Often, when a parent calls me to set up therapy for their child, they express that their child is behaving badly, or struggling somehow. The thought process is that the kid needs therapy because the parents have tried everything they knew to do and the issue remains. While it is accurate that the kid's behavior is a problem, it is often the case that the kid's behavior isn't *THE* problem. In addition to being a problem itself, the behavior(s) are often a symptom of another, underlying problem the family is experiencing. It is like going to the doctor to complain of stomach pain. The pain itself is a problem, but it is also a symptom of some other problem in the body system. So, the treatment is to address the pain AND to figure out what is causing the pain and treat that, too.
So, it is often helpful for parents to examine what patterns/behaviors can change in the family system that would promote the change they are looking for.
A while ago, I ran across a worksheet with a set of prompts that challenged me to look at my parenting and assess what was going well and what I could do to change the environment that my kids were growing in. It was helpful for me to do that bit of self analysis and then to reflect on what I could contribute to the process. Here are the prompts and at the bottom of the post, I have a link to a .pdf worksheet in case you want to download it and use it later.
Contact us if you are experiencing some challenging behavior in your kids or in your family system and would like to schedule a consultation or set up some family counseling.
Fill in the blank and/or use short answers to complete the following prompts:
I am a ______ parent.
I need to become a more _____ parent.
My child thinks I am a _______ parent.
I wish my child would stop ________.
I wish my child would start _______.
I hope my child never _________.
I need to give my child more ____________.
My child's behavior would be better if ____________.
My child's friends are ___________.
My child makes me proud when _________.
My child disappoints me when __________.
My child's mood is typically ___________.
My child's behavior is typically ____________.
My child likes it when ______________.
My child hates it when _____________.
Something I want to teach my child is ______________________.
I provide a(n) ___________________ environment for my child.
My correction of my child could best be described as ____________________.
Our family is _________________.
I hope that someday my child will ___________.
I know that someday my child will ____________.
One thing I will never do as a parent is ___________________.
Click here for the .pdf worksheet