Parent training is an integral part of working with children who misbehave. We have worked with parents who said, "we've tried everything, and
nothing works!" Sometimes even the best-intentioned parents need new ideas or adjustments to old methods that have not worked.
Most often, children misbehave because they are rewarded for it. Think of the typical scene in a department store where 6-year-old Johnny
decides to lay on the carpet, screaming and banging his hands and feet. How do many moms and dads react? They usually try a gentle, reasoning approach, but when that fails, mom or dad is
yelling louder than Johnny and screaming, "no ice cream for you today!!" Mom or dad then usually has to forcefully pick little Johnny off the floor and scurry to the car. What did Johnny
"get" out of all this? Was it worth no ice cream? It's hard to imagine, but look at the power that Johnny feels when he gets mom or dad to "blow a gasket" in response to his
behavior. Maybe Johnny has seen mom or dad blow up at the other during a disagreement (allowing Johnny to "learn" this behavior). What if Johnny gets his ice cream anyway, because Johnny
is now whimpering in the car?
Parent training will teach you the causes of Johnny's misbehavior and ways to best manage your responses.
Some of the goals of parent training are:
- Explain to parents why children misbehave
- Teach parents to pay attention to appropriate child behavior and improve the value of their attention for doing so
- Teach parents ways to increase compliance and independent play in their defiant child
- Train parents to construct and implement a home poker chip program or point system (token economy)
- Instruct parents in the use of a highly effective paradigm for implementing time out and other disciplinary methods contingent on child
- Work with parents to extend the use of time out to additional misbehavior
- Show parents how to anticipate behavior problems, such as in public places, and how to implement a transition plan to reduce the likelihood of such
- Teach parents how to implement a daily school behavior report card for improving school behavior from home