I have four children ranging between the ages of 10 and 13. My two oldest are 13 year old girls. I got your program because I was needing help, help to stop screaming and having an awful day everyday because I couldn't get my kids to do anything that was expected of them. I learned a lot of our Parenting Newsletters, I read them every time the come into my inbox. I do not miss an issue! However, with my kids I needed more. My mother accuses me of being a liberal parent. Which I am sure that most of the parents from my generation are, I'm 33 years old. My father was impossibly hard and my mother was the typical housewife, "Listen to your father and you'll be ok." I swore I would give more to my children, more freedom, more understanding but through it all, I realized that you don't love them more if you give them MORE room to breathe. At times, you are actually hurting them.
The seem to be less confident, wanting to push the rules more because they already get so much. So, I have had to find a new way of parenting. I've gone to therapist after therapist that works with troubled kids and parents that are so lost in parenting. I finally found one that gave me a great idea that helps the children still feel like they have some control over what happens to them, but forces them to have consequences to their chosen actions.
The Program is called FAMILY. The way it works is this:
1. As a family you devise a set of rules that cannot be broken. We came up with about 20 of them. You can have as many as you want. Also a list of chores and due dates/times.
a. do as you are asked immediately
b. no cussing
c. curfew rules
2. Decide on how many cards each violation will cost
a. do as you are asked immediately costs (2)
b. no cussing costs (5)
3. Make 40 Good Habits Cards, 5 Wild Cards and 5 Grace Cards
a. Good habit cards - are things that have to be done around the house but are not normal chores
b. Wild Cards - are whatever you want them to be at the time of drawing them
c. Grace Cards - are get out of jail free cards, they get no extra jobs
4. When the child breaks a specific rule, the already know how many cards they are going to draw
a. the child can do the good habit card immediately or wait
b. if the child chooses to wait, they must wait in their room with NO tv, video games, phone etc (the self ground until the cards are completed)
c. once the card is completed, the punishment is over
5. Three Strikes Rule - these are for serious offenses and are not used lightly (ie running away from home etc)
a. Strike One - 1 week grounding, cannot leave room for any reason other than family meetings, bathroom, eating or school. Cannot play, watch tv, etc but can read a book or sleep for one week.
b. Strike Two - Same as above with 1 additional week of grounding and drawing all 50 good habit cards
c. Strike Three - Goes to a treatment facility
d. Pop-fly - the action is so bad (got caught with drugs or having sex, or running away from home for more than a day) they go directly to treatment facility
e. Bad-hair day - having a bad day and received a warning about to receive a strike
6. Devise a list of rewards
a. give a list of rewards with points required to receive them (such as going to the movies with friends)
7. Handipoints (www.handipoints.com)
a. use this website to calculate points received for doing their chores. It's a great site and they can enter their points themselves and then the parents approve them. They can also "purchase" their rewards here.... this is a GREAT site.
8. Finally, make sure that you have 2 additional people to help you. I have my husband (who is away at work but can call him) and if he's unreachable, I have my brother-in-law. They help clarify rules, they help support my parenting. This is a VERY necessary step! Make sure to have at least 1 other person that you trust to help you with this program.
I started this program about 2 month ago and am totally amazed at how much more respect, love and acceptance I've gotten from my children. The first week was terrible, they broke every rule and everyone was drawing cards, but we adjusted and now, the household chores get down without fighting or screaming because they know what will happen if the do not complete the chores. They don't fight as much, we have a family meeting every Sunday. My two oldest that are the same age, they even get along better because they don't want a strike. Which my son has already received and as he will tell you, "That totally sucks and I won't be doing that again!" This program has been a life-saver, have questions? Feel free to contact me.
Online Parent Support
The Strong-Willed Out-of-Control Teen
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.
Click here for the full article...
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