Archive for the ‘Daddy’ Category

Open eyes are not always enough – gotta open ’em ‘wider’

July 29, 2014

Antonio de Mairena

from Juan de Mairena


To see things as they are, the eyes must be opened; to see things as other than they are, they must be even wider; to see things as better than they are, they must be open to the full. 


At a recent family meeting my wife came up with the idea of each of us thinking of three positive things that happened that day or the previous day.  We started this morning when I sent an email with my three things to her, and my son (16) and daughter (18).  So far, my wife has replied with her three.

It felt weird, but it felt good. I had to open my eyes wider.

We are trying to get out of a rut.


Denying the existence of denial

February 23, 2014

Someone you are dealing with might be in pain. They may feel it. You may see that pain very clearly. But amazingly, they may not see it even though they are the ones going through it. This is often referred to as ‘denial’ by amateur and professional psychotherapists alike. Not seeing their problem and pain makes it hard for many of us to take constructive action. So what is the difference between experiencing pain and seeing it?

Maybe this analogy will help. A baby feels uncomfortable with a messy diaper. This does not stop them from messing in their diaper. They don’t even fuss right away about the discomfort often and let their parent know. But even a week or two after they are toilet trained, they see much more clearly the discomfort/pain of having a messy diaper. How does this change happen?

Take a look at how parents toilet train their kids. We turn toilet training into an instructive game. We sit them down on the toilet. Sometimes something happens, and when it does, we are very happy. They see it, and they are happy. They see us becoming more and more unhappy when they don’t use the toilet since we now know that they can go on their own. But they don’t see the problem with going in thier diaper quite yet. After awhile, going on the toilet becomes a habit. It feels weird not to do it on the toilet after awhile. Eventually, they become toilet trained. Then one day when they have an accident, they see how CRAZY it is to mess in your pants. We have to make a lot of effort to help them get to this point.

If you have someone who is headed for pain, or is even in pain, and you want them to just see what you see and be logical and fix it, then you are about as silly looking as a parent who wants their toddler to spontaneously toilet train.

Invite them to sit on whatever proverbial toilet is in play and see what happens. Make it part of a regular pattern. Have fun with it and them. If they refuse, don’t be angry. They are just being a baby. Just let them know they may have to find someone else to change their proverbial diaper if the won’t play the game with you.

If you ‘can’t’ stop rescuing them from their problem and pain, and you are unhappy with it, then complain. Maybe someone will listen and know how to help you.

Not all kids are easy to toilet train, for sure, but you at least want to make sure the problem is not you.

How not to get caught in the middle

February 21, 2014

Often in families and other situations, individuals having a conflict want you to take a side. Frequently they both want you to do this. The way to deal with this is to tell either of them if they approach you that you will help them with their problem, but they are going to have to be willing to spend time with you to prepare for the next interaction with the other person. If they start to do this with you and they can’t agree with what you want to help them accomplish, which should always include demonstration of respect and truthfulness, then you let them know you can’t help.
You would be telling the truth, and you should only side with the truth in a conflict anyways.

Teenagers seem to seek out preventable pain, but there is a wisdom to their seemingly self-destructive ways

February 10, 2014

Like a lot of parents, I watch my teenagers make preventable errors that cause them pain. Don’t get me wrong, I try to warn them. I talk to them about things in all manner of ways. I even shut up and listen once in awhile. Now these kids are not stupid. They have the intelligence to see that their choices defy logic. So why don’t they use that intelligence?

I think they need to screw up and feel pain. It toughens them. One thing in life is certain, no matter how well you prepare, you will still face hardship and pain. While they are with their parents, they have a safety net, and they can take risks and toughen their skin more safely than they will be able to when they are on their own.

The big X factor is drugs and alcohol in all this – not risk free at all. And what makes it worse is that the drugs or alcohol anesthetize their pain, so they don’t even get the benefit of getting tougher.



