Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Lesson 1 - Why does my child act this way?

I'll admit I've had a healthy dose of scepticism about the Total Transformation Program. I mean really, how can some CD's and a work book help Noah with all his behavior problems. The kid is out of control sometimes, and come on, he has real "issues" with his attachment disorder, ADHD and Asperger's, right?

Well, after listening to lesson 1 I had to stop and do some thinking. It was actually pretty eye opening for me.

James Lehman, the creator of the program, brings up some very good points in this lesson. The one that hit me the hardest was that when it comes to the law, the law doesn't care that Noah has ADHD, or Asperger's. Wrong is wrong. His "issues" are not an excuse. The more we excuse his bad behaviors the more we reinforce that he doesn't have to take control of his own actions. (Now I'm not saying I expect Noah is going to turn to a life of crime, but it was a very powerful example of what could happen.)

Wow! We do that all the time; excuse his behavior. We are so frozen some times with how to act, and feel sorry for him because of his poor start in life, that we tolerate his "obnoxious and abusive behavior."

Now, you might think that abusive is a pretty strong term for a five year old, and I agree, it probably is. But, his behavior now is just going to get worse if we continue to reinforce it. And there are times that it is dangerously close to abusive now; I can't imagine how it will be when he's ten or fifteen.

An excerpt from Lesson 1:
The reasons children give for their inappropriate behaviors are generally unsatisfactory when compared with the scope of the behaviors themselves. Inappropriate behavior can be best understood as actions triggered by the need to compensate for an endless variety of perceptions, thoughts and feelings that the child finds disturbing but is unable to resolve.

The second part of Lesson 1 describes the characteristics and behaviors of children with disrespectful, obnoxious and abusive behavior. Nothing there was new to me. Some of them described Noah, but not all. Some of these characteristics probably would fit older children and teenagers.

The last part of the lesson gives you an opportunity to rate characteristics of your child to help give you a starting point to work from. Filling this part out was a little difficult because Rich and I several times questioned if our scores had more to do with Noah being five than because his behavior was inappropriate. Even with this though, we still had plenty of areas that we agreed needed work.

So, in a nut shell, yes, still sceptical because I don't have any "tools" yet. But, I'm intrigued enough that we started listening to lesson 2 and I think we might be on to something.


Jen said...

My son is on the autistic spectrum (very high functioning/ PDD) and I have found that we have excused a lot of his behavior when we really shouldn't have been. I am eager to hear what you learn from this program.

Cara said...

Intruiging. We are currently mid-program with a system simple called, "Defiant Children". It is deceiving because the root of the defiance can be anything.

For Bear it is a language delay / disorder. She can see in her head what she want to say but can't verbalize it very well. It creates frustration (she's also five), hence causes outbursts and behaviors.

I'll be curious to keep reading for similarites and differences in the programs.