Where We’ve Been

March 5th, 2011

On March 1, 2011 HCC President and Clinical Director Billy Kaplan presented the workshop, “My Kids are Driving Me Crazy!” to over 30 members of Proud Parents of Twins of Metro Milwaukee. Through this workshop, parents learned how to uncover the goals underlying their children’s behaviors in order to adopt the most effective parenting strategies.

One of the mothers shared that her child, when confronted with a task or challenge, often says “I’m no good. I’m dumb, I’m stupid,” leaving her feeling hopeless to help him. Billy helped her to see that the goal of her child’s behavior is Display of Inadequacy. In order to break through the hopelessness then, all the mom has to do is bolster her child’s sense of competence. Based on this understanding, they were able to figure out simple interventions:

1) avoid criticizing,

2) determine strengths, and

3) set him up for success.

For this mom, the solution was as simple as shifting her focus from the one problem her child got wrong on the math test (which she did with the good intention of helping her child learn from his mistake), to the remaining 99% of the test he got correct. Similarly, when her child forgot to put his coat away, instead of asking him, “Why did you leave your coat on the floor?” Billy encouraged her to ask him for help: “Hey, your coat is on the floor. Can you help me by hanging it up?” In this way, the problem is depersonalized, reducing the child’s sense of shame. The coat becomes the problem, not the kid who left it there. In this way, the child is empowered to respond positively to the parent’s request.

If you too would like to invite Billy Kaplan or another House Calls Counseling therapist to facilitate a workshop for your organization, please give us a call at (847) 256-2000, or click HERE to find out more!