Foolproof Family Initiative – App promotional offer

October 29, 2013

“You will never know what you have done for the family. The system changed our lives.” Bob I Am Personally 

Going To Coach 20 families!

Founder and CEO at Negotiator-Pro, #1 Negotiation Training and Execution Platform

Ever since I wrote “Start With No” I have received thank you notes and calls from parents who have given the book to their children in high school and college.. I have been pleased the young have attained so much success with the system. But, I just didn’t see the unexpected success. Drucker taught in his book “Innovation and Entrepreneurship” to pay attention to the unexpected success but I didn’t and then Friday night the light came on.

I went to a gathering of friends high school 50 years ago. One of my greatest friends came up to me, and said he had to talk to me alone. He said, “you gave me a copy of your book “Start With No” ten years ago and I read it and was dazzled. But now I can’t thank you enough. You saved my daughters family. About a year ago she called in tears. Her husband was threatening divorce, the kids where failing in school, her life was coming apart. I listened and my heart was aching. The more she talked the more pain I felt. I struggled and the only thought I had that I could come up with to help her, I swear Jimmy this is the truth, was to tell her to read your book. I made her promise to read it and to call me back after she did. Well she read your book. She gave a copy to her husband and to my grandson and granddaughter in high school. Now they sit down and build plans based on what you teach in the book. She called me to tell me that their family life has completely turned around. They have a whole new lease on life and they know where the family is going because of your book.“ 

I was humbled to say the least. Then as I was driving home last night, bingo it hit me. I overlooked all my IP. You see I built within Negotiator-Pro a library. I call it the deep dive library. Over the last 28 years I have written, recorded and worked to provide the materials that will help you master our system. I want every Negotiator-Pro user to have free access to those materials. Everything in there is downloadable. Every recording I have ever made is in there discussing every rule, principle, and aspect of our system. Each recording is broken down into bites, 15 to 35 minutes. Plain talk, easy to listen to, and more important easily applied. Also in the library is every written work I have done. Both books are there, as well as every mastery lesson with exercises and out side reading lists to provide even more support. There are more than 2000 pages of my work in PDF download format. I don’t know why I didn’t think of this before. You can download all of it for free and give it to your loved ones.

I want you to enroll in Negotiator-Pro. I want you to send me an email personally and tell me you want to take me up on this effort for the ones you love. 

OK Camp, how much will this cost me? Well, how about we make the price be the same as one large cappuccino coffee at your favorite coffee shop per day for the whole family? I want to say that again. One large cappuccino per day pays the whole bill for the entire family. Cash flow by the month important, you can empower the entire family for $98 a month on a credit card or you can save $200 and pay $950 for a one year license. To enroll, just reach out to me and drop me an email.

Also, for the first 20 families that enroll “I will personally coach you and the family free for a month” in how to use the materials to build a great thought process and mindset. If this is for you and your family just let me know at or call me on my private line 614 764 0213 and I will get you going.

All the best

Jim Camp

Disagreement in families is normal, but disagreement about respect and how to disagree respectfully is threatens safety and stability in family life. (Amended)

October 8, 2013

                What to understand and do to achieve and sustain respect in your family


Disagreement in families is normal and even healthy sometimes, but disagreement about respect and how to disagree respectfully is a direct threat to safety and stability in family life.

There are basically two paths that families go down when it comes to respect.

Path 1 -Respect: teach and build it through example – consistent demonstration of respect; discipline – consequences/protocol for episodes of disrespect; discussion – what is respect?

Path 2 – Respect:  demand it and only give it if you think you’ve gotten it; freely demonstrate disrespect if you don’t get it; assume everyone shares understanding of it

On path 1 – the following descriptions and prescriptions are appropriate:

When more developed(physically, mentally, and/or financially) family members disrespect less developed family members, that is abuse and/or neglect to the less developed, and disruption to more or equally developed witnesses.

Abuse/neglect can be mild and infrequent, so it is not necessarily an emergency.

When less developed family members disrespect more developed family members,that is disruption to the more developed, abuse/neglect to less developed witnesses.

