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The Parenting Toolbox C.J. Johnson L.M.H.P., L.C.S.W., L.M.F.T
Copyright© 1995 By Richard C.J. Johnson, We cannot assume our children are seasoned navigators. They must courageously explore each shoreline; avoiding reefs; encountering ever-changing winds, tides, and seasons; occasionally coping with a dangerous bay after being lured in by its surface beauty. It is not until they encounter a harbor and feel the warmth of guiding fires at its entrance fueled by empathy, compassion, acknowledgment, and understanding, will our children dock, settle down, and time and time again leave, only to return to the sanctuary of security- to a place they call home. - C.J. Johnson
Copyright© 1995 By Richard C.J. Johnson,
Parenting Discipline Prevention To Teach To Learn School Failure Aggression Delinquency Teen Pregnancy Substance Abuse Control Self-Esteem PolicingConnected Deliberate Autonomy Interdependence
Copyright© 1995 By Richard C.J. Johnson, If you don’t know where you’re going, you’ll probably end up somewhere else.
Copyright© 1995 By Richard C.J. Johnson, Determine what are the most important areas you want to focus on in raising your child or adolescent. Find creative ways to expose them to information and skill development in these areas (Be careful of giving advice. Only do so when asked, or you will break down communication.) Make sure your child or adolescent has the resources available to accomplish the goals they have shared with you. Be supportive, and accept positive behaviors and interests, even if they don’t fit “your way of thinking or doing things”. Acknowledge small successes, remember, these are the building blocks to greater successes. Being Deliberate
Copyright© 1995 By Richard C.J. Johnson, Healthy Lifestyles Meaning (Hope) Career, Occupation, Education Friendships Intimate Relationships Physical Health Intellectual Calisthenics Leisure Activities Emotional Well-being (Finances, Play, Garden of Eden) Parental Relationships Spiritual Growth
Copyright© 1995 By Richard C.J. Johnson, Staying Connected Impression Management When we seek to define the situation by generating cues that will lead others to act in accordance with our plans. The child or adolescent see that another human being cares for him or her and is willing to discuss his or her life and talk about anything both considered worthwhile and interesting. The parent must make him or herself available as a caring, belonging person.
Copyright© 1995 By Richard C.J. Johnson, Trustworthiness: (Neutral vs. Credible) While high-credibility sources often produce more opinion change than low-credibility sources, the high or low credibility of the source has not been found to effect message learning. However, NETURAL SOURCES PRODUCE MORE LEARNING OF THE MESSAGE CONTENT.
Copyright© 1995 By Richard C.J. Johnson, Expertness: (Wisdom vs. Smartness) Experts are more persuasive than non-experts. Expertness or perceived competence of the communicator increases persuasive impact more than trustworthiness does.
Copyright© 1995 By Richard C.J. Johnson, Liking: (Friendliness) The more we like the source of a persuasive message, the more likely we are to change our belief in accordance with that advocated by the source.
Copyright© 1995 By Richard C.J. Johnson, Similarity: (Promoting Similarity vs. Developing Similarity) We tend to be influenced more by people who are similar to us than by people who are different.
Copyright© 1995 By Richard C.J. Johnson, Three Aspects to Staying Connected: 1. Finding commonalities between parent and child or adolescent 2. Engaging in activities together 3. Sharing personal experiences
Copyright© 1995 By Richard C.J. Johnson, The 5 Red Lights The 5 Red Lights for behavior in a family are as follows: 1. Be where you’re supposed to be when you’re supposed to be there. This includes being home by curfew, being at a friend’s house when you said that was where you were going, calling to “get permission” when going from one place to another, etc. Consequences for running this light: 1-15 minutes late = 48 hours grounding (no phone, no friend, no special “optional” privileges, only regular “growth” activities) minutes late = 7 days grounding Over 30 minutes late = 7 days grounding plus parents can get “weird,” not angry (this means they may call friends’ houses, drive around to find child, call police), may add a report around what stress does to the body, etc. Not at the proper location = 7 days grounding
Copyright© 1995 By Richard C.J. Johnson, The 5 Red Lights (Cont.) 2. Have good “school” behavior and attendance. “School” is defined as any activity that has supervision. Unacceptable behavior or attendance is defined as “any time an individual in a supervising position feels compelled to contact the parent to inform them of the negative behavior”. Note: This does not apply to general information meetings such as parent/teacher conferences. Consequence for running this light: 24 hour room restriction - Sacrifice of all activities except school and/or work. Room restriction means no leaving the room except for bathroom use, meals with the family, work, or school. No electronics are allowed.
