by Don Dinkmeyer, Jr., Ph.D., STEP author

Many parents come to STEP groups looking for the “discipline spray”. This tool, when properly applied, solves every discipline challenge. I’ve only half-kidded parents that when the FDA approves this substance, I will make sure we include it with every Parent’s Handbook!

Discipline is the number one concern of most parents. If this is the biggest concern, STEP should address it in the first chapter, right?

Yes and No.

Using I-messages makes points with parents, too.
By Don Dinkmeyer, Jr.

STEP Parents

STEP parents know the value of using I-messages in communicating with their children. The I-message focuses on the parent instead of the child. It doesn't label or blame. When you use an I-message, you are simply describing how you feel about a particular behavior or problem situation. Hearing respectful words not only encourages positive behavior, but also teaches the child a valuable lesson in relating to others.

This month's idea comes from Janis Hughes, a Remedial Services Provider with Healthy Homes Family Services, Inc. located in Avoca, Iowa. Janis' favorite STEP idea is about toy clean-up.

By Don Dinkmeyer, Jr.

Getting into the habit of family meetings takes time. Making the meetings work takes effort. Here are some ideas to help you.

Meet at a regular time. A regular time might be once a week. Plan to have the meeting last from twenty minutes to an hour.

Make a list of topics. Some people call this list of topics an agenda. Post it on the refrigerator. Then people can add to it during the days before the meeting. This helps you deal with the things that are important to each person in the family.

By Gary D. McKay, Ph.D., Co-author: STEP Programs

Violence is all around us. Just turn on the TV, go to a movie, look at video games, and listen to some rock music. School shootings, drive-bys, road rage-we shake our heads in disbelief.

by Dr. Don Dinkmeyer, Jr. Co-Author, STEP Programs

How many of us have ever been a teen? What do you recall from those years of change and challenge? How did our parents handle the changes, and challenges?

Let’s understand some of the issues surrounding teen discipline. Teens are in a “neverland” – not a child, not an adult. They think, however, they are adult and often act as if they are not bound by any parental constraints. Their physical attributes can become more adult-like than their thinking abilities.

   by Dr. Don Dinkmeyer, Jr., Ph.D., STEP author

The first day of the New Year is always – the first day of school, not January 1st. I am an educator! Our year begins in August, when the AC is turned up and it is hard to start anything, much less a parent education group.

Parents are also starting a new school year with their children. This makes right now a great time to start a STEP group. If you want to start a group, this column is for you. It can also be a checkpoint for ongoing parent education programs.