Parenting Your Challenging Child: Recent Programs

Paddling Upstream (March 2, 2015)
If you're only paying attention to a child's challenging behavior, then modifying or medicating the behavior will make the most sense.  But behavior is what's going on downstream.  If you paddle upstream -- toward the problems that are causing the behavior -- other intervention strategies start to make a lot more sense. LISTEN NOW 

Are Consequences the Only Way to Set Limits and Establish Boundaries? (February 23, 2015)
As usual, lots of questions answered and topics covered from the mailbag during today's program, including the one in the title. LISTEN NOW

Unmet Needs or Concerns? (February 9, 2015)
When you're in the Empathy step, are you seeking information about a child's concerns or unmet needs? It's the former...when you're focused on the latter, you're more likely to hear about the child's solutions (rather than his or her concerns)and brainstorming solutions shouldn't occur until the Invitation. LISTEN NOW

It All Begins with the Assessment of Lagging Skills and Unsolved Problems (January 26, 2015)
We turned to the mailbag on today's program, and responded to inquiries from five parents.  But there was a fairly consistent theme:  it all begins with the Assessment of Lagging Skills and Unsolved Problems. LISTEN NOW 

The Proof's in the Pudding: What to Tell Kids About Plan B (January 12, 2015)
One of the questions parents frequently have relates to how much to tell kids about Plan B. That question -- and a whole bunch of others -- were discussed on today's program. LISTEN NOW 

Three Boys Under the Age of Eight! (January 5, 2015)
Maybe the title of today's program tells you all you need to know...but maybe not! While it's tempting to use Plan A to keep things organized and keep life moving when there's three boys under the age of eight in one household, Plan B can probably help more than you might think. LISTEN NOW

Ups and Downs of the Embarrassment Factor (December 15, 2014)
A variety of topics were covered on the last program of 2014, including a rather in-depth discussion of the "embarrassment factor" (kids who can hold it together outside of the home but are very challenging inside the home).  Just because a kid is holding it together outside of the home doesn't mean there aren't problems to be solved. LISTEN NOW

The "Therapeutic" Hold and the "Healthy" Smack: Some Things Just Don't Go Together (December 8, 2014)
Lots of ground covered on today's program -- a mom whose son becomes upset when he gets hurt phsyically, an emailer who noticed that the CPS model has moved from "baskets" to "Plans," from emergent to proactive, and from "compromising" to problem-solving -- but the most moving email came from a mom whose son is still being placed in restraint and seclusion at school. LISTEN NOW

The Morphing Unsolved Problem (December 1, 2014) 
It's not uncommon to start Plan B with one unsolved problem and then learn about other unsolved problems that will require separate solutions.  Thanks to a caller, that's one of the things we talked about on today's program...LISTEN NOW 

Double-Header: Two Kids Having Difficulty Participating in Plan B (November 24, 2014)
What do you do if your child is having difficulty providing information in the Empathy step of Plan B? We're glad you (and two of our callers) asked! LISTEN NOW

Premature Solutions (November 17, 2014)
On today's program, Ross and Susy spoke with a mom who's thinking of pulling her son out of school due to poor performance...but will that solution really solve the problem? Or does the mom need more information about what's getting in the way for her son at school before they can start contemplating solutions? Plus a lot more... LISTEN NOW 

How Do I Explain This? (November 10, 2014)
Explaining Collaborative & Proactive Solutions (CPS) to a kid can be a challenge, but this radio program should help you out. And if you've been very focused on imploring your child to take responsibility for his actions, you'll probably want to listen to the rest of the program as well. LISTEN NOW

You Need Info! (some creative ways to get it) (October 27, 2014)
If you're wondering about what to do if your child is having difficulty providing you with information about his/her concern, perspective, or point of view in the Empathy step of Plan B, this program should help out...thanks to one of our callers. LISTEN NOW

What's More Informative? The Diagnoses or Lagging Skills and Unsolved Problems? (October 20, 2014)
Susy and Dr. Greene covered a lot of ground on today's program, including helping a mom whose daughter has been diagnosed with generalized and social anxiety get more focused on her daughter's specific lagging skills and unsolved problems. LISTEN NOW

Debbie's Lagging Skills and Unsolved Problems (September 29, 2014)
On today's program, we helped Debbie's mom with the wording of unsolved problems on the Assessment of Lagging Skills and Unsolved Problems.  Now we're ready to start solving those problems collaboratively and proactively! LISTEN NOW

Getting to Know Debbie (September 22, 2014)
On today's program, we helped a mom begin identyfing the lagging skills and unsolved problems contributing to the challenging episodes of her daughter (who we're calling Debbie), using the Assessment of Lagging Skills and Unsolved Problems (ALSUP) as our guide. Once the problems are identified, the task of solving them begins...along with the adventure of getting to know Debbie. LISTEN NOW 

