Some Coaching Suggestions for Parents Uncertain as to Where to Start and What to Do

1) Whose Problem Is it?

  • Is the topic of focus more important to you than it is for the child? 
  • If you are looking at problems you are experiencing as lying solely in the domain of the child (i.e. the problem is solely the child’s problem, you are missing the role you are playing in creating, shaping or maintaining the unacceptable behavior(s). 
  • Remember, “It takes two to tango! 

 2) Is it an issue of trust versus control?

  • Each has very different implications for how one chooses to manage it, and has particular applicability and relevance in blended or divorced families regarding which individual (parent or step-parent) has the “standing” to influence matters of trust. Which often results in parents trying to influence their child’s behavior through the use of control (which in and of itself often over time devolves into punishment…). 

3) You can only control your own behavior.

  • Control is an ineffective tool for parents to employ to manage non-compliant behavior, and again, often results in taking things away or punishment versus more effective strengths-based methods.. 

4) What is the goal you are trying to achieve?

  • Please ask yourself: long term or “in the moment, ” how are the methods you have chosen influencing and communicating your intent? 

5) How a parent:

  • thinks about an issue or problem 
  • personally understands an issue or problem 
  • believes that our concern(s) are logical and make sense does NOT mean that your position also registers with and makes sense to the child. 
  • Just because a parent can explain the problem does not mean that the child will understand or be able to accept it as a problem for which they can or should take responsibility.

Of course, this issue is significantly influenced by the developmental age of the child (which might not always match their chronological age), their emotional age, and any related learning challenges, such as the presence of non-verbal learning disabilities, auditory processing problems, or other learning disabilities or developmental challenges.

6) Focus on how you do what you do!

  • Your parenting methods have a much greater influence on successful outcomes than do your good intentions, belief in your authority or any other philosophy in which you may believe.

7) If your methods at intervening result in the problem behavior(s) increasing, you are by definition reinforcing the very behavior(s) you are trying to decrease or eliminate!

8) Pay attention to how you deliver BOTH positive AND negative attention to your child! 9) Can the child do what you are asking him/her to do? How do you know?

There are many more things to know to become an effective strengths-based parent. Have Questions? Feel free to contact me!

Take care…and stay positive!