"I've tried everything"
The exasperated parent is discouraged. The teachers are fed up. The child is troubled: not motivated in school, disconnected and irresponsible at home, erratic, emotional or acting out aggressively. Daily life is a swirl of threats, lectures, maybe even outbursts of physical violence. School personnel and counselors speak of disabilities and mental disorders. What solutions are left? Special education? Medication? Hospitalization?
. . may I suggest "common sense"?
Family struggles start with an imbalance: too much or too little protection and control of children. "Balanced parenting" is my term for a way of raising responsible, motivated children that is uncomplicated and based on common sense. Many of the most common solutions to children's problems aren't solutions at all. If fact, they can make a bad situation worse. The diagnoses of Attention Deficit Disorder or vague learning disabilities, for instance, are highly subjective and rarely based on any standard criteria. Prescribing medication - most notably Ritalin - is an easy step, but usually not the best one. This approach, and others like it, makes the child a helpless victim who can't be expected to do better without the help of experts and drugs.
The right tools for the right
Putting the pieces
Dr. J. Brien O'Callaghan is a clinical psychologist with over 32 years, first as a teacher and guidance counselor, and since 1981, as a practicing marriage and family therapist. He is a consultant to several school systems using his model of school-based collaboration with families.
For appointments and scheduled consultations, please contact Dr. J. Brien O'Callaghan at 203-740-2595 or write to him at J. Brien O'Callaghan, Ph.D., 246 Federal Road, C-24, Brookfield, CT 06804