some is making positive comments about this program. now its a women who says she developed it, the biggest selling point is its free but actually you have to fill out 9 30min surveys within 180 days which most people won’t, and that’s what their banking on. most people that buy from infomercials stop using products they buy in 30-90 days.

      • Mark Gonzalez March 4, 2013 at 6:13 am #

        Thanks for your comments. Although interesting this original blog attacks the marketing and the cost, to which I agree. However it does nothing to suggest if the technique works. I have a hard time when I hear an attack on the messenger but then say little on the message.

        • Andi May 16, 2013 at 6:34 am #

          I agree with your statement! The cost is terrible, and yes, the company has found a niche in the overwhelmed parent who will do anything for a change! But please know that they are NOT promising a quick fix! It is time consuming and difficult to work through the program. I think it is worth it! I have an 8 year old son with ADHD and ODD and was literally exhausted ALL THE TIME by his behavior. My older two kids were never difficult like this. I am 3 discs into the 7 disc program and already seeing changes. It was worth the $300+ for the calm it has restored into my life.

    • Erin January 2, 2013 at 8:58 am #

      Please do not give these people your credit card number. Or atleast watch what they do. Apparently in the information they sent that would take more than a year for me to read there are hidden costs. I didn’t dispute the cost of the program but now it seems I paid in full 3 months ago and have been paying for a charge that I didnt receive. This program is not made for your young children and it is a BASIC parenting infomercial. Unless you are totally clueless and have unlimited amounts of time to watch the dvd’s and write down every step your child makes, then you can do just fine without it. Im sure the man who developed this had no idea and no intention that Legacy Publishing would be such scammers and money hungry big shots. He truly seemed like he wanted to help. Not helpful when you are being scammed at the same time. Awful Awful!

      • linda March 12, 2013 at 8:52 am #

        i agree.

      • Therese March 14, 2013 at 7:01 am #

        I would agree that the program is not geared toward young children, though the techniques would still apply. Also, this program is for kids who are defiant. Not every child is. My first two children were not. The third…I didn’t know WHERE I went wrong. But that’s where the Total Transformation techniques work. He’s 14 and he and I are learning quickly. I didn’t have to know this information for my first 2 kids. But I was at wit’s end with the third. So…if you can’t figure out how to handle your child…you’re not alone. I asked teachers, guidance counselors, and a therapist. They couldn’t tell me. But THESE audio CDs could.
        Two great things: you can listen in your car.
        And you change your own behavior to help bring about the change and maturity in your child.

        It seems so simple now.
        I’m just a parent but I know I sound like the commercial.

  2. goofdad March 23, 2010 at 4:25 pm #

    WOW! I hadn’t seen this guy, but I’ve seen similar things. I’d be amazed about people falling for them, but now that I’m fostering I’m continually amazed about the decisions parents make.

    Like losing weight, raising kids IS simple. It’s NOT easy. It takes healthy doses of love and patience. It takes LOTS of time, consistency, and more.

    And … like losing weight … anyone selling you a quick fix is ripping you off.

    Thanks for the post!
    .-= goofdad´s last blog ..Randomness and Cynicism =-.

    • Keith March 23, 2010 at 10:35 pm #

      Goofdad: It’s the quick fix guys that make all the money. There are just too many suckers in the world. Consider it this way. 50% of people have an IQ under 100. Something like 30% of people have an IQ under 90. Not to pick on just the low IQ people either because I know some really high IQ people who always fall for these things. But, jeez — there are just millions of people ready to fall for the dumbest scams. Again, love, patience and consistency. you said it best.

      • Holly June 1, 2012 at 7:48 am #

        Thanks for calling all parents who seek out help suckers. I happen to have a master’s degree, and my husband is a computer programmer, and we used the program (for free–I might add–if you check it out you would see how), and actually found it very helpful in combination with a therapist for our 2nd child who was diagnosed with ODD. Our first child is a straight A student…in case you were wondering.

        • Keith June 1, 2012 at 8:30 am #

          You have a masters degree, Holly? Wow, I can’t imagine being smart enough for that. And your husband is a computer programmer, huh? Well, I’m sure you must be very proud. Not sure why, but I can see you are.

          • John June 8, 2012 at 12:56 pm #

            Keith,

            Attacking someone who disagrees with your premise is a flaw in place of reasoned argument, it is called ad hominem argument, and it basically reinforces that you have no valid point, or no way to back up your point with data. If you disagree with Holly, argue against her premise. In this case, I would argue to Holly that you said there are too many suckers, not that everyone using the program is a sucker. She took a 100% totality from your statement, when your statement implied some unknown percentage.

            All too often people argue without clarity.

            • Keith June 8, 2012 at 1:03 pm #

              John, I’m sure you’ve never heard of the appeal to authority rhetorical device. My attack on her was not ad hominem (you might want to look up what that means) as I referring directly to her own flawed argument (remember, ad hominem would mean I am attacking her personally on an unrelated argument). She is the one who asserted that her masters degree in an unrelated field and her husband’s ability to program constitute a cogent argument. Thus, not ad hominem at all. Talk about a lack of clarity, John. I would think that someone who spends so much time pretending to be objective would at least himself not have a major flaw in his argument.

          • Joanne February 27, 2013 at 10:55 am #

            You are self-riteous and arrogant. Someday you will be dust, just like the low IQ people you insult in your comment. Get over yourself.

            • Keith February 27, 2013 at 11:12 am #

              Joanne: It only seems like I’m arrogant because intelligence is relative. Have you ever seen a chimp go nuts when it gets a little startled? The chimp is like “Damnit, thing!” And it screeches and flings poo all over the place because that’s the only way it knows to express itself. It’s really not the thing’s fault that the chimp is a volatile creature, now is it?

        • andy January 7, 2013 at 8:26 pm #

          Dear Holly,

          Why do you say it is free. And, then say just check it out, to find out how. Why don’t you tell us why and how it can be had for free. You suggest we “check out out” for ourselves to find out how it can be used for FREE. You sound like like a marketer and not a dispassionate observer. Your ploy is so terribly transparent. Do you want to know why it is so transparent? Just check out my web site you can find at the very end of this blog and you will find out why you appear so transparent. I will tell you as soon as you visit my site, give me your CC numbers,a nd anything else I would want in order to tell you why you are so transparent. I’m waiting.

          • Di January 22, 2013 at 1:25 am #

            Andy – if you visit the website (which is what I assume Holly means by “check it out for yourself” you can click on the tab that says “Get it for Free” half way down the page. This explains how you can get this program for free by completing a questionnaire and receiving a refund…. John – you must be a parenting genius – I wish it was the same for everyone. I don’t think IQ and parenting prowess go hand in hand do they? I have three kids – two are easy and the third (also the middle child) has been diagnosed with ADHD and ODD. There are no quick fixes to this and rest assured that all the love, patience and understanding have been given in equal amounts to all of our children. Sometimes it’s just not that easy. Nor is finding help – so if us “suckers” that don’t have your parenting skills look outside the box for help then that’s a result of the frustration and desperation they are experiencing. If you were dying of cancer you too would be desperate for any help you could get. Does that make you a sucker? Would love to know how many kids you have John…

            • Sami January 28, 2013 at 10:47 pm #

              I just laugh at people who think they know the right way to a situation they’ve never faced! They are clueless to what we face on a daily basis as a parent. Its pure ignorance! I’ll even admit, im 33yrs old and sometimes I question myself about what im doing wrong and if I’m failing as a parent to my child, but then I look at my other child and know I’m not! And I tell myself I will only fail if I give up, and I will NEVER give up on my child! So I will try everything until it works! Except medication! I don’t believe in it! I’ve took my child to 3 different doctors, and 2 therapist, because that’s the “right thing to do”. All had no actual diagnosis for my child, but I heard everything from ADD, ADHD, ODD, Aspergers, to you name it! 2 of 3 doctors prescribed medication, and 1 of 2 therapist recommended hospitalization! Lol. I worked in the medical field, I dated drug reps., medicine=$$$$$! Nothing more, nothing less! It does not cure an illness, it hides it! I want to cure my child’s problem! So, us trying this program and possibly wasting our $300, does not make us anything but a GREAT parent for TRYING EVERTHING!

            • angela January 29, 2013 at 11:48 am #

              I love what you said. I was thinking the samething. I have two boys one is ADHD and ODD the other is what the school calls normal. We love our boys and treat them the same. Same rules same rewards same punishment when needed. So yes sometimes we get frustrated when normal rules and punishment and rewards don’t work for our ADHD/ODD son.
              I would love to try this program, but I don’t have $300 to do it. If they would let you have it for shipping only for like 30days I could try it.

              • Lindsay March 1, 2013 at 1:34 pm #

                They will. It costs $19 for shipping and the first charge of $119 doesn’t come out until 30 days. So if you do watch all the videos and try the ideas and fill out the survey before that first charge (which may be difficult, I haven’t done it yet) they say they won’t charge you. Maybe look at their website?

        • nettie January 15, 2013 at 1:56 pm #

          Thanks for saying what I was thinking :)

    • Nehesi March 8, 2012 at 8:23 am #

      I don’t know if the Total Transformation program is a scam.

      I do know that I’ve had really good success with two resources that don’t cost anywhere near as much as this program. To wit:

      Have a New Kid By Friday
      by Dr. Kevin Leman

      and

      How To Talk So Kids Will Listen and Listen So Kids Will Talk
      by Adele Faber and Elaine Mazlish

      • Natosha May 22, 2012 at 12:57 pm #

        Any suggestions for the sweet kid at home who goes to school and terrorizes everyone and has been doing so since the 1st grade. i really can’t go to school with him everyday, and the therapist still doesn’t know why. He is ODD but nothing seems to be helping and he’s gotten worse since he has been in a special needs school.

        • angela January 29, 2013 at 11:51 am #

          If you can get him in a regular school that would be best. He sees kids at the special needs school and picks up their behavior. He needs to be with kids that act normal. My son is still in regular public school. He is ADHD and ODD.

  3. STLDADDY March 23, 2010 at 5:27 pm #

    That’s to funny I’ve got a group of kids for’em yeah buddy. How to stop an arument and 10 words to use when they get mouthy. LOL!! I’ve seen some little bad kids that will sit him down with 5 words. I’m not into spanking don’t know why because I got my butt tore up when I acted crazy cause we didn’t have no time outs and in most African American families time outs are for white people you get your butt whipped. I just recently started sitting my son down when he hits or pushes other kids but for the most part when I speak he responds. My wife says I’m scareing him in to acting right but she picks him up and babies him. Being firm is alot different then screaming and yelling and throwing stuff to get you point accross. To me it starts with the parents if you allow your kids to run around at home crazy they will do it in public.

    • Keith March 23, 2010 at 10:30 pm #

      STLDADDY: LOL! sometimes scaring them into good behavior is the best method of all. My dad used a belt on me on several occasions that I can remember. Oh, he tried real hard to adhere to the Time-out policy, but the man just didn’t have it in him. He was a bit old-school that way. Now that I’m grown I appreciate it. But, at the time I was downright scared of him. You’re right, it all starts and ends with the parents. Crazy kids at home are crazy kids in public. That’s no fun for anybody.

      • angela January 29, 2013 at 11:59 am #

        Keith,
        How many kids do you have? My parents used a belt, time out, and grounded me. Here is the difference, I am not ADHD/ ODD/CD. I can understand and remember that there are punishments for bad actions.
        The kids that Total Transformation was written for have a hard time remembering and focusing. In the moment that my son is acting out it is like he is in another world of his own creation and he is speaking Greek. I don’t think you get that. And I have another question, Have you even tried this program? I mean have you bought Total Transformation and used it?
        If not then who are you to write an editorial about it?
        I won’t be suprised if you delete this comment.

        • Keith January 29, 2013 at 12:05 pm #

          Angela: Since I wrote this article, I have listened to the TT program. I don’t need to actually do it because my kids don’t need it. However, after listening to it — yeah, it’s total nonsense. It is exactly what I thought it was. You know why I wrote an article about it? Because you’re now talking about it.

