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Lesson 7
Guidance as the Primary Focus

Guidance tools are used when the misbehavior cannot be prevented. They are responses parents make to children while the problem is occurring. Guidance tools help children learn responsibility while protecting and strengthening their self-worth.

In each of the three tool sets (Prevention, Guidance, Consequences), tools are organized into three levels of difficulty and challenge:


Note the color symbol associate with each level. This division represents how difficult it might be, in general, to actually use the tool effectively. Of course, a lot depends on the child and the experience of the parent. Ages given for each tool are approximations only. Study the basic tools first. As you become more comfortable with these tools, return to these pages and focus on those at an intermediate level, and finally, advanced. Do not try to learn all of these tools at one time.

Clicking on the tool will take you to a description of that tool and at least one example of its use.

Encourage thinking...

[basic] Explain limits (3-18 years)
[basic] Provide a reminder of the rule (all ages)
[intermediate] Ask for the rule to be restated (3-18 years)
[intermediate] Ask for consequences (4-18 years)
[advanced] Ask for solutions (4-18 years)
[advanced] Use humor (all ages)
[intermediate] Make a polite request (all ages)
[advanced] Emphasize positive thinking (3-18 years)

Show concern...

[basic] Provide a hearing (all ages)
[basic] Affirm feelings and thoughts (all ages)
[intermediate] Ask for help to understand (4-18 years)
[advanced] Redirect thinking (3-18 years)
[basic] Help with frustrating tasks (all ages)
[advanced] Contract (4-18 years)
[advanced] Compromise (4-18 years)

Confront the situation...

[basic] Offer substitutes (2-16 years)
[intermediate] Remove child from situations he or she cannot handle (2-16 years)
[basic] Say NO! (all ages)
[intermediate]Ignore irrelevant behavior (all ages)
[advanced] Physically restrain the child (2-16 years)
[advanced] Have child repeat the action (4-18 years)
[intermediate] Give permission (all ages)

Focus on yourself...

[advanced] Stack your resources (all ages)
[basic] Stay relaxed (all ages)
[intermediate]Disconnect (all ages)
[basic] Seek professional help (all ages)
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Contact us/Help Revised: February 12 , 2003

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