Laying down rules with seriously defiant kids

If you find yourself with an extremely defiant teenager, it might be time to ask for help or switch your approach to communicating with them. Clinical psychologist Chris Fulton, PhD gives parents great suggestions on how to deal with a seriously defiant teenager.
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Laying down rules with seriously defiant kids

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You know with the serious offenders you have to pull out the big guns and you have to start putting something in a little bit more formal. One of the things that I use with the families I work with is a chore jar. What you do is you write out all of the rules of the household. Could be everything from no starting fires to making their bed before they go to school. So you write all the rules out and then associated with each rule is the number of chores they would have to do. So what you do is you write on 30 pieces of paper a chore that takes about 15-20 minutes long. Could be cleaning baseboards or washing the car. Something that takes no longer than half an hour. And then you put all those pieces of paper in the chore jar. And then if they commit one of those infractions, if they didn't make their bed, and it's one chore - you don't want to give 10 chores for something like that - then they would get one chore. And they have to complete that chore before they do anything kind of fun .So it's a more active kind of punishment. But what it does is it sets up a really strong structure to these types of punishment schedules.

If you find yourself with an extremely defiant teenager, it might be time to ask for help or switch your approach to communicating with them. Clinical psychologist Chris Fulton, PhD gives parents great suggestions on how to deal with a seriously defiant teenager.

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Chris Fulton, PhD

Clinical Psychologist

Dr. Christopher Fulton is a licensed clinical psychologist and has been in private practice for over ten years. He received his doctorate in 1994 from the California School of Professional Psychology, Los Angeles. Dr. Fulton has clinical training and experience in a variety of settings, and also has administrative, teaching, supervision, consulting, research and psychological testing experience. Dr. Fulton provides consultation and ongoing therapy for children, adolescents and adults. He conducts group, individual, couples and family therapy and actively works with a variety of childhood disorders, including: adjustment disorder, ADHD, anxiety, depression, oppositional defiant and other emotional-behavioral disorders. Among his most frequent areas of concentration is divorce, for which Dr. Fulton offers therapy for all involved.

Utilizing research-supported methods in treatment, Dr. Fulton's approach to therapy involves a combination of cognitive-behavioral, family systems and interpersonal interventions. In his work with children, Dr. Fulton involves parents and assists them in developing appropriate responses to their children, since he believes that ultimately the parent will make the most significant impact on the child. Dr. Fulton helps parents establish appropriate boundaries, communication and methods of discipline in order to increase positive relationships with their children.

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