          • Kellie March 15, 2013 at 11:02 pm #

            Keith,

            I am one of the stupid ones apparently. I’ve just ordered the program and, quite frankly, can’t wait to get it. I have three kids who are 12, 14 and 16. The oldest two are “model” kids, one gets straight “A’s” and had 1 point less than perfect on the pre-ACT, the other “A’s” and “B’s” and both get compliments all the time on what great kids they are. I even get compliments on what great parents my husband and I must be. Then I go to the parent-teacher conferences for my 12 yr old son…talk about an ego deflator. After doing everything under the sun to try and help steer this kid the right way…we are still failing him. He is not a monster–just a kid who talks too much, hates school and has a bad habit of being sarcastic and disrespectful. I set limits, correct negative behavior and praise good behavior–all the things the books say to do with such a kid. And I love him to death–I definitely want to throttle him every now and then, lol, but am more worried about him being able to function in the adult world eventually. I am worried that his problem with authority now will keep him from using his incredibly intelligent brain (his IQ is probably higher than the other two by quite a bit) to find a job he loves, I’m worried that his lack of being able to control his anger will hamper him in relationships. I’ve cried over my fear that he will be unhappy and miserable all his life because I haven’t figured out the “right” way to parent him. I too used to smirk at parents who had kids misbehaving in the store–until my 3rd one came along. You are incredibly lucky that your kids don’t have the problems that a lot of kids of us “sucker” parents do. The thing is, when you get to a certain point with a child that you love, you will try ANYTHING to help them. I’m fully aware this may be a scam. That’s why it has taken me two years to actually buy the darn thing. I’ve tried the books, the counseling, even meds (against my better judgement because I HATED having him on meds–and they didn’t help anyway). I love to read and am a visual/global learner–not an auditory–so usually videos don’t appeal to me. But you know what I have learned finally–after 42 years on this planet? That there is not one method that works for everyone. And by damn if this guy’s product just MIGHT help my son then I am willing to take the chance. I’ve done a lot of research on the product–which again is why I am just now ordering. I hate their marketing strategy and am fully aware that they will try to milk every dime out of me–and that I will probably get shafted on the “free” deal if I don’t do their “survey” exactly right. But some of the actual ideas I’m hearing from others who have reviewed and given examples of the techniques make sense. I think that it is ok to slam the marketing of the product but not the people who are desperate enough to need it. I don’t think it is fair to imply–which I think you do–that those of us who may need help with a child are bad parents. I’ve seen bad parents. I’m an ER nurse. Bad parents are the ones who get angry with us when we tell them their child is very sick and needs to be admitted–because they had other plans for that day. Bad parents are the ones who don’t give a rats about their child’s welfare, don’t put them in car seats, smoke in front of their asthmatic child and feed them Mt. Dew every day in their bottles. I won’t even mention the ones who neglect, starve, beat, torture and molest their children. All you are accomplishing with your tone is to make parents who are trying to help their children feel that much worse. I’m glad you say “my kids don’t need it.” That’s wonderful for you! But remember that others may not be as fortunate–and not necessarily because they are bad parents. As far as the program being “total nonsense”–I’ll have to reserve judgement because I don’t have it yet–I’ll get back to you on that after I’ve tried it. But I liken the situation to one I was in while in nursing school. One day our instructor was lecturing on Fluid and Electrolyte imbalances and reading ABG’s (arterial blood gasses)–which seems to be one of many nurses’ hardest subjects to understand. The instructor–who obviously knew the material well–was trying to help some of the students by explaining it in different ways but many of them still weren’t getting it. At one point I said–”Hey, can I show you the way I do it?” because I used to tutor chemistry and upper maths on my first run through college and was used to being able to simplify steps. I went up to the board, drew a quick diagram and ran through my process and for about 5 of the students–you could see a light bulb go off in their heads! They got it finally! Now, only 5 of the 10 or so people standing there were helped–but you know what? I still made a contribution–I still helped 5 people. (Of course I didn’t charge them $300, lol, but still…) Anyway, my point is–the other 5 could have said–well that’s “total nonsense.” because it didn’t help them at all.
            Sorry to rant on…I have a soft spot for other struggling people–probably why I eventually became a nurse, ha, ha!
            Thanks for listening,
            Kellie G

    • Michael August 27, 2011 at 10:57 am #

      I find it amusing that even in discussing the outrageous behavior of our kids, you still have time to bring race into the equation! I grew up with a military dad who never hesitated to get the belt out. Should he have been “african american”? Most of my friends grew up the same way I did; they weren’t all black. So, back to the topic at hand. My twelve year old son has never been spanked, and I feel like we are losing control. We have “structure” and time outs, grounding, taking things away; none of it seems to work. He is however diagnosed with ADD. Yet another scam I beleive…… My wife, like yours thinks I am scaring him into good behavior. I have found out the hard way that she is right. Fear is never a substitute for respect. I observed how she handled him the last few days, and her methods seem to work a lot better than mine! I’m eating crow right now! She simply listens to his frustrations, and if or when he gets mouthy, she simply cuts the conversation off, and sends him to our room. This seems to work better than sending him to his room where he can still play video games and toys. I’ve tried doing what she does, and it working; thank God. I think what helps the most is that my wife and I are now on the same page, and our son sees this clearly now. No more manipulation by going from one parent to another. It may help that she is a child psychiatrist, but I don’t know. Somehow, dealing with your own children is much harder than trying to help other’s deal with their’s. Thanks for listening!

    • Evilyn C April 3, 2012 at 7:46 pm #

      I’m white, and my momma tore my butt up when necessary. Did me a lot of good…

  4. Kody Wilcox March 23, 2010 at 6:53 pm #

    You can always tie your children up and burn them with lit cigarettes. That’s what my mom always did. Works pretty well.

    • Keith March 23, 2010 at 10:27 pm #

      Kody: That sounds quite pleasant. Your mom sounds like a real peach :-)

    • Conlee99 May 1, 2012 at 5:26 pm #

      I am sorry you had to go thru that. I was abused also. I broke the chain…I would never hurt my children.

  5. Scott March 23, 2010 at 9:07 pm #

    Sometimes I wonder to myself how much $$$ I could make if I was the type of person who was willing to sell a lie…. couldn’t agree more with your assessment, and I need to add ‘throttling’ back into my vocab!
    .-= Scott´s last blog ..Disney On Ice, I Wanted To Hate You… Really =-.

    • Keith March 23, 2010 at 10:27 pm #

      Scott: I’ve known a few people who have made lots of money from spam. They all convince themselves that it’s not really spam, that they’re just offering ads. It’s funny how people trick their minds into doing their dirty work :-) I’m sure we could make pretty good money if we wanted to. Oh, and “throttling” is a standard part of my vocabulary. I think I’m a little out of sync with the times! HA

  6. Seattledad (Luke, I am Your Father) March 23, 2010 at 9:33 pm #

    If you are perceptible to this type of scam then maybe you should look at addressing your own weaknesses first.

    Great post.
    .-= Seattledad (Luke, I am Your Father)´s last blog ..Base Camp – Day 1000 =-.

    • Keith March 23, 2010 at 10:04 pm #

      LIAYF: well, I think I’m reasonably perceptive to these sorts of things, and I think that’s a good thing. We all have weaknesses. I consider it a public service to point out some of the more obvious ones. :-)

    • Marta May 5, 2012 at 12:14 pm #

      I agree. I was reading attentively until you shot out insults and judgements towards your readers. If someone is reading this they are obviously having issues with their kids. I am loving, caring, consistent, and very patient… yet I have a kid that sometimes acts up and is unstopable when she gets in a zone. According to your assessment, I am a bad parent because I have problems with my kid. You just pulled a Puttin buddy. YOu can’t expect people to support you if you’re badmouthing them in their face… except for maybe some of those suckers you speak of that are too dense to see they’re being dissed, and I see you have a few of those reading your nonsence.

      • Keith May 5, 2012 at 12:59 pm #

        Marta: Who said I’m looking for agreement or support? If you feel maligned then perhaps that’s some personal problem of yours. Maybe I struck close to home? After all, most people who read this just say to themselves “meh, interesting but who cares.” You, however, went into attack mode. Yes, definitely there is a reason for that defensiveness. :-) I hope you realize that this is a blog and the internet. I say what I think, and people respond with what they think. I have nothing against you personally.

      • Jay June 5, 2012 at 5:21 am #

        He is trying to protect his readers form a huckster selling some crappy CD. It’s the commercials for the Total Transformation program that are condescending and make kids sound like devils. “Smack!”

  7. Chris @ Cleverfather March 23, 2010 at 10:19 pm #

    The most annoying part of this buggers ad on the radio is that they feel the need to repeat the phone number 5 times in a 30 second advertisement.
    .-= Chris @ Cleverfather´s last blog ..5 Toys that don’t suck: Baby edition =-.

  8. Eric March 24, 2010 at 7:08 am #

    I would hear this guy on the AM Radio. I always wondered what his catch was. I always pictured a guy pistol whipping a kid to make him stop. And then make the kid clean up his own blood and bandage his own gaping wounds.

    Doesn’t sound far off.
    .-= Eric´s last blog ..Picture Retake =-.

  9. BigLittleWolf March 24, 2010 at 11:46 am #

    Beware anyone who thinks ANYTHING in this world is easy anymore! Much less parenting.

    Now if only there were 10 magic words to deal with teens. Or two thousand and ten… other than “I’m taking the car keys.”
    .-= BigLittleWolf´s last blog ..The other side of town =-.

  10. PJ Mullen March 24, 2010 at 3:30 pm #

    Ads like these and the whole ‘Your Baby Can Read’ crap always crack me up. I couldn’t possibly feel sorry for people that waste their hard earned money on this nonsense. Ever kid is different, there is no magical formula. If you want more of my advice, send $39.95 to… :)
    .-= PJ Mullen´s last blog ..Rummaging Through Clark Kent’s Lunchbox =-.

    • Keith March 25, 2010 at 10:28 am #

      PJ: The baby can read stuff is absolutely hilarious. Have any of us written an article about that yet? maybe I’ll tackle that next :-)

      • TeachingMyToddlers January 4, 2013 at 6:25 pm #

        I have been reading your blog for a good chunk of time this evening since I stumbled on it. There aren’t many that many home school Dad’s out there (not that *I* know of anyway) so I find it your perspective refreshing.

        As far as babies reading, I know it sounds nuts. That was my first reaction anyway, but it’s turned out to be one of the best gifts I have ever given my kids. I belong to an online forum of about 100,000 parents who are currently teaching or have already taught their baby or toddler to read, some with more success than others. So it’s definitely possible, it’s just not a widely accepted method yet. I have read as much as humanly possible about infant literacy but I won’t bore you with the details. Just know that 1) teaching babies to read is totally legit (although the YBCR program does have limitations and I do not believe it will work for EVERY child) 2) Most experts either don’t have a clue or are deliberately avoiding this topic for whatever reason and 3) I am actually convinced I could teach a chimp to read at this point LOL. Well, maybe not…

        You let me know when you’re ready to blog about it and I’ll dish up any and all of the gory details. About baby reading, not chimp reading, that is… ;)

        • Lulu January 28, 2013 at 12:01 pm #

          WHY would you teach a baby to read even if it is were possible for more than a few genius outliers? Why? Aren’t babies supposed to be doing/learning all sorts of other stuff–like exploring their physical world, figuring out how their legs and hands and fingers work. Interacting with other babies? Discovering what to do with a ball, blocks, dirt, water, bubbles? No one needs to learn to read as a baby. Get a grip.

  11. Mitzi March 24, 2010 at 10:35 pm #

    WOW, never heard of this actually, but I believe it. It’s amazing what people can package and sell nowadays. I feel sorry for the poor desperate parents who actually buy this!!! Most parents don’t want to spend time with their kids is a big reason. They dont’ want to be bothered. I see parents ignore their kids all the time in situations where a good lesson could be taught to them!

    • Keith March 25, 2010 at 10:27 am #

      Mitzi: I think we should all come up with a scam product just to see who could make the most money off of it. It’ll be a bit of a contest :-)

  12. Todd May 23, 2010 at 8:52 am #

    This is the worst review I have ever read. The entire argument is based on the idea that if something costs $327 and buyers are given the option to buy in installments, it must be a scam.

    Not one word of this review is based on an evaluation of the program itself. This makes the reviewer unqualified to say anything about whether it is effective, or not.

    This program helped me create a ‘culture of accountability’ with my stepson, and our lives improved tremendously. The Total Transformation is the best money I ever spent.

    Do not listen to the person who wrote this review.

    • Keith May 23, 2010 at 9:13 am #

      Todd: That’s your opinion. Sure, if people really don’t want to buy a parenting book or two then they’re free to go spend the money on whatever they think is going to help. You say the Total Transformation program is worth 327 dollars. Fine. But, I’m here to tell you that there’s nothing he’s telling you that’s worth 327 dollars. There’s no secret that he magically understands that other psychologists (who have written books that you can buy for 20 bucks) haven’t already said. You just said “culture of accountability”. You do realize another way to say that is “taking responsibility.” You’re saying you don’t know what responsibility is? You need someone to rename it to “culture of accountability”? That’s a catch phrase. Charlatans always use catch phrases to make their product seem more legitimate. You’re funny.

      • angela January 29, 2013 at 12:12 pm #

        My SPOT ON comment is for Todd. And Keith you still haven’t said that you have actually used Total Transformation or not?:
        Why are you avolding the question?

      • rh November 4, 2013 at 6:59 am #

        Culture of accountability
        Disney world
        And yes there is a simple free fix
        but it is not ttt and nwo

    • angela January 29, 2013 at 12:08 pm #

      SPOT ON

  13. poisonivy June 20, 2010 at 11:31 am #

    Sorry Keith I have to agree with Todd that your review is based upon….hmmm…nothing… Thanks for the valuable input.

    • Keith June 20, 2010 at 11:39 am #

      Poisonivy: I’m sorry you see life experience and on the job training as nothing. Unfortunately, though, it makes sense that you’d say my review is based on “nothing” because this product is sold to people with no common sense (which apparently isn’t so common), people who have no sense in their heads and want to spend a fortune on something they could read in a psychology book or any number of 20 dollar books that can be found at Barnes and Noble. So, you go ahead and spend all that money on it. That’s your business. Do you really think this guy came up with some miracle that no psychologist has ever thought of before? do you really believe his advice is worth that kind of money? Hardly.

