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Here you will find articles we find interesting and appropriate to therapy. Some of these articles are written by Desert View Therapists and some are presented here with permission of their authors.
Check this parenting corner often for a discussion of new topics on parenting.
Parents managing kids(not the other way around!)
As parents we have been taught to we must impose punishment or discipline when our children misbehave. I would challenge you to think of your parenting as “Behavior Management” not just punishment/discipline. We can then see it as our job as parents to manage both the good behavior as well as the behavior we want to change. It is our job as parents to do this, rather than expecting our children to “know better”, “do what is right”, or do it “because we said so”.
Kids have different temperaments and genetics as we all know. Some kids find it easy to follow parents expectations, others may be more impulsive, may be easily led by peers, or “creative” in their thinking. It is very important for parents to have a stated expectation for behavior and a stated consequence in place that your child can count on when their behavior does not match your expectation. By using the behavior management concept, we can also have in place positive reactions for good or expected behavior. Telling your child you are proud of their behavior is always good for the spirits! A special movie or video can express your pleasure at improved grades.
Let’s talk specifics now. The “consequences” in your behavior management plan need to relate to the problem behavior. Grounding is not the answer for everything! It should be used when kids do not come home on time or do not go where they tell you they are going. Grounding tells them you believe you cannot rely on their choices and you feel the need to limit their time away from home. Grounding should also have a time limit-one you can tolerate! Make sure your child knows the rules and what to expect if they break them.
- Natural and logical consequences are often the best concepts
to teach your kids life lessons
- be late for school= the school has a consequence just as the
parent might expect if late for a job
- forget to place dirty clothes in the laundry= that favorite
shirt is dirty (and Mom of Dad don’t allow wearing dirty clothes).
- Homework not done or poor grades= no “electronics” (video games,
ipods, tv, etc.) until all homework is being done and grades improve
- no chores done= no allowance, play time or special events that week.
Do the work first, then comes the leisure.
The consequences you impose as a parent should relate to the problem behavior. And don’t feel bad about checking up on your kids! Call parents of your kids friends to be sure the sleep over is as planned. Talk to your kids’ teachers weekly or several times per week as needed. Many teachers now have email at school and will gladly reply to interested parents. Middle and high schools even have grades for homework assignments and tests posted on line for parents-and students-to check out.
In the next few articles, I will give parents ideas on behavior management for various ages as well as for those exceptionally challenging kids.
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Below you will find links to useful information in the therapy field.
Community Information and Referral - www.cirs.org
Domestic Violence - www.supreme.state.az.us/dr/dv/dv.htm
Women’s Resource Center - www.wehelpwomen.com
National Institute of Child Health and Development - www.nichd.nih.gov
National Alliance for Mental Illness - www.nami.org