2014-03-18 - 9:13 p.m.
Excellent article! AS I purchased the Total Transformation Child program which I highly recommend I get their e-mails once in a while.
This one is excellent on how to handle abuse FROM your children. Having had to deal with this for various reasons (both learned behavior, ADHD and I suspect Oppositional Defiance and other psychological issues in some of my children) it was imperative that I addressed the issue at the onset of my children being physically abusive to me.
This is a GREAT article to help parents not feel guilty when they seek help and do impose what are consequences of violence:
When my kids were younger I did call the police for assistance on occasion and have to say that I always found them just a WONDERFUL support in talking to my child in the moment, de-escalating a situation and also making it VERY CLEAR to the child that their behavior is NOT ACCEPTABLE and there would be a consequence if it continued.
In each case it DID NOT Continue....at least for a WHILE.. (although there were moments where it occurred AGAIN in my family, often by ANOTHER kid testing the boundaries!)
Come to think of it, I had assistance with three of my four youngest on different occasions, but only one had to have police intervention more than once.
Not only violence toward a parent but aggression toward anyone else and threat of self harm ALWAYS should be responded to by seeking intervention. Its the ONLY WAY one can ensure that a child gets the needed help and support to learn and grow into a functional person who can manage emotions.
I am very pleased with the progress of my kids. One DID have a moment of verbal abuse which I am pleased was addressed as I spoke with her DAD and then SHE CALLED ME to apologize.
I asked what she could do differently next time?
We discussed alternatives for her in order to maintain self control rather than verbally responding in an abusive manner to me when I address her. Counting before speaking, taking deep breaths a few times before speaking, consciously thinking of consequences if she IS abusive (losing of privileges such as desired activity which in our house is computer time to watch beloved Dr. Who at present.)
I had even considered not allowing her to come here for one night as a reasonable consequence. (Dad vetoed that idea when we discussed it, as he felt I need to be able to manage her with some other result being a consequence than that as he said she has the SAME trouble there as well.)
Sometimes its tough to come up with motivating consequences that are meaningful for a kid- but without some imposed result of the behavior there is no incentive for a kid to learn to maintain self control unfortunately.
I PREFER using positive reinforcers but if that does not work, then negative sometimes will be all that is left! Taking away time on the computer and then earning it back by good behavior can be very motivating.
Key for my family is really ME being disciplined in setting up goals and actually using charts and tracking behavior with earned positive reinforces. When I do that IT WORKS. When I fail to do that, I am then left in the moment with the only possible option of a negative reinforcer in response to a maladaptive abusive behavior which could have been AVOIDED with good planning and consistency on my part.
That is why I prefer positive reinforcers! What happens however is after a while they are phased out when I THINK there is extinction of a maladaptive behavior- but then it emerges again!
I mean there are points where it FEELS like the kids are just too old for sticker charts!
YET my middle school child who just LOVES WEBKINS STILL and is so motivated on there because of its consistent use of positive reinforcers in EARNING things- extra stuff for extra rooms, and extra games so on and so forth, just PROVES That these girls are not too old for good old fashioned praise and small kudos to be effective in motivating good behavior.
Even when they start to look older, they are still kids. They are still in the development phase of needing the TRAINING And TEACHING to learn good behavior.
High school students are ALSO still in that stage, which I think some parents don't realize!