Jun 28, 2012

How to Deal When Your Children Are Violent

Violent tantrums: even the term is cringe-worthy. These mortifying experiences are commonly misunderstood by parents. More common still, is knowing the best way to handle these situations. Whether you're dealing with this in your family right now or think you have the best solution to cure these screaming, slapping and crying little people, consider the following:

First and foremost, parents should re-set their frame of mind. Remember that all behaviors (for children and adults alike) are attempts to fulfill a certain need. For example, your two-year-old runs away from the tub everyday at bathtime. What his behavior is saying = "I do NOT want to do that!" With a bit of Active Listening (verbal and non-verbal), you might find out why he is resistant to taking baths. Maybe he knows that right after bathtime is bedtime, and so he's trying to delay. Maybe you run the bath water too hot. A child this young might not have any way of verbalizing this to you and may not even realize that taking a bath can happen any time of day, or that the bath water can, in fact, be ran at a cooler temperature. When your children show you strong resistance, they are showing you that they're experiencing a problem.

Active Listening is the number one tool in finding out what's going on behind their behavior, which often asks as a masking agent. If your child is upset, it's not the time to cut them off and tell them to "put a cork in it." While you can explain (as a consultant) the effect that certain violent behaviors have on those around them, commanding them to stop will not solve their issue. Problems handled in this way lead to repetitive and often more passionate outburtsts. Children, like adults, want to be listened to and want their feelings to be considered. After Active Listening, sometimes the tantrum will stop right there. But other times it won't...

Particularly in families where the child's needs are rarely considered, if ever, a change in the child's behavior from tantrums to peacefulness will take some time to appear. Active Listening isn't usually an overnight fix. It takes time for the child to get used to the fact that you are actually listening to their needs and considering their feelings. In parent-child relationships which have been power based and the child usually "loses" the battle, trust will need to be rebuilt in order to have a solid foundation for Active Listening to be effective.

With time, skill, and some patience, these outlashes will begin to subside. By showing your children that you aren't going to simply "make them do something because you said so", you are also teaching your children an extremely important lesson in how to deal with conflicts. Raising children in this way will provide our society with the kind of adults who handle the needs and feelings of others in a respectable and effective manner.

For much more on this, check out the Parent Effectiveness Training book or learn about P.E.T. classes near you!

What do you think? Let us know!

Jun 13, 2012


You've probably seen this circling through Facebook by now. The re-posts, likes and supporting comments are growing in numbers on the daily. When it came around to us, we thought: Are these people SERIOUS??!! (And we can only imagine what the children of these people are thinking!)

It's sad to see parents taking pride in viewpoints like this. While we understand how charm, humor and a dose of  "tounge-in-cheek" can be appealing, I think it's safe to say that the supporters of this message are alarmingly serious!

Here are just a few of the reasons why this is awful:

  1. Threatening - need we say more?
  2. So because you love me, you're going to scare the heck out of me? Is that what you do when you love somebody?
  3. It's a parent's job to invade their children's privacy? Ahem...sure...that'll be a real trusting relationship!
  4. Wait I'm still confused, so the person who "loves me the most" is going to treat me the worst and it's okay for them to do that?
  5. Parents want their children to hate them? Careful what you wish for!!
Intentionally creating fear and resentment in the relationship with your children is one of the most terrible things you can do to them. If the intention is to create discipline and obedience, these methods actually create the very opposite.

Have anything to add to our list? Please share with us what you think and SPREAD THE WORD!

Jun 7, 2012

Do Schools Deny Your Children of Their Civil Rights?

Excerpted from the Chapter "The Other Parents of Your Children" in the Parent Effectiveness Training book, by Dr. Thomas Gordon:

      In most schools, students are blatantly denied civil rights - the right of free speech, the right to wear their hair as they prefer, the right to wear the clothes they like, the right to dissent. Schools also deny children the right to refuse to testify against themselves, and if kids get into trouble, administrators seldom follow the customary procedures of "due process of law" guaranteed to citizens by the judicial system
     Is this a distorted picture of schools? I think not. Many other observers of the school system are seeing the same deficiencies. Furthermore, one need only ask youngsters how they feel about schools and schoolteachers. Many kids say they hate school and that their teachers treat them disrespectfully and unfairly. Most kids come to esperience school as a place where they must go; they experience learning as something that is seldom pleasant or fun; they experience studying as tedious work; and they see their teachers as unfriendly police officers. 
     When children are assigned to adults whose treatment of them producessuch negative reactions, parents cannot be expected to shoulder all the blame for the way their kids turn out. Parents can be blames, yes, but other adults must share the blame.

 How closely do you think this relates to your child's school or learning environment? Let us know your thoughts. Please feel free to comment here or on our Facebook page.