Different Points on the Journey (September 15, 2014)
Our callers made this a very poignant program. The first was a dad who's been using the CPS model for some time now. He had some very encouraging news. The second was a mom who's just at the beginning of her CPS journey. And the third was a mom who's in the middle of her journey and needing to make some slight adjustments. Beware: due to circumstances beyond our comprehension, the program cuts off unexpectedly near the end. LISTEN NOW

What Is Challenging Behavior Communicating? (September 8, 2014)
Well, Parenting Your Challenging Child is back on the air for another nine months, and Dr. Greene and his new co-host, Susy, kicked things off by responding to emails from several parents and a parent who called in...all seeking guidance on how to apply the CPS model to their challenging kids. Key theme of the day: though challenging behavior is very concerning and stressful, it's really just a very unpleasant way for a child to communicate that he or she is lacking the skills to handle certain demands and expectations. LISTEN NOW

The Empathy Corner (May 19, 2014)
Some great information on today's program -- the last until September -- including information on collaborating with kids on social difficulties. But one parent told us, by email, about something she and her husband do with her son when it doesn't seem like there's a problem to be solved but their son does need to be heard: they call it the Empathy Corner. LISTEN NOW 

Same Song, Different Tune (May 12, 2014)
Should you solve problems collaboratively with your not-so-challenging kids? Today's first caller has doubts about the answer to that question. LISTEN NOW 

The Meaning of Strength (May 5, 2014)
Parents of behaviorally challenging kids are often told that they need to be stronger, firmer, and more consistent...and yet, as discussed on today's Parents Panel, solving problems collaboratively takes a lot of strength too...and parents seem to feel a lot stronger when they know how to solve problems together with their children. LISTEN NOW 

Getting Into That Plan B Habit (April 28, 2014)
As always, lots of questions answered on today's program. One of the key points: once Plan B becomes a habit, kids (and caregivers) listen better to each others' concerns because they aren't so worried about having their own concerns blown off the table. LISTEN NOW 

How Do the Skills Get Taught? (April 14, 2014)
As always, lots of territory was covered on today's program, including a call from an overwhelmed mom who wanted to know how to get started on helping her behaviorally challenging child. But, early on, Dr. Greene explained how kids learn skills when they're engaged in solving problems collaboratively. And at the end of the program, he reminded us that adults learn skills through the same process. LISTEN NOW

April Parents Panel: Being Responsive and Collaborating at All Ages (April 7, 2014)
The Parents Panel covered a wide range of topics on today's program, but the starting and ending theme went something like this: Is there any age at which you wouldn't try to be responsive to the hand you've been dealt and try to understand and address your child's concerns? The answer from the Panel was a resounding No. LISTEN NOW 

Caught Up in the Diagnoses (March 24, 2014)
Dr. Greene made his way through lots of email today, and there was a key them that cut across many of them: while psychiatric diagnoses can be useful in some ways, identifying your child's lagging skills and unsolved problems is almost always more informative and productive. LISTEN NOW

Why Won't He Talk to Us? (March 10, 2014)
Lots of good info on today's program. We heard back from last week's mom, who's starting to organize the effort in working on her son's behavioral challenges. Dr. Greene also answered a bunch of questions he received via email, including one from a mom who's wondering why her son won't talk to her when she's trying to gather information in the Empathy step of Plan B. LISTEN NOW

March Parents Panel: Can I Still Do the Old Stuff? (March 3, 2014)
Many parents wonder if they need to completely drop their old ways of doing things when they're implementing Dr. Greene's CPS model, and the Educators Panel had some ideas about that...and then responded to a very distressed mom looking for some guidance. LISTEN NOW

You Gotta Know What You're Working On (February 24, 2014)
Thanks to our callers and emailers, lots of good information on this program...but a familiar theme kept coming through: identifying unsolved problems helps you know what you're working on, makes challenging episodes predictable, and helps you intervene proactively. LISTEN NOW

February Parents Panel: Hearing, Clarifying, & Validating (February 3, 2014)
We returned to siblings today on the Parents Panel, and had a very interesting discussion about the pressure parents feel to agree or disagree with a child's concerns (and to take sides). The reality is that agreeing/disagreeing and taking sides are often counterproductive, can lead to conflict, and are unnecessary anyway. But you'll have to listen to the program to hear the rest. LISTEN NOW

Raised on Plan A, Trying to Roll with Plan B (January 27, 2014)
Dr. Greene answered lots of emailed questions on today's program, including one from two parents who were themselves raised on Plan A, recognize that Plan A isn't working for their behaviorally challenging child, are doing their best to roll with Plan B, and finding the road to be rocky. LISTEN NOW

