Accountability, problem solving, personal responsibility. Don’t all parents want their children to learn these skills and values? Most kids learn them as they grow, but for whatever reason, many kids struggle with them. Some blame others for everything, are defiant and even abusive because they don’t have the tools to problem-solve or handle their frustration appropriately. The Total Transformation program, created by behavioral therapist James Lehman, teaches you simple, step-by-step techniques you can use to help your child solve his or her problems without resorting to disrespectful, abusive behavior.
I reviewed the program and I love it. While you can find glowing reviews and testimonials of this program’s success, I want to note that it’s not just for children with extreme behavior problems. My son is a good kid, but he gets easily frustrated and angry. No surprise, as I am the same way. And this is why the Total Transformation is so wonderful. Not only does it give you the tools to help your child, it gives you tools to help yourself. I’ve written more than once on this blog that the way a parent responds to their child’s behavior is just as important as dealing with the behavior.
I learned so much from the Total Transformation that I can apply to my own behavior. Here are four major points Mr. Lehman teaches that I’ve applied in my life:
- You don’t need to attend every argument you’re invited to. Just because your child is arguing doesn’t mean you have to argue back.
- Disconnect. It’s amazing how effective this one word is. I’ve actually taped index cards around my house with the word “disconnect” on them. Similar to the “count to ten” idea, Mr. Lehman teaches you to stop the show, disconnect from the behavior and walk away. Deal with the behavior when you and your child are calm.
- There is no excuse for abuse. It is unacceptable for your child to be physically abusive. It’s just as unacceptable for him or her to be verbally abusive. Equally unacceptable is for a parent to be verbally abusive to a child. Getting into a yelling match with your child never accomplishes anything.
- Stop giving speeches. Stop negotiating, explaining, begging and hoping your child will suddenly see the light. This was a big revelation for me. My son has come to me after an outburst, apologized and wondered to me why he can’t “behave” or control his anger. It made me feel horrible that he felt so bad, and I found myself owning HIS feelings. The next time he got frustrated and angry, I would desperately try to remind him that he would feel bad about it later and why can’t he just calm down NOW? Since listening to The Total Transformation, I realize that I can’t own his feelings and beg him to see the light. The best way I can help him is to disconnect, don’t attend the argument, and model good problem-solving and anger-management skills myself.
The program consists of a Jump Start DVD, seven audio CDs, a workbook, a Parent’s Workshop DVD, and a One Minute Transformation audio CD (which is invaluable – I’ve listened to it again and again). You work through one CD and the corresponding workbook section each week. Click here to listen to samples of each audio CD.
The program retails for $327, but you could get it for free. I’m giving away the program to one lucky winner (US residents 18 and older are eligible) on April 15th at 10 am ET. There are three ways to enter: 1) Leave a comment here; 2)Tweet the following for a second entry: Win The Total Transformation from @shannonentin and the Discipline Project: http://tinyurl.com/disciplineproject ; 3)Like the Discipline Project on Facebook and post on the wall that you want to enter to win.
If you don’t win, and if your son is 11 to 17 with oppositional or defiant behavior, you can also get The Total Transformation free by participating in a market research project. Simply follow the steps shown on this page.
When you listen to the Total Transformation, you’ll find yourself nodding and saying “That makes total sense!” I am planning a few future posts that will highlight some of what I’ve learned from the program that applies to my Discipline Project, so stay tuned!