Copyright© 1995 By Richard C.J. Johnson, The 5 Red Lights (Cont.) 3. Get adequate grades. Adequate is defined as what is the lowest grade that a parent will accept without feeling the need to seek further explanation from the teacher. Consequences for running this light: Inadequate grades for that student will result in the parents involvement. This may be simply gathering information to establishing a daily or weekly school contract.
Copyright© 1995 By Richard C.J. Johnson, The 5 Red Lights (Cont.) 4. No drugs or alcohol possession or use by minors. Consequence for running this light: 7 days grounding- Including an optional report. 5. No physical aggression, intimidation, or property damage, including theft. Consequence for running this light: 7 days grounding- Including an optional report and restitution if applicable.
Copyright© 1995 By Richard C.J. Johnson, Notes: If a second red light is run during a grounding, the grounding time starts over with the new amount, as long as the new amount is more than the amount already earned. For example, Billy has 7 days grounding starting Monday. On Friday, he is 20 minutes late getting home from school. Billy now has 7 days grounding starting on that day (Friday). If #2 is run during a grounding, a 24-hour room restriction may be given within the grounding time. Room Restriction means no leaving the room except for bathroom use, meals with the family, work, or school. No electronics are allowed. There are not exceptions for running a red light, no excuses are accepted. When you run a red light, you get a ticket..... Period!
Copyright© 1995 By Richard C.J. Johnson, Issues Basic Privileges Food (only nutritious food; does not include snacks, special desserts, or favorite foods around the house, such as ice cream, etc.) Shelter (a safe home environment, with some private space) Clothing (only essential clothing; does not include designer jeans, Nikes, etc.) Love
Copyright© 1995 By Richard C.J. Johnson, Issues (Cont.) Growth Privileges Growth privileges are privileges that the child or youth have shown an investment of time and regular attendance or participation. These growth privileges should always be available and should never be taken away for bad behavior.
Copyright© 1995 By Richard C.J. Johnson, Issues (Cont.) Optional Privileges Basic Principles Optional privileges must be earned. Optional privileges (also called “rewards”) may be things, activities, tokens, praise or permission. Choose rewards that are highly desired by your child. The younger the child, the more frequently she/he has to be rewarded. It is important for the child to see the positive results of her/his good behavior by frequent rewards.
Copyright© 1995 By Richard C.J. Johnson, Issues (Cont.) Optional Privileges (Cont.) When a child or adolescent makes an ISSUE out of an Optional Privilege it is an indication of a lack of maturity for that specific privilege. Following an initial warning, if the privilege continues to become an ISSUE, the privilege should be “removed” for a period of thirty days. There should be no contingencies placed on the privilege being returned after the thirty day period. If an ISSUE is again made out of the privilege, it should again be removed for thirty days, always keeping in mind that time and maturity go hand in hand. Note: The parent should not try and get creative by taking away other aspects of the child or adolescent's life, rather continue to remember that whatever the specific ISSUE is, it is directly related to the lack of maturity for that child or adolescent around that specific privilege.
Copyright© 1995 By Richard C.J. Johnson, Problems When behaviors occur with children and youth that do not fit into the “Red Lights” categories or the “ISSUES” category, they may indicate a “ PROBLEM ” behavior. Many times these behaviors include swearing, teasing, or even those associate with a “bad” attitude. When such behaviors seem to be more often than not, it is time for the parent to run an experiment, to determine if in fact the behavior is a PROBLEM.
Copyright© 1995 By Richard C.J. Johnson, Problems (Cont.) The following steps should be used to determine if the behavior is a PROBLEM : 1. Visit with the child about the behavior, and indicate that you “are not sure that it is a problem, however we will monitor the behavior for two weeks to determine if in fact it is a problem.” (It is preferred that this is done on a Thursday to allow a “practice” time from Friday through Sunday.) 2. Tell the child what the specific behavior is and that for the next three days, every time the behavior is seen, the child will be informed. This is so that everyone is clear about the behavior that is to be monitored.
Copyright© 1995 By Richard C.J. Johnson, Problems (Cont.) 3. Set criteria (for example, if more than 14 teasing incidents happen over the two week period, then the behavior will be seen as a PROBLEM ) and the day the actually monitoring will begin. Note: Never set zero as the criteria, as this would be unrealistic and circumvent the monitoring process. 4. On the day the monitoring is to start, simply inform the child each time the behavior is seen, and make note of it on a sheet where easily seen (the refrigerator works well).
Copyright© 1995 By Richard C.J. Johnson, Problems (Cont.) 5. If the child goes all 14 days without going over the established criteria, then the behavior is not a problem, and nothing further needs to be done. Note: If a child is able to behave without exceeding the criteria, it means the child is choosing an alternate behavior, which is what you are trying to accomplish in the first place. 6. Should the child exceed the criteria, then the monitoring stops at that point, and the child is informed that something will be done, and that you will get back to them in the next day or two.
Copyright© 1995 By Richard C.J. Johnson, Problems (Cont.) 7. If you are required to address a PROBLEM behavior, establish a two week intervention that is specific to the behavior. It is important to try and make the intervention relatively exaggerated, without making it extremely punitive. The key is to make it only two weeks long, with a learning component if at all possible. 8. Many Parents will establish a cause and effect quality to the intervention, for example: For each time you tease another person, you will have to write a one page letter of apology and cannot do anything else until the letter is done. For each time you swear, you will not be able to leave the house for 2 hours so that you don’t embarrass yourself or others while in public.
Copyright© 1995 By Richard C.J. Johnson, Problems (Cont.) For each time your attitude causes you to treat other badly, you will write 10 things about that person that you appreciate and cannot do anything else until the list is done. 9. Remember, the intervention should be for only two weeks, and then ended, no matter how many times the behavior happens during the intervention. This is a time to create a learning opportunity around the PROBLEM behavior rather than merely punishing the child. The goal is to discipline which means “to teach, to learn”.
Copyright© 1995 By Richard C.J. Johnson, Additional Notes: At no time should more than one intervention be in effect, and you should never monitor one behavior while an intervention is in effect for another. During 18 years of childhood, this will give you approximately 200 opportunities to intervene around specific problem behaviors.... more than adequate. DO NOT maintain the intervention after the two week period of time. You won’t remember each and everyone, and therefore will eventually become inconsistent in addressing behaviors. Remember that PROBLEM behaviors are not “Red Lights” behaviors or “Issues”. These two categories are stand alone and should be dealt with as such.
Copyright© 1995 By Richard C.J. Johnson, Never Say “HURRY” Omission is the most powerful weapon either parents or children can utilize in winning any power struggle. Webster’s defines “omit” as “to fail to perform or make use of leave out or leave unmentioned.” The words “make use of” jump out in this definition and unfortunately, most adults have forgotten this, leaving their children and adolescents the ultimate weapon to ensure a win during any power struggle. The bottom line is that when a parent places an expectation on a child, and the child can simply win by not doing the expectation the parent has gotten themselves in a “Never Say ‘Hurry’” dilemma. Power struggles take many forms and generally place the child or adolescent in the position of power without the parent realizing they have given away all their authority.
Copyright© 1995 By Richard C.J. Johnson, Never Say “HURRY” We all know that when a parent wants a child to speed up, the moment a parent says “hurry up”, the child immediately slows down. If this is a difficult concept to grasp, simply watch a small child who no longer wants to walk in the mall. They simply have to stop walking and sit down. Of course, parents will try all manners of threats to get the child to continue walking, inevitably the parent will end up carrying the child. If the threats do work at the time, it won’t take long until the child begins to realize that such threats are generally of a nature that the parent can't actually follow through (the most classic is “I’m going now, and I guess you’ll just have to sit there while I leave.” The child will eventually come to realize that this is abandonment, and legally classified as neglect.... Parentally power gone).
Copyright© 1995 By Richard C.J. Johnson, Never Say “HURRY” Another good example of this has to do with getting a child or adolescent to complete a chore. Let’s take cleaning their room for an example: When a parent asks the child to clean their room (or any other chore for that matter), they generally do so on the spur of the moment. This leaves the child with may opportunities to simply delay the activity, hoping the parent will finally give up, or in worst case scenario, lose control themselves. One parent reported that their son learned that school work was always needing to be done, thus forcing the parent to make a decision, “Is school work more important than a clean room, or is a clean room more important then school work.” Obviously the child won the battle every time, by simply knowing where the parent’s priorities lies.
Copyright© 1995 By Richard C.J. Johnson, Key Way to Avoid Power Struggles: Always set a window of time for the task to be completed. (Please have your room cleaned sometime between Wednesday at 5:00p.m. and Friday at 5:00p.m.) If the child does not complete the task, the parent can now omit any privileges or other parental activities until the task is completed. Note: Don’t keep reminding the child during the window of time, they will soon learn that you are not looking forward to the confrontation on Friday at 5:00p.m. and will simply not do the task. Stay out of urgent requests. Using the previous example, the child insists that they must know immediately if they can rent a video. You tell them that you can not make the decision until 5:00p.m., however the child continues to insist that they must know now. The answer is simply N-O, because N-O is quicker than Y-E-S or M-A-Y-B-E.