    • Jay June 5, 2012 at 5:22 am #

      you’re one of the naive people who is keeping Herr lehman in business

  14. John June 20, 2010 at 8:39 pm #

    This is a total scam! I’ve worked with psychologists and psychiatrists, and not one of them has ever made the claims that James Lehman makes on his infomercials, regarding a 1,2,3 step “plan” to control your kids. As many of the previous posts noted, a child doesn’t “act out” (whatever that means!) for no reason at all. We (parents) need to look at ourselves, and how we address issues that may arise, where the child may not behave in the parents’ desired manner. I’m a therapist myself, and there’s much more involved when it comes to addressing a (negative) behavior in a child. Social development is another aspect of growing up for a child.
    As someone posted, “spend quality time with your kids.” Listen to what they have to say, and read their corporal communication (body language). Don’t be the child’s friend, but their responsive and supportive parent. Don’t treat the child like an animal either, and don’t be reactive to their behavior. You may as well put on a pair of diapers yourself.

    • Keith June 20, 2010 at 8:52 pm #

      John: Exactly! I keep trying to imagine some guy sitting around thinking, and suddenly God opens up the heavens and gives him all the secrets to child behavior. Only the total transformation guy has the answers, and all those professional therapists and psychologist out there are just a bunch of suckers who don’t have access to the truth! HAHA :-) Indded. Thanks for coming by, John

    • Judy March 6, 2012 at 11:43 am #

      6 observations on your post:

      1) Many persons looking for solutions to behavior problems in children are not the parents who caused or allowed the problems to surface, but a step-parent, grandparent or adoptive parent that is picking up the pieces, or even a reformed parent that is trying to learn how to be more effective and do what is right. Why would you as a professional discourage this?

      2) Parents needing to look to themselves is, from what I have read thus far, the underlying basis of the total transformation program. Granted I have not read or used the program but have researched it quite a bit–thus my travel to this site.

      3) Spending quality time with an obstinant, disrespectful, argumentative child who is lying and stealing sounds to me like a punishment greater than buckling down and learning to parent.

      4) Talk about a buzz word –”corporal communication” takes the cake for me.

      5) Not everyone has access to professiionals–and all professionals are not as expereinced or committed as some of the best money can buy. Likewise, not everyone learns the same way. Many of the latest generation of parents would be intimidated by a book written by a psychologist or sociologist, but would find listening to tapes and ‘working the problem’ a natural way of learning.

      6) Yes there are psychological and social components to every problem, but it seems to me that if the behavior can be modified, then less time and energy are going into behaviors, and more can be spent growing emotionally and socially.

      In the interests of disclosure, I am a retired RN who studied behavior in dementia, where the primary caregiver is the best person to “teach” how to solve the behavior problems. I have never heard the program but am considering buying for a friend whose needs are immediate and great.

      The arrogance of much this thread is disturbing. It is obvious that many of the posts are meant to build up the poster’s opinion of self rather than actually help those who need help with their own parenting or with an inherited problem child. Questioning the IQ of those who purchase a program to learn better parenting–even if it can be assimilated from other ways of studying–is a bit over the top in my book–smacks of bullying, don’t you think?

      • Keith March 6, 2012 at 11:57 am #

        No, it doesn’t smack of bullying. Sometimes people are just wrong. Me pointing it out is hardly bullying. It’s not like there is some rule that says I need to respect everyone’s opinion just because they managed to pull something out of their butt that I disagree with. You can disagree with me all you want. Heck, you just told me why you think I’m wrong. Big deal. You use a series of rhetorical devices here that are obviously meant to manipulate opinion (using pseudo intelligent phrases like “build up the poster’s opinion of self… ,” and appealing to authority with the phrase “In the interest of disclosure… .” Yeah, in the interest of disclosure, or rather as a means of bolstering what still amounts to nothing more than an opinion?” See? I could call that bullying or I could call it what it really is — rhetoric. And, that’s fine. Rhetoric is what we use to get our point across. It’s still up to the reader to make up his own mind. But, bullying? No, hardly.

        • Di January 22, 2013 at 4:31 pm #

          Keith – it seems to me that anyone who disagrees with you is open slather to your insults. I thought that this forum was for sharing informed opinions – not slandering someone who presents their informed opinion that – (shock horror) – is different to yours. Once again you provide us with another example of how the internet has become an anonymous forum for haters to vent their opinions on subjects that they often know little about. You say “some people are just wrong” – I think what you meant to say is “everyone is welcome to their opinion even if it is not the same as mine – and isn’t it great that everyone can present their informed or uninformed opinion in this non-judgmental forum to allow readers to make up their own minds based on the experiences of others” This isn’t about you.

          • Keith January 22, 2013 at 5:22 pm #

            Di: This is not a forum. This is a blog. It’s not open for just anybody to say whatever. And, how am I anonymous? Explain how I’ve proved anything about anonymity? You mean anonymous in the sense that YOU are anonymous yet I am not? Like that?

      • Julie March 8, 2012 at 9:46 am #

        Judy,

        Don’t waste your breath. I came to this site expecting to see negative reviews of a program that I’m considering for my son. I’m sorry – I mean “informed” negative reviews. I have no idea who this Keith is, but this is probably the MOST condescending, self-aggrandizing, and uninformed attempt at assessment I’ve seen on the internet.

        Keith has already shown himself to be an egotistical bully, so you shouldn’t be surprised that he doesn’t agree with you. I have no idea why anyone would seek this man’s opinion.

        I’m going to continue my search for a balanced appraisal of this program, since it was nowhere to be found here.

        • Keith March 8, 2012 at 9:53 am #

          Julie: Sticks and stones. :-) I think it’s pretty clear to anybody who reads your comment which of the two of us is irrational and emotional. I suggest taking a deep breath and relax. The fact that you are so bent out of shape about a little opinion article, and that this article happens to talk about parenting behavior as it relates to setting good examples — well, that speaks volumes about you, Julie.

        • jennifer May 25, 2012 at 9:10 am #

          Julie,
          I just listened to the first CD yesterday. My mother ordered for me because my 9 yr. old has ADHD as well as other sensory type issues that cause him to become overstimulated, uncomfortable, irritable, etc. which cause him to act out at times due to the fact that he lacks certain coping skills. I give time-outs, take things away, set expectations, explain consequences, reward, reinforce, reason, listen. This takes a lot of work and some days I’m at my wits end – because I’m human – and feel like a shrew.

          I RELUCTANTLY started listening to the CDs in the car (I didn’t like the price tag either for what he was claiming) and to my surprise, i find certain points Mr. Lehman makes useful TO MY PARTICULAR SITUATION. I know there are other good parents who experience similar issues – the child blames others, doesn’t take responsibility, plays victim, argues over homework, etc. There are seeds of this starting in my son and I don’t want to further instill any of this negative behavior. I can only imagine it gets worse in the teen years.

          What the program attempts to do is explain how/why certain things we do as parents work with these kinds of kids and why others do not. Again we are talking about kids who act out, not a kid who has a bad day every now and then. No, his solution is not ‘magic’ but it is informative and I like his straight forward, no nonsense delivery. I’m not sure if it’s a quick fix either…i’ll let you know.

          One more piece of info…I have another son (8 yrs old) whom people call a model child – i’m not saying to brag, but just to point out that these kids have the SAME mom! It’s just that they have different temperaments and move through the world differently.

          A note about cost: I agree that the $300 price tag is a lot – but I haven’t listened to the entire program. However, I drive my kids to a school 40 min away so this format is convenient for me. If I’m not mistaken, I believe that you can order it and send back if you do not like.

          Keith, while I didn’t read each and every response in the comments…have you listened to these CDs?

          Good luck!

    • angela January 29, 2013 at 12:17 pm #

      What about a 12 step program for addicts? So step programs can work sometimes? So why not try a step program with kids?
      By the way once apon a time there was no such thing as an organ transplant, but how many lives have been saved since they started?

  15. charles allen June 23, 2010 at 6:39 pm #

    Maybe I am missing something. Growing up in the 50′s and 60′s I know we had bad kids. Every generation has had them, but I think my generation really dropped the ball on child raising. We seemed to have forgotten everything our parents taught us or maybe we didn’t think they did a good job. Well, I think they did a pretty good job of raising most of us. I don’t remember any of the children I grew up with every talking to there parents the way I see these young children now do. Please, none of this “well times are different these days”. That has been used by every generation since the beginning of time and is just a cop out. You are a parent not your childs best friend. I could not imagine my father being my best friend. He had his friends, and I had mine. He was my father and my mother was my mother. Period. We were taught to be truthful and honest and not talk back to other people. Be respectful of your elders and not address them by there first names. My wife and I raised our two children with a combination of my parents ways and what we found out worked for us. They are not perfect, but they are respectful of others and are honest and truthful people. Was I spanked as a child, yes. Did I spank my children? No, but at times I wanted to. I was always there father, not there best friend and buddy. My wife was always there mother and we shared all discipline and decsions as a united front. It worked for us. We didn’t need a infommercial person to tell us how to raise our children. You shouldn’t either. Thank you.

    • Keith June 23, 2010 at 6:47 pm #

      Charles: you are completely right. Couldn’t have said it better myself. Kids change and become rude when their parents stop parenting. Yup :-) Thanks!

      • TJ May 9, 2013 at 8:45 am #

        You are an arrogant man. You need to be humbled. Makes me sick the way you respond to people on this blog. I just picture an insecure man sitting at his computer. You and your “perfect” children and ways of child rearing. Please. Anyone wasting their time reading this blog will soon realize that you’re a self-righteous douchebag with an adolescent mentality. Grow up partner. How’s that for opinion?

        • Keith May 29, 2013 at 9:10 pm #

          TJ: You picture me as an insecure man sitting behind a computer? That’s interesting considering I think writing an article and publishing it for everyone to see is at least a step up from anonymously slinging meaningless insults in the comment section. Who’s the insecure one? The one who’s out front and says who he is along with his beliefs or the one who throws bombs anonymously? I’ll let you figure that out for yourself.

  16. mary troost June 25, 2010 at 8:08 pm #

    Hey. I’m not a dad obviously but I stumbled upon your blog because my youngest child is so oppositional to authority. I told her if I was a sea captain and she was a sailor our ship would go down for sure! Insubordination!

    But anyway I just had to comment on your blog because I noticed that she really does NOT

  17. mary troost June 25, 2010 at 8:11 pm #

    Oh my gosh I clicked a button and I wasn’t finished.

    She does NOT give my husband a hard time and I think it’s because she is a little scared of him. She is not scared of me. He is not physical but he is bigger and man he does put on a mean eyebrow and frown!

    So there’s my comment. And yes I’d rather spend the hundreds on a little family outing than some quick fix cd program.

    Happy Father’s Day to all you wonderful Fathers out there.

    Good night!

    • Keith June 25, 2010 at 8:18 pm #

      Mary: HAHA! No problem. Comments are good, even if they’re broken in two! :-) The programs like these that want you the shell out all that money for simple advice that anybody would be glad to give for free really are ridiculous. For that kind of money a small vacation is a much better investment. Thanks for dropping in an commenting!

  18. PSL June 29, 2010 at 11:58 am #

    I used to work for the company that sells The Total Transformation and I was in a position to see a lot of what they do. First, I worked with James Lehman during the time that I was with the company and I will tell you that he is a good guy and was a good therapist when he was practicing. James was the real deal and a genuinely caring guy that really did want to help people. It’s unfortunate that he got into business with Advantage Media/Legacy Publishing Company who are unscrupulous and dishonest people. I can verify that the advertising tricks used to promote the product are true and that the methods used by customer service staff to avoid refunding money to the customers was taught to them by the company and that their individual performance was scored by how well they did this. These agents were rewarded by how many “saves” and “extensions” they were able to achieve. One of the biggest scams in this product is the Parental Support Line Service where they charge your credit card a monthly fee for this service. It gets added to the billing when you buy the product and they hope you’ll forget about it and allow them to bill your credit card automatically each month like clock work for this “advisory” service. Some of the people working on this telephone service when I worked there were not licensed, trained clinicians and they were led to believe they could give solid clinical advice to parents because they learned the program like any consumer would. I feel sad about James and ashamed that I supported the company for the time that I did. If it seems too good to be true, it probably is…..

    • Keith June 29, 2010 at 12:24 pm #

      PSL: Thank you for the insider perspective! My impression, from reading about James, is that he actually did care. Like you say, it’s unfortunate that his professional legacy is intertwined with such a scammy product.

    • angela January 29, 2013 at 12:24 pm #

      Now this comment is based on fact. From it I get that the program is good, but the people at the publishing company are over charging and cheating the parents. So if you can find the program at a yard sale or ebay go for it. Or use a pre-paid credit card that you can cancel.

      • Keith January 29, 2013 at 12:32 pm #

        Angela: I’m not sure what your point is. I never said there was anything wrong with using a step based method to achieving some goal. Where did you read that? How does the step method matter to the opinion that I have, unchanged since I’ve listened to the program, that the program itself is nonsense? And, I did answer your question about whether I’ve used the program, you just didn’t listen. I said that since I wrote this article I have gotten my hands on the program, and I have listened to it. However, my kids have no need for any program (let alone one that I think is dumb). Why would I have used it on my kids if they need no correction?

  19. PSL June 30, 2010 at 10:02 am #

    Thanks Keith, as a follow-up prior to selling The Total Transformation Program, Advantage Media/Legacy Publishing Company sold pills and potions to help improve your sex life, along with memory programs, financial programs, speed reading programs and other telemarketing company products that you see on late night television. The same people are running this company and they basically re-named and re-branded themselves to appear to be something they’re not. Did you ever notice that they’ve never conducted any real clinical research to conclusively demonstrate the effectiveness of this program? That should be a huge red flag for anyone considering a program of this type because it means that none of their claims are founded on measurable evidence-based facts. In a company that is offering expert clinical advice for complex family problems you would expect to find several clinical/developmental experts with impeccable credentials guiding a company like this, now that James has passed, I’ll bet there isn’t one clinician on their senior management team. These are telemarkers preying on the emotions of desperate people to make a buck and nothing more.

