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Parent Workshops Off to a Great Start

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(Image: Mr Maier)

The first of many parent workshops was a success.

"I really enjoy this aspect of my job," says school counsellor Mr Maier. "It's a great pleasure helping parents develop a different approach to getting along with their teens."

The advice Mr Maier gives is often hard to swallow as it goes against all of our parental instincts.

"I ask parents to go against the natural tendency to be sculptors and instead of trying to mold their children take a different approach," explains Mr Maier. "Be a gardener, plant the seeds and tend to the aspects you have control over and allow nature to happen."

The first workshop introduced Choice Theory which clearly states that we can only control our own behavior and can not control anyone else’s actions.

Parents and teens interaction is often made up of controlling behaviors (7 disconnecting habits – criticizing, blaming, complaining, threatening, punishing, nagging, and bribing or rewarding to control).

"At this workshop we focused on what parents can do differently to help strengthen the relationship (7 Connecting Habits - supporting, encouraging, helping, befriending, trusting, accepting, and respecting)," says Mr Maier. "We discussed what quality time is and how to begin setting up this time to strengthen the connection for the tough times when it’s needed. We also talked about a different way of communicating which focuses on your needs and wants without attempting to coerce or control."

Want to Know More About Choice Theory?

If you are interested in finding out more about Choice Theory and the 7 connecting / disconnecting habits Mr. Maier suggests that you look at the following websites:

You can visit the bookstores on each of these sites: Mr Maier recommends:

  • For Parents and Teenagers- Dissolving the Barrier Between You and Your Teen (2003) ?No relationship, except marriage, is damaged more by external control than parent/teen relationships. This is so sad …

Both of these sites give further explanations of Choice Theory and Reality Therapy.

Mr Maier is certified in Choice Theory and Reality Therapy and uses these ideas in his everyday life and work. He believes these ideas are universal across all cultures and backgrounds and can help people gain more effective control of their lives.

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