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Parenting Articles and Parenting Tips

Helping Parents Understand the Value of High School Accreditation
Where do parents find the most appropriate school to fit their family needs? First, they must understand that not all schools are alike. The starting point is determining whether a school is accredited.

Problems Teens with Asperger’s Syndrome Often Face
Most experts do a great job of presenting the problems children with Asperger Syndrome face during their adolescent years. Yet they offer few solutions. Learn about these issues and strategies to help your teen.

How Can I Tell if My Child Needs to Lose Weight?
Determining your child's risk of obesity can reduce future problems.

Equine-Assisted Psychotherapy
The use of horses as a tool to promote emotional growth in troubled adolescents is a phenomenon gaining numbers and national recognition.

From As to Cs: Why Are My Teen’s Grades Dropping?
Sometimes slipping grades are the first sign of behavioral or substance abuse problems. Learn how to recognize the causes and take action.

What Your Son Wants to Tell You About His ADHD
The way it feels to have ADHD, from a teen boy’s point of view.

Animal Assisted Therapy for Troubled Teens
Talk therapy has been shown not to be as effective for adolescents. Learn how working with animals can help therapists reach struggling teens.

Managing Risk in the Outdoors
Gil Hallows discusses the importance of safety in outdoor therapeutic programs.

Learning Disabilities
Learn about the three types of learning disabilities and how to recognize them in your child.

Behavior Modification
Behavior modification involves the recognition of the behavior pattern, and the use of positive and negative reinforcement to change the behavior.


Parenting Tips

Behavior Contracts

A Behavioral Contract is a physical document that outlines expected behaviors, rules and privileges that is signed by parent(s) (and in some cases, teachers), and the child or adolescent that the contract is directed towards. Accountability is the main purpose of a contract, and that in turn provides the child with the responsibility to hold fast to the terms of the contract.
A Contract is a teaching tool for parents and also an effective tool for helping to maintain order in the household. Not only is the child expected to maintain their end of the Contract agreement, but so are the parents. Having a Contract in place requires a great deal of diligence on the part of the parents and the child. However, it has been shown to be a highly effective tool when prepared and used properly.
Issues and behaviors that can be covered in a Contract can range from homework and chore assignments to more serious behavior issues such as substance abuse and defiance.
The very preparation of a Contract is the crucial piece of the process, involving: a) Family Meeting; b) Discussion; c) Listing of specific expectations; d) Prioritizing of issues; e) Discussion of accountability, consequences and rewards; f) Compromise, and g) Further family meetings to update process and assess progress.

Debates and Arguments

Sometimes it seems as though everything we do or say as a parent is challenged and criticized by our children. In fact, sometimes our children argue with us about anything and everything. There are a number of effective methods to help put a halt to escalating debates and arguing. It's a good idea to set up ground rules for our children and ourselves on how to present arguments. A good example of a ground rule is loud and demanding talk will not be addressed, and reasonable and modulated tones will be. Nip an argument in the bud by offering the child choices, rather than presenting demands. We can teach our children how to listen quietly by showing them how we can listen quietly and discuss their grievances and demands in a reasonable manner.

More tips to come.



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