APSGO Parenting Blog

In our support groups, ASPGO leaders use Choice Theory to help parents develop small plans to improve their relationships with their children by changing their own behaviour. The plan should rely solely on the parent. If it depends for success on anyone else, including a teacher, spouse or your child it has little to no chance of success. The plan should be as small as possible. The plan should demonstrate a change in the behaviour of the parent. The plan should have a positive impact on the wellbeing of the parent. The plan should not be punitive. So often when […]
A Letter to Helen Jones, Founder of APSGO I do know that it is my attitude in the whole situation that should change but I am having a really hard time.  Here is some background. Our daughter is now 40. She has struggled since she was 20 with alcohol and drug issues. Went into rehab many times but has never finished a treatment. At 30 she finally got clean, got married and we thought things were good. She had a baby and she started drinking heavily, she went back on drugs.  Today’s situation is of course, all the denial, and […]
Parents of APSGO are now facing the BIG QUESTION: Are the skills we learn in our parent groups capable of standing up under the greatest test which any generation of parents is likely to encounter. Do the skills and principles we learn in our groups work, or do they even matter when survival is in question? The real question is, when have these lessons been more necessary? If we have changed our parenting habits since coming to APSGO, then it’s just as important that we don’t revert to old habits when the chips are down. Credibility is enduring and can stand the test […]
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 […]
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 […]
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 […]
There is a truth which is not acknowledged by those who are in authority over others and who live ‘by the book’ and that is that rules are intended to establish conformity. What is the appeal of conformity and why would anyone want to maintain it? While conformity can be comforting, particularly to ado-lescents, where it provides a sense of belonging, this is true only if it is self-imposed. It is very different when rules are imposed externally by parents or teachers who mistakenly see it as a way of gaining a greater degree of control over children. Consider the […]
Dear Helen For several months we have been implementing your suggested plans with our daughter, an incredibly bright thirteen-year-old who was, until now, seemingly bent on self-destruction. We have a long way to go, but because things are so much better around our home, we feel very hopeful about her future and our sanity! Our question is not really about our daughter but about us. When we explain to friends and family what we are doing, they seem skeptical. The general idea seems to be that we don’t have any rules and our daughter is ‘getting away’ with all sorts […]
Dear Helen, I have a fourteen year old son who earns money by doing chores around the house. This week we had an agreement that he would clean out the garden shed and organ- ize the gardening equipment and other odds and ends. He completed the work and although he took a lot of time to get it done, I was satisfied with the job he did. In the mean time however, I got a call from the school that he had skipped several classes. I haven’t paid him yet. He had asked that I pay him on the week- […]