Kid Acting Badly? Try the Total Transformation Scam
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.
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?
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.