  20. Stratosurfer July 6, 2010 at 8:42 pm #

    Interesting comments. I’ll say this, there is one of two cases here: you’re all trusting Keith’s assessment and you’ve not taken the time to review Mr. Lehman’s basic premises he has based his program on. OR quite simply those opposed to the program after experiencing it are opposed to teaching their children accountability and responsibility for their actions.
    My wife and I are over half way through the program and have have serious and major changes for the better with our 16 year old and 13 year old sons. We have 5 kids aged 6 through 16 and deal with a wide spectrum of im(maturity) and have found Jame’s techniques outstanding and effective.
    Their is no scam in the total transformation program. If you don’t believe it is possible that your kids can be accountable for their actions, and your not willing to train them in that direction, certainly you would not like this program.
    The basic tenet is that children must be taught they are accountable for their actions. Not so popular with some today, which I think is a shame for a kid shown this really can be ‘transformed’ into a responsible young person and hopefully productive member of society.
    Stratosurfer
    Father of Five

  21. PSL July 8, 2010 at 6:10 am #

    If you have a lot of patience and want a good laugh go to youtube and watch/listen to the series of 5 videos of this couple doing a prank call to the call center for this product. Clearly you can see that everyone becomes a highly skilled therapist at Legacy Publishing Company, including their “professional” sales agents. Enjoy.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EPUFl7Gfvgw

  22. Louise July 10, 2010 at 7:58 am #

    The bottom line to me is that even if the program will work, it is not worth paying 300+ dollars for. Meaning, it may very well be a very applicable program, but one probably can get the same information by purchasing a $20 parenting book or even checking books out from the library for free. Also, for all of those that have all that patience all the time……..I envy you. Parenting is hard and can be really ugly at times. I have found myself acting like a child….screaming and having tantrums. What has worked best for me, is to teach my children I am not perfect and neither are they. To apologize when I behave badly and to accept responsiblity for my actions and change them in the future. I was raised in an extremly dysfunctional family and was not modeled any type of “good” parenting. My best advice is, take responsiblity, love one another, make progress, get counseling (if necessary), set boundaries, do your best to have open communication and forgive your kids and yourself. The rest is up to God.

  23. SalesGuy July 27, 2010 at 3:10 pm #

    I think your “review” was blatantly irresponsible, immature, and
    based on window shopping a product you know nothing about.
    I also worked for legacy publishing/parenting/Amp/Advance. In
    fact i was one of their top salespeople while there.

    Does the program work? Maybe, if you can decipher it. The program
    lacks any cohesion and is surely not easy to read or apply.

    One thing i can say is, I spoke with many intelligent parents on the
    telephone. Its nice to write about things you dont know about and
    play house, but we fielded calls from many intelligent families who
    had problems of high severity, already tried counseling, and they were
    going borderline insane dealing with their child. When you deal with
    ODD, autism spectrum and impulse control disorders, you find yourself
    reaching in all directions for help. These kinds of behavior go beyond
    spending “quality time” as you say it. Being a parent of two, and talking
    with thousands of families, i can honestly say you are in lala land and
    dont know the subject material you try to give advice on.

    Any direct response or made for tv and radio product has a higher
    price because the cost of making it visible becomes expensive. A good
    portion of the profit is gone after you pay media, payroll, and lights.
    I suppose none of this crossed your mind though.

    You can get good advice with many books, I agree. But discounting
    parents at their whits end and calling them suckers and morons shows
    you are a child yourself, and not one to give out parenting advice.

    • Keith July 27, 2010 at 8:37 pm #

      SalesGuy: I think it’s disingenuous for you to first say you were the top sales guy of the program, then say you don’t even know if it works, and lastly to pretend to be an advocate for desperate parents. NO, you tried to sell them a program even you just admited you don’t know works. Furthermore, I specifically said, for parents with kids with actual problems, professional help is required. Let’s just assume for a second that a parent is genuinely desperate for a solution to a behavioral problem. What’s the first thing a loving parent would do to help their ailing child? Professional help regardless of the cost? Or a product that is advertised as a quick fix? Are you seriously suggesting that the Total Transformation Program is where serious people turn for quality help? Or maybe it’s where people turn who are easily conned into thinking “ODD, autism spectrum and impulse control disorders”, as you say, can be fixed with an infomercial product.

      And, you, who pretend to be an advocate. How the heck did you become the top salesman without knowing if the product works. Did you admit to the people who were about to throw away all that money that it’s “difficult to decipher”? Did you say that it “lacks cohesion”? Nope, you read the script and took their money. Well, I’m here doing the exact opposite. I’m telling people to stay the hell away from people like you who pretend to care but really just care about their job. My tone might be sardonic, but it’s much better than the alternative, which is to tell people how it’s all going to be Okay if they’ll just fork over their money — knowing full well it’s not going to be okay. Me the child? Maybe. At least I’m not a crook.

  24. SalesGuy July 28, 2010 at 7:37 am #

    I suppose i should have made further clarification.
    When i worked there, yes I believed it worked. Otherwise
    I wouldn’t have been there. I would have been conning people
    if I believed from the start that it was junk. Parents should seek
    professional help, I agree. What i said was, they already went that
    route, it wasnt working, and they tried all options. This was the
    case of many of the parents I spoke with. Psychologists/Psychiatrists
    are not like pizza. Many of these “Professionals” just wasted hundreds
    of their dollars without providing help. Going to an actual child behavioral
    specialist would be a better start, but how many of us are educated enough
    to make that choice initially, without first going through numerous
    shrinks and referrals.

    Claiming i’m an advocate is way off target. I am a parent who has
    genuine interest in the topic, and I speak from experience talking
    with thousands of families. I am surely not trying to represent anyone,
    simply to point out the abrasive careless nature of your post.

    We did have various testimonials on the wall, and I did speak with
    parents who were having success with the program. Do i think
    most people did? NO. Those that were willing to work at it and put
    the time in seemed to be happy with it. Those with less patience of
    course felt ripped off because they didnt want to put the effort in.
    I think that attitude says alot, and no program can help people that
    dont want to put in the effort.

    But I was surely not a crook as you mentioned. At the time I
    believed in the product and felt it was a good karma choice
    on my part. And honestly if a parent gets good results with
    it, and counselors and mental health services fail them, they’ve
    already spent more money than the program. A visit to a behavioral
    specialist could surpass the cost of the program in two visits. And
    of course you would “recommended” to go for months. I guess the scam
    could be on either side of the fence, and really only is determined on
    the outcome.

    • Keith July 28, 2010 at 1:01 pm #

      SalesGuy: I’ll still maintain that any serious parent would know there is no easy fix to behavior problems and that the most effective fix is almost always a lifestyle change; unfortunately most people just want easy fixes so they don’t make the tough choices. I’ve had my fair share of adversity in my life. In fact, I think everybody can claim some degree of hardship. We have a choice in how we want to deal with it. If it’s a money problem, do you fix it by playing the lottery? Not if you’re smart you don’t. If you’re obese, do you fix it without making a whole lifestyle change? No, of course not. Likewise, parenting a difficult kid is obviously going to require something more than a product from an infomercial, just like weight loss takes something more than a Gillian Michaels DVD. You’re right that most parents fail because they aren’t willing to put in the time. But, of the ones who are willing to put in the time and are dedicated to studying and making real change — why didn’t they buy a good psychology textbook if they’re really that dedicated? Why did they turn to an infomercial product? Desperation? Perhaps. But people play the lottery out of desperation too, and that doesn’t make it right. People do a lot of senseless things out of desperation. In fact, desperate people behave the MOST irrationally. That’s why preying on them is such a dirty trick. That’s how infomercials work.

  25. SalesGuy July 28, 2010 at 7:47 pm #

    Here is some insight. James was trying to peddle his approach doing seminars and selling vhs tapes. Along comes Steve Anderson, freshly breaking the ties with a past business partner. He sees potential in Lehman, has a woman ghost write the workbook, and coaches lehman through the audio recording. This woman turns his key ideas into filler material that is hard to understand and implement. James was just a social worker. He wasn’t a real shrink, and his core concepts were taken from an archaic german behavioral program. Add a sprinkle of DRTV magic, then you have “how to transform your childs behavior in one minute or less”. Besides all of these faults, you can find one true gem in this nonsense.

    If you truly wanted to help as many people as possible, you would need to be as visible as possible. If you wanted to reach all types of parents, you couldnt do that at barnes and noble. So the theory of helping as many parents as possible with a program that works would be great. It just didnt work that way.

    If you are a real behavioral therapist, an actual PHD, you realise that you use mostly the same techniques over and over again. In theory it would be possible to turn those practices into a trainable program. However, the program falls short. It is diluted and hard to use. Unless you are an intellectual type willing to put in effort (which is what you are referring to) it just wont work. Then you fight with customer service to get your money back. I believe the initial return rate is around 60%, and retention reduces returns down to 40. In the end, the karma isnt there. It becomes the same as a dick pill.

    So, Steve Anderson, you had a good run. You are literally kicking a dead horse. Its time you listen to your inner voice and change gears.

    • Keith July 28, 2010 at 7:54 pm #

      SalesGuy: Very well said! I guess we must have gotten off on the wrong foot here initially because I agree completely with what you just said. Thanks for sticking it out with me :-) Glad we could find agreement!

  26. Katie from LA August 3, 2010 at 1:20 pm #

    I have read your post multiple times have have yet to come across any SPECIFIC, FACTUAL REASON why you have reviewed the product as you have other than to say there is ‘no quick fix’. I have been researching the product and I have no intention of purchasing it from the website. I am considering buying it from Ebay. I would like to know specifically how the program is inappropriate or offers poor advice. Does it make suggestions that are potentially harmful? Are there areas of the program that are completely wrong? How have they been disproven?

    If your review is soley based on the fact that the program is $327, that simply isn’t good enough. If you have some experience with the program, some educational background or training then perhaps you are qualified to assess the program. However, you have essentially said, the program is too expensive, it doesn’t work, there’s no quick fix and anyone who buys it has no common sense and a low IQ. You have offered no supporting evidence as to how you have reached this conclusion.

    I have read many of your responses to some of the readers and frankly, they are offensive; insulting a persons intellegence rather than defend your position with supporting facts simply implies that your position is without foundation.

    If you can offer some sort of reasonable and factually supported information for your review other than ‘its too expensive and your stupid of you buy it’, I would be interested in reading your comments.

    • Keith August 3, 2010 at 1:44 pm #

      Katie: Take it or leave it. Other commenters, even some who have disagreed with me, have admitted that there is nothing new here with the product. Listen to the two guys who chimed in who once worked for the company that sells it. They both say that, after consideration, they believe the product is nothing more than a typical infomercial product that makes big promises but ultimately falls short. My article was not about the specifics of this particular product. It was about the fallacy of easy fixes. I used the product as an example of people’s willingness to believe despite their own common sense telling them it couldn’t be true. If you believe there is an easy fix to your problems then go right ahead and try it; I’m not stopping you. In fact, buy the product and use it. Then, when you get fantastic results, you can come back here and tell me all about it. Notice how none of the comments here are from people who say it’s worked? This is a blog, Katie. Not the make everybody happy network. I suggest you go find a review that says something you want to hear so you can feel more comfortable with the purchase you’re about to make. Because, after all, that’ll make all the other opinions magically irrelevant. I gave a series of good reasons why you should not believe the hype in ANY product that offers easy fixes. But, hey — do what you want.

  27. PSL August 3, 2010 at 1:51 pm #

    I agree with your last post sales guy. James was a good guy and an exceptional therapist trying to help others and retire with dignity from a long and successful career (I knew him well). The one thing they couldn’t package into this program was the relationship with him, which is why he was so successful in his private practice. Legacy Publishing does a very good job of brainwashing their employees about the program and creating an environment for their employees that is designed to make them feel like they are genuinely helping others. This is a facade. They are only interested in capitalizing on the desperation of the people calling in, their sales scripts were purposefully designed to move the customer to buy based on emotion, not logic. The sales staff are specifically trained in these methods and their performance is judged not only by how much they sell, but by how well they do it by manipulating the customer’s emotional process.. I know, I was in a position in the company to see how this was planned by senior management and implemented. If you were in sales you know this is true. I do agree that some people actually experience success with the program and I believe these are dedicated people who represent a very small segment of the buyers. I agree with Keith in that most of the people buying this are looking for a quick fix and are not committed to doing the hard work with their family members which is what really creates lasting change. As I once heard, “Commitment without change is a game”. I think it’s irresponsible to tell people that this program will really help with Developmental Disorders and severe ODD. I think that preying on the emotions of these deperate people is ethically wrong and I’m ashamed that I participated in it for as long as I did. These practices need to shown in the light of day, so struggling families can make informed choices and not fall victim to these types of manipulative and dishonest sales practices in the future.

  28. Katie from LA August 3, 2010 at 3:02 pm #

    Well, Keith, the response from you is exactly what I expected. You have not offered any specific indication or problem with the product – just that you persoanlly dislike it. The two people that you cite chimed in AFTER you wrote your article. Neither of them offer any reason or specific detail as to issues with the program. They did not say that they used it or had any other experience with it other than selling it.

