APSGO Parenting Blog

by Sue Kranz

Sue Kranz
  1. This, too, shall pass – so never give up.
  2. There’s nothing wrong with you, and there’s nothing wrong with your son or daughter. There is no “normal.” Whatever either of you is going through is normal for you.
  3. As your children grow into teens, your job as a parent shifts from providing and protecting to preparing them to be decent citizens and partners.
  4. Punishment ceases to work when we cease to be afraid of the punishment. Rewards cease to work when we no longer value the reward. Both are attempts to control and bring about obedience – which is a poor substitute for good judgement.
  5. Praise doesn’t foster self-esteem. Self-esteem comes from doing the best you can, always improving, and demonstrating competence.
  6. Your son or daughter should not be the centre of your life. You should be the centre of your life – and they should be the centre of theirs.
  7. Maturity comes from knowing the only person’s behaviour you can control is your own – and then controlling it.
  8. Those strong, overwhelming, overpowering emotions like anger, sadness and rage – you can feel them and not have to do anything with them.
  9. Work (at home or at a job) helps our sons and daughters in four ways: It allows them to give back; it gives them a way to contribute to something bigger than themselves; it gives them an opportunity to become competent at skills that they’ll need in years to come; and it fosters independence.
  10. Don’t blame your behaviour on your son’s or daughter’s behaviour.
  11. It’s not up to your sons and daughters to make you look good. Their behaviour cannot earn you the good opinion of others. Only your behaviour can do that.
  12. Don’t hold your son or daughter to a higher standard of behaviour than you hold yourself.
  13. Respect is not the same as fear, obedience or good manners. You get respect by respecting yourself and respecting others.
  14. Good judgement comes from experience. Experience comes from bad judgement.
  15. You and your spouse don’t have to be on the same page. After all, who has the right page? If you differ, so much the better. Now you can model the principle that people don’t have to agree with each other to live together peacefully.
  16. When you rescue your son or daughter, what you’re really saying is, “I’m not willing to let you experience the consequences of your actions because I don’t believe you can handle it.” Have some faith that they’re strong enough and capable enough to live in this world.
  17. What your son or daughter wants most from you is your respect and your attention.
  18. Other people’s relationships with each other are none of your business, so stay out of the middle – no matter what. Why? Because there’s no way for you to win. You will have to choose sides, and that will compromise you and damage at least one of your relationships.
  19. If nagging worked, no one would ever smoke, do drugs or skip school.
  20. There are things you can control and things you can’t control. You can control what you do – but you can’t control the outcome.

If you’d like to know more about Choice Theory, email me at sue@sanerparenting.ca and I’ll send you PDFs of the booklet Who’s Driving YOUR Car? and the handout Six Things: How to create healthy boundaries. And, as always, I welcome your questions and comments.


One response

  1. Hi Sue!
    My husband and I attended the Parent Support group in Aurora and found it extremely helpful. As our children are young adults now and still live with us, and remain financially dependent upon us (though we see there is light at the end of that tunnel!). I would love to read your PDFs on Who’s Driving My Car, and the Six Things. It is always easy to fall into old ways, and I think that reading pertinent information will help my husband and I to “tweak ourselves”, lest we falter! Thanks in advance!!

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