Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Take the BCI Pop Quiz #2

Doh! It is All a Matter of Interpretation

To further your understanding of how to put love into action and to give you more practice putting "Beyond Consequences" into action, I've created another Pop Quiz for you. Breathe...this isn't like the pop quizzes you had when you were in school. It won't be graded and you won't get into trouble if you miss the correct answer!

Have fun with this and use it as a tool to liberate yourself from thinking in the old traditional fear-based way:

At her older sister's band concert, an 11-year-old begins tapping, wiggling, and making unnecessary noise. Dad puts his finger to his lips to signal his daughter to quiet down but his daughter becomes louder and more defiant.

  A This 11-year-old is acting like a three-year-old. This is completely unacceptable at her age. She is being self-centered and needs to be taken out of the concert immediately. Her dad needs to tell her to calm down; that she must sit outside the band concert until intermission and maybe, just maybe, she will be allowed to come back in at that time.

B This child is not supporting or respecting her sister. Her dad needs to pass her a note telling her this and that if she doesn't straighten up, her consequence will be to make her sister's bed for the month so she can learn what support looks like.

C Dad needs to recognize that the 11-year-old is bored and perhaps overwhelmed, even at this age. The dad can quietly and gently pull her onto his lap and cuddle with her. This will help the 11-year-old calm down and will, in turn, create a sweet daddy/daughter cuddling time as they listen to the music together.

D This is clearly a bio-chemical issue. She probably has ADHD and should be evaluated with a strong emphasis on looking into medications such as Ritalin or Adderall.

2. A mother is picking up her three children. When the 15-year-old daughter gets into the car, her three-year-old sister starts whining. The 15-year-old gets aggravated, starts arguing with the three-year-old, and proceeds to turn up the radio. The music and the arguing gets louder and louder. Little sister calls her older sister "stupid" and in return, curse words starting flying out of the teenager's mouth. The girls’ six-year-old brother stays out of the conflict.

  A Mom needs to warn the girls that if the bad words don't stop, they will both get their mouths washed out with soap.
B Mom needs to administer consequences that have REAL leverage because this is now a safety issue with mom trying to drive: no TV for the three- year-old and no cell phone for the 15-year-old for a week.

C This is a "teaching moment" so Mom needs to take quick and decisive action to lecture her teenager about being a better example for her younger siblings. They all need to work together as a team--a family that works together, stays together. If the teenager doesn't learn this now, by the time she is 18 years old and out of the house, it will be too late.

D Mom recognizes her own dysregulation and pulls over because she can't drive safely at this point. Mom turns off the radio, takes some deep breaths, and lovingly reminds the kids that when they yell, she can't drive safely. This is a safety issue and mom makes this very clear. She reminds them all (including her son who is still regulated but almost forgotten at this point) that she will take time to be with each of them individually throughout the afternoon. The teenager needs a voice, so mom listens to the teenager instead of lecturing her. She begins to understand that the teen was using the radio to calm herself, not realizing that it was dysregulating everybody else. Mom suggests the teen listen to her iPod, giving her the ability tune out her younger siblings on the ride home.

3. A nine-year-old girl was living with her father because her mother was dysregulated and unstable most of the time. Her father had to leave for a three-week overseas business trip so the girl went to stay with her mother. While on the phone with her father, the girl tells him that she had tried to kill herself by drowning herself in the bathtub.

  A The father is losing control of this situation and needs to stop his daughter's manipulative behavior immediately, even from a distance. He needs to apply logic and love by telling his daughter that the money budgeted for a birthday present will now have to be spent on getting her psychological help.
B The father recognizes this as a fear response to his being gone for three weeks. The daughter doesn't know how else to ask for help because she is scared of discussing her fear of her mother with her dad. This behavior is a form of communication. The daughter is also afraid to discuss this with her mom because her mom and dad do not have a good relationship and her mother might react negatively. In the daughter's mind, this is the only way she could ask for help.

C The dad needs to call 911. The daughter has to be put in a 72-hour locked psychiatric ward immediately to make sure she doesn't hurt herself.

D The child needs to go live with a relative who can be there for her 100% of the time. It is evident that neither the mother nor the father can provide a consistent and stable home for this child.

Hopefully, the correct answer to each of these questions was obvious for you. If not, here they are: (1) C
(2) D (3) B

Each of the above examples and their correct answers are true stories. The love-based interpretations and solutions given were all successful and helped each child to move from a state of fear, stress, and overwhelm, into a state of love, safety, and security.

If you enjoyed this "Pop Quiz," send me your examples and I'll continue this series for you!

Press on,

Heather T. Forbes, LCSW
Parent and Author of Beyond Consequences, Logic & Control: Volume 1 & Volume 2, and Dare to Love

P.S. Check out my Ask the Expert Interview with Sherrie Eldridge, as she speaks out adoption, adopted children and how their parents are drawn closer. http://www.asktheexpertinterviews.com

No comments: