Parenting Classes or a Child Discipline Program?  Which is Better?

Parents are often faced with new challenges and difficult decisions as their parenting journey progresses.  New issues are constantly arising as their children grow and change during each stage. 

One of the ways that parents can address the issues that they are constantly facing is to attend a parenting class.  Parenting classes can be attended in-person or they can be attended online – either as an actual class or as a series of videos and/or readings that can be watched/read at the attendees discretion.

Parenting classes offer a wide range of topics – from managing discipline to time management and from  parental responsibilities to family meeting tips.  Many classes cover a variety of age groups, while others focus on a specific age group or area of concern.

These classes provide an opportunity for parents to learn about common challenges and find the tools or techniques needed to address them.

Though they can be pricy and inconvenient, parenting classes can also be interesting, informative, and beneficial. 

An excellent alternative to parenting classes is to try implementing a child discipline program in the home.  An effective child discipline program can teach parents what they need to know to improve child behavior and to establish a discipline regimen that is firm, fair, consistent, and structured.

The Parent Coach Plan is one such program.  It provides parents with a practical, easy-to-use, and highly effective behavior management system designed to improve child behavior.

If you are considering attending a parenting class, then why not try a child discipline program?  Both are informative and beneficial – but the child discipline program is an actual parenting tool that can be put in place rather quickly and with minimal effort – and possibly with better results!

Complete Parenting Solutions also offers a free set of behavior contracts and other parenting tools with any purchase of The Parent Coach Plan.  Best of all, the program can be purchased as a digital download – which means you can get started right away!  Click here to learn more!

Creating and Using an Effective Behavior Chart

A well-designed behavior chart is a simple and effective parenting tool that can help to improve child behavior. When a child is rewarded for positive behavior then he or she is more likely to repeat that behavior.  Likewise, if a restriction or negative consequence is earned, then that child will do his or her best to avoid that behavior.

Creating an effective behavior chart is rather simple.  Here are a few steps to get you started:

1.  Decide which behaviors you would like for your child to start or stop.  A start behavior is one that you want your child to start displaying (such as using manners, completing a specific task/chore, or using a respectful voice-tone) while stop behaviors are those that you want your child to stop doing (such as cussing, arguing, interrupting, etc.).

2.  Make a list of about 4-5 behaviors that you would like for your child to work on each day.  Place this list of behaviors on your child’s behavior chart (the chart should consist of a column down the left-hand side of the page which includes the list of behaviors – then one space or checkbox for each day of the week (7 total) to the right of each listed behavior.

3.  Decide on the rewards and consequences that will be earned and write those at the bottom oof the behavior chart.  It is best to get input from your child as to what he or she will be motivated to work towards – or to avoid.

4.  Discuss the behavior chart with your child.  Use this time to explain the expectations of each behavior listed on the behavior chart.

5.  Put the behavior chart into effect.  Be firm, fair, and consistent while enforcing the behavior chart.

With an effective behavior chart in place, parents can set firm boundaries while establishing clear expectations for behavior.  It is a simple way to keep track of rules and expectations…as well as consequences and rewards.

If you are looking for a highly effective in-home behavior chart that improves child behavior – and takes things a step further than your typical behavior chart – then give The Parent Coach Plan a try!  It’s more than just a behavior chart – it’s a behavior program!

Q & A: Struggling with Our Grandson

teen boy
Stock Photo

Question:
URGENT! In 2004 I retired after 30+ years as accountant in the aerospace industry. About 15 months later, we inherited our teenage grandson to live with us because he got into very serious legal problems and placed on 3 yr probation, 2 years are remaining. His probation has a 7 pm curfew requiring that he be in our house every day by 7 pm. He could not continue living with his mother, our daughter, even though she lives close by and remains active in his life. I am his legal appointed guardian. He is now 16. He has made great improvements overall his life during the past year but struggles with keeping his probation curfew. We have just learned he is possibly using marijuana. He has great potential to be a good student, athlete, and a positive contribution to society. But if he continues to violate his probation, he will likely end up in a Texas Youth Commission facility for a long time. I need help establishing consequences, setting boundaries and whatever else you can offer. He functions very well in a structured environment with well-defined and enforced boundaries.


Answer:
My advice to you is to hold your grandson accountable for missed curfews and for any other activities that violate his probation. I would get to know his probation officer quite well (if you don’t already) then report each and every violation immediately to that officer. Be sure to let your grandson know that this will be your new “policy” for dealing with his non-compliance until he can demonstrate more responsible behavior.

You may also ask the probation department to begin administering random drug tests and or even try using an electronic home monitoring device. The “threat” of this may be all he needs to straighten up.

The products on our site (www.teenbehaviorcontracts.com) could be very helpful, especially if your grandson responds well to structure and consistency. You could use the behavior program and the contracts together to establish some clear behavioral expectations as well as the privileges and consequences that will result from his behavior.

