Each week on Sundays I sit with my children and discuss the major issues in our family. This is a technique I learned from a child psychologist who believes in structure as a parent’s best friend. The idea is to discuss all those issues that have been building up over the week or previous weeks and causing stress in the child or parents emotional situation. This weekly opportunity to bring up problems or issues prevents shouting matches and hard feelings during the week or in the moment when strife occurs. For example when my kids are disobedient or acting out at any time I can point out the problem and assign consequences that were discussed at the family meeting. And if the topic or offense had not occurred previously and consequences not assigned then the issue would be discussed at the weekly family meeting. This prevents anger from getting the best of parents and children can learn how to handle stressful situations without resorting to anger or shouting. Kids really want to behave. The main problem arises with the lack of knowledge regarding boundaries and what it means to be member of society (or family). Having weekly family meetings that clearly state boundaries and consequences for breaking these boundaries can make the difference in helping a family survive without anger and incorporating structure and love into the equation.
When adolescent boys and girls are at-risk with substance abuse, or behavioral issues, behavior modification programs, as well as cognitive therapy, can result in the positive changes he or she needs for a long lasting transformation.