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Am I doing this correctly?

Hi Mark,

Thank you for your wonderful programme. I have a 13 year old son who is not only strong willed but also bright. I have struggled for years with him using conventional methods, which have never worked and I could not figure out why. Just hearing you say that the conventional methods for "normal" kids do not work on the strong willed child was a relief for me!! Thank you so much for saying that.

My husband and I are now realising - because of what you have said about the fact that these kids want to zap your energy and get you mad and annoy you etc that this is exactly what this child loves to do!! We have been feeling like we are going under for some time. I really want this method to work because I do not know what else to do! I am using the fair fighting method - not necessarily the time out though - for all instances of disrespect, swearing at me, talking over me etc. Would that be right to do or should I only use that method when he is mad and give him time out first? He argues every point and will not do as he is told in most instances. He has already told me that "this method, whatever it is is not working. Don't treat me like a baby, I will not say back to you what you have just said etc and on and on it goes. I then go back to stating the "When you, I feel etc in a calm voice until he gives me the answers that are required.

Am I doing this correctly? I really appreciate you help and it is great to have someone to talk to regarding this so I can get it right and reap the benefits.

Thanks J.


Hi J.,

Re: I am using the fair fighting method…

As I think I mentioned on that page in the audio part, this method is best used for prepubescent children (before puberty). I would not recommend using it with a 13-year-old.

The strategy that will work best in the situation you described is in the Anger Management Chapter – but you should not use that technique until week #3! You just signed-up yesterday.

Please only do session #1, along with session #1 assignments this week – nothing more for now.

Stay in touch. Thank you for working the program as intended.


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