I mainly agree with the author of this article that CPS can't be looked at as an instant "cure" for a behavior problem. It only works as a mindset, a pervasive attitude. The scripted conversations of the second half of the book (The Explosive Child) are far less important than the messages that kids do well if they can, that lagging skills are the obstacle, and that kids have genuine concerns that must be heard and addressed.
Years ago, I attended a CPS seminar. It was amazing! I don't think I learned so much, as they validated my parenting style, and gave me words to explain it to others. Before that seminar (and the book, and several more classes, and becoming trained to teach CPS) when asked, "What kind of discipline do you use?" I was at a loss. Well, none, sort of. No "consequences" (thinly veiled punishment, IMO), no sticker charts, no 1, 2, 3 Magic, etc. I had a son with autism, and as a therapeutic foster parent, I was raising some challenging kids, and often had professionals asking about my methods. How could we function with no discipline?
Of course there was not really no discipline. My kids had manners, functioned in the community and their home, and no one was born knowing how to do these things. And I was very involved in practically every aspect of their lives. But discipline means teaching, not punishing. I had high, clear expectations, and for the most part, the kids cooperated. When they didn't, I assumed there was a reason, and we talked about it. In my memory, that is sort of all there was to it. "I need you to do this; you want to do that. What can we do that both our needs will be met?"
My youngest are now teens, and it is still working! YoungSon is 17, and spends most weekends at his friend's houses. I need him to have his phone charged and with him. I can trust that he has internalized the basic rules for functioning in society. Getting through high school is his responsibility, and I let the school provide truly natural consequences for not doing what is expected of him. It may sound like I am pretty hands off, but he and I have a very close bond, and I see little of the typical teenage rebellion. BigGirl is 18, and is starting college in the Fall. She is very goal driven, has high aspirations, and I believe she will accomplish her dreams. I never actively "taught" her to be organized, do chores, behave, or obey. ElderSon is 31, has 2 kids and a lovely wife, and works hard to support his family. I never "taught" him responsibility, but he has it in spades. The foster kids thrived in our home, generally dropping the unmanageable behaviors that got them kicked out of more typically structured foster homes.
Sorry this evolved into bragging about my kids. Didn't mean it that way. Of course we had some rough moments, clashes, and worries. What I meant to focus on is that it isn't a matter of quick fixes, pulling another tool out of the box to insure compliance with arbitrary house rules. CPS attitudes foster respect and equality, and I think that goes farther and lasts longer than any reward/consequence system.
Rhu - mother,grandmother,daughter,sister,friend-foster,adoptive,and biological;not necessarily in that order. Some of it's magic, some of it's tragic, but I had a good life all the way (Jimmy Buffet)
Thanks for sharing your story. Far from bragging you are giving people with challenging kids lots of hope. I liked your comments on consequences and discipline. Someone said that consequences is like homework - if they don't work , the kids needs help to deal with the lagging skills etc - learning etc and if consequences ' do' work , why not help him be comitted to the underlying values or in the case of school , help make his learning more self directed. I was not so lucky to attend a seminar but the various cps websites, the blog in which the article appears and the latest editions of the cps books ' Lost at school and the explosive child have helped.Even with the amazing scripts CPS is still very messy but in time both the parents and kids getter better at collaborating and problem solving
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