I hope this helps.

Here is What I Really Mean When I Tell You to Be Careful…

To my children:

When you head out to do the things that you do, I often tell you to “be careful.”  Sometimes, however, this message gets blown over and the true message gets left behind.  When I tell you to be careful, I am actually reminding you to remember 3 important ways to keep yourself safe.  

Be Vigilant.

Being vigilant means that you are aware of your surroundings.  It means that you know what is going on around you…beyond your cell phone’s screen and beyond your “bubble.”  Being vigilant means that you are alert and observant – which is helpful when it comes to avoiding dangerous situations.  

Does someone look suspicious?  Is someone paying too much attention to you?  Are there signs in the area warning of danger?  These are all things that you should notice if you are being vigilant.

Be Cautious. 

Being cautious means that you are being careful to avoid potential problems or dangers.  A cautious person does not act impulsively or recklessly.  Being cautious means that you don’t take unnecessary risks or gamble with your safety. 

A cautious individual doesn’t approach animals in the wild or ignore posted safety warnings.  A cautious individual also wouldn’t run across a busy street without using a crosswalk – or play a rough sport without the proper safety equipment.  

Be Smart.

Being smart means staying focused and using your intelligence (and experiences) to avoid dangerous situations.  Being smart also means that you make good decisions when the situation dictates. 

A smart person wouldn’t do anything that would put their safety at risk – or the safety of others, for that matter. 

So, there you have it – the 3 expectations I have of you when I remind you each time to “be careful.”  Please remember them and put them to good use!

Being a Parent with an Alcohol Addiction: Why It’s Crucial to Seek Treatment

By Daniel Factor

Everyone in the household is negatively affected by a parent’s alcohol addiction. The kids no longer feel safe or loved because all the attention is given to patrons and staff members at bars and liquor stores. Sometimes the parent will stay at these venues all times of the night getting drunk with their buddies instead of caring for the responsibilities at home. Moreover, when the parent finally comes home in a drunken state, sometimes they become very belligerent after making crazy demands.

Neglect Can Create A Dangerous Situation For The Child 

Alcohol abuse becomes the main focus in the parent’s life. Children feel neglected, which prompts them to start seeking attention, affection, and positive motivations from outside sources. This type of attention seeking exposes the child to abuse because the parent is unavailable to protect them against predators.

Abuse Is A By-Product Of Alcoholism

One reason children seek security from other people is a result of the mental anguish and emotional torture that produces traumatic feelings and prolonged misery because of the parent’s alcohol-induced antics. Kids might not understand how to deal with a parent’s addicted state and will often devise plans to help them, which falls on deaf ears. When the plans do not work, the child might blame themselves. Their interest in school might start faltering. They might get into nefarious things to feel loved. The parent’s drunken stupor might lead to physical abuse which could bring CPS or DCFS in the picture.

Genetics Could Create Another Generation Of Alcohol Abusers 

It has been scientifically and medically proven that kids living in households with alcoholics have a higher chance of suffering emotional and behavioral problems. Moreover, if the parent builds up a high alcohol tolerance, there is a higher chance of passing that to the next generation. Additionally, if the mother drinks while pregnant, the baby might be born with mental disabilities. If a person is predisposed to alcoholism but chooses not drink, they might get into other pleasures to supplement those desires. This could include overeating, abusing illegal drugs, or becoming a sex addict.

Law Enforcement Will Likely Get Involved 

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), alcohol is responsible for 1 in 20 deaths worldwide. Up to 3 million people die annually at the hands of alcoholics. Liquor undoubtedly boosts the ego and makes people do things they would not normally do. For instance, many alcoholics will choose to drive under the influence after a night of partying. They feel sober enough to drive home. However, their impaired abilities will show otherwise. Let’s say they get lucky repeatedly and avoid getting caught. They figured they have never seen the police on their route home; therefore, it is safe to drive. However, that one single day when police cruisers are lurking in the shadows could change everything. After a failed sobriety test, their fate seals. Nothing is worse than getting locked down with a bunch of barbarians and aggressive guards who care minimal about safety. Moreover, the legal fight to get out of there could lasts for years. All of this could have been avoided with a simple choice.

Alcohol Abuse Can Lead To Death 

Here are some of the long-term effects of chronic drinking:

  • Liver disease
  • High blood pressure
  • Heart disease
  • Stroke
  • Mental health problems
  • Leaning and memory problems

Why It Is Crucial To Seek Help?The help is out there. Just take the step. Some alcoholics can quit cold turkey, but others need a bit of motivation. Getting the proper help means seeking the advice from qualified professionals who have done this before. They have the expertise to make sure the alcoholic stays clean forever. Getting help save their life and their family’s life.