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Strengthening Families
Session 05 Fostering Confidence in Children

Review (Emotion Coaching)

Be aware of emotions (Child and Yours). Recognize Emotion as Opportunity for Closeness and Teaching. Listen Empathically and Validate the Childs Feelings. Identify and Name Emotions Set Limits while Problem Solving


Review (Emotion Coaching Step 5)

Steps to Limit Setting and Problem Solving.
Clarify expectations (especially when misbehavior has occurred). Remind child that emotions are okay, but behaviors need regulation. Clarify the problem. Brainstorm possible solutions. Invite child to select best solution that meets your expectations and family values.

Volunteer Activity
I DONT like that
Only say, I dont like that when the volunteer is heading in the wrong direction or not performing the correct task. If they are going in the right direction or about to perform the correct task, say NOTHING.

I LIKE that
Only say, I like that when the volunteer is heading in the right direction or performing the correct task. If they are going in the wrong direction or not performing the correct task, say NOTHING.


Respect begets Respect

When children are respected they feel loved.
Nose story

Ways to show respect.

Sincere, appropriate praise (state not trait) Child-directed play Routine and structure

Negative words carry a lot of weight.

Pretending story

Have Self-Respect

Faith in God
I know that the Lord giveth no commandments unto the children of men, save he shall prepare a way for them that they may accomplish the thing which he commandeth them. 1 Nephi 3:7 Let thy bowels also be full of charity towards all men, and to the household of faith, and let virtue garnish thy thoughts unceasingly; then shall thy confidence wax strong in the presence of God. D&C 121:45 But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him. Hebrews 11:6


Personal Integrity
While children must be taught to heed the wise counsel of parents and Church leaders, they must also learn to think for themselves and develop confidence in their own ability to manage their lives. How can this be fostered?
Tatoos Long hair Me vs. Siblings (fairness)

Self Evaluation
When parents invoke self-evaluation in a harsh, judgmental, and condemning way, the child may lose sight of personal wrongdoing and focus instead on the excessive, inappropriate behavior of the parents. Or the child may respond with unnecessarily severe feelings of guilt and self-condemnation.


Effective Commands
State clearly what you expect. Wait 10 full seconds before restating your command. If non-compliance occurs:
Warn for 1 minute time-out
Wait 10 full seconds

Go to time-out for 1 minute

Wait 10 full seconds

Incremental increases to 10 minutes At 10 minutes, withdraw a privilege.

What questions do you have?

Next Month in HOLT!

Tracking Problem Behaviors

It is important to keep in mind that when you are tracking problem behaviors in your child/ren, that you only track ONE (1) child and a maximum of THREE (3) problem behaviors. In deciding what problem behaviors you want to track, make sure you choose behaviors that comply with the following standards:
Specific A behavior is specific if three different outside observers would label it as the same thing. Examples include: hitting, biting, yelling, throwing a ball, etc. Nonexamples include: talking back, disrespect, bad attitude. Measurable A behavior is measurable if three different outside observers could count how many times it occurred. Relevant A behavior is relevant if it is performed in an abnormal circumstance. For instance, throwing a ball is normal when done in the context of sports.

An example of a specific, measurable, relevant problem behavior is as follows:

My child yells when he does not get what he wants. This usually happens right before bedtime. His yelling occurs for about 10-30 seconds, arguing to try to get his way.

A demonstration on how to track this behavior with the chart below follows: Monday 1 time at lunch, lasted 2 min. No yelling occurred 1 time at bedtime, lasted 3 min. Tuesday Wednesday Thursday 1 time before school, lasted 5 min. No yelling 1 time after dinner, lasted 3 min. No yelling No yelling Friday Saturday Sunday

Behavior: Yelling (when not getting way)

1 time at dinner, lasted 1 min.

Possible Causes: (what happened before, during or after behavior)

Lunch wanted different food Bedtime wanted to stay up longer

Dinner no nap during the day, wanted less food than given

Morning struggled getting to sleep yesterday, struggled waking up.

Use the Chart on the following page to track behaviors in the same manner.

