When my neighbor first told me about The Total Transformation Program by James Lehman, MSW, I was very hesitant. She told me it was doing wonders for her 8 year old autistic child and that I should try it out on my strong-willed five. She kept pushing and finally I agreed to listen to the first CD. Was I ever glad I did!
I’ve tried all kinds of methods and programs to help minimize conflicts in our house. I’ve had varying degrees of success with many of them. But when I started implementing the tools Mr. Lehman teaches in The Total Transformation Program, the results were astounding.
I’ll let you read about the details of the program and what’s included in the package by clicking here (it will open in a new window), but I want to talk about a few of the individual techniques and ideas that have worked for me.
Children need to learn to problem-solve
Mr. Lehman’s assertion is that kids don’t know how to problem-solve, and that’s why they act out in inappropriate ways. It’s a coping mechanism they’ve developed to force someone else to solve the problem at hand for them. What he does with The Total Transformation Program is help us parents give our kiddos the tools they need to solve their problems.
The first rule for promoting responsibility taking and accountability is “Accept no excuse for abuse”. This includes excessive arguing, badgering, physical hitting, intimidation both with words and actions. This applies to everyone, and includes self-defense when it abuses others. You can’t strangle someone because they hit you.
Make direct statements. Tell them what you want then walk away. Don’t be afraid of appearing powerless. You’ve made your child accountable for his actions, and to him that’s powerful.
Disconnect. Stop communication with the child if they’re being abusive or disrespectful. Make it a power vacuum, and you’ll be amazed how fast things change. This is one that we’ve started using and I can’t believe how good it works.
Stop the show. Don’t let inappropriate behavior in a public place continue. If it’s a small child, you may have to pick them up and remove them from wherever you are. If it’s a teen, and it’s a safe place, just leave them and go home. Let them solve the problem of how to get home.
Make the consequences task-oriented and time-limited. You have to do whatever until whenever.
Family business. Deal with behavioral issues in a semi-formal business-like manner. Don’t feel bad about a lie. Keep your emotions out of it as best you can. Try not to take the behavior personally, it will make you ineffective.
Transition time. I like this one. Have a deal with your kids that when you get home from work, there is a 15 minute “transitional time” where nothing is discussed. It allows you to catch up on things that need to get done when you get home without being bombarded with questions and problems, plus a chance to wind down a bit from the day.
Responsible love vs. unconditional love. We’re taught we’re supposed to love our kids unconditionally, but what we really need to do is love them responsibly. Parental love needs to be on an intellectual plane rather than an emotional one. Don’t be afraid of losing your child’s love by making rules. They will know it and use it against you.
Replacement and reciprocity. Be prepared to give your child replacement appropriate behaviors. Mentioning the rewards and benefits from such behaviors will support compliance and problem solving.
Lastly, don’t hold your breath! Change and gratitude don’t come overnight. Later on, blame will be replaced with thanks, but it might be a while coming.
This is just a taste of what I’ve learned in The Total Transformation Program. Look into it if you’re having problems getting your kids to behave.
Click here for a cool interactive multi-media presentation that lets you listen to a sample of each CD and watch a little of the DVD’s too.
Stop pulling your hair out over this kid’s behavior. Become an in-charge parent today!
You might be wondering if I’m making money by promoting this program, and the answer is yes! If you buy it after visiting my website, I will earn a commission. The truth is, I tried it and liked it so much, that I decided it would be something I would feel proud to support and promote, and as a bonus, I get a commission if you buy it.