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Managing Your Kid’s Poor Choices

April 18, 2022

Your kid makes a bad choice that lands them in trouble.

You have choices.

You can admonish or punish. Those options may create shame and avoidance.

Alternatively, you can ask, “What did you learn from that?” or, “Is there anything you would do differently?”

With those questions you create the conditions for self-reflection.

One has to ask sincerely though.

No sarcasm. Genuine curiosity.

In creating the condition for self-reflection, there is nothing for the child to defend against.

They aren’t worried about a negative response from you or a loss or another pain, the result of their poor choice.

They are left contemplating their own action.

Therein is an opportunity for learning, developing better options and then improved judgement and decision making.


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I am Gary Direnfeld and I am a social worker. Check out all my services and then call me if you need help with a personal issue, mental health concern, child behavior or relationship, divorce or separation issue or even help growing your practice. I am available in person and by video conferencing.

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Gary Direnfeld, MSW, RSW

gary@yoursocialworker.com
www.yoursocialworker.com for counseling and support

www.garydirenfeld.com – to build your successful practice

Gary Direnfeld is a social worker. Courts in Ontario, Canada, consider him an expert in social work, marital and family therapy, child development, parent-child relations and custody and access matters. Gary is the host of the TV reality show, Newlywed, Nearly Dead, former parenting columnist for the Hamilton Spectator and author of Marriage Rescue: Overcoming the ten deadly sins in failing relationships. Gary maintains a private practice in Georgina Ontario, providing a range of services for people in distress. He speaks at conferences and workshops throughout North America. He consults to mental health professionals as well as to mediators and collaborative law professionals about good practice as well as building their practice.

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