APSGO Parenting Blog

by Helen Jones

Many APSGO coaches have been around for years, generously giving of their time, experience and expertise. Sometimes we forget that new and relatively new parents don’t realize any of this.

In a parent group, it is important that parents understand the role of the person who is helping them. The coach should briefly explain his or her role.

There are several roles that can be held by the APSGO group Coach.

Role: Manager

  • Helps someone who does not want to be helped..
  • Allows consequences which can be redeemed, unlikecriticisms and put downs which cannot be retrieved.
  • Relates as adult to adult
  • Honest
  • Creative
  • Encourages self-evaluation
  • Deals in facts not opinions
  • No excuses no blame

Role: Counsellor

  • Helps someone who has asked for help.
  • The process (Reality Therapy)
  • Teacher Gives information
  • Models/demonstrates appropriate behaviour
  • Demonstrates the usefulness of these.

Role: Friend

  • Asks who you are, What you stand for
  • What you will ask of them, What you will not ask of them
  • What you will do for or with them, What you will not do for or with them.
  • No coercion, no criticism, never ask too much
  • What you will support and what you will not support
  • Being a friend has nothing to do with being agreeable and has everything to do with being trustworthy and competent and confident.

More About APSGO Coaching

Asking questions doesn’t just help the coach it also helps the parent who acquire new insights through the kinds of questions they are being asked. They won’t always appreciate these insights since so much of what APSGO teaches is contrary to conventional wisdom.

It isn’t the job of coach to justify our approach at this juncture unless the explanation is brief and succinct, nor to persuade the parent to a specific action. (A simple but powerful technique is to ask an indecisive or reluctant parent if what they have been doing so far has worked, or if it has worked well enough.)

If a parent is reluctant, it is part of the coach’s responsibility to allow them to go home without a plan.

Reassure parents that you will always explain the suggestions which are offered to them and that they are free to agree or not to the suggestions and that each plan is for one week only and that if it works, it can become part of their behaviour until it is no longer needed.

Don’t make promises. You have no control over the plan once the parent takes it home.

All of this applies to seasoned members as much as it does to new members.

Finally, if you are using the Process in your work with the parent, you will find that all of the above will fall into place.

Feel free to email me with your questions: helenj0000@aol.com.

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Association of Parent Support Groups in Ontario (APSGO)