October 2011 - Volume 57
  Helping Children and Adolescents Succeed Socially!
The Social Skills Groups   

Social Skills Groups are held at:
The Social Skills Place, Inc.
310 S. Happ Rd, Suite 201
Northfield, Illinois 60093

Date and times:

Elementary School
Monday's 4:30PM-5:30PM
Thursday's 4:30PM-5:30PM

Middle School/Jr.High
Wednesday's 5:30PM-6:30PM

High School/College
Tuesday's 5:30PM-6:30PM

Parent Group
Wednesday's 1:00PM-2:30PM
Wednesday's 7:00PM-8:30PM

Susan Stern, MSW, LCSW


Visit us at:

At Risk Parents will not help your children to make and keep friends

Ideas taken from a seminar with Doug Rubin, PhD.
Explained by Susan Stern, MSW, LCSW

At Risk Parents

At–Risk Parents or Caretakers

Either they are currently living difficult lives or received exposure to abusive or neglectful childhoods, predisposing them to make similar mistakes in their own child-rearing practices.

  1. Parents or caretakers from alcohol and drug abuse families or they are currently abusing substances.
  2. Parents or caretakers from family abuse or who currently abuse children verbally, physically, sexually, and/or emotionally.  They were victims and survivors of traumatic abuse leaving marked emotional scars.  Abusive parents may or may not be substance abusers.
  3. Over-Reacting Parents.  The responsible parent enters the perplexing world of parents with or without clues on how to raise children.  Parents raised by generally healthy and functional parents generally continue lessons of child rearing practices they received growing up, with their own children.  Loved and supported children who are now adults repeat the nurturing of love and support with their own children.
  4. Abusively punished and criticized children react in one of three ways as parents:
  • They carry on the bad habits of their predecessors unknowingly, by cruel verbal remarks, rigid discipline, and spanking.  Authorative parents are dictators of moral, religious, and ethical scruples demanding obedience in their children.  Failure of the children to respond under these demands means harsh penalties are imminent.  The two-faced nature of the parent is: (confusing to any child or adult for that matter.) for one, appearing poised and self-controlled, and two, exploding in anger over minor household incidences.
  • Overprotecting children is another way parents own poor upbringing plays out in their children.  These parents police their children’s actions and confine choices of playmates. Activities and boundaries of the child outside the family.  These parents over instruct their children with tightly controlled schedules organizing daily activities, decisions and their choice of friends.  Distrusting children does not teach them to trust.  It makes them question themselves in every area of their lives and to doubt others.
  • Parents may act the opposite way then the way they were raised.  They may be over flexible, permissive, and liberally minded giving them unlimited freedom.  Over pampered children get what they want when they want it, without learning patience, sharing, or self-control.

According to Doug Rubin, Ph. D. Child problems significantly correlate with parent abusing, mistreating or neglecting, or modeling incorrect behavior.

NBC is helpful:
N= Not personalize children’s misbehavior
B= Begin training where the parents are skilled.
C= Control misbehavior through techniques.

N, not personalizing helps with the use of special tools to distance themselves from the child’s irritation and to interrupt inferences or guesses on why the child is disorderly.

B, begin training with easy to learn skills matching the parent’s, caretaker even teacher’s emotional, intellectual, or behavioral levels.

C, Control Misbehavior means a smartly thinking parent, caretaker, even teacher is one equipped with positive discipline skills.

Why children do not listen and conform.

Doug Rubin, Ph.D. says that “noncompliant children are products of their environment.  They respond favorably or unfavorably based on positive or negative treatment from their parents, and consistency and inconsistency of the treatment.  Ironically, even mistreated children who get consistent doses of punishment at least know what to expect and show more stability than inconsistently reinforced children; their behavior is variable and impulsive.”

Reasons why children are not following instructions:

  1. The child does not understand the instructions.
  2. The child does not know how to do the task you are asking of him/her.
  3. The child lack’s an important part of the instruction. (words)
  4. The child can not physically do the task.
  5. The child is afraid to ask for help and simply does not do what is asked of him/her.
  6. The child is afraid that bad things will follow for doing what you want.
  7. The child does not find your rewards very rewarding.
  8. The child is busy with behavior competing with the desired behavior.

Parents should ask themselves:

  1. Am I giving attention to “delay” behavior?
  2. Am I giving attention to positive and constructive behavior?
  3. Am I asking him/her to do too much? Should my requests be for small amounts instead of large amounts?
  4. Does my child need my support and reassurance with the task?
  5. Am I arguing too much?
  6. Have I been too inconsistent?

What can parents do in addition?  I cannot say it enough:

  • Notice what you see if RIGHT in your children’s behavior and tell them.  Ignore the negative unless it is a safety issue, and focus more on the positive things they do. You will get more positive behaviors in return. This does work!  Whatever we give our attention to, we get more of.  Whatever you think about, you bring about.
  • Talk the right way to your children.  “Just as soon as you do your homework, you can watch your T.V. show.”  Vs. “You cannot watch the show if you do not do your homework.”
  • Be emotionally available for your children.  They grow up fast.  Be there NOW!  You can never go back and be there in the future, if you are not there now.  You are creating your relation with them now.
  • Love them with all your heart.  Tell them.

Thought for the week…
“We attract on the outside what we feel on the inside.”

Please help your children to feel good on the inside.  This will help them to attract friends into their lives.

Susan Stern, LCSW is the founder of the Social Skills Place, Inc.

Dr. Douglas Ruben is a forensic and behavioral psychologist, and national consultant on family therapy, closed head injuries, and addictions. His seminars on parent empowerment, schools, and Adult Children of Alcoholics appear nationwide through Cross Country Education.  Dr. Ruben is author and co-author of over 50 scholarly and self-help books and over 100 professional articles.
The Social Skills Place, Inc. :: 310 S. Happ Rd, Suite 201 :: Northfield, Illinois 60093
Office 847 446-7430 :: Cell 847 507-8834 :: www.socialskillsplace.com
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