APSGO Parenting Blog

By Sue Kranz “Why?” questions are uppermost in the minds of most parents of acting-out teens: “Why does he lie?” “Why does she hang around with those kids?” “Why does he do drugs?” “Why does she steal?” But we don’t have to know why a problem exists to solve it. We think we have to go back for answers and reasons for our current unhappiness or unwanted behaviour: back to our youth, back to our childhood, back to where “the problem” originated. With this approach, we don’t go back for two reasons: We can’t change the past, no matter how […]
When my marriage broke down, I spent several years trying to put it back together. I eventually came to the realization that I couldn’t hold my family together if I wanted to. I knew that I would rather take my kids from a broken home, than live in one with them. My decision to leave didn’t come lightly.  I thought about my own parents tumultuous divorce and how awful that had been, but that once the grand-babies came. my lovely and smart Mum said something to the effect of, ‘I can be civil if your dad can be civil. I don’t want you […]
Dear Helen, Please explain again the weakness in the principle of parents being “on the same page” when it comes to dealing with their children. My husband is all in favour of this more open approach, but I think it weakens our position as parents when we do not show a united front to our children. Doesn’t it also confuse them when they know their parents have a different opinion or view of the house rules? Thank you. T.P. Dear T.P. Parents who do not realise that their children, even quite young children are aware of the reality of what […]
By Sue Kranz There’s nothing wrong with you. Whatever you’re going through is normal for you. Those random thoughts that make you wonder, “Oh, no! Who am I that I can think those things?!” – that’s normal, too. They just show up, and they don’t have anything to do with who you are. We all have those thoughts. It’s just that no one talks about them. Too bad… You don’t have to believe everything you think. Blaming your parents for how you turn out won’t give you a better life. Self-esteem doesn’t come from others thinking well of you or […]
“OK, honey. Five more minutes, OK? Then we have to go.” “Time to go. OK, two more minutes, but then we really have to go.” “Time’s up. Remember I told you five minutes ago that we had to leave? So we really do need to go or we’ll be late.” “Come on, sweetie. If we leave now, I’ll buy you the truck you wanted or the doll you asked for, or you can have a sleepover…” “If you talk to me like that, we’re going straight home, and there will be no ice cream for you.” “I mean it. This […]
These are unprecedented times, for all of us. The current situation can be scary and uncertain, for our children and ourselves. I have been at home with one of my children for the last three months, my 27-year-old daughter who lives with me. (My son lives with his girlfriend). While we have been navigating the ever-changing information, recommendations and symptoms to look out for, we are trying to live our lives the best way we can. My daughter is dealing with a lot of anxiety because of the current situation. To be honest, my usual chill self is also feeling much anxiety (With […]
Hi Helen, My wife has a 14-year-old, son from a previous marriage who has recently come to live with us. In the past, he lived with his father and I had contact with him only on weekend visits or vacations. We weren’t especially close, but we managed to get along. However, his father has moved out of the province, and now that this teen lives with us, things have become quite tense. I know it can’t be easy for him missing his dad. I tried to step up to the plate by being involved and before this crazy pandemic, I […]
Dear Helen, My daughter has just turned 14 and I am having a terrible time disciplining her for anything. Last night I took her phone away as consequence for failing to come home (which she knew the rules before leaving and the time expectation to be home). She was also high and when I took the phone, she started to leave the house. I ended up sleeping at the door for fear she would leave in the middle of the night and walk across the city through a very rough and disturbing neighbourhood to get back to where I picked her […]
by Sue Kranz This, too, shall pass – so never give up. 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. 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. 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 – […]
Choice Theory parenting expert and APSGO leader Sue Kranz had an interview with KIM OLVER recently! “In this episode, I speak with Sue Kranz, a knowledgeable, Choice Theory parenting expert. She first used Choice Theory concepts to help herself with being a single parent to six kids, with one of them exhibiting some seriously challenging behavior. Once she saw how these ideas worked for herself in her situation, she started reaching out to help other parents in similar situations. Above everything, Sue has learned the relationship you create with your children is most important. It’s amazing what happens when we […]