At the Fork in the Road (January 13, 2014)
What do you do when Plan A keeps backfiring but you want to feel like you still have some control as a parent? That's the gist of what today's first caller was asking...and Dr. Greene's answer was "Plan B".  She has her work cut out for her...but at least she's starting to become clear on the fact that Plan A isn't getting the job done. LISTEN NOW

January Parents Panel: A Sibling Tells It Like It Is (January 6, 2014)
Our first program (and Parents Panel) of 2014 was a poignant one, as we heard from the sibling of a previously explosive child. She had some words of wisdom for all of us. LISTEN NOW

Prioritizing Unsolved Problems (December 16, 2013)
On the last program of 2013, Dr. Greene answered some parent email questions. Topics discussed include redefining descriptions of behaviorally challenging kids in a more helpful way, initiating conversations about very specific topics, and prioritizing problems that may be best solved after more information is gathered. LISTEN NOW

December Parents Panel: Advice for Parents Starting Out (December 9, 2013)
Dr. Greene was joined today by our Parents Panel, who shared advice for parents beginning to implement the CPS* model with their children. The panel shared what changed for the better and what mistakes they learned from along the way, including the discovery that some traditional pillars of parenting may actually be counterproductive in working with behaviorally challenging kids.LISTEN NOW

Plan B with a Teen (November 25, 2013)
Plan B with a teenager may require some special considerations, like how to deal with skepticism (and eye-rolling) from your teen as you start out with the model. Dr. Greene offers a live caller some advice on how to implement the model with her teenage daughter, stressing the importance of drilling, the usefulness of theories, and how to introduce the model after years of Plan A. LISTEN NOW

Exploring Other Forms of Communication (November 18, 2013)
Dr. Greene answers a parent inquiry regarding using the model with a child who is nonverbal. Other topics discussed include using resources to encourage educators to change the lenses with which they view behaviorally challenging children and recognizing that not all kids (even in the same family) respond to the same parenting style. Dr. Greene also shares his thoughts on violent video games. LISTEN NOW

November Parents Panel: Building Trust (November 4, 2013)
Dr. Greene was joined by our Parents Panel today, who helped field concerns from live callers. The first caller reports her success in having Plan B conversations with her son, which has increased the level of trust in their relationship and taught her about her own lagging skills. LISTEN NOW

Back to Basics (October 28, 2013)
On this episode, we hear from two live callers who are trying the model, as well as a parent who is at the end of her rope with daughter’s challenging behavior. Dr. Greene troubleshoots, reminding us how important the Empathy Step is. LISTEN NOW

Changes Lenses (October 21, 2013)
The difficulties of behaviorally challenging kids tend to be complex, and can be further complicated when caregivers or educators are not viewing behavior through a prism of lagging skills and unsolved problems. On this program, we hear a parent's sincere concerns regarding the challenge of getting educators and other caregivers to change their lenses. Dr. Greene also dishes advice for a caller who is attempting Plan B with his young son on how to adapt the model to a child's developmental communication skills. LISTEN NOW

October Parents Panel: Communication is Key (October 6, 2013)
In this episode, our newest parents panel member, Anna, shares how Plan B has given her family hope. One caller asks for advice on how to navigate divorce with a behaviorally challenging child. Anna and Suzy advise that keeping the lines of communication open is just as important between parents as between parent and child. Panel members stress the importance of not focusing on the behavior but the precursor, and Dr. Greene weighs in on what we can learn from each challenging episode. LISTEN NOW

Just Keep Drilling (September 30, 2013)
Dr. Greene answered more emails from the summer.  Among the questions answered: What to do when kids don't talk in the Empathy step of Plan B, whether Plan B can be applied to toilet training, and how to help kids who are holding it together during the school day but are challenging at home. LISTEN NOW

Success Stories (September 23, 2013)
We heard from a few callers today who related some of the successes they're having in using Plan B...and were reminded (by way of another's mom's email) that we want to focus not on what a child does in response to an unsolved problem (i.e., his behavior) but rather on the unsolved problem giving rise to that response. LISTEN NOW

The Invitation Step of Plan B (September 16, 2013)
Dr. Greene tried to catch up on summer emails during this program, and started with one asking for more information about the Invitation step of Plan B.  Of course, you'll have to listen to the program to hear everything else! LISTEN NOW

September Parents Panel: "Trying Harder" Isn't A Great Solution (September 9, 2013)
After a summer hiatus, we jump-started the program with the Parents Panel, and had a nice opportunity to get reminders on a few of the key tenets of solving problems collaboratively:  Plan B is far more effective when it's done proactively, and also more effective when it's focused on a specific unsolved problem rather than a challenging behavior (such as hitting) that applies to many different unsolved problems. LISTEN NOW