Therapeutic Interventions

1. Read parenting literature and attend classes that teach a positive approach to child management. (1, 2)

1. Assign the parents to read literature defining theories of positive discipline and child management strategies (e.g., Parenting with Love and Logic by Cline and Fay, Kids Are Worth It! by Coloroso, or Children: The Challenge by Dreikurs).

2. Refer the parents to a parenting class (e.g., Systematic Training for Effective Parenting(STEP) by Dinkmeyer and McKay, Becoming a Love and Logic Parent by Fay, Cline, and Fay, or The Parent Talk System by Moorman and Knapp) to acquire techniques of positive discipline to use with the child.

2. List the essential needs of an elementary aged child and create a plan for accommodating these needs. (3, 4)

3. Establish limits for the child using "I" statements, choices, positive conditions, and timeout. (5, 6, 7, 8)

3. Brainstorm with the parents the essential requirements for the healthy development of their child (e.g., food, shelter, affirmation, discipline, character development); determine how these needs are being met.

4. Assist the parents in creating a definition of unconditional love (e.g., complete and constant love given regardless of personal attributes or performance); brainstorm methods of sharing this nurturing form of love with all family members.

5. Discuss and role play with the parents the use of "I" statements (e.g., "I feel . . . , when . . . , because . . .") with the child as a first step in addressing inappropriate behavior (see Parent Effectiveness Training by Gordon).

6. Instruct the parents in using "Controlled Choices" (see Parent Talk by Moorman) to limit options according to the child's level of responsibility (e.g., "Would you like hot dogs or grilled cheese?" versus "What would you like to eat?").

7. Teach the parents to use positive conditions to make a privilege the child desires contingent on a behavior the parent requires (e.g., "Your friend may come over when you have picked up your room").

8. Advise the parents to use a short timeout when the child's behavior becomes defiant or overly emotional and to require that the child remain excluded from family interaction until the child adopts a cooperative attitude.

parents) consequences and outline their effectiveness as part of a positive discipline strategy.

10. Assist the parents in designing several logical consequences to deal with the child's chronic, inappropriate behavior (e.g., forgets to make bed before school, is not allowed after school activities until the bed is made, procrastinates about doing homework, required to get up early to complete homework).

a learning opportunity (e.g., child fails to complete the task); combine a logical consequence and empathy to teach responsible decision making (e.g., "So sorry, no television until the homework is complete."); give the same task again (e.g., child allowed to watch television next day after homework is completed) (see Parenting with Love and Logic by Cline and Fay).

12. Ask the parents to use the "Red Light, Green Light" technique to turn an irresponsible behavior into a responsible behavior: (1)

4. Utilize natural and logical consequences to redirect behavior. (9, 10)

9. Define natural (e.g., naturally occurring in the environment) and logical (e.g., created by the

11. Assign the parents to give the child an age-appropriate task or responsibility (e.g., completing homework); use misbehavior as

Red light: Describe the inappropriate behavior to the child (e.g., trash overflowing); (2) Green light: Describe the expected behavior (e.g., trash taken to dumpster) (see Parent Talk by Moorman).

6. Grant specific freedoms 13. Describe to the parents the consistent with the child's importance of extending maturity and level of self- freedoms to the child only control. (13, 14) after developmental maturity has been attained; brainstorm with the parents a list of acceptable and unacceptable privileges for an elementary-aged child (e.g., acceptable: later bedtime on weekends, riding bike in neighborhood, unacceptable: late bedtime on school nights, riding bike on highway).

14. Teach the parents to use the phrase "Soon you'll be on your own," to encourage the child to earn freedom from close parental supervision by demonstrating the ability to complete a task independently (see Parent Talk by Moorman).

7. Encourage the child to solve 15. Advise the parents to use the personal problems with empowering statement, "I think guidance. (15, 16, 17) you can handle it," when the child is asking for too much assistance in solving problems and to offer recognition when the child has successfully mastered a challenge.

16. Brainstorm with the parents strategies for assisting the child to complete tasks without taking over the child's responsibility (e.g., offer guidance on an as needed basis, ask the child to

Promote the child's efforts to become self-reliant and independent using encouragement and support. (18, 19)

9. Allow the child to learn from mistakes. (20, 21)

describe what type of assistance is needed).

17. Instruct the parents to assist their child in solving personal problems using an interactive process that allows the child to develop problem-solving skills:

(1) Child states the problem;

(2) parent assumes a supportive role using active listening and empathy; (3) child states potential solutions; (4) parent offers additional possible solutions; (5) parent and child consider the options and possible outcomes; and (6) child chooses a strategy and parent remains supportive.

18. Request that the parents use "Act as if' in response to "I can't" language to encourage the child to make an effort despite fear of failure (e.g., "Act as if you knew how to ride a bike") (see Parent Talk by Moorman).

