(posted March 7, 2011)
Most parents and teachers have experienced the frustration and aggravation of trying to manage a child who is being disrespectful or uncooperative. But with a few simple techniques, it's possible for parents to learn how to control whining, temper tantrums and arguing and also encourage good behavior, says Thomas W. Phelan, Ph.D., author of the best-selling 1-2-3 Magic parenting program. Phelan will be the keynote speaker at Bradley Hospital's annual Parenting Matters conference on Saturday, March 19.
My goal is to help parents avoid some of the turmoil my wife and I experienced as parents, and which I hear about from other parents every day, says Phelan. With some basic understanding of what makes children and teenagers tick - and a ton of patience - parenthood can provide some of life's greatest satisfactions.
The 1-2-3 Magic program provides straightforward techniques for managing children between the ages of 2 and 12 without arguing, yelling or spanking. Phelan stresses the fact that children are not little adults who are rational and selfless; that's why explanations or attempts at reasoning are often useless. In fact, arguing with a child or having other highly emotional reactions when a child is misbehaving usually reinforces the very behavior that parents are trying to stop.
According to Phelan, controlling obnoxious behavior and encouraging good behavior require different approaches. He will review several of these methods as part of his Parenting Matters presentation, including the counting to three technique, using a kitchen timer to measure the time a child has to complete a task and positive reinforcement. Phelan also will prepare parents and caregivers for handling the many ways that a child might test or try to manipulate them, such as badgering, threats and buttering-up.
Presented by Bradley Hospital, Parenting Matters is a half-day conference celebrating 21 years of helping families tackle tough issues. The event will take place from 8 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. at Barrington High School and offers parents, childcare providers, and teachers a unique opportunity to learn from top child development and behavior professionals in a casual setting. Phelan's keynote presentation will begin at 8:45 a.m. To register, please visit www.bradleyhospital.org or call 401-444-4800 or 1-800-927-1230.
A registered clinical psychologist, Phelan has worked with children, adults and families for over 30 years. He is a member of the American Psychological Association and the Illinois Psychological Association and the author of numerous books, DVDs and audio recordings, including 1â€2â€3 Magic: Effective Discipline for Children 2â€12 and 1â€2-3 Magic for Teachers: Effective Classroom Discipline Preâ€K through Grade 8. Phelan received his Ph.D. from Loyola University in Chicago and completed his internship at the Loyola Child Guidance Center. He has also served on the boards of directors for both the Attention Deficit Disorder Association (ADDA) and Children and Adults with Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (CHADD), and was inducted into the CHADD Hall of Fame in 1997.