A Letter to VIP Auto Parts and Service –

Most of the time people write reviews of auto repair businesses to criticize or complain, myself included.  However, I have had such an experience today with VIP that I felt compelled to respond in writing to the company.  Below is my message to them:

To Whom it May Concern:

(Please Pass this on to The “Big Boss” on my behalf)

I want to tell you all about the outstanding service I received this morning in Claremont, NH.  I went in for what I expected to be a complicated oil change.  I had tried to have it change the previous week only to find the drain plug was stripped and would just spin in place.  Well, in the process of changing the oil the technician accidentally left our air suspension system engaged, this resulted in rupturing the rear airbags.  Here’s the part I really want to compliment:

The young lady who had made my appointment and a man–I assume the store manager–approached me in a very professional and conciliatory way that reminded me of a doctor entering a waiting room with really bad news.  They explained what had happened and assured me that the needed repairs would be taken care of as soon as possible.  In addition, the oil change–which had not been as complicated as I had anticipated–would be free of charge.  Tomorrow afternoon they will fix the car and I’ll be back on the road.

My point is that I have been treated poorly before by various mechanics.  A friend of mine recommended that I try VIP, even though it is a slight distance from my home in Vermont.  My first internal response when the staff approached me was a fear that they were going to give me a list of things that needed to be repaired.  The way that they managed a difficult situation and the care they showed to me in that moment has earned VIP my family’s continued patronage. 

Well Done VIP!

Please feel free to pass this on to the Claremont location and share as you like.  I will be telling as many as I can about our experience and the exceptional care of the staff there.

Dave (& Andie) Bentley
Springfield, Vermont


Student Restraint as an Act of Compassion and Kindness

Teacher Talk: Regarding Physical Restraint

I have been through several Crisis Prevention Institute (CPI) classes in which I have been taught how to manage the behavior of children who have reached a state where they are “out of control” through Nonviolent Crisis Intervention. Many people mistakenly assume that this process of restraint is punitive in nature, a consequence administered because of a specific behavior pattern. However, this passage from a textbook I am currently reading captures the true essence of what should be involved when a student must be restrained in terms of the actions and behaviors of the one doing the restraining.

Perhaps no children are more concerned with their physical and emotional well-being—and perhaps their continued existence—than children who have lost control of themselves in a tantrum. These children feel totally and absolutely helpless. They simply cannot control their physical and verbal behaviors. On such an occasion, physical restraint is not only necessary but a kindness. The child is held until calm. The teacher communicates physically and verbally to the child in a calm voice or whisper. The teacher communicates to the child, “You are safe; I will protect you; I will not let you harm yourself (Shea & Bauer, 2012).”

Restraining a student is never the automatic g0-to option.  The primary focus of training courses, such as CPI, is to become more aware of antecedents that may lead to increased anxiety and acting out behaviors and how adults can effectively respond to those stages of increasing anxiety in ways that can stop a student’s behavior from escalating to the point of needing to be restrained.  However, at times when restraint must be applied it is important to remember that this response may provide the student opportunity to experience security, compassion, and kindness at a time when it is needed most. 



Shea, T. M. & Bauer, A. M. (2012). Behavior management: A practical approach for

educators. (10th ed.) Boston, MA: Pearson.

Value and Cherish

Value and Cherish – two words that seem to be misplaced in modern relationships. DO NOT be a man who values or cherishes anyone or anything above your wife. If you don’t think she’s more precious to you than gold then spend some time remembering what you loved about her and return to focus on those things. Let her know that you put her first…before your job…your hobbies…your sports teams…everything. Only ONE should ever take a higher place in your heart and life, and that is reserved for your God.


Enhance the Romance: IS IT HOT ENOUGH FOR YA?

ENHANCE THE ROMANCE – June 1, 2013 (https://www.facebook.com/groups/299434600260/)

Today in Vermont we are in the low 90s.  This is very unusual for us so early in the year, and it’s quite uncomfortable.  One thing, however, about heat like this is that it gets everyone’s attention.  Everyone is talking about it.  The famous question has been asked dozens of times already today: 


So, I thought I would make this into a marriage post and ask you, “IS IT HOT ENOUGH FOR YA?”

See, all this heat and humidity has reminded me to challenge and encourage you to keep your marriage HOT.  You know what I mean, right.  The reality is that the hotter you keep things at home the less likely either spouse is to go searching elsewhere for the HEAT.  Studies, and experience, have demonstrated that over time our relationships have a tendency to cool off in the area of passion. 

So, I challenge you today to STOKE THE FLAMES in your relationship, and keep things HOT! 

(This is intended for the benefit and pleasure of BOTH spouses)