You can get started right away by simply reading the books with your children and applying the concepts to your everyday life!
Talk in terms of everyone wanting to have a good day by beating the Crabbies! This is not rocket science. The key is to keep it fun!
The CrabbieMasters Book Series will give you descriptions of each of the books.
The first four books (Here Come the Crabbies, Here Come the CrabbieMasters, Jay’s BIWACM, Kay’s BIWACM) introduce all the Crabbies and give you a general understanding of what is needed to beat them. The other eight books are each specifically about how to beat that Crabbie.
The value in having a full series of books is they provide multiple examples that model talking about the Crabbies in a fun way. They model the importance of externalizing the common problems that influence moods and behaviors.
Do I have to read all of the books?
Not being professional children's picture book writers, we sought the guidance of people in the publishing industry. They suggested the series. We took their expert advice. As it turns out, even after 30 years of introducing kids to the Crabbies and all the experience CrabbieMasters creator Becky has at applying the concept to real life, she found great value in having the set of books herself. They naturally put the kids and Becky on the same page, no matter what kind of a mood anyone is in. This is really the key. Becky did it for many years without the books. The books simply make it easier, provides variety, and take into account that making and changing habits happens over time. CrabbieMasters is really about having positive habits.
The key to making this work for you is to have the mindset of a CrabbieMaster. This means that you recognize that the Crabbies are the problem. The person is not the problem. This will eliminate the power struggles associated with calling kids (or adults) out on negative behaviors. Trust us! The behaviors will change when the person learns how to do what it takes to take charge and beat the Crabbies.
Talk in terms of The Crabbies; don’t blame the kids. This brings home the point that both what you say and how you say it is important. We don’t say, “You are crabby.” We talk more indirectly about the possibility that a Crabbie is moving in. "Oh, no! I think the Hungry Crabbies are going to get us if we don't eat soon!" We also use fun, upbeat, and positive tones whenever we are dealing with The Crabbies.
Own Your Own Crabbies. This is another way that we use modeling. It is very effective when things are getting off course for an adult to say, “I think the _______ Crabbie is getting me.” This will likely bring out empathy in your child and also may give your child an opening to admit that a Crabbie is getting to him or her.
Make This a Cooperative Effort. The whole concept of The Crabbies and the CrabbieMaster way of doing things was created as a cooperative process with the kids contributing feedback and us responding to it. You will notice, as we did, that kids will very naturally take the lead once they understand the concept. Don’t be surprised when your kids pick up on your mood and ask if The Crabbies are getting you, or if you think you need to, "Turn your day around!" This is a golden opportunity to react just how you want your children to react relative to The Crabbies. E.g. "I think you're right. I'm feeling a little frustrated. I think it's Hurry-Up. We need to get going. Can you get your shoes on right away? I'll grab the snack fast. We'll be right out the door and send Hurry-Up flying!"
Listen to Your Kids. Listening gives you lots of information regarding what is actually on your child's mind. We use this example: One day, before we were CrabbieMasters, Becky was frustrated and asked a group of her preschoolers, “How many times do I have to ask you to do something?!" Not picking up on the frustration, they responded, “four?”, “five?” She realized they were simply and honestly answering her question. They really thought it. She took time to explain that the real answer is actually just "one." This made a real difference. Ever since, she starts each preschool year asking this same question (without the sarcasm). This works wonders as a teaching moment for everyone.