The difference between giving in and re-prioritizing with your child

Learn about: The difference between giving in and re-prioritizing with your child from Ross W. Greene, PhD,...
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The difference between giving in and re-prioritizing with your child

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You know once you've identified the unsolved problems that are getting in your child's way, it is likely to be a very long list. And you're not going to be able to work on all of those problems at once. You're going to have to prioritize and only work on some of them. Some you're going to work on. Some you're going to set aside. A lot of parents worry that setting aside means giving in. Setting aside does not mean giving in. Prioritizing is not even remotely the equivalent of giving in. Here's what giving in is. Giving in is when the adult imposes their will on the kid and then capitulates cause the kid made their life miserable. That's giving in. But when you're prioritizing, you're saying, you known what? We've got a lot of unsolved problems. And the reason we've got a lot of unsolved problems is because for a very long time we weren't even focused on finding problems and solving them. We were focused on behaviors and modifying them. When you're focused on behaviors and modifying them, the list of unsolved problems just continues to grow, because you're not focused on problems and you're certainly not solving them. We've got a lot of unsolved problems in that pile. We're not going to be able to work on them all at once. There's some we're not going to work on. We're setting them aside. That's not giving in. That's brilliant.

Learn about: The difference between giving in and re-prioritizing with your child from Ross W. Greene, PhD,...

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Ross W. Greene, PhD

Psychologist, Author & Researcher

Ross W. Greene, Ph.D., is the author of the well-known books The Explosive Child and Lost at School, and the originator of a model of care (now known as Collaborative & Proactive Solutions) emphasizing collaboration between kids and adults in resolving the problems contributing to children’s behavioral challenges.  He is also associate clinical professor in the Department of Psychiatry at Harvard Medical School, on the professional staff at the Cambridge Hospital, adjunct associate professor in the Department of Psychology at Virginia Tech, and senior lecturer in the graduate program in school psychology in the Department of Education at Tufts University.  Dr. Greene founded the non-profit Lives in the Balance to provide free, web-based resources on his model and to advocate on behalf of behaviorally challenging kids and their parents, teachers, and other caregivers.  He lectures widely throughout the world and lives in Portland, Maine, with his wife and two kids.

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