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 parents think of dealing with acting out behaviour, frustration and worry lead to complicated and sometimes punitive action. The result is a circle of anger and disappointment for everyone including the son or daughter. These circumstances lead to bigger and more involved plans which increase the distance between parent and child.
If we want others to change, we must change first. Sometimes the most powerful plans are no more than a small change in the behaviour of the parent.
If this pandemic has taught us anything, it is that there are no promises and the only thing we have control over is our own behaviour. Fortunately, this control and the willingness to change is a powerful advantage in the challenge to raise honourable and happy children.
by Helen Jones
From the APSGO ENews – October 2020