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Oppositional Defiant Disorder Digest (August, 2010)

ODD Management Digest

(August, 2010)

 

The August, 2010, issue of the resource for parents, teachers and counselors, the ODD Management Digest, has been published to the web. For a complimentary (free) subscription, CLICK HERE. (If you miss the August, 2010, issue, subscribe anyway. Any current Digest will direct you to archived issues.)

Here’s what in the August, 2010, issue:

 

TIPS FOR PARENTS

Take a Moment: Three things are discussed for bringing back a more hopeful perspective regarding a difficult and defiant child.

HANDLING CLASSROOM CHALLENGES

“Before I Get Mad” Poster: A teacher in West Virginia shares a fun and effective way to teach students how to control emotional outbursts.

THE COUNSELOR’S CORNER

The List:  What do you do if a youngster comes to counseling or therapy with a list of items they want to cover during every session? Interesting.

YOUR QUESTIONS ANSWERED

Finding a Counselor or Therapist (Part One): This is the first of two parts of an answer to a father’s questions about what makes a good counselor or therapist for his child, and where does one find them.

FREEBIES

(E-Book) The Behavior Modification Trap: This 18-page e-book is actually the sixth chapter from Dr. Sutton’s latest work-in-progress, The Changing Behavior Book. In this e-book, Dr. Sutton addresses why tangible rewards and incentives often fail with some youngsters, and what can be done to defeat the “trap”.

WHAT’S NEW?

Digest Archives: Dr. Sutton discusses how back issues of the Digest are still being archived, and shows readers how to access them.

LIFE’S MOMENTS

How Long? This is Dr. Sutton’s tribute to the late Art Linkletter, who passed away this summer at age 97. Included is “My Best Introduction”, Linkletter’s contribution to the book for grandparents, Grand-Stories.

For a complimentary subscription to the ODD Management Digest, CLICK HERE. The Digest will appear monthly in your email as long as you want, and you can cancel it at any time.

August 11, 2010 Posted by | adversity, Counselors, Difficult Child, Educators, Links | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Oppositional Defiant Disorder Management Digest (July, 2010)

ODD Management Digest

(July, 2010)

 

The July, 2010, issue of the resource for parents, teachers and counselors, the ODD Management Digest, has been published to the web. For a complimentary (free) subscription, CLICK HERE. (If you miss the July, 2010, issue, subscribe anyway. Any current Digest will direct you to archived issues.)

Here’s what in the July, 2010, issue:

 

TIPS FOR PARENTS

Discipline Problems at School, Part Two: This is the second part of a two-part series on discipline issues at school. In this issue, a “collaborative” approach to intervention is discussed.

HANDLING CLASSROOM CHALLENGES

Celebration of Learning Day: A teacher in Kansas shares how her husband encourages achievement in his classroom by getting everyone involved.

THE COUNSELOR’S CORNER

Ask! We can learn a lot about a youngster by simply asking. Three suggestions for asking are discussed.

YOUR QUESTIONS ANSWERED

The Kid Who Wants to STAY Angry, Part Two: This is a second part of an answer to a parent’s concern. This part offers ideas for intervention into the four most typical reasons why children and teens elect to remain angry rather than resolve it.

FREEBIES

A Special Interview: The “freebie” for this issue is a strikingly candid and informative interview with the author of the bestselling book, The Defiant Child.

WHAT’S NEW?

Digest Archives: Dr. Sutton discusses how back issues of the Digest have been archived, and shows readers how to access them.

LIFE’S MOMENTS

How Long? This is Dr. Sutton’s tribute to the late John Wooden, the legendary coach of the UCLA Bruins. Included is a wonderful great-granddad story Coach Wooden sent to Dr. Sutton for inclusion in the book, Grand-Stories. Don’t miss this one!

For a complimentary subscription to the ODD Management Digest, CLICK HERE. The Digest will appear monthly in your email as long as you want, and you can cancel it at any time.

