Dealing with high-conflict parenting situations

Chris Fulton, PhD, shares advice for parents on how to best handle those high-conflict situations with your children by following three simple steps
How to Deal with High Conflict Parenting Situations
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Dealing with high-conflict parenting situations

You know in those high-conflict situations you’ve got to take a few things into account. The first thing is that when tempers are flaring and your child is really raging, there is no way you can even communicate. You have to first deescalate, then communicate, because you’re not even in the right part of the brain when you’re that angry. They can’t listen to you. So make sure to deescalate your child before you actually talk. Once you get the child at a point – or your teenager at a point – where they can at least have some communication without raging, then what you do is you make sure to hear them out. Start with the empathy. Listen. Active listen. Hear out their concerns. Then the next thing is you asked them what are some of the solution to the problem if there is a problem. If it’s just a complaint, you listen to the complaint. But if there is a problem, ask them what some of their solutions are. And then offer some of your own. And then discuss which one is the most viable solution that you have on the table there. But you have to make sure – deescalate, empathize, and then hear out the concerns.

Chris Fulton, PhD, shares advice for parents on how to best handle those high-conflict situations with your children by following three simple steps


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Chris Fulton, PhD

Clinical Psychologist

Dr. Christopher Fulton is a licensed clinical psychologist and has been in private practice for over ten years. He received his doctorate in 1994 from the California School of Professional Psychology, Los Angeles. Dr. Fulton has clinical training and experience in a variety of settings, and also has administrative, teaching, supervision, consulting, research and psychological testing experience. Dr. Fulton provides consultation and ongoing therapy for children, adolescents and adults. He conducts group, individual, couples and family therapy and actively works with a variety of childhood disorders, including: adjustment disorder, ADHD, anxiety, depression, oppositional defiant and other emotional-behavioral disorders. Among his most frequent areas of concentration is divorce, for which Dr. Fulton offers therapy for all involved.

Utilizing research-supported methods in treatment, Dr. Fulton's approach to therapy involves a combination of cognitive-behavioral, family systems and interpersonal interventions. In his work with children, Dr. Fulton involves parents and assists them in developing appropriate responses to their children, since he believes that ultimately the parent will make the most significant impact on the child. Dr. Fulton helps parents establish appropriate boundaries, communication and methods of discipline in order to increase positive relationships with their children.

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