APSGO Parenting Blog

– By Helen Jones Because our approach is new to most people, some parents will express doubts as to its effectiveness. Our focus on building better relationships, can lead some parents to believe that we concentrate on relationship building while ignoring acting out behaviour. Parents need reassurance that we have similar goals and even better results in mind using a different approach to dealing with acting out behaviour. There are two approaches to dealing with bad behaviour. The Failing Approach, which is used by most parents involves punishment, as a deterrent. Or, even more destructive, a ‘diagnosis’ such as ADHD […]
Dear Sue: My 15-year-old has been in trouble at school for vaping, smoking marijuana, skipping classes, etc. Often we take away her freedom when these things happen, which seems to have an impact at the time; however, the behaviours keep happening. From reading your articles, I have become a big believer in natural consequences, but sometimes I feel like I need to enforce a punishment. What do you feel is an appropriate way to handle these behaviours? Puzzled Dear Puzzled: If the school is having trouble with your daughter, then leave it up to the school to deal with. I […]
By Sue Kranz What is frustration? Frustration is the feeling we have when what we’re experiencing isn’t what we want. Frustration comes from believing we’re helpless, powerless, or have too little control in our lives. And it stems from trying to control what we can’t control – sometimes an event or circumstance, but usually another person. Over a lifetime, we learn and practice strategies that we hope will help us gain control over others: we criticize, blame, complain, nag, threaten, punish, and bribe. When we try to force others to do what we want, we actually entrench them in doing […]
By Sue Kranz In his book Choice Theory, William Glasser discuses 7 habits that bring people closer to us and 7 habits that push them away. While my focus here is on our relationship with our children and teens, as some of you have already noticed, these principles apply to all of our relationships. First, the 7 habits that brings others closer to us: supporting, encouraging, listening, accepting, trusting, respecting, and negotiating differences. And the 7 habits that push others away: criticizing, blaming, complaining, nagging, threatening, punishing, and bribing.In this article, I’ll discuss the 7 habits that push others away, […]
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 […]
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 […]
“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 […]
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