    While you suggest that your article is about the fallacy of easy fixes it does not come across in your writing. You take unsolicited and unsupported shots at the product, the price, the founder of the company; you take shots at anyone who buys the product or would consider buying the product – you even in your response take a shot at me. I asked a number of very simple, straight-forward questions of which you appear to be incapable of answering. Frankly, you come off as someone who has a big chip on their shoulder and way too much time on their hands. You are not offering advice you are offering an opinion. I asked you those questions to see if you had done any kind of research or had any factual inforamtion to offer and it is clear you do not. I would suggest that you somehow quantify your commentary by clearly stating that you have absolutely NO hands-on, specific experience with this product or any other product and that the commentary in this blog is purely your baseless and irrelevant opinion.

    • Keith August 3, 2010 at 3:58 pm #

      Katie: Fine, you want some real advice. Go buy the product and see how it works for you. I really honestly don’t care. This is a BLOG, Katie. This is where I give my opinion. You can like it or dislike it. I see you dislike what I say. Do I care? Nope. Does your jumping up and down calling me names change my opinion? No, it doesn’t. I can give as thorough or as simple a review as I like, and you are free to either take it or shove it. You’ve already said you disagree. What more do you want? I don’t need permission to give you my opinion just like, if you don’t like what I’m saying, you’re free to carry on with your life as if you didn’t read what I just said. I don’t really care what you do with my opinion. My hope, naturally, is that you’d understand what I said and get something out of it. But, if you didn’t, I’m not about to change what I said just because it offended Katie from LA. Jeez — go write your own blog.

      • Jammers January 31, 2013 at 6:12 pm #

        Keith,
        There seems that there are a few individuals responding to your BLOG with disdain and discomfort. Has any of those so disgruntled by your opinion noticed that this BLOG reflects your outlook.
        In addition for those who keep stating that you only dislike the program based on the cost…
        Have any of them noticed, while reading this entire blog that you clearly indicated that you have no interest in the product based on your EXPERIENCE with it. I personally enjoy the feedback of others and can’t see why some persons can take an individuals view of a product so personally and respond so neurotically.

        Anyways I’ve enjoyed the many views of many minds. I am a single mom dealing with a 7 year old who really “tests the tumultuous, turbulent tides”. It is not easy parenting much less as a single mom. I originally found this blog while investigating the “TT” by JL because I wanted to see if other parents were as concerned with the authenticity the program attempts to symbolize. I had no intentions of spending vacation funds for such but still wanted to hear the voice of others. I’m truly enjoying your blog.

  29. Katie from LA August 3, 2010 at 6:46 pm #

    You are absolutely right, Keith. You are free to write what you please and give your opinion even if they are based on no specic factual information. The only problem that I see is credibility. Given that you have no real background, no evidentuary proof to back up what you write, why would anyone bother to read your blog? What is the point if everything you write is essentially bull? I came to your website for factual information and instead I have gotten only the spoutings of someone whom has no clue nor does he care about what he writes. I certainly do not expect you to ‘care’ about I think of you or your site. One would just naturally assume that perhaps you would take some sort of pride in what you present to the public. Telling someone to ‘shove it’ isn’t exactly the best way to garner respect. In fact, it is the best way to alienate readers. Expecting anyone to ‘get something out’ of what you write does seem to require credibility especially if you want to be taken seriously. For the record., I never called you a name or did I say that I disagreed. I simply asked you to clarify the basis for your conclusion.

    Just so you are aware, I work for a national syndication firm. We review websites and blogs for media organizations whom regularly consider purchasing and or syndicating sites that are relevant to their particular discipline. Your site was brought to our attention by one of our clients whom expressed a potential interest in approaching you. However, given our rather unpleasant exchange, it is doubtful that any consideration they may have had will be sustained.

    Good luck with your blog – Katie from LA

    • Keith August 3, 2010 at 7:33 pm #

      Katie: You missed the whole point of the article which I explained several times to you. The point was not to specifically review the Total Transformation product; it was to say that quick fixes are non-existent and to advise people to not be naive in their expectations. I used the total transformation product as a backdrop for that discussion. I explained how there is nothing new to it and how it preys on peoples desperation for a fix. I told you how real problems require real therapy and how the same advice can be gathered from a good book for a fraction of the cost. You have repeated how you think I’m stupid because I didn’t give you the detailed review you were looking for. I’m sorry, Katie, for the 4th time, that was never the point. You missed it. Continuing to complain that I wasn’t thorough enough for your taste misses the point. I am not going to please everybody, and I don’t want to. I get a lot of people disagreeing with me, Katie. Sometimes we can be respectful to each other and just agree to disagree. Sometimes though I get someone like you who seems to think it’s ok to come be rude right off the bat. Reread your first comment here. It was downright rude. I don’t have to put up with that. I published it because I thought, “Wow, look at how rabid this lady is. That’s sorta funny.” Then, to my surprise, you kept getting more and more agitated. What causes someone like you to get so worked up over something so dumb. It’s just a blog post, calm down.

      You’re a real estate appraiser by the way. Nice try on the bullshit line though. Besides I have no need to sell anything to anybody so I’m not sure what you’re trying to say. Are you under the impression that I should make you happy because you can do something for me (which by the way I wouldn’t want even if it were true)? Is that your game? If it is then that’s pretty lame.

      • Greg June 11, 2012 at 9:41 pm #

        Keith, your comment here is so much more clear as to your intent of this blog posting than the blog posting itself.

        Having read everything up to this point, you came across as very egotistical and judgmental of everyone who doesn’t see things your way. Your posting came across as a specific review of Total Transformation, a program of which you hadn’t tried yet decided it was your place to put down. You may not have meant it to come across that way, but it certainly did.

        It’s a shame you weren’t as to the point in your original posting as you were here, a lot of misunderstand could have been prevented on all sides and your posting would have been taken for what you intended rather than a review of Total Transformation.

        Bloggers have received a bad rap for reviewing products of which they haven’t tried or researched properly. Opinions given in a review should have a basis other than “only an idiot would do that” if one wants credibility in the eyes of your readers, otherwise, your readers will find other blogs to read.

        Thankfully, the two past employees clarified many things about this product, otherwise, I would left this blog with the impression that this blog was a total waste.

        While I now understand your point, its a shame I had to read this far to reach that understanding.

    • Keith August 3, 2010 at 10:55 pm #

      Katie: Your last comment was sent directly to my spam folder and will not be published because you have become irate and unhinged. Nobody wants to hear about what a big-shot you are and how you hold the fate of blogs in your hands. Really, grow up a little and come back when you’ve calmed down and are ready to admit that this blog (and most blogs) are nothing but opinions that frequently are at odds with other people’s opinions. This is like life, Katie. As in life, if you and I don’t agree, you have a few choices. You can walk up to me and yell about how bad and unqualified I am which is likely to cause me to get a little upset. You can politely disagree and state your own opinion (to which I would be happy to listen) or, lastly, you could ignore me altogether. The second and the third options are the ones that are acceptable to me. I don’t make money on this blog (at least not much) and I don’t need to. I do it for fun and personal enjoyment. Please try to get past yourself and move on.

  30. jr August 22, 2010 at 10:07 am #

    Please tell me what $20 book to buy that has all the same information as TT. It is obvious that you have this product and other books that you have carefully compared.

    • Keith August 22, 2010 at 10:15 am #

      JR: Hey, yeah, go to half price books and buy a used child psychology text book. That’s what I did. Or you could go all out and buy a big child psychology textbook brand new for 100 bucks. Still a massive savings! Oh, wait — go to a college book store and buy a used one or just search the book shelves for “abnormal child psychology”. It’s really not hard. If you can’t find a book, perhaps you can get your local librarian to teach you the Dewey Decimal system. That’s right! Books are also FREE at libraries. :-)

  31. jr August 22, 2010 at 11:07 am #

    All psychology books must say the exact same thing on the topic then. Products may be a scam to some and not to others. Who cares what people spend their money on. It is the business practices of the company that matters. You have to look at the definition of scam to know the difference. Business in general is self serving these days. Maybe that is the key to the behavioral problems, a self serving society and self serving parents, who don’t know what to do with naturally self serving kids.

    • Keith August 22, 2010 at 11:20 am #

      JR: The thing about child psychology is that, yes, the textbooks say pretty much the same things. There are, of course, different areas of child psychology, and therefore different books on different subjects. But, believe me, no infomercial product is going to give you a real education is psychology. It’s just the regurgitation information that can be found in any basic undergrad psychology class. Besides, you can’t seriously be suggesting that James Lehman’s little program is a comprehensive psychology course or even anywhere close to being a psychology education. Anything you want to be good at requires diligent study. That includes parenting. Go to the library and it’s all there for free. You just have to look.

  32. jr August 22, 2010 at 12:00 pm #

    No I am not supporting this product or suggesting that the program is a psychology course. My original post was a question as to what book has the same information. I doubt this program is anywhere close to a textbook so I question the comparison of the two in your reply. I also do not understand everyone having such a problem with the price. To call parents who purchase something names and indicate that if they just read a $20 book they would get the same information seems irrational. If it works for someone at 20 or 300 dollars why does it matter? If something doesn’t work for someone and is guaranteed then the business should hold to their word. Just because a business has no integrity its doesn’t mean their product or customers are crap. Why not focus on business policies rather than the content and customers of a product I doubt you have purchased or used yourself. I came to this page looking for an honest negative opinion on an actual product. I’m just frustrate with opinion blogs that really have nothing to do with the product or subjects they seem to be intended for.

    • Keith August 22, 2010 at 12:18 pm #

      JR: You’ll notice that I didn’t review the product. All I did was point out that nothing that claims to be an easy fix could actually possibly be an easy fix. The total transformation product is advertised as an easy fix to a very serious problem. Thus, it’s an easy target for ridicule because anybody knows that psychology is not an easy subject — so why would they think fixing a child psychology issue would be easy? I’ve talked about other infomercial products before as well. I’ve talked about bowflex products and other fitness crap that implies that with only 15 minutes a day you can get in shape. I have experience with that stuff because I’m a fitness buff and I know what it ACTUALLY takes to get in shape. Likewise, I’m a homeschooling parent who has tons of experience both teaching (I was a public school teacher for several years as well) and just generally interacting with my own kids. Their psychology is not an easy nut to crack. If my kids, who are generally well behaved, can have difficult episodes then just imagine what a kid who has serious problems would be like to deal with. You don’t need an in depth review of the Total Transformation product to know it’s bull crap.

      If you’re frustrated with opinion blogs, then don’t read them. This post has everything to do with the Total Transformation product. If you buy it thinking you’re getting an easy solution then, I’m sorry, you’ve been had. The parents who turn to this are ones who fall for the pitch that their lives can be easy. Yes, the advertiser is underhanded, but the consumer is pretty thick to fall for it.

  33. Larry Stahl September 4, 2010 at 10:27 pm #

    AlmightyDad?That sort of says it all about you and your “opinions”! How DARE anyone disagree with the “AlmightyDad”!

    • Keith September 4, 2010 at 10:59 pm #

      Larry: That’s right. I have mind control over you. You ABSOLUTELY MUST agree with me. Did it work? HAHAHAHAHHA :-) You’re funny.

      By the way, I see your twitter account is “famousplumber” Um, somehow I doubt that. Quit being a hypocrite and just admit we pick names for ourselves that are SEO friendly and catchy. Do I really think I’m almighty, Larry? Don’t be an imbecile.

  34. Larry Stahl September 5, 2010 at 12:49 pm #

    Keith,

    First, I am no imbecile. I appreciate your sense of humor, though. I am “famousplumber” on Twitter and many other places. I actually am a
    retired plumber with over 40 years in the trenches. You are totally correct:
    “famousplumber” is a branding device. I make no attempt to conceal that. If you perused my Twitter site you must have noticed my “mission statement”
    that I believe in truth and honesty on the web and in everything I do. I don’t engage in ridiculous “one-time-offers” or absurd upsell attempts. Thanks again for your honest answer.

    Larry “famousplumber” Stahl
    aka: The Imbecile!

  35. jenaell867 September 6, 2010 at 3:28 pm #

    After another day of many that has been ruined by my 11 yr old step son’s behavior and attitude.I am thinking about buying then Total Transformation program. Before buying anything i always look for reviews from other real people. So far after searching for 2 hours yours is the only negative review I have found. I believe everyone is entitled to thier opinion and have nothing negative to say, it is just your opinion and i have a comment that i hope will be posted: When as a parent you are at your wits end, when you cry because you are sad for a child, when you want the child to be happy and just communicate with you. When you want the uneccessary meaness from one child to another child to stop. When you know you are a good parent and can not figure out what you are doing wrong that makes a child so angry, inconsiderate, ugly, arumentative and self destructive. When all you want is your entire family to be happy and love each other, as a parent you will do anything. $320 is a drop in a bucket for what I would spend to help him and us. So even if it is a scam I will know in my heart that whatever the cost, time and effort, i have tried and if it works it will be the best $320 I will ever spend. I hope that other parents who read your blog will not be discouraged to try anything. And there is a 30 day money back guarantee. So if you dont think it will work for you, all you are out is the shipping and the time. Yeah I think it is worth a shot. More importantly I think he is worth it.

