APSGO Parenting Blog

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 […]
by Sue Kranz “Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words can never hurt me.” This experiment tests whether or not that’s true, or whether our words − and perhaps even our thoughts and indifference − actually have an impact on our teens. I first read about the rice experiment in The Hidden Messages in Water by Masaru Emoto. It piqued my curiosity, so I tried it for myself − 3 times. And each time I got the same result. Here’s how I did it: When I made rice, I made a bit extra, and put equal amounts of […]
by Sue Kranz In the last article, I shared ways to get a clean kitchen, and mentioned there’s a difference between compliance and cooperation. What I’ve learned over the years is that, while parents say they want compliance, they’re seldom satisfied with it. It isn’t inherent in compliance that your child will want to do what they’ve been asked to do, just that they’ll do it, often accompanied by whining, complaining, sullenness, arguing, or anger. In those moments, what parents want is for their child or teen to comply willingly and cheerfully. But is that reasonable or even achievable, especially […]
In this episode, Kim Olver interviews Choice Theory parenting coach, Sue Kranz. Kim Olver: “Sue is a phenomenal parenting coach, having raised six children of her own as a single parent and is now weighing in on some stellar ideas for grandparenting, as well. In this interview, we discuss how to help children with frustration, to self-regulate and to help out around the house. Sue also has some great insight about teaching children about thinking and delineating between helping and rescuing. We also talk about the distinction between compliance and cooperation and how to set your child up to keep track […]
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 […]
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