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If you are headed in the wrong direction as a parent - you are allowed to make a U-turn.

Hurt people hurt people.

Parenting style matters - a lot!

Parents are the external regulator for kids who cannot regulate themselves.

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

The teenage years require a delicate balance between the young person's need to gain independence, and the parent's need to retain authority.

There has been an explosion in the prescribing of medication for very young children, particularly preschool and kindergarten boys (Juli Zito , Univ. of Maryland)

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

Relationships matter:  change comes through forming trusting relationships. People, not programs change people.

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

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The “Skills Acquisition” Approach

The skills acquisition approach assumes that the source of the behaviour problems lie in a skills deficit. This means that the child cannot do something or doesn’t know something that directly leads into an inappropriate behaviour. The skills acquisition people state that once the child learns the missing skill, the undesirable behaviors will fade away, therefore the solution lies in determining what skill(s) is lacking and developing a plan to teach it.

An obvious example would be a child with a developmental disability who cannot talk. The inability to express his needs and wants leads to frustration and “acting out” behaviors. The solution then would be to teach the child the skill he is lacking or give him a compensatory skill (ie. sign language, picture symbols, computer, etc.) and the need to act out will decrease because his new communication skill(s) is providing a vehicle to work out his frustrations.

Programs such as “anger management” and “social skills training” are also examples of the skills acquisition category. Most children learn social skills in their normal everyday interactions with their family, friends and classmates. This usually happens without any special treatment beyond the regular routines and lessons of life. Some children, for a myriad of reasons do not acquire these social skills in the usual way resulting in a need to present them in alternate forms. A trained therapist may meet with a small group of children and attempt to teach appropriate social interaction by “role playing”, “videos”, “puppets”, “group discussions”, etc. The hope is that the child will be able to transfer the skills presented and practiced in the therapy sessions into his home, school and community and the problem behaviors will decrease.

Undoubtedly some children are able to make the leap from the therapy  room to the real word and their behaviour improves. It has been my observation however, that a sizable number do not transfer the skills into the real world as fast as we would like and their behaviour continues to cause concern.

As with the other approaches, the skills acquisition approach is not a universal solution to all children’s behaviour problems.

Next posting – the Behavioural approach

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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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NOL 2BO

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

Email: info@rickharper.ca

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Parents' Comments

“We were so naive. We thought our son’s poor behaviour was just a phase he was passing through. Thankfully you led us ‘out of the wilderness’”

(N.S. – London)