    • Keith September 6, 2010 at 3:46 pm #

      Jenaell: You sound like someone selling the product, janaell. I find that strange. While your argument sounds good on the surface, it doesn’t make much sense. I’m not saying that to be rude, but lets be honest. What you’re essentially saying is that you’ll try anything as long as the promise is that it’ll help. Don’t you suppose that’s why vitamin supplements sell so well? That’s why Acai and goji berries sell like crazy. That’s exactly why weight loss scams will ALWAYS work. It’s a winning formula for people selling stuff, and it’s been done from the beginning of commerce — snake oil. In fact, your argument sounds exactly like what I would expect to hear from someone SELLING the product. You even talk about a 30 day money back guarantee! All this before you supposedly have even made up your mind? Well, why even look at reviews if you’re convinced you’d do it anyway because you “love” your son so much and you’d do “anything” for him? Why not buy some lottery tickets while your at it? Or, you know, if you’re overweight you could drink a tonic that’ll help instead of working out and eating well. Hmmm, I’m sorry, but it doesn’t add up. It’s ONLY 320 bucks. Wouldn’t YOU spend that for YOUR son? “Why of course I would. How silly of me to think my son isn’t worth 320 dollars.” Um, Jenaell, that’s insulting to one’s intelligence.

  36. jenaell867 September 6, 2010 at 4:57 pm #

    OUCH! No I am not selling the product, lol. It does sound like you are a all around skeptic of this program and people. I am sorry it if seemed as though i was insulting you, i was not my intention. My reply was intended to not discourage anyone from atleast trying and to not make them feel stupid for wanting to try it. The “30 day money back guarantee” comment well that was my justification for waisting my money and time I guess. But then again, i have bought lottery tickets before. I have ordered the program and if you are interested in another opinion i will be glad to let you know how it is going. I am under the impression that you are looking for opinions and repsonses since you have “post a comment” on your page. But perhaps you should clarify that.

    • Keith September 6, 2010 at 5:18 pm #

      Jenaell: The bottom line is this: You said you looked all over google and this is the “only” negative review you found. I can tell you why that is. Everybody else is selling it or is being paid by the distributor to link to a sales page. That’s how “reviews” work. The seller tries to flood the first two pages with positive reviews by paying bloggers to say good things about their product. Why the first two pages? Because people don’t look beyond that generally. So, if I’m the only negative review you find, it’s not because I’m the crazy; it’s because I’m the only one who isn’t selling you the product! HAHA. I’ve built this blog without being bought by anybody to say anything. That’s a rarity with my kind of blog, and I’m proud of it. Unlike other people, my opinion is without financial motive (I make about 40 cents a day on adsense not related to Total Transformation). I get hacked all the time for being the only guy saying negative things about various products. People say “well, EVERYBODY else is saying good thing. Your opinion must be wrong.” Um, no. You repeated to me just about every reason all these other websites give for buying the product. It’s not a big risk considering the potential reward. There’s a money back guarantee. That led me to believe you’re either one of them, or you’ve read so many of them that you adopted the marketing speak. There’s a reason they do it. It works. It has always worked, and everybody is susceptible to it. A general rule of thumb which your mother told you and everybody always says. If it seems to good to be true — it is. Same holds true on the internet.

  37. Aaron September 8, 2010 at 10:59 am #

    Ok,

    I stumbled across your website when looking for other people’s opinion of the TT. As opposed to you, I’ve actually listened to the product and I’m a Pediatrician as well.

    I think there’s a fair amount of truth to your argument that there’s nothing new in the system. Having read “1-2-3, Magic!”, New Child by Friday, Happiest Toddler on the Block, Getting to Calm, Bringing up Boys/Girls, etc…plus several Child Psychology texts the TT repackages common information in a easy to digest format. Alot of it comes down to consistency, responsibility, consequences and persistence. Pick up a selection of books from the parenting section of amazon and you’ll get the same information.

    That’s the problem, though. People don’t read, or at least they don’t make time to read. That’s where I think the audio lessons are worthwhile. Pop them in the car, listen to them to/from work. There is a work-book to complete after the lesson that helps personalize the information to the child and drive the information home. For this reason I can see a market for this product, and the information in it is not wrong, just nothing new. Parents typically aren’t well equipped for challenging children and parent the way they were parented. If your child is a mini-you, then this works. In my practice I find this is never the case and so parents need to learn to approach their own children differently. They need instruction, which the TT provides, but again other texts do as well.

    The marketing is a little misleading, as most of what Mr. Lehman says on the CD is not information that will change your child overnight and he states as much. The “10 phrases that will stop bad behavior” do actually work, but again these are things you can get elsewhere. Is it $300 worth of information? I think if it helps get the point across to parents who aren’t readers/won’t make the time to read then it’s possibly worth it. If you were to see me in the clinic, a behavior visit is typically at $200-400 charge depending on how long it takes, so that’s one consideration.

    So, having completed the program I think there is valuable information there, but honestly can’t say it’s worth $300. If it gets the information to a non-reading parent, then it might be more valuable. If anyone is expecting an overnight fix, won’t happen here, but again while this is marketing, the CDs push the point of change overtime and persistence. I could also argue that dropping $300 on a program is likely going to make parents want to complete it, vs $20 on a book that never gets read.

    • Keith September 8, 2010 at 11:20 am #

      Aaron: Being a pediatrician is pretty irrelevant to the topic of psychology, but I guess stating your credentials lends at least perceived weight to everything else you say. So, the BS intro aside, I agree with everything else you say. People don’t read because people are generally lazy, and an audio program might seem like a good option for those folks. However, for everybody who says they really care about their kids but who are still too lazy to pick out a few good books, how much of the program (which putting into practice is a lot tougher than actually listening to) are they really going to employ? Perhaps they’ll absorb enough to make a difference, and maybe the program really does take that into account — cramming everything into people’s heads in the hope that something will stick. Yeah, I can see that. And you’re right also that spending more sometimes causes people feel compelled to do the program. I bought a 3,000 dollar guitar 15 years ago for that very reason. I figured I couldn’t spend that kind of money without actually doing it. And I learned because I couldn’t live with the shame of wasting the money. Also, what you say about the misleading advertising is spot on right! I actually agree that the program WILL probably work. I seriously doubt there anything wrong with his advice. However, it can’t POSSIBLY be as easy as the marketing makes it seem. That’s what I was trying to say.

  38. Tinny September 8, 2010 at 7:57 pm #

    @John who wrote “I’ve worked with psychologists and psychiatrists, and not one of them has ever made the claims that James Lehman makes on his infomercials, regarding a 1,2,3 step “plan” to control your kids.” John, of course they won’t. Talk about money-makers! Why “cure” someone if I can create an annuity of office visits for the next 5 – 10 years? Few in this field have enough integrity to limit the duration of their services . . . or to offer some practical advice on a series of CD’s and workbooks.
    @Keith: They’re paying for the packaging –the work it took JL to create a learning system for the adult. Now, they don’t have to read a dozen texts and to Aaron’s point (implied), the principles are reinforced through audio and the workbooks. We use multi-sensory technology in other learning, why not here? Sorry, but you’re way off on this one.

    • Keith September 8, 2010 at 8:20 pm #

      Tinny: I disagree. No, they aren’t paying for packaging because packaging only increases costs slightly. They are however paying for marketing, so you have a valid point there. I don’t think anybody, including myself, is arguing that James gives bad advice or that he’s wrong. What I’m saying is that the claims that this is easy and that you can “fix” your kid in just a few simple steps is outrageous. No such thing exists. Now, if they were to market it as a program by which a studious parent can methodically pinpoint a problem, learn about why the problem is happening, and then fix said problem with time tested techniques — I wouldn’t have a problem with that. It’s the marketing claims here that are at issue. There is no such thing as an easy fix for this sort of problem.

  39. Jen September 9, 2010 at 3:06 am #

    Thank you. I took my child to psychs for years. She said things like, “You are remarkable with her.” That didn’t stop me from feeling like pulling my hair out with my child. She came from a family full of mental illness, and even being in a loving household just didn’t help. I’m still wishing for a good program to come along that helps parents deal with hard-to-deal-with type kids.
    Saying that, I also want to thank the author of this blog, as it did get me thinking. You’re right that there’s always someone out there ready to prey on the STRUGGLES of others. It made me give a second thought to this program. And then when you said you’d seen the program and it’s incoherent, it just furthered my leeriness of purchasing this program. (I wish they gave examples, instead of expecting you to dish-out so much money blindly!)

  40. PSL September 21, 2010 at 11:34 am #

    That’s the way telemarketing companies make money. They are looking for people to make their purchasing decisions in an impulsive fashion from a position of emotional neediness or distress, not from a position of thoughtful investigation and research. They do prey on the emotional distress of their customers in a predatory fashion and this company is no exception to this practice. If you look at most telemarketing products they are usually solution oriented products that address significant problems with seemingly simple methods and promise almost instant relief (turn your child’s attitude around in a minute or less). They are hoping that the emotional need will drive the sale. Once they have your money they make it very difficult for you to get it back regardless of what kind of guarantee they offer. They have to offer a 30-day guarantee by law, but typically they run you around and around in their customer service process hoping you’ll simply give up which means you’ll go beyond the 30-day period and have to pay them based on the original purchase agreement. The Total Transformation Program is helpful for parents who are committed to developing and changing their relationship with their children by devoting the time and energy needed to obtain meaningful, lasting results. Unfortunately too many parents look at a program like this as if it were a series of “magic” phrases and words only. If you do something like this successfully it changes both you as the caregiver and the child because the nature of your relationship changes. Working with difficult children is hard and takes time, there is no magic wand. If you’re interested in reading about working with difficult children in a manner similar to this at a lower cost, I’d suggest looking at books written by Ross Greene, PhD.

  41. Heather in Seattle October 1, 2010 at 4:50 pm #

    Keith,

    Thanks for your blog, I appreciate your no-nonsense, common sense perspective. But I think you’re beating your head against a wall, at least with this one. It’s obvious from the comments that most people don’t really think. I was going to say a bunch of other stuff but I think I’ll just leave it at that.

    Heather

  42. Crankfueled October 5, 2010 at 5:44 pm #

    Just so you know… Advertising requires them to sell the total transformation program as a quick fix. As 10 magic words etc. However the program is a very straightforward process that does require the parent to work at it. No one is claiming that it’s going to turn EVERY SINGLE kid around in 30 minutes. YOU are the idiot if you are taking an infomercial at face value. You could buy hundreds of child psychology books and piece together the same information that the TT has. Or you could make the investment and receive a program that gathers all that info up into a step by step process that will not only inform you but also give strong advice as to how to deal with each situation. I would urge you to listen to the program yourself before dedicating a website to bashing it.

  43. Crankfueled October 5, 2010 at 5:50 pm #

    FYI The TT now has an option where if you complete a survey as you go through the program within 90 days then you will get a complete refund of the product price. Which pretty much negates your entire argument.

    • Keith October 5, 2010 at 7:05 pm #

      Crankfueled: Like you said, don’t take an advertisement at face value. YOU did say that, right? You actually think money back guarantees are that easy? They put in a money back guarantee because they have to, not because they’re going to make it easy to get your money back. This is actually something I know quite a bit about. Many many people have had a nightmare time trying to get their money back from The Total Transformation scam. You should know better than to use the money back guarantee for an argument. You just made yourself sound silly, because everybody who’s ever had any dealings with as sold on TV products knows that getting your money back is next to impossible. So, take your own advice, Crankfueled, and don’t listen to the advertising. I find it amazing that you only want to apply that advice to PART of the advertising, but not the part you think helps your argument.

  44. PSL October 13, 2010 at 9:17 am #

    Advertising doesn’t require them to make exaggerated claims that their program is a quick fix………they choose to market their product that way. They choose to make all of these claims about how effective their product is and then flood their web sites/affiliate’s web sites with positive testimonials, prop it up with purchased bogus awards and paid endorsements by other professionals. They’ve done no real objective clinical research to prove that their specific claims about the effectiveness of the methods they are teaching in this program are based in fact. The Total Transformation is not evidence-based treatment. This means there is no clinical research to support their claims which means they have no scientific proof that what they say their product will do is based on objective scientific tests or studies done on this product. Many of their competitors have contracts with state child agencies and programs where this program doesn’t, they don’t because the treatment they are selling has not been tested clinically and is not evidence-based. No insurance companies, no state agencies will buy into any treatment program that isn’t evidence based. Controlled publishing of selected consumer opinions is not evidence that this works, it’s evidence that they do a pretty good job of controlling what you see. It’s called advertising, not fact. The company is run by sales people, not real clinicians, so they don’t really understand the importance of supporting clinical claims with reliable research. Finally, the remarks about the money back guarantee are laughable at best. I’ve seen how they train their customer service staff in this company first hand. I can tell you that they run people around and around who are trying to get their money back. If you believe they are reliable based on the 30-day guarantee and their “we’ll give you the program for free” lines, then P.T. Barnum was right – there is one born every minute.

  45. mother2 October 27, 2010 at 11:58 pm #

    Just wanted to ad some insight.. I actually did try this program a few years back on my 12 year old at the time. There were a lot of issues and while going to counseling I thought it would help give me some different ideas to help on some issues. The thing is if the child is not willing to better themselves its not going to work. The person themselves have to be willing to change. We can do our best to try and fix things that are broken, but it doesn’t always work. Sometimes you have to go a different route. This program worked for a few weeks and that was it. I agree that seeking help from someone that could actually sit down with the two or three or however many is in your family is the better way. To talk about what in their past is bothering them instead of trying to cover it up. This is a quick fix. Maybe just maybe if your child is not that bad it will work, but for ones who are having major psychological problems, etc… it is not going to.. at least in my experience..

