BEHAVIOUR MODIFICATION : 4 steps to a solution.
All parents face obstacles in raising Tweens or Teens: No day is like another! If you are like me then you probably find that as soon as you have found a solution for one child then you realise there is something else that needs addressing with another. This is normal parenting!
Sometimes however it is hard to see what the problem actually is. What is the root cause? Why is our child behaving in a certain way and what can we change in order to affect the outcome in not only their life, but in ours too? Isn't it true that when our children are happy and safe then we feel a greater sense of peace?
In working with clients, I listen very carefully to their story. What is being said? What is the root of the manifesting behaviour? Other than treating the fruit (anger, insecurity, identity confusion etc), what is the individual actually reacting to? I break it down into 4 stages:
1. Identify the PROBLEM.
A parent this week wrote about her problem: Her two sons were repeatedly described as good, perfect, kind, honest and even 'angels', BUT she discovered they were JUULing (vaping) in the house and then leaving the mess. She said that it made her feel mad. It triggered anger and even anxiety in her. And rightly so because vaping is on the increase as an addiction in teens, and the dangers go along with the same high nicotine levels as found in cigarettes.
2. Identify the FACTS.
If we break down the narrative we get three parts: A. 'GOOD' teens B. The problem C. The reaction
3. Find the CLUES.
From over 30 years of working with teens, experience has taught me that there are 'hidden clues' that we need to discover when one describes a problem. It isn't necessary only the JUULing here we need to focus on!
Very clearly this parent is proud of her sons. She has also done a fantastic job raising them to be polite, appreciative and kind. She holds them in high esteem, and the adjectives she used to describe them are reflective of her love for them.
BUT those same adjectives are also the clues that help us work out what's going on! In describing them, she wrote the word 'good' 4 times! Have a look at the following statements she made:
"They are such good boys".
"'I mean really good kids".
"Goodness they are angels".