This unique crisis intervention programme is the culmination of years of hands-on experience and academic study. Taking place over 6 to 8 weeks, it’s designed to help parents navigate behavioural problems in children and eliminate shouting, defiance, and hitting. By the end, parents will be the authoritative and loving parent they want to be, supported by positive communication tools to create a happier family dynamic.
Here is an overview of how the intervention takes place:
An initial meeting with Deborah to explain the current situation. You will leave the first meeting with a new understanding and perspective, as well as actionable techniques and tools to start putting into effect.
A dedicated WhatsApp group is created, for direct and ongoing communication with Deborah. This is where you will log notes to share what’s taken place during the week, based on your child’s behaviour and disruption, giving Deborah a clear picture of what’s happening and the influence each person has. Parents are encouraged to send these logs as soon as possible after each event, for better accuracy.
Deborah’s “no-tolerance policy” is introduced in the second week and will be around 95% of the focus. This is how you establish authority in your home, and is a necessary precursor to the positive reinforcement and effective communication that we’re working towards.
Every parent in this situation knows the feeling of being in a battle of wills: the child refusing to do as they’re told, the parent trying to force the behaviour, and it escalates — sometimes leading to violent outbursts. To change this, authority must be established in the house, and this can only start when the parents are ready.
The main priority in this stage is to introduce language as the dialogue in the house, replacing behavioural reactions. The no-tolerance policy reduces from 95% of our focus to around 50%. If it has been enforced effectively, consistently, and coherently, there should already be a significant shift in the child’s behaviour. Their language should have started to move from explosive to expressive, and their outbursts stop almost as soon as they begin. The parents start to introduce more open language and options for the child to consider, and the child starts to copy the parents, actively seeking communicative engagement rather than negative attention and emotional outbursts.
At this point, violence has usually reduced to nothing and the child doesn’t need to be sent to their room nearly as often. The no-tolerance policy focus decreases again, from 50% to 20%, and the child will slowly start to talk more. The dynamic in the house is already much calmer and more positive with both child and parent feeling more empowered.
The parents continue to log events to Deborah throughout the week, and Deborah teaches a new script of what to say and how to say it. You will learn how to avoid the back-and-forth of “I told you to do this” and “I’m not doing it!” and become more confident in your ability to navigate your own behaviour as authoritative and loving parents.
After six weeks, the dynamics at home are much better and parents are feeling confident, and check-ins typically reduce to every two weeks to give parents the opportunity to continue implementing the new tools and skills they’ve acquired. Support remains available if it’s needed between these sessions.
From here the objective is that the parents no longer need to meet with Deborah as regularly, with support available as and when it’s needed if future challenges arise.