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If you (parents) tend to overreact to your child's misbehaviour - your child learns that he can't trust you. Mom, Dad, stay regulated!

"Moody" and "unpredictable" are adjectives parents will often use when referring to their teenagers.

Good parenting requires sacrifice. Childhood lasts for only a few brief years , but it should be given priority while it is passing before your eyes

The challenge of adolescence is to balance the right of the parents to feel they are in charge with the need of the adolescent to gain independence.

Wouldn't it be nice if children would simply listen and learn.

Whining and crying are employed by kids for the purpose of getting something. If it works, then it was worth the effort and will be repeated.

Many clinicians find it easier to tell parents their child has a brain-based disorder than suggest parenting changes. Jennifer Harris (psychiatrist)

Early intervention is always better than crisis management - but it is never too late to do the right thing.

If there is no relationship - nothing else matters !

The way we talk to our children becomes their inner voice. (Peggy O'Mara)

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Homework Hassles (part 2)



There are 2 kinds of homework resistors and each requires a different response:

  1. the work is too hard for the child
  2. the child views the work as irrelevant, not important or boring

1) If the work is too hard, the child has been placed in an impossible position and his homework resistance will continue and probably escalate. The teacher needs to ensure the work is not beyond the child’s ability and the parent may need to provide the child with organizational help, time management skills, help with understanding the assignment or tutorial help.

2) If the child has the ability to do the work but is resisting because he views it as irrelevant, not important or boring, the parents need to take a different approach. They should arrange a meeting between the teacher, child and parents to clarify each person’s responsibilities. The child needs a very clear message that his job is to take care of his end. If he says it’s boring, your response could be, “Maybe you’re right, but it has to be done anyway” or “You don’t have to like it but you have to do it” or “Too bad, this is how the real world operates.” A homework book could be set up by the teacher informing the parent what needs to be done and the parent’s job is to encourage and facilitate the child’s effort. If the child continues to resist he MUST be held accountable with logical consequences such as loss of after school privileges (eg. TV, soccer, bike, computer, etc.) until the work is done. The parent should avoid all threats, lectures, yelling, reminders, anger, etc. and let the child suffer the consequences.

The pressure is now on the child to follow through on his/her responsibilities. When he fails to complete his job, simply impose the consequences with NO emotion.

Expect your child to test your resolve and do not anticipate a quick turn around. The key is a balanced system with the parents doing their part and only their part without taking responsibility away from the child or teacher. Once the system is set up, all the parent needs to do is follow through and let the system teach the lessons it is intended to teach.

Once again I am indebted to Robert MacKenzie the ideas in his book “Setting Limits in the Classroom”

Rick Harper has been providing help for families for over 40 years.

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+ Behaviour Management

This full day or 2 evening workshop will introduce you [...]

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+ Lick Your Kids

  “Lick Your Kids” (figuratively not literally) (2 hours) First [...]

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+ A Parent’s Guide to the Teenage Brain

  A teenager’s brain is not just an adult brain [...]

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+ Reading Rescue

A program for children with reading problems

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+ Taming a Toddler

Many parents wonder what hit them when their sweet little baby turns into an unreasonable toddler – ideas for dealing with mealtime, bedtime, temper tanturms, toilet training, noncompliance, etc.

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2720 Rath Street, Putnam, Ontario

Phone: (519) 485-4678
Fax: (519) 485-0281

Email: info@rickharper.ca


Parents' Comments

“We are foster parents who took in a 13 year old girl (going on 18!) and she ran us through the wringer. Rick helped us learn how to set limits that made the difference.”

(G.E. – Strathroy)