My guess is that if you've found your way to this page then you've already exhausted the more traditional parenting styles of 'punishment and reward' and found that they're not working for you and your child.
Austrian psychologist, Alfred Alder in the 1900s believed that in order for children to thrive they needed to feel connected to those around them. He found that children brought up in an engaging and supportive environment tended to be less likely to play up.
When children lose the 'connected feeling' that's when many behavioural difficulties start, and things can start to spiral out of control .The work we do at ABC aims to strengthen the bond between parent and child, which then gives children a solid foundation on which to build better behaviours, as well increasing understanding and helping everyone involved to develop the skills to manage when things go wrong.
This doesn't mean you need to become a permissive parent, giving in to your child's every demand, but it is probably different from the way most of us were brought up.
I think this is how most parents feel when their child is having difficulties, and the truth is parenting isn't fair. While some children thrive on time-outs, being told a straight 'no', having their technology confiscated and a more authoritarian parenting style others find things like this impossible to cope with - and usually their behaviour worsens . These children probably also find incentives, rewards charts, etc unhelpful.. They are usually hyper-sensitive and sometimes this because they are autistic and/or experienced birth or early years trauma. Sometimes it can be attributed to genetics. Sometimes there's nothing obvious. So, the reason they're not listening to you, is not because they 'naughty' or because they 'won't', but perhaps they are struggling with emotional overwhelm. Whatever the reason, or whichever methods you've tried, you will not be judged or criticised. It's about what you do from now on, more than how you've managed in the past.
The first step is a change in mindset. You'll need to be prepared to be open-minded and see your child's challenging behaviours in a different light. That this isn't about you, but about you being their safe place when they become overwhelmed (one of the reasons teachers often don't witness the same difficulties you do). Together we will work through the strategies you've tried, explore what has and hasn't worked, before examining the possible reasons behind the successes and failures. we will look at alternatives that create greater understanding and connection for your and your child.
For younger children (usually under 8s) part of the process could also involve aspects of Child/Parent Relationship Therapy, (CPRT) which is an evidence-based play therapy model based on the belief that a parent can act as an agent for change in-place of the therapist. This model is particularly suited to online work.
For autistic children (including Pathological Demand Avoidance - PDA), our work together could include helping parents devise routines and planners or strategies for managing daily life, or looking at the best ways to create a secure, low-demand environment.
But, I would suggest the best way to find out if this type of therapy can help, is to get in-touch and we can talk through what is happening for your child and explore ways we can help.
ABC Children's Therapy
TA9 4HJ, Highbridge, Somerset, England, United Kingdom
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