Disruption can be very harmful, so it is not necessarily something to be taken lightly because it comes from a less developed member.

When a family member disrespects a family member of equal development, it is abusive/neglectful to all witnesses less powerful than they are, and disruptive to all the witnesses who are more developed.

It is the duty of more developed family members to stop abuse/neglect of less developed ones, and reduce disruption to the more developed ones. In other words, preserve safety and stability.

It is the duty of the less developed family members to learn how to be respectful so they can develop in appropriate ways.

When a more developed family member persists in being abusive/neglectful, other family members have the right to call a meeting and/or seek outside help.

When a less developed family member persists in being disruptive, other family members have the duty to call a meeting and/or seek outside help.


*Path 2 becomes the norm in families where path 1 protocol is not adhered to or simply fails.

Step aside cutters, there’s a new game in town

February 8, 2013

Working in mental health, I have worked with my share of ‘cutters’, folks who cut themselves with sharp objects until they bleed. It is part of a serious psychiatric condition.

Well, my daughters ( 5 and 6 years old)  do the opposite – they are band-aid er’s. At the slightest sign of discomfort, they ask for a band-aid. Of course, they start mutilating their band-aids until they need a new one in 5 minutes.

This winter they have been getting dry skin, so they ask for all kinds of lotion and ointment to avoid the slightest anomaly on their skin. It is a competition almost – who is the driest? And they also love to use saline spray for their nose.

I hope their fussiness over the intergity of their skin carries over into an aversion to getting tatoos when they get older.

Kids driving you nuts?

February 6, 2013

Certain things become so obvious when you start seeing family interaction through the lens of negotiation. Children and even babies make noises and gestures and expressions that are designed by nature to get adult attention. Not only that, they are designed to make us emotional enough to take action on their behalf.  Nothing wrong with any of that, but it can really cause parents to feel out of control sometimes emotionally as their kids learn what works when they want something from a parent.

Sometimes, it might seem like kids work against their own interests because they get their parents angry and lose privileges. But what do kids gain from those situations? With each interaction, they learn how far they can push their parent’s emotional budget before there are negative consequences.  When a parent’s emotional budget is high, they are more likely to concede to a child in order to end the negotiation.  They might quickly regret the concession, and then resentment can set in, and they are more likely to pick on their kids for other stuff in order to regain a sense of control. In short, our kids drive us nuts.

It is important to be an effective negotiator and decision maker with your children. As they get emotional, and do things that tend to make you emotional, catch yourself.  Protect your emotional budget like it is your last drink of water in the desert. Remember that you want something. You want a calm request from them.  Ask for a calm request. If they continue to be demanding or sullen, do nothing. Send them away if they are still driving your emotions. And don’t feel bad. You didn’t say ‘ no’ to their request, yet. They said  ‘no’ to your request to be calm.


Parent: “I asked you to be calm and ask in a relaxed way.”

Child: “But I want to …….and have …….and ……..” (NEEDY VOICE)

Parent: “What do I want first?” 

It is important not to rush this. You will know when they are really no longer feeling a NEED for something from you, and are able to ask calmly and easily. At first, it may take them a long time. Don’t save them. They will benefit most from figuring it out on their own. They might get loud though, so don’t hesitate to protect your sanity and have them be alone behind a closed door.  

Stay respectful. Your job is not to be liked by your kids, but to respect them, and teach them how to respect you.

Now let’s say that you know that you are going to have to say ‘no’ to their request. It may seem unfair that they have to go through all the work of calming down in order to hear ‘no ‘ from you. Keep in mind that you are not rewarding them for being calm or any good behavior. You are making good behavior a prerequisite for even being granted an audience.  If they meet the requirement,  you will be deciding about the request based on what you believe is best.  You have to maintain your high standards, and not get the child thinking that they get what they want whenever they calm down.  All you would be doing is teaching them to be more crafty manipulators.

