I have to admit that one of the most interesting phenomenons that I encounter on the phone has to be when a parent tells me that they’re doing exactly what James Lehman says, but they’re not getting any results…Then they’ll proceed to share what they’ve been trying. Pretty quickly, it becomes evident that there are some discrepancies happening in there somewhere.
I can so relate to this. Pretty much with anything we try there are times when what we think we’re doing is very different than what we’re actually doing.
I want to jump in right here and state emphatically how difficult it can be to learn new things. I often like to remind parents that learning is not going to be a perfect process. It’s not about being a bad learner or lazy, but more about how to overcome the obstacles that get in the way of learning.
Here are some basic but fundamental strategies to keep in mind while learning Total Transformation skills.
- For all you parents out there who are trying to multi-task while listening to this program—you know who you are—try to block off a reasonable amount of time when you are able to devote specifically to the program. I am a ward of the Total Transformation program, so I don’t wish to shame you parents into finding time just for the program, but if I get calls on the phone and I can hear you driving, doing dishes, or at work, then I know what you’re up to when you aren’t calling in. Your brain works to full capacity if it’s focusing on one task a time.
- In line with that idea, it’s so important to pick a priority and start working on one behavior at a time. It’s much easier for you as the parent to put the skills into practice when you have that one objective to focus on. If you are juggling several behaviors, you eventually will drop the ball, and that will leave you feeling overwhelmed, confused, and worst of all — like a failure. You have to continue to put the skills into practice to maintain them; basically you lose it if you don’t use it. Again, having that one objective will allow you to concentrate on practicing a specific set of tools, and that makes it easier to be consistent; hence, more practice will encourage those parenting skills to get stronger and more familiar.
- Try to figure out how you learn best. Some people ask me on the line if it’s ok to write notes. YES!!!!!! Alright, I admit that for some of us, it can feel sort of embarrassing, but just because you’re a grown-up doesn’t mean you should be beyond taking notes, especially if it helps this stuff to stick! Some people actually like to role play a little with me on the phone or come up with their “scripts” for the next time their child acts out. I think this is a great way to have a test run so you’re more comfortable saying the words when the time comes, sort of like rehearsing your lines before a performance.
- Be open: I know a lot of you parents have consumed vast amounts of information and doubt that this program will give you any new insight. I’m here to tell you that if you are patient and keep at it, it will — but it’s essential to be involved and listen closely.
- Lastly, even though you should focus on one behavior at a time, try to avoid focusing on one bit of information from the program. Remember that it all fits together, and if your so stuck on one phrase or technique it will be difficult to fit that piece of information into what you already know and what you’ve yet to find out.
I hope this is helpful to all you parents out there who are trying to change your child’s behaviors and “get to bed tonight without a crisis,” as James says. Remember, take it one day at a time and give yourself a break. Learning happens over time, and with each new tool you gain as a parent, you become more effective.
Tina Wakefield is a stepmom to a 14-year-old son and the mother of a four-year-old daughter. She has been a 1-on-1 Coach for 8 years. Tina and her family live in Standish, Maine.