Happy Spring!!

Tips for Adults

The CrabbieMasters Beat the Crabbies book series is your primary tool when it comes to introducing children to the eight Crabbies and to modeling the imaginary fun that kids and adults can have in beating the Crabbies.

The yellow pages inside each book’s cover (as seen above) highlight the basic principles to keep in mind as you talk with children about the Crabbies. As one mother said, “It’s simple. You just use CrabbieMaster language in your everyday life.”

Below are brief explanations of the key CrabbieMasters principles highlighted on the yellow endpapers of the books. Take in mind, you can use these books however you want! At the very least, they can be fun stories and pictures for your children to identify with. We find that when parents learn the idea behind the books and implement the concepts or phrases below, it helps children to change behaviors and both parties start to see results!


It's fun to “Beat the Crabbies!” While the Crabbies think it’s fun to try to mess with the day, CrabbieMasters think it’s fun to trick the Crabbies and stop them in their tracks – It’s Imaginary Fun with Real Results!

  • Positive Habits
  • Cooperative Problem-solving
  • An Overall Feeling of Empowerment

We know what they like. We just don’t do it! We know what they don’t like. We get right to it! This is a key CrabbieMasters mantra. Use it often to rally the team! It is fun to do this in what cheerleaders refer to as the “call and response” format. One CrabbieMaster (often the adult) says, “We know what they like.” The other CrabbieMaster, or group of CrabbieMasters respond, “We just don’t do it!” Back to the first CrabbieMaster saying, “We know what they don’t like.” The other CrabbieMaster, or group of CrabbieMasters shout, “WE GET RIGHT TO IT!”

Keep ’em back to stay on track. Generally, this means that if you keep the Crabbies away, you will stay on track to make it a good day. Make it fun. Be creative. Ask your child what tricks they think will help them “Beat the Crabbies!”

You can always turn your day around. This CrabbieMaster catchphrase serves as a reminder that we have control of our day. The idea is that if something goes wrong in your day, you can take charge and do what it takes to fix the problem and still make it an overall good day! With young children, it actually works to stand up and physically turn around. The truth is, this works for adults too!

Power-Up. A Power-Up is most often in reference to sleep. We beat the Too-Tired Crabbie by taking a Power-Up. A Power-Up to beat Too-Tired requires you to lie perfectly still with your eyes closed for at least twenty minutes. If you fall asleep and end up taking a nap, this is still referred to as a Power-Up. We can also Power-Up with healthy food and exercise. This turns what is sometimes a negative (e.g., nap) into a positive. We Power-Up for more energy so we can have More Fun!

Decide to make it a good day. This CrabbieMaster attitude is about choice. We Beat the Crabbies by following 4 rules:

  • Be Nice. (Beats Get-Along)
  • Have fun without being wild. (Beats the King)
  • Listen the first time. (Beats Hurry-Up and Can’t-Do)
  • Beat the Too-Tired Crabbie. (Beating Too-Tired makes it easier to beat all of the Crabbies)

Put the Crabbies On Notice. This is a fun way to describe the process of reflecting on which Crabbies you may be fighting on a given day. You can talk about it or make it more of a visual experience by using various printables from the website to show how any given Crabbie or Crabbies are On Notice.

CrabbieMasters is an attitude. Teach children that the CrabbieMaster attitude is having the power to take charge of the Crabbies and decide to make it a good day. Adults will be successful when they keep the mindset of a CrabbieMaster. The mindset is that the Crabbies are the problem; the child is not the problem.

Face it! The Crabbies get everyone. One of the most effective things adults can do is to “own their own Crabbies.” It is surprising how empathetic a child is when you talk about yourself “having the Crabbies” or how “the Crabbies are getting me.” In addition to creating a positive interaction, owning your Crabbies is also a way of modeling to your child what you do when you choose to do what it takes to beat the Crabbies!

#1 Crabbie Fact: Too-Tired is the Worst Crabbie in the Universe. The reason this is true is because when we are tired it is hard to beat all of the other Crabbies. Another factor in making CrabbieMasters want to beat Too-Tired is that Too-Tired does not like FUN, and we CrabbieMasters love to have FUN!

CrabbieMasters “Take Charge!” The King Crabbie is in charge of all of the Crabbies, and he would like to think he is in charge of the CrabbieMasters. We know that we take charge when we beat all of the Crabbies. We have pictures of all of the Crabbies hanging on the walls. We love to walk by any of them and say, “Ha-Ha, we beat you!” It is especially fun to beat the King! See website for printables of all the Crabbies.

It’s CrabbieMasters vs. the Crabbies. A simple reminder to think of this as a game. We are all on the CrabbieMasters team, and we work together to beat the Crabbies anytime they try to get us.

It’s about teamwork. CrabbieMasters must work together. The Crabbies like nothing better than to have people using their energy to fight with each other rather than work together to beat the Crabbies.

Prevention beats intervention. It is much better to make a plan to do what it takes to keep the Crabbies away than to have to deal with them when they are already there. It is a fact that Get-Along has a foothold once one of the other Crabbies is on the scene and beating a CrabbieMaster. This is why we make sure to get our sleep and to eat on time regularly so that we can take charge of the Crabbies. Keeping on track with the basic principles is the key to prevention.

When asked to do it, you get right to it. This is the slogan that reminds us of what to do to beat the Hurry-Up Crabbie. The call and response format works really well for this. When there is something to be done, we can prompt children to switch gears to beat the Hurry-Up Crabbie. We say, “When asked to do it…” and the children will respond, “We get right to it!” This works well because it is a playful way of calling them to action. The important thing to remember about the Hurry-Up Crabbie is that he likes to get adults by making them late for where they need to go, and he messes with schedules so that kids do not get enough sleep or get food on time. Regardless of which it is, this is the Crabbie that requires adults and kids to work together. This is where owning your Crabbies is a great plan. Kids love to help adults beat Hurry-Up!

Listen the first time. This is one of the CrabbieMasters four basic rules. Listening the first time helps beat both Hurry-Up and Can’t-Do. Explain to children that they learn faster when they listen to what parents or teachers and other adults are trying to teach them. Also, listening the first time saves us time! More time means we can do more fun things in our day!

Work it out. This is a catchphrase that relates to beating the Get-Along Crabbie. Teach children to follow these simple steps when Get-Along is on the scene: ⦁

  • Do not become physical or say mean things. (i.e., no hitting, pushing, biting, kicking, name-calling, etc.)
  • Try to talk about it with the other person.
  • If it does not work to talk about it, ask for help. This is different from being a tattletale. Go to an adult and say, “We need you to help us work it out.” Do not say, “I’M TELLLLING!!!”

This process works. Over time, kids are able to work things out on their own.

Kids and adults work together to beat the Crabbies. This goes with the idea that this is a game of CrabbieMasters vs. Crabbies and that we are all on the CrabbieMasters team. Adults explain that since they have more life experience, they are the coach. Our job is to help all of us beat the Crabbies. This sets us up for a cooperative process and helps eliminate power struggles. As we end this list of basic principles, you probably can see that there is a lot of interdependence.

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