Integrated Family Services very own, Judy Kilpatrick was spotlighted as a Triple P provider in the July 2016 Tippaper! Read what Ms. Kilpatrick had to say about working with parents in Triple P, see the July Tippaper PDF here…
Triple P provider Judy Kilpatrick is a Licensed Managing Family Therapist with Integrated Family Services in Greenville, seeing clients at their Ahoskie and Belhaven centers. Many of the families she helps have children struggling with ADHD. We asked her some questions about using assertive discipline.
How important is it to set clear, fair and age-appropriate consequences for misbehavior or rule-breaking?
Ultimately, it is so important. It is the key to change. If consequences are not clear, and not delivered, children don’t feel like they have to follow instructions.
Is it possible to establish rules even when the family hasn’t really done so in the past?
Yes. It may take an adjustment on everyone’s part and it can be as hard for a parent as the kids, but it is possible to make changes. Use a calm voice to explain how things will be different. Parents are not “laying down the law.” They are explaining things, and how it will be better for all.
Do children respond differently when rules are set and explained clearly to them beforehand?
It’s been my experience that most children respond well after they push the limit once and realize their parent will follow through. Children like rules and expectations. They tend to calm down when they have clear structure and know what the rules are.
How do you help parents who are reluctant to set or follow through with consequences because they’re fearful of the child getting upset?
I don’t get that much! It’s more likely that parents don’t want to put the energy into making changes. They’d rather be an “armchair parent.” But what I would say to that parent is to ask how that behavior is going to impact their child’s life? They could really be hindering their child’s development.
Are there times when children should be involved in rule setting?
I think there are certain things children can have input on, which means they will have buy-in. But when it comes to safety, there are no compromises. The parent makes those rules! But, for example, things like bedtimes or when homework is done, those decisions can certainly involve children. Anything establishing a structure helps kids, and letting them help decide the structure helps with their development of problem-solving and decision-making.