Dr. Paula Rainer, LLC: Counseling Office
Start of the school year
As the school year begins your children might fall into predictable habits and so will you. Start the new school year out understanding that your child is developmentally changed and you have to grow and develop as a parent. Have a conversation with your teen. The conversation should include the following topics:
1. Tell your child what went well during the last school year
2. Have your child give you three areas where they can improve during the current school year
3. Collaborate with your child about how you can offer them support in the three areas where they want to improve
4. Ask your child what you did well last year to create positive outcomes for your child
5. Ask your child the three areas of growth where you can improve to create positive outcomes for them this year
After the information is shared develop a written contract that focuses on the three areas where the parent will improve and three areas where the child will improve. The child and the parent should sign the contract. Decide on a positive activity, trip, or family purchase that will be a reward for fulfilling the contract by the end of the school year. The child decides on the reward if they adhere to the contract more successfully than the parent and the parent decides on the reward if they adhere to the contract more successfully than the child. Both parent and child decide on the reward together if they both are successful at the contract.
Remember that people are motivated by positive validation, access to tools to be successful, positive emotional support from authority figures, and a positive incentive for success.
Goals that begin with a punitive outcome for failure to complete the task leads to partial or full failure. Punitive outcomes that are stated in the beginning of a goal defeats most people from trying. This occurs because a stated punitive measure that is attached to a goal anticipates and plans for failure. Plan for success by attaching a anticipatory reward for success. A plan for success will generally yield a full or partial measure of success and motivation for future success.
Dr. Paula Rainer, LLC is committed to the development of youth and their families through academic, social, disciplinary, and family dynamic issues. In addition to individual youth therapy we will also conduct parent/child sessions and family counseling sessions.
As a comprehensive approach to our counseling with youth the Dr. Paula Rainer, LLC team will attend School IEP meetings, disciplinary meetings, and parent-teacher conferences as an independent service.