July 12, 2010 Posted by | Counselors, Difficult Child, Educators, family, Healthy living, Parents, Self-esteem, Uncategorized | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Discipline Problems at School: Part Two

DISCIPLINE PROBLEMS AT SCHOOL: Part Two  

In Discipline Problems at School: Part One, the issue of discipline problems at school was discussed. A primary concern with bad behavior was for an intervention effective in creating positive and lasting change.

Discipline, of course, varies according to the philosophy of the person administering it. On the one hand we have a rather rigid approach, an imposing of will. It employs fear and the promise of uncomfortable consequences for future infractions. It’s an effective approach in some instances, provided we keep in mind that fear is a motivator only when it continues to be applied. It’s not exactly the ideal way to develop a long-term relationship.

But would there be occasions to use it? Of course. It could well be the intervention of choice when a behavior poses an immediate threat to the safety of the youngster or others. If I caught my three-year-old grandson running out into a busy street, I’d impose my will; no questions asked. It would not be a time for lengthy negotiation.

On the other hand, we have an approach that is more problem-solving than will-imposing.  Dr. Ross Greene calls this sort of disciplinary approach “collaborative”. It stems from his belief that bad behavior is the result of an unresolved problem or lagging skill. Solution: Solve the problem; teach the skill.

(In his book, Lost at School, Dr. Greene offers this mantra: “Children will do well if they can.” Although I certainly agree with him in principle, I have worked with a few students who knocked the top out of achievement scores but weren’t doing enough to pass the grade they were in. They had no deep-seated problems I could discern other than being difficult and defiant from the day they first entered this world.)

Let me draw from the expertise of folks like Doctors Ross Greene, Becky Bailey, Marvin Marshall, William Glasser and myself in suggesting a three-step outline for resolving discipline issues with a youngster whose bad behavior is chronic. (Remember, this is an outline. For more information on any of these folks and their work, try a Google search.)

Step One: Dissect episodes of the bad behavior to see if there are any patterns … elements that are repeated in each occurrence. If so, breaking down the patterns would be an initial intervention. The youngster’s skills in social, emotional, and cognitive functioning should also be assessed. Are there any areas that could use some work?

Step Two: Interview the youngster in a manner that authentically draws his insight and interpretation of the bad behavior. This step is for gathering information; it should encourage the child to “open up”. I see this step as being very similar to Motivational Interviewing, a nondirective approach to what might be fueling the behavior.

(Be mindful there are some kids who struggle with words for describing emotional experiences. There’s a term for this condition: alexythymia. It’s no secret that youngsters who can’t express their frustration verbally often do it physically instead. This is how some bad behavior happens in the first place.)

Step Three: Jointly work with the youngster on how he might change his behavior to create a more desirable outcome. This might include role-play, social skills training, or structured plan for how the youngster could handle the same provocative situation better “next time”.

(Hmm … if that “next time” business sounds a bit like Glasser’s Reality Therapy from the 60s and 70s … it is! If a great idea is still holding its charge 40+ years later, it’s got to be a classic!)

Regardless of whether you call it Reality Therapy (Glasser), Collaborative Problem Solving (Greene), Conscious Discipline (Bailey), the Raise Responsibility System (Marshall) or Constructive Confrontation (Sutton), the “secret” is making the youngster an active component to the solution. 

To the fullest extent possible, use any ideas for change the youngster provides. This serves to ensure he is more “invested” into the intervention used. It also lets him know you take his thoughts and suggestions seriously.

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NOTE: This two-part piece on discipline at school was taken from the June and July, 2010, issues of the ODD (Oppositional Defiant Disorder)Management Digest. This monthly publication does not claim to have all the answers, but it is a valued resource for parents, teachers and counselors who find themselves in a battle of wills with a difficult youngster. This resource is provided at no charge, and subscribers have the option to receive it monthly as long as they want, and to opt-out at any time. There are also archives of past issues.

To subscribe to the ODD Management Digest, CLICK HERE, and follow the instructions.