Copyright© 1995 By Richard C.J. Johnson, Key Way to Avoid Power Struggles: (Cont.) Set up the “consequences” for later with clear guidelines as to what the consequence will be and when it will occur. For example, tell a child that for every minute their late leaving for school, they will have 15 minutes in their room upon returning from school. Then let it go. If the child is 5 minutes late leaving for school, they will have 75 minutes in their room. (Remember: if they are actually late arriving to school, they have ran a “Red Light” and will have the appropriate consequence.) Define the behavior that will eliminate the request. For example, the child asks every few minutes whether they can rent a video game for the evening. Simply tell the child that you are going to make the decision at 5:00p.m., and if they ask between now and then, you will interpret the request as them NOT wanting the video that evening. If they ask, then your answer is simply “No”.
Copyright© 1995 By Richard C.J. Johnson, Key Way to Avoid Power Struggles: (Cont.) Never, never succumb to requests based on feelings of guilt. Someone once made a smart aleck comment about teaching children to brush their teeth. He said, “Don’t get that started, they’ll want to do that everyday then.” Although brushing one’s teeth would be a good habit to get into, fulfilling children's requests based on guilt is not. Children are excellent at whining, comparing, pouting, holding their breath, or whatever ploy they have found works to invoke feelings of guilt in their parents. Don’t succumb, EVER! “Once you get that started, they’ll want to do that everyday then.”
Copyright© 1995 By Richard C.J. Johnson, Sometimes You Win, Sometimes You Lose One of life’s little realities, and once understood promotes all of the “selves”- self-concept, self-esteem, self-love, self-efficacy, self-confidence, self-acceptance, and self-ideal.
Copyright© 1995 By Richard C.J. Johnson, “Self- ______” It is easy to become confused when thinking about self-esteem. The vocabulary becomes unclear and is often used interchangeably. Here are some important related terms: Self-Concept - The constellation of things we use to describe ourselves. Self-Esteem - The evaluation of the information contained in our self-concept. Self-Love -The affection and care we express to ourselves. Self-Efficacy - The confidence to make a difference in a situation. Self-Confidence - The trust, security, and belief we have in ourselves. Self-Acceptance - The respect, dignity, and approval of our personhood. Self-Ideal - The image of the person we would like to be.
Copyright© 1995 By Richard C.J. Johnson, The Four Conditions of Self- ______ 1. Having a Sense of Connectiveness, that results when a child gains satisfaction from associations that are significant to the child, and the importance of these associations has been affirmed by others. 2. Having a Sense of Uniqueness, that occurs when a child can acknowledge and respect the qualities or attributes that make him or her special and different, and receives respect and approval from others for these qualities. 3. Having a Sense of Power, that comes about though having the resources, opportunity, and capability to influence the circumstances of his or her own life in important ways. 4. Having a Sense of Models, that reflect a child's ability to refer to adequate human, philosophical, and operational examples that serve to help him establish meaningful values, goals, ideals, and personal standards.
Copyright© 1995 By Richard C.J. Johnson, Having a Sense of Connectiveness: A Child Needs To: Feel that he or she is part of something Feel related to other people Identify with special groups Feel connected to the past or a heritage Feel that something important belongs to him or her Feel that he or she belongs to someone or something Know that the people or things that he or she is connected to are held in high esteem by others Feel that he or she is important to others Feel connected to his or her own body
Copyright© 1995 By Richard C.J. Johnson, Having a Sense of Uniqueness: A Child Needs To: Know that there is something special about him or herself, even though there are many ways in which he or she is like others Feel that he or she knows and can do things that no one else can Know that others think he or she is special Be able to express him or herself in his or her own way Use imagination and give free reign to creative potentials Respect him or herself Enjoy being different
Copyright© 1995 By Richard C.J. Johnson, Having a Sense of Power: A Child Needs To: Believe that he or she can usually do what he or she sets out to do Know that he or she can get what he or she needs in order to do what he or she has to do Feel that he or she is in charge of important things about his or her own life Feel comfortable when fulfilling responsibilities Know how to make decisions and solve problems Know how to deal with pressure and stress, so as not to lose control of his or herself Use the skills he or she has accumulated
Copyright© 1995 By Richard C.J. Johnson, Having a Sense of Models: A Child Needs To: Know people who are worthy models for his or her own behavior Grow confident in his or her ability to distinguish right from wrong; good from bad Have values and beliefs that are functional guides for his or her behavior Profit from having a broad range of experiences, so that new experiences aren’t intimidating Develop the ability to work toward goals, and become conscious of what they are To make sense out of what’s going on in his or her life Know the standards by which his or her performance (in all areas of school and home) will be evaluated Know how to go about learning Have a sense of order
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