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Has life with your children become filled with conflict? Does it seem as if even the simplest activity can turn quickly into disaster? Are you beginning to feel as if things are getting worse instead of better?

You are not alone. Many, if not most parents find themselves struggling with the challenging behavior of their children at some point. The good news is that implementing effective strategies can create positive solutions for your family.

Tip #1: Realistic Expectations

You need to know and understand your children's abilities and limitations. When you expect too much or too little from your children, it can lead to problems and frustrations for everyone.

Tip #2: Plan Ahead

Try to anticipate what your children may do or need in various situations. Make sure that you plan ahead to set them up for a successful experience. Hope for the best, but plan for the worst. Always have a back-up plan!

Tip #3: Share Your Expectations

Some undesirable behavior occurs because your children can't act differently, other times it occurs because they simply don't want to act differently. Either way, it helps for you to

remember that children cannot read your mind. Be sure to give clear instructions, so that they know what you expect.

Tip #4: Offer Limited, Reasonable Choices

Most children are not born with the built-in ability to make decisions and then accept the consequences. In order for children to learn to take personal responsibility, they will need plenty of support and practice.

Tip #5: Use “When... Then” Statements

A “when... then” statement is a simple instruction that tells your children what they must do in order to earn a desired consequence (something they want to do). Be sure to say it in a positive way, state it only once, set a reasonable time limit, follow through, and be prepared for your children's response – – it may be “NO!”

Tip #6: Catch Your Children Being Good

Did you ever stop to think about how much time you spend telling your children what NOT to do? Instead, try giving specific, positive attention to the behavior that you WANT to see. This will teach them what to do and increase the likelihood that these behaviors will occur again and again.

Tip #7: Stay Calm

When your children's behavior is unacceptable, you may choose to either respond to it or ignore it. If you decide that a reaction is required, remember that the least response necessary is usually best. Acting calm with a minimum of attention will reduce the risk of strengthening the very behavior you wish to discourage. When you remain calm, it also gives you time to think about how you want to respond. Remember, you are modeling desired behaviors for your children. The more out-of-control they become, the more self-control you need to show. When you 

remain calm, they learn appropriate ways to respond to difficult situations.

Tip #8: Use Neutral Time

Neutral time cannot be found in the middle of a difficult situation filled with strong feelings. Instead, neutral time is when everyone is calm enough to think and talk and listen, perhaps while tucking them into bed or riding in the car. It's important to remember that neutral time can occur either before or aer your children's unacceptable behavior occurs. You can talk about what happened earlier and talk about positive ways to handle problems in the future. The challenge is to identify neutral time and make use of these opportunities.

You might want to try one or two of the strategies at first, and then add others as you become more comfortable. The idea is to develop specific approaches for your own family that can be used in everyday life.

Happy Parenting!

Adapted with permission from “Strategies that Help” by The Regional Intervention Program. For more information, contact your child's school counselor.


College and Career Representatives are visiting ACGC High School. Check out the daily announcements and senior commons for specific dates and times. Begin Researching and Applying to Colleges! Check admissions on the websites of the colleges that you are interested in. Check carefully to see if the application is open and what the requirements are for entrance. And as always, reach out if you have any questions.


For all your counseling needs, a list of available scholarships, college, career info, military info, and mental health resources, please visit the High School Counseling Website.


The FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) is available! Visit the website here: Federal Student Aid 




Iʼm sure you probably haven't considered thankfulness as a wellness approach – – but in fact our emotional health benefits from a mindset of thanks! It really does work when you put it into practice. We have a choice each day to go out into the world as expectant of what others can do for us, or thankful for our blessings with a goal to serve. This is not easy. There are days when things are so frustrating, people do not live up to our expectations, and we can't help but complain or feel gypped. When we make it our goal to live our lives with a thankful heart, we can't help but feel more positive and compassionate towards others!


As caregivers, we really set the tone for our homes. It's hard to hide the good, bad, and ugly of our daily lives and our response to stressors. The most important thing is that you try! So make thankfulness the heart of your family. Begin talking about those things you are grateful for. What things can your family do to give back and serve? Think outside the box! Nothing will grow your relationships more than serving and being selfless together.


Cultivate an environment of gratitude by starting with your self-assessment. Be honest with yourself. Do you find yourself falling into a deficit mindset where you don't have contentment over your situation? Or do you most oen find it easy to be grateful and have compassion for yourself and others? Maybe you fall somewhere in the middle depending on the events going on around you. That's okay! Start today by making a mental list of the things you have to be thankful for. No matter how bad our circumstances get, we can still find something to be grateful for. As you try to make a mental list each morning, become aware of how your mood or actions change when you focus your attention on the good.


Parents with specific questions or concerns about the School Counseling Program should contact:

  • ●  Barb South at the High School at

  • ●  Jayne Rouse at GC Elementary at

  • ●  Kari Leveke at AC Elementary at

  • ●  Kellie Lewis at the Junior High at