July 9, 2010 Posted by | Counselors, Difficult Child, Educators, Parents | , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Discipline Problems at School, Part One

DISCIPLINE PROBLEMS AT SCHOOL, Part One 

Few things are more frustrating than for a parent to be called up to the school because of a behavioral issue involving their child. As you might guess, how we manage acting out youngster makes all the difference in terms of outcomes. No one wants their child to become a Frequent Flyer.

Frankly, the behavior of oppositional and defiant youngsters is often of the default variety. They might not be in trouble for what they are doing, but they can be in a ton of trouble for what they are NOT doing. But defiant kids can also be explosive and act out in very unacceptable ways.  

Common to just about all discipline problems are three messages coming from the parents and the school:

  1. The student needs to know his behavior was wrong and should not be repeated.

  2. The student needs to know and understand there are better ways to behave, and that the better ways would benefit him.

  3. It needs to be made clear to ALL students that bad behavior is unacceptable.

 

Take a close look at these three; they really contain a lot of information. First of all, could a youngster engage in a behavior that he or she did not know was inappropriate?  Depending on the youngster, it is possible. Would that affect the discipline used?

It’s also possible that youngsters might not be completely aware that they could behave differently and see favorable outcomes, outcomes that would work out better for them. (Obviously, having all students behave appropriately because it the right and socially responsible thing to do would be nice, but kids [and adults] are more drawn toward options that benefit them in some specific way.)

Folks who have the assigned position of disciplinarian at school (as if life isn’t tough enough already) are always concerned about the “appearance” of discipline. It needs to be “enough”, but not too much. Discipline has to be fair, but it must also transmit to all students that, for the safety and benefit of everyone, inappropriate behavior will not be tolerated.

There are kids who learn pretty quickly that staying out of trouble is much better than staying in trouble. When they really understand that, most any discipline approach will work.

But what about those Frequent Flyers? What defines them, and what does that say about the discipline measures being used? Any kid having most or all of these three characteristics would be a Frequent Flyer:

  1. His or her bad behavior continues on and on in spite of disciplinary actions.

  2. Threats of consequences or promises of rewards seem to have no effect on changing the behavior.

  3. The student does not have the insight or the skills (yet) to achieve the desired change.

 

If you study these three for a minute, they really point to a child or teen who is the behavioral equivalent to that big oil leak in the Gulf of Mexico: it gets worse with no end in sight (at least at the publication of this post). Even if your child is not a Frequent Flyer, chances are his or her behavior is creating ongoing difficulties that you’d like to see stopped.

 

In his book, Lost at School: Why Our Kids with Behavioral Challenges Are Falling Through the Cracks and How We Can Help Them (Scribner, 2008), Dr. Ross Greene suggests that when authority attempts to impose its will on some youngsters, the results are not good at all.

 

Think about it. Getting into a battle of wills with a defiant child often enables the sort of stubbornness that has no other point but to win … no matter what. (And if the question is, “Are we talking about the adult or the youngster?” the answer is “Yes!”) Something has to give, and it isn’t pretty.

Likewise, the tough approach for the child who tends to be cooperative, but is short on insight or skills to comply, would be sort of like going rabbit hunting with a cannon. You might hit one, but you got no more rabbit!

 Greene and others offer an interesting approach to discipline that takes a considerably different tact. We’ll take a look at it in Part Two.

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NOTE: This two-part piece on discipline at school was taken from the June and July, 2010, issues of the ODD (Oppositional Defiant Disorder)Management Digest. This monthly publication does not claim to have all the answers, but it is a valued resource for parents, teachers and counselors who find themselves in a battle of wills with a difficult youngster. This resource is provided at no charge, and subscribers have the option to receive it monthly as long as they want, and to opt-out at any time. There are also archives of past issues.

To subscribe to the ODD Management Digest, CLICK HERE, and follow the instructions.

June 29, 2010 Posted by | Difficult Child, Educators, Parents | , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment