APSGO Parenting Blog

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 […]
How to listen There are two ways to listen: Listening to reply. Listening to understand. The first is the one most of us use. While our teen is talking, we’re formulating our response: a comment, advice, a criticism, a rebuttal, a correction, a suggestion, or an opinion. But it’s amazing what can happen when you stop rehearsing your answers and just pay attention. Larry King said, “I never learned anything while I was talking.” How unfortunate. I know what he means, but if you’ve ever spent time with a good listener, you know how much you learned! Some of the […]
Suzanne Kranz (adapted from Jane Bluestein’s The Parent’s Little Book of Lists) from APSGO Fall News 2008 Make excuses for their behaviour: “He has a disorder.” “It’s genetic.” “She’s been diagnosed with XYZ.” “It’s hormones.” “He gets it from his father.” “It’s a learned behav-iour.” “It’s because I’m a single parent and his dad/mom isn’t around.” “It’s the friends she hangs out with.” “He didn’t make it onto the soccer team.” “Her teachers don’t like her.” Refuse to believe they’re capable of doing what they’ve been accused of doing… …and refuse to believe they’re capable of better! Rescue them. Do […]
Dear Helen, At a workshop you gave on parents in conflict, you discussed the merits of different parenting approaches in the same family. Would you please repeat the points you made at that workshop? C., Bowmanville Gladly. Here goes: The idea of parents being on the same page is misleading “common sense.” Who has the right page?! But differences in approach need not be a stumbling block to co-operative parenting. Parents have different views on many issues such as books, politics and sports, so it is natural that they may differ on parenting, too. Children understand this and are comfortable […]