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Major Improvement

Hi Mark,

We have had a major improvement at home for now.

My Hubby went on a work training course about managing change in the workplace, and one thing he learnt regarding change in the workplace was not to just say, "this is what’s happening, now go do it." He was told to keep in regular contact with his employees.

This made him/us realise what we said to our 11-year-old: "Don't like your attitude, don't like your behaviour, change it." But that would be it, we wouldn't do anything or say anything else -- then 3 weeks later we'd be saying the same thing. It was like a big circle that NEVER changed.

So for the last 3 weeks we have been having a nightly meeting with our son. We bring a talking object (only the holder of the object may speak, and we put Josh in charge of what it was to be, so it changes daily), and we discuss the day.

We have found this has had a huge impact with Joshua. He likes attention. So our meetings are when our little one is in bed or outside. We have had to call a couple of what we call “crisis meetings” during the 3 weeks, but generally we have found a major improvement. We spent lots of time on the positives of the day, and we brush over the negatives - unless the day has been a major disaster with extreme behaviour.

This for our family is working well.


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The standard disciplinary techniques that are recommended for “typical” teenagers do not take into account the many issues facing teens with serious behavioral problems. Disrespect, anger, violent rages, self-injury, running away from home, school failure, hanging-out with the wrong crowd, drug abuse, theft, and legal problems are just some of the behaviors that parents of defiant teens will have to learn to control.

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