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Being a parent of a teenager can cure a person of narcissism.

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

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.

It's more effective to reward your child for being "good" (appropriate) than to punish him for being "bad" (inappropriate).

Adolescence can be the cruelest place on earth. It can really be heartless.  ( Tori Amos)

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.

If there is no relationship - nothing else matters !

The quickest way to change your child’s behaviour is to first change your own.

"Cutting" is a visible sign to the world that you are hurting.

Children mimic well. They catch what they see better than they follow what they hear.

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The 5 “Conventional” Options

All the ideas regarding treating behavioural problems from the “conventional” experts could be placed into 1 of 5 broad categories.

1. medical

2. biochemical

3. counselling

4. skills acquisition

5. behavioural

The next series of blog entries will summarize what these categories entail.

1. Medical

One of experts that parents turn to for help is often the child’s pediatrician. During the office appointment the parent describes the behaviours of concern and the doctor will probably conduct or arrange for a number of diagnostic tests. These tests may range from striking him in the knee with a little hammer to check for reflexes to looking into his brain using the latest imaging techniques. Along the way the child may be poked, asked to pee into a bottle, submit blood samples for analysis, have his hearing and vision checked and possibly many more tests. The doctor of course is looking for a MEDICAL cause for the inappropriate behaviours. If a medical problem is found and can be “fixed”, then of course a medical solution is offered.

Examples of medical solutions could be:

- surgery

- drugs – example – antibiotics, anticonvulsants, vitamins, etc.

- assistive devices – glasses, hearing aids, etc.

- diet

- etc.

In my opinion, the medical options should be the first line of investigation. If a child truly has a medical problem, we would be negligent to not pursue that avenue. No other course of treatment will do what you want if in fact the cause is a medical problem. In my experience, however, seldom does the doctor find a “clearly definable” medical problem that is causing the behaviour problems. The reasons for this are two fold:

a) there isn’t a “medical” problem (the most common reason)

b) the medical diagnosis was missed (doctors are not infallible and diagnostic tools are  not perfect)

If the doctor says “There is no medical problem causing the behaviour problem”, you have the option of believing this statement or seeking another opinion. You, as the parent are in the best position to be observing the child and you may feel the doctor has missed something. If the determination of the medical doctor does not “feel right”, then by all means seek another opinion.

Clearly the medical option is not a universal solution to all children’s behaviour problems but it should be the first question asked.

The next option is biochemical

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Workshops

+ 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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Contact

2720 Rath Street, Putnam, Ontario
NOL 2BO

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

Email: info@rickharper.ca

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Parents' Comments

“Our psychiatrist recommended Rick to help us sort out behaviour management issues for our autistic son. He was an invaluable help.”

(C.C. – Sarnia)