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New Perspectives - Aug, 1998 Issue #53

Workbook and program developed by
Michael Hammond, Ph.D. & Gary Lasater
Salem Oregon
reviewed by: Darrel McOmber, Director
Bridges Academy

Authoritative Parenting is a program developed by Michael Hammond, Child Psychologist, and Gary Lasater, former Juvenile Probation Officer and Juvenile Court Director. It is the only comprehensive Parenting Program on the market today that is written specifically for parents of adolescents. Just as the child’s interests and abilities change as they grow older, so the knowledge and skills of the parent must change to keep ahead of their children’s needs. 

It also is a program responding to the major changes happening in American families. Where forty years ago parents would have looked to grandparents and other members of their extended family for routine advice and generational wisdom on how to handle their children, today those family members are scattered around the world and relatively unavailable. Parents are more on their own when it comes to raising their children than they have ever been at any time in the past. 

A goal of Authoritative Parenting is to provide the type of friendly, supportive and common sense advice that once came from extended family members. There is not a hint of “blame the parent” in this program. It is an educational program to provide the knowledge of “what works effectively in parenting children at different times in their lives.” Skills are presented as tools parents can use when natural and logical consequences either does not work, consequences are too dangerous, or the child is skilled at dodging consequences. The program’s goal is not to “fix” the child, but to work “jointly” with the parents. 

About 800 Oregon parents have successfully completed the program to date. Since all the essential information is contained in the workbook, the workbook can be obtained by itself for those interested parents who are unable to attend the program sessions. 

The complete program covers why every family needs rules and how to state them clearly, that the purpose of discipline is to teach the child how to regulate his/her own behavior, guides to minimum effective responses that will affect behavior change in the child, specific interventions to use with angry children and when the parent is angry, conflict resolution, the power of love and affection, and many more keys to success to keep in your parenting tool box. 

When a parent of a teenager finishes this program they will have the confidence and skills to handle situations that have led to problems in the past. They will understand how their actions have helped create the current situation and how to correct them. 

At Bridges Academy this workbook is our “Bible” in working with parents. We know that sending a child back into the same situation that produced the problems in the first place is nothing more than a setup for failure. Thus this workbook, and the program the authors have developed around it, is key to helping parents make the kind of changes that will support the growth their child makes. 

Copyright © 1998, Woodbury Reports, Inc. (This article may be reproduced without prior approval if the copyright notice and proper publication and author attribution accompanies the copy.)

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