APSGO Parenting Blog

In 2003, as a single mom of six, my household was spiralling sickeningly out of control. My 16-year-old daughter was heavily involved in drugs and had left home. My 15-year-old son was in a CAS group home, and the younger ones were taking notes and robbing me blind. Every other parent I knew was doing fine. They all had well-behaved kids who did their chores, were responsible and respectful, followed the house rules, attended school, did their homework, and didn’t smoke, drink or do drugs. What was wrong with me? What was I doing wrong? I concluded that I was […]
Dear Helen, My seventeen-year-old son comes and goes as often as he likes. What bothers me most is his habit of coming home at very late hours. He has a curfew of 1am but usually ignores it. On the advice of friends and even a couple of family members I have taken his key and let him wait outside when he came home long after curfew. One time he could see that we were awake and kept banging on the door and ringing the doorbell. It was very upsetting, but we didn’t let him in until morning. What should I […]
APSGO hosted an online parenting workshop for members with APSGO Founder, Past President and spokesperson Helen Jones on Saturday March 13. This Workshop was presented in open Q&A format with parents encouraged to submit questions to Helen in advance and during the workshop. You can listen to the recorded workshop below.
I was listening to Kim Olver’s podcast interview with Sue Kranz recently where she speaks on parenting using Choice Theory. One of the issues she discusses in the podcast is whether parents need to be “on the same page”. This struck a chord with me because of the parenting journey my husband and I had been on through our sons’ teen years. What follows is the reflection on that journey and why I agree with Sue Kranz that parents do not need to be “on the same page”. When my son Ali became a teen, my husband Nat and I […]
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 […]
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 […]
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 – […]