In reality, they will handle ‘no’ much better after they become calm. They will be better able to cognitively process your explanation, if you decide to offer one. They will be better able to come up with alternatives to their request, and maybe accept an idea that you offer.   It all rests on your resolve to not say ‘yes’ or ‘no’  until they are calm.  In fact, they will often not remember what they wanted from you. They will get distracted by something else during the time that they are calming down. They will become more independent, and more realistic about making requests.

It really does work. I have seen it work with my kids, but I had to learn the hard way. I squandered ‘millions’ from my emotional budget on my kids over the years.

Got the negotiation giggles?

December 10, 2012

Yesterday, Josie (6 yo) and Clara Rose (4 yo) came to me and claimed that the other had wronged them. They were both mad. They wanted me to resolve it. I have posted about similar situations. This time, I told them to stand about 5 feet away from each other facing each other and to work it out. Five feet keeps them out of hitting range, and I had them hand me any projectiles they might throw at each other. Safety first. They were dumbstruck for about 5 seconds and then they started giggling. Problem solved, or at least forgotten. They resumed playing.

Was this a negotiation? By definition, a negotiation is two or more parties making an effort to reach an agreement, each having the right to veto. They certainly had a disagreement about how to handle a situation. They wanted me to agree with one of them and impose a solution. Without saying it directly I effectively told them no. I have fallen for this trap in the past. It always leaves one or both of them feeling like they got the short end of the stick. I didn’t even want to know the details, and I wasn’t going to impose anything. They now had to reach an agreement on their own or walk away from each other. They may not have agreed as to who was at fault in the situation, but they agreed to go play again even though not a word was spoken between them, just giggles.

Go here to see these giggling little girls

Share your thoughts.

Teaching our children and ourselves to know what we really want in family negotiations

December 7, 2012

If you think about it, every time that you speak, you are engaged in a human performance event. You have some sort of intention for your words when they leave your mouth, and you want the impact of your words to line up with your intention as much as possible. As a couple’s counselor, many arguments come down to each party vehemently defending their intentions as positive. I take this as a good sign because the alternative is for one or both parties to have negative intentions. When appropriate, I validate their good intentions, and I then ask if their actions had the intended impact. Often they didn’t. Once that is acknowledged we can get to solving the real problem by choosing actions that are more likely to have the intended effect.

The same principle also applies to disputes between parents and children. My 6 year old has been having tantrums lately. It only happens in our home. Her behavior is stellar in all other environments. At home, sometimes she gets very mad and can’t calm down. When this happens my intention is to take actions that calm her down. I try to say things calm her down. It doesn’t work. Nothing satisfies her. She gets angrier. Recently my wife and I have discussed this problem and we decided to just send her to her room. We don’t say anything about when she is coming out. We don’t talk.  She demands to be let out. She whines. She tries to strike a deal. We simply gesture for her to return to her room. Initially, we can hear the need in her voice and observe it in her behavior. Camp defines need as a self-induced and most often false conceptual position of survival; a dangerous emotional position showing great fear and weakness. Rather than respond to her needy communications, we have decided to wait until she starts to know what she wants. According to Camp, want is a self-induced emotional position with no hints of fear of survival; a strong and most critical position for an effective person to be in. Our parental mission is to teach her how to be an effective person.

This morning, I sent her to her room and waited for her to move from need to want. She tried several times to convince me to let her out, but I only let her out when she said these words in a low voice at a slow pace, “ Daddy, I want to come out of my room now.” I didn’t coach her to say want. I didn’t tell her it was the ‘magic word’. I must admit it can feel like magic when you develop the patience to want rather than need. My wife and I discovered that wanting her to calm down, and not needing her to calm down, was really the key to our starting to have success in effectively influencing her. It allowed us to follow a rule of the Camp system – no talking. Not meant to be taken literally, of course, but as much as possible, do not talk and instead listen, observe and learn about your adversary. When you better understand them, you have a better chance that your impact on them will line up with your intentions.

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