Parenting Problems

Dallas Counseling for Parenting Problems

Issues surrounding limit-setting and addressing behavioral challenges are common struggles for many parents.  Parents often find a need to set limits in order to assure safety, decrease chaos, and  promote healthy socioemotional and psychological development.  Limit-setting is essential for children and adolescents in all stages of development as children often are unable to set limits for themselves.  However, with healthy limit-setting and follow-through children gradually begin to set their own limits and regulate their behavior and emotions independently.  Without consistent use of limits and follow-through, children feel insecure and experience psychological stress.
 
Below is a limit-setting technique promoted by play therapy expert Dr. Garry L. Landreth.  This is a three-step technique which involves acknowledgement of the child’s feeling, communication of the parent’s limit, and suggestion of an alternate behavior or action which is more appropriate.
 
Three Step Process (A.C.T.):
1.    Acknowledge the feeling:
    “I know you would really like to….” or
    “I can see you are feeling very….”
2.    Communicate the limit:
    “….but you may not_______... (because…)” or
    “but your sister is not for hitting” or
    “but the answer is no.”
3.    Target an alternative:
    “You can _______ if you would like” or
    “What you can do is________.”
 
Examples of this three-step A.C.T. process put together:
  • “I know you would really like to go outside to play, but you may not because it is raining.  You can choose to either complete a puzzle or we can play a game together.”
  • “I can see you felt very angry / hurt when your sister was making fun of you, but your sister is not for hitting.  When you feel angry you can choose to either hit a pillow or bang on your toy drum.”
  • “I know you do not like to take your medicine, but whether or not you take medicine is not a choice because it’s something your body needs to get better.  However, you can choose to either take it [with juice or with yogurt] or [through a syringe or a cup].”
For more information about Parenting Skills, including limit-setting, challenges with behavior and other child-related difficulties, click here.
 
The Insights therapists who specialize in working with parenting problems are Laura Elpers, Mary Sanger and Priya Singhvi. Call Insights Therapy today at 214.706.0508, click here to email us, or click here to schedule an appointment. Insights offers flexible scheduling with daytime, evening and weekend appointments.