CrabbieMasters know how to “Beat the Crabbies!”
Learning to beat the Crabbies is pretty easy. Just read about them to see what they do and don’t like – then, do just the opposite!
Here's a short saying we use to remind ourselves just how simple it is:
CrabbieMasters learn how to be in charge of their feelings, attitudes, and behaviors.
As our motto, "Imaginary Fun. Real Results." suggests, children relate to the Crabbies on a fun and playful level. At the same time, parents appreciate knowing the skills and values children develop make a difference at home, on the playground, in the classroom, and beyond. It's a good foundation for lifelong skills.
While in the process of writing our books, we asked parents who have children in Becky’s preschool, plus former preschool parents and preschoolers who are now adults, for their opinions about CrabbieMasters. Here is a sampling of what they said:
Emotional Regulation (licensed psychologist)
On the surface, CrabbieMasters has fun and imaginative methods to help children and parents work together to manage the ups and downs of everyday life. The approach teaches skills for meeting basic needs, such as getting sleep and eating healthy as well as more advanced skills related to self-confidence and socializing. Most parents and adult caregivers recognize these as important areas of life for children to master. Many invite tools for making such learning more inviting. CrabbieMasters is a high-quality parenting tool for multiple reasons.
From a psychological perspective, there is real depth to the significance of focusing on these skill-based domains in a way that empowers children to be aware of what they’re feeling and make their own choices regarding how they will behave. This depth centers on a concept called “emotion regulation.”
Positive Relationships (parent)
As parents, the CrabbieMasters program and its ideas have established an invaluable framework for understanding and communicating with our children. It separates the behavior from the child and explains both how and why children sometimes act the way they do. CrabbieMasters makes it possible to have well-behaved children without ever having to shame the child for negative behavior. By identifying and naming certain behaviors, it encourages compassion among family members because we all know how we feel when we are "Too Tired" or "Too Hungry." Instead of responding with anger when our children are acting out, we try to understand the root cause of their behavior. Once we know what they need (i.e. sleep, food, etc.) we can get to a peaceful resolution quickly and in turn our children’s emotional needs to be heard and nurtured are met.
Empowerment and Self-care (former preschooler)
The eight different Crabbie characters in the CrabbieMasters program symbolize what are often the real issues in a fun, cartoony way and were a blast to compete against in what felt like a playful game. Beating them mostly required the practice of taking care of yourself and understanding different circumstances.
As I grew older and into my teenage years, that seemingly innocent game transformed into a mindfulness of my emotions that turned out to be a guiding light through the ups and downs of growing up.
Initiative (former preschool parent)
After just days in Becky’s preschool, Zoe started talking about “taking initiative” and instead of crying because her pink cup was dirty, she’d offer to wash it herself. She was three, and already finding ways to problem-solve!
Decide to make it a good day: we learned ways to help her when her emotions got too big. For example, we’d spin in a circle as a family to “turn the day around!” We, as a family, learned to beat “Too-Hungry” and “Too-Tired”: the most important Crabbies for our family to beat. Ms. Becky’s CrabbieMasters program taught Zoe that she was in control of her emotions and that she had the power to beat those Crabbies and have a great day.
Self-management (behavior analyst)
From the perspective of a behavior analyst, ‘Beating the Crabbies’ teaches kids (and parents) about self-management and coping skills. By learning about Too-Tired and knowing how to beat him, we take away the increased likelihood for a challenging behavior to occur (e.g., huge meltdown at Target). The same applies for Achy. If we don’t feel good, we may act out in a way that we normally wouldn’t. By being able to identify characters such as Too-Tired, Achy, Can’t-Do, or Hurry-Up, the kids have potential to change their behavior without prompts (or nagging) from mom and dad. And, they will likely do this because they’ve practiced (with fun activities) and have been reinforced for beating them…they’ve become CrabbieMasters!
Cooperation over Power-struggles (preschool mom)
As a mom, it’s so nice to be able to say, “When asked to do it…” and have my kids respond with, “You get right to it!” (to beat the Hurry-Up Crabbie), and then I get to cheer for them getting their jobs done, or shoes on, or teeth brushed. It feels like we have accomplished something together versus a stubborn power struggle.
Self-awareness and Positive Self-esteem (former preschool mom)
One of the most notable things about the Crabbies program is that it helps to separate the situation from the person. In other words, I’m grumpy because I’m hungry, not because I’m a bad child/person, or I’m lashing out because I’m exhausted, not because I’m a bad child/person.
When we separate who we are from our thoughts and emotions, we have a deeper understanding, appreciation, and wisdom about who we really are as people, separate from our actions. That self-awareness is essential to growing up and being socially successful in the world as well as being happy within ourselves. The Crabbies taught me to do that with my son. I tried to be less reactive and more conscious of what was happening with him and why. It led to more compassion and understanding toward him.
Beneficial for adults and children: that awareness has also separately applied to me. When I’m aware of my thoughts and emotions, I have a choice about what to do with them. I’m less reactive, more thoughtful, and more patient with myself. Of course, sometimes the emotions kick in before I have a chance to pay attention, but I nearly always take stock later to figure them out. It takes practice and conscious attention. The Crabbies program is a non-threatening, deceptively simple way to learn self-awareness for adults and children alike.
Empathy for self and others (former preschooler)
For me, though the Crabbies and the principles behind them were taught to me as a young child they’ve continued to play a role in how I treat myself and others. I’m often too hard on myself and negative emotions resulting from hunger or lack of sleep are easy for me to compound, but remembering the self-analysis I learned because of the Crabbies helps me remember to address my needs first before allowing myself to react. When I interact with a grumpy friend or co-worker, I try to remember that they may be stressed or worried about something else that may not pertain to me or the situation at hand. I believe this has provided me greater success in both personal and professional relationships. The Crabbies provide lasting lessons for kids that are accessible and easy to carry into adolescence and adulthood.
Academic Success (preschool mom)
As a result of my son's involvement with CrabbieMasters, he was able to experience academic success. He has developed the skills needed to focus, listen and cooperate with the group. These skills helped him to excel academically. He was reading and had math skills beyond what is expected of a kindergartener upon entering kindergarten. I felt confident sending him to kindergarten knowing was academically prepared to have a successful year.
Spirit of Cooperation, Positive Attitude and Teamwork (Becky)
The result of having individual children being on track and having the characteristics referred to in the above testimonials is a very positive group dynamic. CrabbieMasters recognize their own strengths, as well as the strengths of others. This dynamic results in an overall spirit of cooperation, positive attitudes and phenomenal teamwork that makes working with children both enjoyable and rewarding. It is the reason I have such a passion for sharing the program with other parents and professionals who work with children.
Hello! I’m Kay. My brother and I have fun being CrabbieMasters and love to beat the Crabbies. We want to show you how to beat them and keep them away. We are excited to have our book series so close to print! A special shout out to Erik Lervold for his incredible gift as an illustrator.
As you can see, Jay and Kay have a bunch of fun-loving CrabbieMaster friends.
They are excited to have YOU on the team!