Compiled by Michael R. Whitehead, LMFT 2013

Tracking Problem Behaviors

Monday Behavior: Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Saturday Sunday

Possible Causes:


Possible Causes:

Compiled by Michael R. Whitehead, LMFT 2013

Child-Directed Play Child

Before you read the instructions on how to do Child-Directed Play, please take some time to understand the principle behind why Child-Directed Play is important and how it works. The Principle Many times (not all the time) children use misbehavior and defiance as a way to get the attention of their parents or caregivers. When parents give attention to this misbehavior, the child learns that this is an easy and effective way to get a reaction (i.e., attention) from their caregivers. This creates a cycle that continues to get increasingly frustrating for both parent and child. Another reason child-directed play is so effective stems from the busy lifestyles most families live. As technology has increased and as more limits are placed on the family from outside sources (school, work, daycare, bills, email, etc.) less and less families spend dedicated time together. A symptom of these limits can be childhood misbehavior. Child-directed play counters those limits and re-assures the child that you are theirs, and will always be there to care for them. Child-directed play gives your child a space in which they are in total control, or in other words, a space in which you are completely attentive to them. When children get the chance to have 100% of your time focused on them, many behavior problems disappear. Using child-directed play at home is much like using antibiotics, dont stop when the symptoms (behavior problems) are gone; it needs to be continued so the symptoms dont come back. If child-directed play does not stop or decrease the behavior problems significantly, there could be other reasons or problems that are feeding into your childs behavior. At this time, it is best to see or continue seeing a therapist. Because this time needs to be their space, it is important to let them be in charge of it. Keeping this principle in mind will make it easier for you to be non-directive. Being non-directive is the key. Let your child lead you; take this time to learn from your child. The Rules No teaching: Do not use this time to teach your child. This will be difficult, but if you abide by this rule, your time will be well spent. No correcting: If your child says something is blue when it is really red, do not correct them. You will have time to do that the rest of the day, this is their time, learn from them. No cleaning: Do not make your child clean up after themselves, again you can do this later, but this is their time, let them enjoy it. No hitting/hurting: If your child becomes aggressive, inform them that you are not for hitting, the toys are not for hitting, and they are not for hitting. If they continue after you tell them that toys are not for hitting, warn them that if it happens again, you will need to take that toy away. Follow through and put the toy away if the aggression continues. Have fun: Participate in the play with your child. This is a time for bonding, have fun and take your childs lead. The Instructions Set aside 30 to 45 minutes each week to set aside for child-directed play. Dont schedule the play time within the first 30-45 minutes after a major transition (e.g. coming home from school, friends house, playtime.)

Compiled by Michael Whitehead, M.S., LMFT - 2009

If playtime is missed re-schedule the time within the next 24 hours, giving a real scheduled time for the child to expect. Narrate the play of your child. As your child plays with a car say, You are rolling that across the floor. Only name the object when your child names it. If the child says that a toy car is a phone say, You are pushing that phone across the floor. Use only the words that your child uses. When your child looks like they want help say, You want me to (action) that? Why dont you try first? Let them try for a few seconds until it looks like they really need your help, then help ONLY if they ask for it again, if they dont ask again assume that they are content. Dont interrupt their play. If they dont engage you, just narrate their play while you play with toys near them. Stay in their metaphor. Let them lead your play. If they tell a story with their play, dont detract from their story; continue playing in their story telling. When the time is almost up, give them a 5 minute lead time warning. Give another warning when they only have a minute left to play. When the play time is over, leave the area and dont make the child clean it up. Get them busy with something else before you return to clean up.

Emotional Closeness Outside of child-directed play, try to use the cycle below to increase your emotional closeness with your child. Try to see behavior problems as opportunities for closeness, and try to validate the emotion your child is likely feeling at the time. Keep practicing both Child-Directed Play and Emotional Closeness.
Emotional Closeness (Greater parent-child bond, misbehavior ceases)

Invalidation (Dismiss emotional needs)

Validation (Use the format below)

Emotional Cue (Temper Tantrum)

Emotional Distance (Continued Misbehavior)

Recognize Cue as Opportunity for Closeness (Take child in your arms, or sit next to them)

Easiest Format: You feel (feeling word) because (restate concern/interpret concern). If you have any questions/concerns/comments regarding child-directed play, please contact me at: or 517.325.3638
Compiled by Michael Whitehead, M.S., LMFT - 2009