“My Kids are Driving Me Crazy”

Wait one minute. Who’s the parent? Who’s in charge here? It is very important to first take three or four deeeeep breaths and then, second, answer these two questions calmly. Of course you are the parent and you are in charge, however, there are certainly times you don’t feel like it.

Many people have heard about using time-out with children, usually when there is some misbehaving going on. Children will often struggle because they are, just like us parents, learning how to get along, navigate relationships, problem-solve etc.. The times when our little adorable ones are finding it difficult to behave quite often seems to coincide with the times we are busy and less able to attend to and respond to them.

Before automatically giving the child a time-out, it is important to give a few cautions, redirections or requests for better behaviour. These do not always result in the behaviour change desired which can then be an opportunity to use effective time-out and time-in. Yes “time-in”.  Imagine a sports team taking a time-out without a time-in?

Think of a time-out like a sports coach.  He sees something in the game that requires a bit of coaching and re-directing and calls a time-out, offering the players a chance to 1) relax and take a breather, 2) think about what happened and, 3) think about what can be done instead to improve the game. There is then a “time-in”. This is usually where the players are reminded “we’re all on the same team”, “you can do it” and and encouragement of some sort, like “go get ’em”.

For parents, the end of the time-in chat may be like a Robert Munch book that makes many mothers cry… “I’ll Love You Forever”… no matter your behaviour. That’s good coaching. The time-out in sports is short and so too is an effective one for family teams. Maximum time-out is between five and ten minutes, preferably the shorter time. Also, this technique is not usually used until the child is fairly verbal and aware of, and able to complete, behavioural expectations (age 2 or 3 and up).

Effective use of the time-out/time-in teaching or discipline tool does involve attending to the manner or non-verbal way in which it is given.  A positive parenting approach to time-out means parents display a relaxed, light face and tone that is delivered at the child’s eye level. A kind, loving and encouraging face and tone go a long way to help children (even spouses) feel more relaxed and willing during time-outs.  This also helps family see it as coaching and training rather than as punishment and this style of delivery affirms “we are all on the same team here”.

Sounds easy yet there are many variables such as different parenting styles, family situations and personality traits to consider. If you find you’re struggling more than being helpful, reach out and get an assessment and even some parent-coaching. You can even apply the time-out and time-in process to yourself.  Co-parents and couples can also benefit from the process.

For assistance or more information contact us today !

We can do a lot to help our children be more truthful and honest. As parents, our response to children, both when they are honest and when they misbehave, has a significant impact on their inner thoughts, feelings and choices. Sometimes we just get into a pattern of reaction and frustration which can actually increase the very behaviours we aren’t happy with.  Rather than impulsive reactions when our children act up, it is important to take a few deep breaths and the time to be more proactive in our approach.

Encouraging honesty is something we can model, display in our daily conversations and activities and, of course, compliment and even reward when we see or hear about kids telling the truth. When we do find out a lie has been told, our responses can foster distance and excessive guilt or elicit appropriate remorse and reconciliation.

Helping children repair the situation and learn from it is effective parental discipline or teaching. This is, however, often easier to say than do. Parent coaching is a resource that can assist with developing strategies to help children be accountable while also helping them to feel good about themselves. For more information call us today !

So many people make this decision far too quickly and with very limited and or biased information.  After working in the counselling field for over twenty years, I have grown increasingly “pro family”. We often hear the following two main thoughts about separating… “I might as well leave and be happy” or “If I stay, we’ll only fight and be miserable”.  That negative voice in the back of our heads doesn’t want us to think about the other two possibilities… “I could leave and be miserable still” or “I could actually stay and work out things so we’re a happier couple/ family”. What happened to those options?

What can you do about it? There are lots of things we can do to change ourselves, thereby changing those around us (Social Systems Theory).   We receive ongoing training to be great at our careers, hobbies and sometimes even get trainers/coaches for great physical fitness and sports. Great relationships are constructed over time and with plenty of effort.  How about getting coaching to improve mental fitness and great relationships. There are numerous books and professional counsellors that can help you assess your relationship and achieve your goals.

Before you make any major life changing decisions, get accurate and objective information about your options.  Ask us what you want to achieve in relationship and we will draw upon your strengths in the training and effort required to negotiate issues better, problem-solve more quickly and communicate concerns more effectively so you and your partner can have a satisfying, magnificent  romance and family. . Please reach out and call us today

Did you know…

  1. Autism now affects 1 in 88 children and 1 in 54 boys (March 2012 statistic)
  2. The 2012 numbers reflect a 78% increase in reported prevalence in the last 6 years
  3. Boys are 4x more likely than girls to have autism

Contact us to find out how Jeff Packer MSW & Associates can help families and children with Autism.