    • runaway March 1, 2013 at 1:30 pm #

      I a recently grown person who was previously a prime child candidate to drive a parent to this type of product. I have 5 brothers and sisters, all were much better behaved then me. I believe my mother thought that to have me diagnosed with mental, emotional, or learning imbalances would be irrelevant since there was not a chance in hell she would ever have me medicated. I took my parents from their wits end since i was 10 years old. I was disrespectful, emotionally unstable, verbally innapropriate, insubordinate, occasionally violent, to sum it up i was extaordinarily lacking self control. The point of this is to prove my credability that i was in fact a misbehaving child. No fault should fall on my parents, i was fully aware of all the decisions i made (with the exception of when i was in some form of emotional outrage) i intentionally acted that way for so long it became habit. I didnt want to change, i brushed off everybodys attempts to make me see what i was becoming, and what i was getting in my life with my immaturity. I can attest that untill i truly believed i needed to change i never worked at it, and any outside force would fall on deaf ears.

      I dont know shit, but i would guess that as a parent you just need to accept that you dont get to have any control over how your child turns out. If you do everything right or everything wrong your kid could still turn out a successful business owner, a world renowned artist, a salesperson, a drug addict, or dead. In almost every possibility it is not up to you and you have no idea if your child will be receptive to you or your attempts at teaching them.

  46. Dadto5 November 9, 2010 at 5:45 pm #

    I am a divorced Dad to 5, ranging in age from 34 to 10. While I appreciate many of the comments made, I feel compelled to add my own. My youngest son is adopted and has severe emotional issues. Since the age of 5, he has been suspended from school for bullying, being disrespectful, etc. He has been institutionalized at least 4 times and has been placed on every medication known to the practice. His episodes are too numerous to list and range from mouthing off to felony assault (he’s 12). He has been counselled by no fewer than 5 psychiatrists, as many psychologists, social workers, special ed teachers, ad infinitum. Having come to frustration with the feel-good approach, I reached out to try this one more resource. Yes, it was $299 plus shipping. However, Legacy Publishing was true to their word and just last week deposited that $299 back in to my account as promised. The thing I am learning from listening to this program and finding ways to marry it in to the other ideas already in place is that of personal responsibility. I have allowed many of his behaviors to become the norm because I was intimidated. I have made exceptions for him that left his siblings in the shadows. For the price of shipping, I have finally found myself looking in a mirror and not liking what I see. I do not blame myself for his organic deficincies or his biological bent. Those are things beyond my control. I do blame myself and my ex for having cushioned him in his behavior and making accomodation rather than just shutting him down. We have allowed it for so long that it is not a “quick fix”, if it can indeed be fixed at all. However, at this point, I am open to any suggestions, no matter how “common sense” they may be. If I paid out $27 to get a few CD’s of reminders, I win. Hopefully my son wins too.

    • Momma September 5, 2011 at 1:18 pm #

      Gee, a boy first loses his biological mother and father, then his adopted parents shatter his new family by divorcing. And we’re surprised that he is acting out? But, I guess he’ll always have his “bad seed” status to blame, rather than acknowledging that he has had to pay and pay again for the bad decisions of the grownups who let him down.

      And by the way, when a boy begins having trouble the instant he enters elementary school, and he’s already known to be emotionally fragile, might parents consider homeschooling? Or does that put too much of a crimp in the household budget to have mom stay home and take some extra responsibility for the child she and her husband agreed to love and care for and sacrifice for to give him the best possible upbringing they can? It’s obtuse to think that an emotionally fragile child should handle the stresses of being locked up with teachers and children 8 hours a day as well as a child from a loving, in tact, natural family. Just keep cramming that square peg into the round hole, and lament the fact that his corners are now bent.

  47. Erika November 9, 2010 at 10:10 pm #

    Thank you to everyone that has posted a comment. My husband and I were about to make a huge mistake. For those that are trying this product I wish you luck, I pray it helps. For us; My parents managed and so did theirs, we will find our way without increasing the wallet size of someone who does not have my childs best interests in mind – if they did; then when they say the program is free, then it should be free. Again, Thank You.

  48. Bromius November 10, 2010 at 4:12 pm #

    Good article Keith and it is a briarpatch out there trying to find critical information about this product. I will confess however that I am at my wits end and the mustache bearer’s program was beginning to sound pretty inviting. I think the attraction for some is not so much wanting an easy fix as simply wanting a different approach.

    I have been working with my boy’s anger management for two years now and the value of this investment is worse then my 401k at the moment. He’s a sweet thoughtful and considerate 4 year old. Incredibly intelligent. Has amazing focus and memory. Just a great kid. But when he gets angry he is completely incapable of self-correcting, and he ends up in a fit or becoming aggressive. It’s at the point where his ability to attend pre-school is in question.

    Does my boy need a psychiatrist… I doubt it but what I’m doing now isn’t working. I didn’t realize the guy wanted $300 for his book (or whatever) but if there were a legitimate review of the product that showed it to be even marginally beneficial it would be $300 well spent.

    I think some of your critic’s here have a legitimate complaint in that you dismiss the product based on a preconceived belief that it cannot work instead of on any systematic or scientific approach. Using your reasoning, someone at risk of a heart attack should do the hard work of reforming his diet and exercise and then leave it at that come what may. Drugs like Lipitor must be a scam because they promise to reduce cholesterol yet they charge large amounts of $$ to do it.

    The difference of course is that scads of objective reviews of lipitor were conducted before it could be sold and the shop-broom (look at the guy’s mustache) can just put out what he likes. So why not add value instead of mere philosophy and test the product? People would love to hear the review of a trusted and objective source like yourself.

    • Keith November 10, 2010 at 5:23 pm #

      Bromius: That’s the problem. there is no science behind this product. Lipitor went through close to a billion dollars worth of research before it was accepted by the FDA. The Total Transformation thing is nothing more than someone’s opinion — it isn’t based on science, and it has not been approved by any psychiatric association. I’ve heard from people who say it works. That’s fine — but since there aren’t any associations willing to put their stamp on it, it’s a sure bet that this is just an attempt to separate you from your money. Like I said before, this is not a review of the product. I didn’t pick it up and say what’s good and what’s bad about it, in the same way I’ve done with Hooked on Phonics, Rosetta Stone, Singapore Math and other products. I’m simply warning people about the obvious flaws that any objective person would see if they weren’t desperate and not seeing clearly. Unfortunately, Desperate people will always say, “well, you didn’t mention… and you didn’t do this right.” Well, they might have a point, but not paying attention to the obvious correctness of what I’ve said is their own blindness talking. For someone who has their mind made up, there will never be enough depth.

  49. Bromius November 10, 2010 at 7:33 pm #

    “I didn’t pick it up and say what’s good and what’s bad about it, in the same way I’ve done with Hooked on Phonics, Rosetta Stone, Singapore Math and other products.”

    Why not? Look, I agree that the whole system looks like snake oil. It’s certainly marketed that way. But when you make a positive assertion, a statement of fact, it is your responsibility to back that claim up. It is your responsibility to engage a reasonable amount of due diligence and academic rigor before making the claim in the first place.

    The alternative is to couch you statement in weasel words and present it as an opinion based on your impression of the product’s marketing. Have you purchased the product? I could tell you that everything in George Bush’s new book is false because the man is obviously a liar, but since I haven’t read it how much value am I adding to the conversation?

    If you are premising your statements on what is ‘obviously’ true (you do twice) then they are on shaky ground. What is obviously true is often false. How long ago was the earth ‘obviously’ flat?

    • Keith November 10, 2010 at 7:56 pm #

      Bromius: I’m sorry, but I have to disagree. If we approach everything that sounds dubious (and follows the same pattern of other proven scams, using the same techniques and the same rhetoric) through a naive lens — well, we’re just asking for a bunch of wasted time. Total Transformation uses all the same scammy sales rhetoric and claims as every other clearly shoddy product and self help nonsense on the market. I’m on pretty safe ground here. Even if people disagree, which a lot of people do, it’s still not my responsibility to do anything other than write my opinion. Now, to some degree I can see where your criticism is because a lot of people who come here are looking for something other than what I’ve provided. And, you know, I can see where they’re not going to be satisfied. However, the simple truth is that, yes, I could have done a full review of the product and turned it into a full on scientific and objective thing; I just didn’t because I didn’t anticipate the blog ever getting the amount of traffic that it has gotten. The time/money investment wasn’t worth the effort at the time of publication. But, since it’s such a hot button topic, perhaps a time will come that I have a good incentive to spend the 300 bucks myself. Heck, if Total Transformation wanted to send it to me for free like Hooked on Phonics (of similar value) has done. Heck, I’d do that, and I’d try to be as fair as possible. But, for now I’m just sticking with my personal impression based on the pattern of sales rhetoric that points to it being a dubious product.

  50. Sherri November 18, 2010 at 12:02 pm #

    Thing is, some folks apparently DO need to be taught how to implement a “culture of accountability” for their kids — most likely because they were never taught such skills themselves. Getting spanked is not the same as accepting responsibility. In fact, it actually encourages the opposite, since the lesson becomes one of avoiding the punishment rather than analyzing one’s decision-making process and role in the act that led to it. I liken it to jail without rehab. But, that’s the world we live in. Sort of a “it’s the culture stupid!” kind of thing. Simple fixes, simple messages, simple thinking…is all the rage nowadays.

    You know, I found it funny that you used the comparison to “Dog Whisperer,” because I can’t believe the show is still going strong after five years on the air. It’s like, who hasn’t gotten it by now? But that’s how it is with some people. No matter how many times Cesar tells dog owners that it’s THEIR behavior that needs to change, folks still approach him with the request that he fix their dog. As if it’s the dog that’s “broken.”

    That’s the first thing I thought about when I saw the TT commercial. I knew immediately that the idea that a product existed to fix “unruly” kids would instantly appeal to parents lacking the manipulative skills to manage the younger human beings in their presence. Forget “Are you smarter than a 5th grader?” there are parents out there who lack the skill to outwit a 2-year-old, just as there are dog owners overwhelmed by chihuahuas.

    And it’s because of them that I hesitate to call it a total scam. Do I think it’s a waste of money? Absolutely. But then, I know how to manage most kids I run across, even the supposedly “bad” ones. Much of it has to do with recognizing their humanity (i.e., not buying into the media meme that presents kids as being almost separate species) and allowing them appropriate outlets for their very normal, very human emotions as you – in your role as a parent – teach them how to handle those emotions in age-appropriate ways.

    Now, like you said, those with psychological issues need parents willing to spend such money seeking professional help. But for the vast majority of parents who simply lack parenting skills, like it or not, this product is probably better than nothing at all…since the underlying goal seems to involve manipulating the parent into changing whatever ineffective tactics they’ve been employing with their kids.

    And if the Lehmans could convince parents to fork over $300 for a couple of CDs full of “common” sense, well, more power to them, I say. To be honest, considering all of the free advice I’ve given over the years, I wish I’d thought of it first.

    • Keith November 18, 2010 at 12:30 pm #

      Sherri: That’s very well said. I can agree with that. It seems that everything James is pitching is common sense, but I suppose you’re right that common sense isn’t so common :-)

  51. David November 24, 2010 at 7:25 pm #

    I can completely understand everyone’s mistrust and wariness when it comes to late night infomercials and supposed miracle cures, however, James Lehman’s product has made me rethink those prejudice and unfounded views. I could go on a rant here, but the fact is James Lehman was a man who stuck by his word and was not anyone who would try to scam anyone, especially parents with parenting issues. I personally knew James, he worked with me in my youth and helped me significantly (If you don’t believe me ask my mother) I particularly remember when my mother was torn between helping her son and being able to afford the bill. James significantly reduced his cost for her because he was a good man and cared about families.James was also a person in addiction recovery(no-secret) and was hugely respected in the Portland Maine area. Part of that program teaches spiritual principles in all facets of life and James espoused this ideal. I really don’t know if this program works or not, but I do know that James believes it does or he would not sell it. To call this a scam is distasteful, completely ignorant, and quite frankly disrespectful to a man who loved to help people. RIP JAMES!

    • Keith November 25, 2010 at 8:52 am #

      David: A person’s death does not suddenly make criticism distasteful.

  52. PSL November 30, 2010 at 2:47 pm #

    I agree that James was a stand-up guy who was genuine and trustworthy. He was a spiritual man who lived what he believed in and was a mentor for many people. Unfortunately the telemarketing company that is selling his program couldn’t be more unlike him. I hope they don’t tarnish his legacy, he was a good man.

