Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Peaceful Parentingr Success Story I

Writen by Nancy Buck

Jane, mother of 13-year old Robert shares the following success story:

"I have been trying to change my ways and follow the Peaceful Parenting® strategies more closely since I read your book last year. Understanding that I do not, can not, nor should try not to control my son's behavior has been a challenge. I was willing to try since controlling his behavior not only did not work, it seemed to be damaging our relationship with one another. I share this success with you to let you know that I think I really have made the switch successfully.

In March, Robert came home with a poor report card. He was full of excuses regarding his poor grades. He also wanted to blame me and his father for our lack of support and his teachers for expecting too much and putting on too much pressure.

Having agreed upon it ahead of time, my husband and I tried a new strategy. We didn't get angry or upset with Robert. We ignored all the excuse making and blaming that Robert was doing. Instead we asked him what he thought about his report card. We asked him to self-evaluate. Was he satisfied? Did he think he could do better? Was he interested in our help? What could we do that he would find helpful?

Robert was stunned into silence.

We also told him that we were interested in him learning and being successful at school. We believed that this was his job. We want to help and admitted that what we had been doing up until then didn't seem particularly helpful. We told him that we knew we could not make him do anything. We let him know what our quality world picture for him and successful school learning and achievement is. And we knew we could do nothing to make sure that this quality world picture would ever come true. We also believe that he has a quality world picture for himself of success in school.

Yes, he agreed that he had a similar picture. He started again blaming us and his teachers for why he had been unable to achieve these pictures. Again we admitted our error in attempting to control his school effort and success. I told him I thought my behaving the way I was not only did not help with school work, I felt it was interfering with our good relationship with him.

Then we took the really hard step. We told Robert that his school work was now going to be his responsibility. We were interested in helping. He needed to ask for our help. We also told him if he could clearly describe what we could do that would be helpful to him we would gladly oblige.

Although in the beginning it was a rocky start, Robert starting owning his school work. As hard as it was, when I saw Robert playing computer games or watching TV when I wasn't sure he had finished his school work, I said nothing. Every few days during a family meal I would ask Robert if he needed any help. The more my husband and I backed off the more likely he was to ask for specific help. But not all the time.

It really was a miracle. By the end of the school year, Robert had raised all of his grades to A's or B's. We all stopped haggling, arguing and upsetting over school work. My husband and I backed off. School work is Robert's job and responsibility. We care, and he knows it. But even more importantly, my husband and I both know now that Robert cares too.

Thank you Peaceful Parenting® for helping me learn how to stop attempting to control my son's behavior. Thanks for helping me learn to respect and work with my son. Our relationship is now stronger than ever. I don't know many other parents of 13-year olds that can say the same."


Nancy S. Buck, Ph.D. established Peaceful Parenting, Inc. in 2000 to bring her knowledge and experience with effective parenting to the greatest number of parents and other caretakers of children. She developed the Peaceful Parenting® program from her 25 years of experience as a developmental psychologist, trainer and educator with The William Glasser Institute and as the mother of twin sons. Her genuine, warm and authentic teaching style is clear and concise, helping learners move from the theoretical to real life situations.

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