First and Then Method is my number 1 favourite tool in the parenting toolbox. When I sat as a parent myself attending SFSC Parenting Classes, which was recommended to me by my older brother who was a facilitator. He spoke positively about his own experiences taking parents on a journey to a Violence-Free Healthy Lifestyle.
At that time I certainly wanted my life to change. I felt so stuck and with my children no longer being babies and growing up. My resources were low, I was repeating myself over and over again. It became draining because I wasn’t just a mother I also had a job working with families. Most of us want the best for our children deep down but I’ve questioned why has my life turned out this way. I needed help to get my parenting skills to the next level and I wasn’t alone.
Session 4 for me was the best it was the revelation that went boom! It was like the answers to my prayers, the facilitator said words (D) to my ears that made my soul cry out hallelujah lol, yes the room erupted with laughter as I sat and explained what I pictured in my head me using this method and it working boom! I felt that I’ve found something that might actually work to help me parent a rude, challenging and what I thought ungrateful child back then (I was completely wrong).
I was faced with adversity and more since my child left primary school and transitioned to high school, whoever said when raising children it gets better with age was wrong. I hit that bump in the road where it does get really challenging to manage aggressive behaviour. Even when I shared with my child that I was doing a parenting course I was told “you need to do a parenting course” with such an attitude. I kept my mouth shut, I didn’t respond because I would have acted opposite to the goal I had in mind for my family.
I may have started my journey late but it was at the right time for me when my eldest was 12 years old. I recognised I can’t do this on my own, so using the opportunity to chat with friends, God Parents, Siblings or Grandparents is a good start to accessing parenting support however, it’s not too late to turn it around and create your village of support.
Step 1 – Use clear instructions
Allow 5-15 minutes for your child to respond.
Step 2 – Give a “first…then message:
A – “First you must do …………………….. then you can do ……………………..”
B – “When you …………………….. then I will ………………………….“
C – “First you must do ……………….. before anything else”.
D – “Nothing will be done for you or with you until you …………………”
Step 3 – Remain calm and follow through.
Step 4 – Praise respectful behaviour immediately.
© All rights reserved the liberty coach 2019