  53. karen November 30, 2010 at 8:56 pm #

    When complaining it’s nice to see a solution. Hope some of this helps. My son is now in his second year of college and daughter a year away.
    I agree with you that, this was a timely product with “magic” words that screamed “SCAM” to people with common sense who know parenting a child doesn’t happen over night and there is no quick fix for behavioral problems.The people who say you have to purchase it to see if those “magic” words work before you can comment on it are probably desperate people who are at their wits end for a quick fix for their own lack of parenting skills that is becoming painfully obvious because now the kids are taking it to school and the teachers are not tolerating such gross lack of social skills. It takes 30 days to form a habit and 30 to break them.None of us were born with social skills. It has to be taught or learn it the hard way.
    Parenting is also a learned skill. It took years for the kids to be like that and nothing will stop them in one day. It’s a daily, consistent, behavior pattern that has to be taught and reinforced at any time the child steps out of boundary or compliance.
    1 Adults do not argue with children. You are teaching your child to disrespect other adults as well when you lower yourself to a child’s status.
    2. Adult parents are not “friends” with their children. Now they think they can be “friends” with other adults and speak to them disrespectfully. Parents will always be parents, but friends come and go. It ‘s the parent who shows up in an emergency, not the friend. Parents are the responsible one who take care of you no matter what. Having a close bond with your child is normal, but do you really “hangout” like you would with an adult friend? Don’t devalue your role and title because of your lack of understanding of what a parent means to a child.
    Have you ever seen a child tell a parent s/he doesn’t know anything in front of other adults? Ouch!
    3. Children need boundaries or they will disrespect you.
    4. Have standards or expectations of how to behave. Children need to be told how to behave before setting foot in public. How else will they know how to behave? You the parent have to teach them. Also set consequence for their actions. Follow through with consequence immediately at all times no matter what.The longer the delay means the more confused and resentful the child will be about how your reaction hours after the incident has already passed and he has long forgotten about what he did. It might be uncomfortable for you to leave a nice dinner, movie etc, before finishing but doing so will show your child you are the adult parent and you are in control- not s/he.
    5. Don’t make promises of rewards unless you can show it to them right there and then, because if they don’t have it they don’t care if they never get it. . Instead, give them things they are dying to have and after getting them those prized possessions then make losing those things the consequence for noncompliant behavior. That works wonders.
    4. Children need consistency in what you say and do or they will become confused and lose trust in you being true to your word and they will disrespect you for that.
    5. Children need a good role model. If they see or hear you do something that seems out of good character they become disrespectful very quickly. It’s almost like getting license for being rude because you are not showing good judgement. That could be adultery if they see you with someone else, that could be lying, or even speaking rudely to his/her mom or dad. etc. Don’t do anything questionable in front of them. Keep adult conversation and problems with adults- other wise kids worry and try to assume adult roles and start to make judgements, blame themself and that affect their behavior and schoolwork.
    6. They need to know there is a time and place for everything and this might not be the time or place for what they want and to wait for a better time.
    7.Don’t reward bad behavior no matter what and be consistent. Let them know if they act up in the store or they act like they will die to have it then they will never get it and the trip to the store will end immediately. Remember part of their fun is also to look at lots of toys even if they can’t have it all.

    Take time out to have a movie night at home or away, ice cream for an hour, and get to know your kid.That’s when you get to hear why s/he wants to stay up late on a certain night (series s/he wants to watch which now becomes another thing to allow and use as a consequence :) if s/he fails to follow a rule) you will hear about things that you can calmly negotiate if s/he is willing to do other things around the house etc. Is one hour a week for one on one time so hard for you to do?
    .
    There are lots of helpful advise if you google about how to discipline children. Here are ten free tips
    http://www.empoweringparents.com/blog/arguing-and-fighting/how-to-stop-your-child-from-arguing-with-you-10-tips-you-can-use-today/

  54. Visitor December 8, 2010 at 11:18 am #

    Saw this infomercial when I glanced up at the muted TV & the first thing I noticed was the TT logo with the big cicle with big dot in the middle (a sex symbol in the occult world, for real, look it up), & then the word TRANSFORMATION (Transformation is a big catch word in modern social engineering).

    From there I wondered who this James/Janet (wife) Lehmans were. From what I’ve read elsewhere & here, he evidently was a genuine human being with a heart. Then the other comments here from company insiders, I feel, tell the most likely story, ie, good guy gets sucked in by sharks & manipulators who want to use him to make big bucks, & who no doubt designed the logo & may have chosen the name of the product as well.

    More research into the company might prove interesting. Who is the head honcho at the top? Is it that Steve Anderson mentioned above by one of the insiders? I could say more but I’ll wait until I know about the company.

    As for problem children, Dr Phil teaches those exact same things (accountability, responsibility, consequences for actions, etc.) & parents can watch him for free (& no, I’m not a Dr Phil groupie, but I did watch him when he first went on air). The point being: It’s FREE.

  55. Tessa Butler December 14, 2010 at 7:14 pm #

    I see the positive and the negative of all your comments and you all have really good points.
    Life is about learning. Most everything is in your mind. And yes, I agree that kids start being unruly when parents stop parenting. And keeping an open mind, nothing is idealistic:
    I choose going to work right along with my spouse creating the 2nd income we need to keep the bare necessities such as a roof over our family’s head, food on the table, and some personal luxeries such as utilities, and our kids don’t get to see their parents as often as they should.
    I live out in the country, our drive time is over an hour to any job and back. The kids get on the bus at 5:45am to go to a public school that starts at 8:15. You can imagine riding a bumpy bus for something like 2 and a half hours evry morning and afternoon. We all get home at different times and are super tired. The kids play a bit while I make some dinner and sometime in there we all try to get homework done and chores around the house. All in all we sit down to actually eat around 8pm and try to squeeze in a family card game or movie occasionally by 9pm. But by that time we are all so sleepy that going to bed at 10pm is like going to sleep at midnight and getting up at 4am. It sucks.
    If we aren’t careful we lose a lot of sleep and can become grumpy for work and for school. And all because we try to spend some quality family time.
    Since the money has not always been there for my family, we have had to struggle with choosing work over everything else to pay bills.
    We have one good car and one crappy old truck. We have a mortgage and utility bill. Car insurance and warrenty on the good car cause we can’t afford to fix it. We do not have any cable tv or xbox or playstation console.
    We don’t have dental plans or health insurance. Why? Our businesses took a dip and we had to seek other employment. So we could not focus on our family really as much as we used to. We were forced into our situation.
    Our kids of course had the unruly tendencies before, and now they flat out choose to be disrepectful and unruly which makes it very hard to have both of us work and get calls from the school every day to pick them up. Why? More than likely it’s because they are not getting the quality time they were so used to getting.
    Now i am forced to be off work and homeschool my kids while my spouse works monday through friday at one job during the day then to a part time job in the evening and then on weekends working odd jobs. I am in a huge rutt and going in circles.
    It has in turn not only caused the kiddos behavior to change dramatically, My spouse and I can’t find the time to our individual selves much less the two of us being intimate or even having that family quality time. All because of economy.
    I am dealing with play therapy searching for answers on how to get our family back in order and our income on track so we can have the bare necessities.
    My spouse and I have been a bit unhappy as well as the kiddos at times.
    We are working at it and realize there is no quick fix.
    It is VERY nice though, to hear and read some of the things that James Lehman has spent a lifetime working on.
    I can’t afford to have a psychologist or a family counselr help and frankly I have no time because of my financial boat. I I don’t agree with Everything Lehman says, but I do appreciate the info.
    Yes it basically re-iterates back to you what every good parent already knows, but that’s not the point. The point is the psychology of the info. It’s the way it is written and the way that it’s presented through audio or Dvd that helps the most. It’s kinda like taking a different path to work one morning.
    Both paths lead to the same outcome and both paths are ones that you’ve already taken and are aware of. But one is more beautiful than the other, with different scenery and animals, and plants. Lehmans info has re-reminded meof how I can start taking control of my life and my family’s life again starting with the basics. And some times you have to take a step back to move a step forward. Thats how you breath. Lehmans info has lightened my heavy load a bit. And no. I am not getting paid for this review.

  56. Jenny December 15, 2010 at 8:46 am #

    $327 is the price of two hours of counseling. TT sounds like a good buy, not a rip-off!
    My soon-to-be stepson (13) fired an air-soft machine gun into my son’s (12) chest from two feet away, then fired rounds into my son’s walls and ceiling, barged into my 10 year old daughter’s room firing (blanks at this point) at her and all around her room while she was sitting on her bed quietly playing games on her laptop, laughing maniacally and taunting “you’re scared, ha ha , you’re scared, ha ha.” He also chased my son down the hall with a 6″ unsheathed filet knife, then sheathed it again and pinned it to my son’s neck and said, “I know martial arts. You could be dead in a second.” When I tried to hold him accountable (he didn’t deny any of it) he just cried and said he didn’t know any better. (He’s learned that is the best answer for all his bad behavior…. just blame it on the ADHD.)
    But as you can imagine, we need to get him help, and using my kids as teaching tools isn’t safe for them, and isn’t an option.
    We too searched online for reviews and found very few negative ones, even after page two on google.
    Even if all we learn from the program are what should have been “simple” tools that we should have already known, then we still win. It’s like two hours in the counselor’s office.
    And the comments about people not wanting to read tons of books is correct – we are thinking that an audio/workbook is a more hands-on and easier/faster gratification approach. We both work full time and my two kids (who don’t have behavioral issues) are busy with sports… our days are so full that we need to try an audio/workbook shortcut.
    I can’t ask the boy’s dad not to be his parent anymore, but I can’t have my house be unsafe. The boy needs help, and suckers or not, we are going to try the product. I’ll try to find your blog again in a few months and let you know what TT was really like, and if I still feel like a sucker, ok?

    • Keith December 15, 2010 at 8:49 am #

      Jenny: In that case, I have a pile of dog poop I can sell you for $327. I’ll label it “Child Corrective Device” and you can compare it to counseling and announce to your friends what a great deal you got!

  57. Jenny December 15, 2010 at 9:05 am #

    Why so snarky?!?!?

    • Keith December 15, 2010 at 9:15 am #

      Jenny: It’s a snarky reply to a point that is invalid. I completely understand your desire and reasons for wanting to use the program, but your rational that it’s a good deal when compared to therapy is totally silly. Therapy is expensive, yes — but it’s not comparable to an infomercial product. That argument is specious, and I thought I’d point it out.

  58. Jenny December 15, 2010 at 9:23 am #

    I assure you that A LOT of counseling is completely ineffective, so at worst, TT is *at least* comparable to counseling. My English teacher would rip that sentence apart, so you don’t have to!:-)

    I wasn’t looking to make this personal, but what would you do?

    The boy was removed from my house (where I have a zero tolerance for lying, and for other obvious reasons) that very night, and it looks like he will see his dad at a rented apartment or residence hotel for their shared custody time together until this is “cured or resolved.”

    • Keith December 15, 2010 at 9:33 am #

      Jenny: I don’t blame you for wanting to try everything to find one thing that works. However, if you know that a lot of counseling is infective, then you also know that an even greater portion of infomercial products are worthless. Thus, you’re admitting that your inclination towards TT is out of desperation. If that’s the case, then we agree. My beef is not with the people who use this product because they’re desperate, it’s with the cynical people who produced it in the first place who KNOW just how many people are desperate and will try anything. As a parent, if I had a kid who needed help, I might do the same thing. That’s what makes me mad — that even people who know better will throw their money away because they have to try something. I get what your saying.

  59. Jenny December 15, 2010 at 9:44 am #

    Yeah. It’s a heartbreaker. And sadly it might be a deal-breaker. We aren’t engaged yet, but we already picked/ordered our rings. I can’t imagine my life without him, but I can’t imagine my life with his son terrorizing us either. My boyfriend is the nicest man I’ve ever known (maybe too nice?) and my kids adore him. This sort of thing does happen to nice parents. And what I read about ADHD is that it’s not caused by bad parenting.
    I imagine Dylan Klebold’s parents got him all kinds of counseling, and went to PTA meetings and school conferences saying, “but he’s such a nice kid inside.” But we all know where that ended.
    On the crazy chance that a product sold on an infomercial saves us, then I guess I have to take it.
    It is a fact that there ARE an overwhelming number of positive reviews online. If we can be one of those lucky people, then I’ll be the first to tout TT.
    I’ll bookmark Almighty Dad and let you know how it goes.

    • Momma September 5, 2011 at 12:50 pm #

      Gee, two sets of kids both from broken families, and now one’s dad and the others’ mom have begun shacking up, and the kids are not all joyfully uniting as a faux family. Here’s a clue for the Jennys of the world: SHE is what is standing between this boy’s hopes of his mother and father reuniting, and both she and her boyfriend are the ones who caused the problem. The boy is having to pay the price for his parents’ selfish, irresponsible choices. But hey, at least Jenny has succeeded in getting her boyfriend to choose her over his relationship with his son. I’m sure he’ll be FINE with that.

      And these idiots wonder why their kids are acting out? They screw up the kids, and expect psychotherapists to “fix” them, with no accountability for all the stupid choices made by the parents, because they are the paying customers in the psychotherapeutic triangle.

      • Jenna Summers November 21, 2013 at 7:51 pm #

        Since when is it selfish and irresponsible for two divorced people to find love with each other? It would have been much worse for the boys parents to stay together when they were unhappy – kids sense that you know.

        Don’t be such a judgmental shrew.

  60. Charles Mott December 27, 2010 at 6:57 am #

    I am disheartened by the number of people who apparently think the entire field of behavioral and cognitive behavior is a scam. James is basically a cognitive behavioral therapist, and has written textbook information and been an integral part of the training and education for countless social workers, psychologists, as well as parents and kids. Overpriced program, probably. Overpromises? Likely, every kid is different. SOme horrible things go on in families that feed the behavior, by this meaning I’ve heard stories that you couldn’t possibly make up if you wanted to. Scam is a bit extreme though.

    • Jay June 5, 2012 at 5:25 am #

      if you are so worried about your kids, speak to your school, doctor and spiritual leader. the field of cognitive behavior therapy isn’t a scam, so GO SEE A DR about your kid. this CD is an impulse buy that cant be refunded. im sure all your friends with laugh at you for buying it.
      Friends being defiant and backtalking about Total Transformation? Hit them over the head with the CD. LOL. and if that doesnt work, call Rocky Mozell from the Star Registry and have them seeing stars, lmao

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