Module 6: Learning to Set Limits
VocabularyThe review of the last class may bring a discussion of problems parents deal with everyday. By this session, the instructor may find the participants very involved in the class. The vocabulary for this session deals with behavior and consequences.
The teacher should become familiar with the words and definitions prior to each session.
The entire family needs to be involved in the formation of rules, regulations, and curfews for the children. The children should be able to express their views on what is "fair" and what is not acceptable. Remember, each person in the family has his/her own perception of any rule or situation. Listening, not just hearing, is very important. Each member of the family needs and has the right to be heard.
Family meetings are a way to set boundaries and consequences in an environment of love and understanding. All family members have input. This increases "fairness." The handout provided sets guidelines used in family meetings. Participants may want to add their own ideas. This is highly encouraged. The instructor should preview the handout and answer any questions that may arise.
At this point, it is important to stress consistency in handing out punishment. If Mary is grounded for 2 weeks for coming home half an hour late, then Doug should be grounded 2 weeks for coming home half an hour late. Sometimes the age of the child determines the punishment. Being consistent will help the child to learn the appropriate behavior. The parent should not punish the child one time and not the next.
Setting guidelines and consequences will maintain consistency. It is necessary for discipline to be age appropriate or it will fail. Generating consequences of behavior by the parents will affirm their ability as parents and increase acceptance of skills.
Learned behavior is behavior picked up over a period of time. We learn to use a knife, fork, a spoon and a napkin. These things are taught from the time children can sit at the table to eat. Temper tantrums are also a learned behavior. However, one behavior is good and the other is bad. Parents need to learn to reinforce good behavior and to develop consequences for bad behavior. Ignoring temper tantrums is a good way to modify behavior. Sometimes, parents have a hard time ignoring bad behavior, but if the child gets attention, he/she will be bad again.
The instructor needs to open a discussion of good and bad behavior by sharing examples of each. However, keep in mind, each parent has his/her own perception of good and bad behavior. Participants should discuss the consequences of each behavior. Participants need to be reminded to compromise, listen and communicate with their children.
At the end of this last session, the facilitator may want to have a little celebration. Let the participants know that they have accomplished something. Finishing this class can be important to the participants. Hopefully, each member of the class has learned some parental skill that can make a difference in their relationship with their child/children.
This file is in Adobe Acrobat format. If you do not have Adobe Acrobat Reader, you can download it here for free. Using Acrobat Reader, you can print out the handouts and photocopy them as much as you need to.
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