APSGO Parenting Blog

We all know – or think we know – what boundaries are: Boundaries are rules we make for others, or that others make for us. So I made rules for my kids and called those “boundaries”. But I had no way to enforce these “boundaries”, and their success was determined by my teens’ willingness to cooperate with me. And the folly of thinking these would work became more apparent as I more closely observed whose behaviour I could actually control: mine. In the early ’60s, in his book Parent Effectiveness Training, Thomas Gordon introduced parents to I-messages: “I feel (blank) […]
by Sue Kranz Listening is one of the seven caring habits recommended by William Glasser in Choice Theory. These are the habits that, when put into practice, bring us closer to our sons and daughters – and everyone else. And the closer we are, the more influence we have. David Augsburger wrote: “Being listened to is so close to being loved that most people can’t tell the difference.” 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, […]
Dear Sue, It is a rule that there are no drugs or drug paraphernalia in the house (aka marijuana, grinder, and bongs). My son seems to think the rules don’t apply to him, and so I have repeatedly confiscated and destroyed what I find. He is also engaged in risky behaviour like driving after smoking pot. I don’t want to kick him out because I can keep a closer eye on him in my house, but I cannot sit by and watch him destroy his life with drugs, and I can’t tolerate the crap laying around. Frustrated Dear Frustrated: I […]
(Notes from the Youth Group on Connecting/Disconnecting) We talk about connecting and disconnecting behaviour in terms of relationships – with ourselves or with others. Fair enough. But what if you don’t like the other person? What if you don’t want anything to do with them? Then what? In the workshops, we’ve been working with the idea that, when we get frustrated, we try to satisfy our need for power by trying to control everybody around us. When we’re unsuccessful (and we usually are), that leads to more frustration, which leads to escalating our attempts to control others, which leads to […]
As a parent, are you invested or involved in your child’s or teen’s life? They may seem similar, but they aren’t. Invested parents are focused on the child’s goals: outcomes and achievement. The parent has an agenda that is more concerned with the destination than with the journey. Involved parents are focused on the child’s role: identity and character. The parent has no agenda and is more interested in the journey than the destination. Invested parents concentrate on the flowers, nurturing for results – goal oriented. Involved parents concentrate on the roots, nurturing for character and a sense of self […]
The things our children need to be happy and to become well-adjusted, responsible citizens aren’t necessarily the things we think they need – or what they tell us they need. So what do they need most? Safety and security: You may be thinking a roof over their head, food on the table, a warm bed to sleep in, and clean clothes to wear. Those are important when they’re young, but become increasingly less important as they grow. What I’m talking about is feeling safe and secure with us. I’m talking about being the kind of people that our children can […]
Dear Sue, Our son lives at home rent-free. His father and I pay for his car and insurance, and although he has a full-time job, he squanders every cent he makes. He’s also borrowed money from us, but whenever we ask about repayment, all we get is excuses. Is there some course in managing finances that he could take? What about counselling? Wits’ End Dear Wits’ End: Let’s start at the beginning. When our children are young, it’s our job to provide for them and protect them. But the other part of our job is to prepare them to live […]
By Sue Kranz What’s a parent? And who gets to decide? In other words, who writes your job description? I’m stunned by the number of parents who explain, “But my teen says it’s my job!” Expectations include, but are not limited to: driving them out of town to a friend’s and picking them up again – at the teen’s convenience waking them up in the morning, packing their lunch and driving them to school (even when the parents know they’re not going to school) buying them designer clothes cooking all their meals waiting on them hand and foot picking up […]
By Helen Jones Editor’s Note: Many of these coaching strategies from Choice Theory and Helen Jones are just helpful in conversations with our children and other loved ones to help them find solutions and strategies for their own challenges. Knowing how to ask the questions is as important as knowing what to ask. While maintaining a safe environment, use the Process to: ASK OPEN ENDED QUESTIONS. Avoid questions which require only a yes or no response. ASK EACH QUESTION ONCE ONLY. Often coaches ask the same question in several different ways. This diminishes the question. These are powerful questions. Allow […]
By Sue Kranz I’ve never yet met a parent who welcomed frustration. In fact, most of us would rather do whatever it takes to prevent our kids from experiencing frustration. And so we minimize how they feel: “It’s not that bad!” We threaten: “I’ll give you something to cry about!” We distract: “Let’s go for ice cream!” What we haven’t been taught is the importance of frustration in our children’s development: Frustration helps our kids develop resilience and adaptability. In his book Hold Onto Your Kids, Gordon Neufeld explains the value of frustration and provides a better, more useful way […]