Parenting Your Challenging Child: Recent Programs

How Do the Skills Get Taught? (program aired live on 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 (program aired live on 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 (program aired live on 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? (program aired live on 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? (program aired live on 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 (program aired live 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 (program aired live on 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 (program aired live on 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 (program aired live on 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 (program aired live on 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 (program aired live on 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 (program aired live on 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 (program aired live on 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 (program aired live in 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 (program aired live on 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 (program aired live on 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 (program aired live on 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 (program aired live on 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 (program aired live on 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 (program aired live on 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 (program aired live on 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 (program aired live on 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

*Due to legal action taken by Massachusetts General Hospital, Dr. Greene is prohibited from referring to the model he originated by the name Collaborative Problem Solving, though most of his prior books, articles, chapters, and research papers refer to the model by that name. He now calls his model Collaborative & Proactive Solutions (CPS).