– 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 (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder), which leads to prolonged “treatment” and frequently medication and even hospitalization. There are many different “diagnoses” to explain away bad behaviour and parents are confused and frightened by seeing their children in this situation.
APSGO’s approach to helping parents and their children is different and involves:
- Teaching the parent how to build a connection with their child as a starting point to regain lost influence. With the renewal of child and parent relationships, issues which were a source of conflict can be dealt with without resorting to rules, threats and punishment.
- Using terms such as influence, credibility, character, connection, respect and role model to explain the approach APSGO uses to encourage youth to make better choices.
- Emphasizing that we at APSGO never ignore or forget anything our children do. Instead, we choose an indirect approach which allows us to have the same or better results over issues such as school, drugs, violence etc.
- Using the term ‘connection’ instead of relationship as much as possible.
- Comparing ‘responsibility’ and ‘obedience’. Briefly discuss the advantages of responsibility and the weaknesses of obedience.
- Reminding parents that they have already acknowledged that their previous approach didn’t work.
- Allowing parents to draw their own conclusions about the theory and method.
- Reassuring the client/parent that APSGO has been helping parents for more than forty years using this method with greater success and in less time than traditional methods.
Because this method is new to parents, coaches must:
- take the time to teach
- to suggest plans which are very small
- to suggest plans which involve a change in the behaviour of the parent which the parent can control
- not plans which depend on the child since only the child can control these