APSGO Parenting Blog

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 Like many parents I’ve worked with, when things were at their worst at home, I was anything but a helpful role model to my teens. For some reason, I thought what I said and did to them was more important than how I lived and what I was modelling. Then I attended a workshop where I was challenged to consider the kind of example I was setting for my teens and children, and when this was likely to inspire them or discourage them. Was I cheerful, calm, and confident? Did I enjoy my life? Did I create […]
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 […]
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 […]
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 […]
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 – […]
Choice Theory parenting expert and APSGO leader Sue Kranz had an interview with KIM OLVER recently! “In this episode, I speak with Sue Kranz, a knowledgeable, Choice Theory parenting expert. She first used Choice Theory concepts to help herself with being a single parent to six kids, with one of them exhibiting some seriously challenging behavior. Once she saw how these ideas worked for herself in her situation, she started reaching out to help other parents in similar situations. Above everything, Sue has learned the relationship you create with your children is most important. It’s amazing what happens when we […]
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