19. Ask parents to use the phrase, "Check Yourself' (e.g., "You have basketball tonight, check yourself to make sure you have your uniform and equipment.") to help the child develop the ability to prepare successfully for upcoming events (see Parent Talk by Moorman).

20. Instruct the parents to allow the child to revise an impulsive action that has created a negative parent reaction (or assign the "Rewind Game" activity from the Parenting Skills Homework Planner by Knapp).

10. Express awareness that all behaviors have a social purpose and all misbehavior is goal oriented. (22, 23, 24)

11. Differentiate between adult problems and those that belong to the child.

21. Assign the parents to allow the child to experience the results of questionable personal choices (e.g., homework incomplete results in a lower grade) and to reassure the child by saying, "Don't worry, next time you'll have a chance to make a different choice."

22. Teach the parents the four goals of misbehavior: attention, power, revenge, and overcoming feelings of inadequacy; help them to identify the goals of their child's misbehavior (see Children: The Challenge by Dreikurs and Stolz).

23. Determine with the parents how they may be reinforcing the child's misbehavior by their reactions and brainstorm more appropriate responses to encourage appropriate behavior (or assign the "Record of Reinforced Behavior" activity from the Parenting Skills Homework Planner by Knapp).

24. Encourage the parents to involve the child in reciprocal activities which enhance self-worth (e.g., one-to-one chats, daily greetings, reciprocal smiles).

25. Assign the parents to listen to the audio tape, Helicopters, Drill Sergeants, and Consultants (Fay) to recognize the advantage of allowing their children to problem solve.

26. Teach the parents to differentiate problems that belong to the child (e.g., friends, homework) from

12. Involve the child in developing strategies for correcting inappropriate behaviors. (28, 29)

13. Convene weekly family meetings to discuss family issues, make family plans, and create a feeling of connectedness. (30, 31)

problems that belong to the parents (e.g., messy kitchen, misplaced belongings of the parent).

27. Guide the parents in using proactive discipline strategies (e.g., consequences, limit setting, choices) to modify behavior that is creating a problem for them and supportive interventions (e.g., active listening, empathy, brain-storming) when the problem belongs to the child.

28. Teach the parents the advantages of involving the child in creating a discipline plan for correcting inappropriate behaviors (e.g., teaches the child problemsolving skills, child plans for future appropriate behavior).

29. Instruct the parents to assign the child the "Problem-Solving Worksheet" activity from the Parenting Skills Homework Planner (Knapp) whenever a significant misbehavior occurs to encourage the child to plan for a more appropriate response in the future.

30. Assign the parents to read about "The Family Council" (see Children: The Challenge by Dreikurs and Stoltz) or "The Family Meeting" (see Systematic Training for Effective Parenting (STEP) by Dinkmeyer and McKay) to understand the process of family meetings.

31. Encourage the parents to initiate weekly family meetings to discuss concerns, reflect upon

14. Report a reduction in power struggles resulting from strategies designed to enlist the child's cooperation. (32, 33)

15. Help the child recognize personal attributes and talents. (34, 35)

16. Teach appropriate behavior through modeling and defining what is expected. (36, 37)

positive events, review responsibilities, and plan for positive interaction.

32. Ask the parents to practice methods of sidestepping power struggles (e.g., broken record, "I" statements, choices, refusing to argue).

33. Assist the parents in analyzing the child's repetitive cycle of negative behavior (e.g., instigating event, child reacts negatively, adult criticizes the child, child escalates the negative reaction); brainstorm strategies for breaking the cycle by responding calmly and rationally (e.g., count to ten before responding, engage in positive self-talk).

34. Instruct the parents to use "Attribute Awareness" to point out how the child's behaviors directly affect results (e.g., "You earned an A on this paper, what do you attribute that to?", "You can't find your rollerblades. What caused that?" (see Parent Talk by Moorman).

35. Assign the parents to assist the child in developing a list of positive personal attributes and to post the list prominently at home.

36. Assign parents to use the statement, "Next time . . " to help the child replace inappropriate with appropriate behavior (e.g., "Next time you need my help please ask for it in a polite tone of voice") (see Parent Talk by Moorman).

17. Work together to establish a loving, respectful, cooperative family atmosphere. (38, 39)

37. Identify for the parents the power of using referential speaking (e.g., explaining while doing) while completing tasks to model and define for the child the importance of completing the tasks.

38. Explore for any triangulation or sabotaging that is occurring within the family; direct the parents to eliminate it through open discussions, mutual problem solving, and presenting a united parental front.

39. Discuss with the parents the importance of cooperation in the co-parenting process; offer to mediate any current roadblocks to supporting one another in all areas of child management.

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