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"The thing that impresses me most about North America is the way parents obey their children"    (King Edward VII , 1841-1910)

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.

"Unexpressed feeling never die. They are buried alive and come back later in ugly ways." (Stephen Covey)

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

When a child is disregulated - is the time parents need to be regulated.

Children fare better when expectations on them are clear and firm.

The best inheritance  parents can give their children is a few minutes of their time each day.

The more 2 parents differ in their approaches to discipline, the more likely it leads to trouble for the child.

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

Some hope their children will be like sponges soaking up the truth and wisdom imparted by their parents. However appealing this philosophy might be, it seldom seems to catch on with their children.

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The “Biochemical” Option

Assuming the doctor has not found a “clearly definable” medical problem, another option to consider is biochemical. The words you use to describe your child’s behaviour may suggest to the doctor that there is a problem with the biochemistry of the brain. Brain chemistry abnormalities is theorized to be the cause of many disorders that result in behaviour problems. Conditions such as ADHD, conduct disorder, obsessive compulsive disorder, depression and dozens of others are believed to be related to either too much, too little or not accessible neurotransmitters (chemical that facilitate the transmission of messages within the nervous system). Medical science unfortunately has not yet progressed to the point of being able to easily measure the brain’s neurotransmitters, consequently diagnosis of these neurological disorders cannot be done on an objective, scientific basis. There are no biological markers to point towards a specific neurotransmitter abnormality.

In the absence of hard scientific evidence, but with the subjective description of troublesome behaviour, the doctor may assume a diagnosis of a neurological problem and prescribe medication to adjust the neurotransmitters within the child’s brain. There are dozens of medications  from which to choose  and it often becomes a trial and error exercise to determine which medication(s) work for a particular child. Basically the doctor says “Let’s give it a try and see what happens”. After a period of time an evaluation is made and the doctor and parents will decide to continue with that medication at that dosage or to try a different medication.  Complicating the whole process is the issue of side effects. Virtually every medication that we take into our body has the potential of side effects. Drugs may react differently in different people and one may experience minimal disruption to other body systems while another child may display considerable problems. It is not uncommon to see disruptions in sleep pattrerns, appetite, digestive function, irritability, headaches, dizziness, blurred vision, body heat regulation, or a host of other complications. Sometimes a “behaviour” med reacts with another medication to create a chemical “cocktail” with totally unpredictable results.

Some parents have a personal bias against “behaviour” drugs and categorically state that medication is not an option for their child. My personal opinion is that if a child’s behaviour is such that the quality of his life and those around him is sufficiently being disrupted, then medication is an option to consider. It becomes a matter of balance. Do the benefits out weigh the side effects? This is a big decision that should be made between the parents and the child’s doctor with input from others with an interest in the child (example- teacher)

Clearly the biochemical option is not a universal solution to all children’s behaviour problems.

Next option – counselling

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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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See more of our workshops


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

“I am no longer overwhelmed with a child who has unending discipline and behaviour problems.”

(P.S. – London)