APSGO Parenting Blog

Parents of APSGO are now facing the BIG QUESTION: Are the skills we learn in our parent groups capable of standing up under the greatest test which any generation of parents is likely to encounter. Do the skills and principles we learn in our groups work, or do they even matter when survival is in question? The real question is, when have these lessons been more necessary? If we have changed our parenting habits since coming to APSGO, then it’s just as important that we don’t revert to old habits when the chips are down. Credibility is enduring and can stand the test […]
Back in 2002, I was a single mother of six – five still living at home. And my 15-year-old son was out of control. The police were regular – albeit ineffective – visitors to our home, but my son’s violent and destructive behaviour went from bad to worse, and we all lived in fear of his volatile, explosive temper. My ex-husband cautioned me to keep an eye on him: alcoholism and mental illness were rampant on both sides of the family, and my ex suffered from “uncontrollable” rages. I felt dumbfounded, helpless and confused: How was I expected to discipline […]
12 things you can do to build irresponsibility in your child Lie for him. Make excuses for his behaviour. Correct (or pay for) his mistakes. Model a lack of responsibility, commitment and follow-through yourself. Refuse to believe that he is capable of doing what he’s been accused of doing. Fight his battles for him. Tolerate and excuse abusive or unacceptable behaviour from him or others in order to avoid additional conflict. Be sloppy about holding him accountable for his behaviour, especially if you’re tired, frustrated or starting to wonder if it’s worth the bother. Routinely let him get away  with […]
As a child. I’m not sure when I started worrying in my life exactly. My guess is, it had something to do with doing something I wasn’t supposed to do. I wasn’t worried about what I was doing, I was worried that I would get caught doing it, only because I didn’t like the consequences and the ripple effect it created. Could be a spanking, or the belt (which I guess makes it a bit of a beating) and it could include a grounding, the kind of grounding where you were in your room except to go to school, to […]
This is how a friend of mine describes compulsive chatter. Which is what parents do best. (For a humorous rendition of “parentspeak,” check out The Mom Song on Youtube!) Funny how parents mistake lectures and advice for conversation! My kids never learned anything while I was talking at them. Why is that? Because they weren’t listening. And they weren’t listening because I wasn’t saying anything they wanted to hear. It wasn’t about what they wanted. It was all about me – what I wanted, what I thought was best for them. I wasn’t talking about what mattered to them; I […]
Who are the 3 most important people in your teen’s life? Their employer Their landlord Their bank (teller, loans officer, bank manager, etc.) These are the people our teens will be dealing with for the rest of their lives. These are the people who decide to employ them – or not, to rent to them – or not, or to lend them money – or not.This is worth keeping in mind as parents, because those people won’t make excuses for our teens. Either they measure up or they don’t. Either they show up and get the work done or they […]
The following was originally a Keynote Address delivered by APSGO Founder Helen Jones at the 2012 APSGO AGM. Credibility Trumps Power In her keynote address, Helen Jones expounded on the difference between credibility and power, and why credibility trumps power every time. Although we can’t control our teens, we can influence them – but only if they view us as credible. So what do we do that diminishes our credibility with our teens, with others, and with ourselves? We squander our credibility in several ways: Making rules for others The problem with rules is that we can’t enforce them. All we can […]
I was going to a conference, and had agreed to carpool with someone else I’d just met. We planned to meet at 10:30, and I would drive us to the conference. At 10:00, she called to tell me she wasn’t dressed yet, but would be leaving shortly. There was no way she would be able to meet me by 10:30, and I didn’t want to be late, but what choice did I have? I arrived at our meeting place and waited. And waited. And waited. And the longer I waited, the more angry I got. She finally showed up almost […]
A few years ago I was addressing the members of a downtown church where the group was a mix of young and old, professional people, stay at home moms and retirees. The conversation centred of course around APSGO’s emphasis on relationship building and like many people, they were drawn into this idea of looking at very serious behaviour issues and coming at them from a rather different direction in order to deal with them. Not surprisingly, the notion that the best way to deal with the behaviour is to not focus on it but to focus instead on changing how […]
Helen, I have a 16 year old who has absolutely no respect for me or his mother or brothers. I could list so many obnoxious things that he does, but there is one issue which really irritates me and spoils the mood for everyone. We sit down every evening to dinner as a family. Derek knows that we place a lot of effort into this event and try to make it an enjoyable time for everyone. It’s a chance to chat and exchange the news of the day and laugh at some of the days problems. Derek persistently shows up […]