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Optimistic Parenting

Optimistic Parenting

Hope and Help for You and Your Challenging Child
Author: V. Mark Durand Ph.D.

ISBN: 978-1-59857-052-6
Pages: 336
Copyright: 2011
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Size:  6.0 x 9.0
Stock Number:  70526
Format:  Paperback
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Happier lives. Less stress. Family harmony. That's what all parents of children with challenging behavior want. Learn how to get there with this groundbreaking guide to confident, skillful, and positive parenting.

A book you'll want to share with every family you know, Optimistic Parenting helps moms, dads, and other caregivers develop more positive thoughts and perceptions—a key ingredient of successful parenting and effective behavior management. One of the most highly regarded experts on challenging behavior—and a parent himself—Dr. V. Mark Durand delivers both philosophical hope and practical help to parents of children with a wide range of challenges. With keen insight, gentle humor, and practical tools and strategies, Durand guides parents step by step through the process of

  • pinpointing the "why" behind challenging behavior
  • tuning in to their own thoughts, emotions, and self-talk
  • understanding how their thoughts affect their interactions with their child
  • interrupting negative thoughts and replacing them with positive, productive ones
  • achieving a healthy balance between taking care of their own needs and their child's needs
  • using effective emergency strategies when quick behavior intervention is needed
  • implementing long-term strategies for lasting behavior improvements
  • weaving functional communication training into everyday routines and interactions
  • addressing the most common problem areas, such as sleep and transitions
  • increasing mindfulness and parenting "in the moment"

Engaging stories from the author's extensive experience illustrate how parents and other caregivers can develop more effective behavior management techniques. And practical tools and exercises, developed and tested during Durand's decades of work with thousands of parents, help families on their own journey to better parenting and happier lives.

A lifeline for overwhelmed parents—and a great source of insight for the professionals who work with them—this highly motivating guidebook will help families reduce children's challenging behaviors and approach the future with optimism and confidence.

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"A most worthy investment for any parent that longs for tranquil moments amidst turbulent waters."
Review: The Midwest Book Review - Wisconsin Bookwatch
A strong pick for those who believe in the power of positive thinking.
Review by: Lorna D’Entremont, Special Needs Book Review

"I can assure you every person caring or working for a child regardless of age or abilities will benefit from V. Mark Durand’s optimistic parenting advice . . . The author’s friendly, conversational style of writing brings the reader on board feeling that a friend is giving him parenting advice. Optimistic Parenting receives five STARS from Special Needs Book Review for the quality of the content and organization of this book!"

Review by: Ann Turnbull, Co-Director, Beach Center on Disability
A truly lasting legacy of being an optimistic parent is raising optimistic children who not only survive but prevail in future challenges they will inevitably meet. Children, indeed, learn what they live. Be an optimistic role model!
Review by: Jed Baker, author of No More Meltdowns and Social Skills Training
I am indeed more hopeful after reading Dr. Durand's book! It was his original research that showed us how to effectively improve challenging behaviors by bothering to ask 'why' individuals behaved as they did. Now, with equal clarity, he has shown us how to develop the thoughts and attitudes necessary to carry out these effective techniques. And, if we can cultivate these thoughts as suggested, the added bonus is greater life satisfaction.
Review by: Louis Pellegrino, Developmental-Behavioral Pediatrician, Assistant Professor of Pediatrics, Upstate Medical University, Syracuse, NY
A refreshing and innovative approach that treats parenting as a vocation rather than a technique . . . provides parents with the hope that believing in themselves and becoming optimistic parents is, in fact, the Holy Grail to effective parenting.
Review by: Glen Dunlap, University of South Florida
A major step forward in efforts to help families and children whose lives are affected by challenging behavior . . . Crammed with helpful guidance, much of which will not be found in previous manuals.

About the Author


Tried and True Techniques
Organization of This Book

Section I: Hope

Chapter 1: Optimistic Parenting

The Good News
Being Happy
One Family's Lessons
Knowing Why Is Important
Lessons from the Researchv Who Is to Blame?
Putting It All Together

Chapter 2: Confident Parenting

Father and Son
Optimism and Pessimism
A Pessimistic Family

Chapter 3: Insight into Your Thoughts and Feelings

The Journal
What Are the Consequences of Your Thoughts and Feelings?

Chapter 4: Changing the Way You Think

Are You Ready to Change?
Disputation: Challenging Beliefs
Distraction: Interrupting Unproductive and Distressing Thoughts
Substitution: Replacing Unproductive and Distressing Thoughts
Gaining Perspective

Chapter 5: How to Become a Happier Parent

The Effects of Stress
On Happiness
The Pursuit of Happiness
Final Thoughts

Section II: Help

Chapter 6: A Close Look at Your Child's Behavior

Setting Goals
Defining Behaviors
Keeping Track of Behaviors
Understanding Why
Reasons for Challenging Behavior
How to Find Out Why
Final Thoughts

Chapter 7: Emergency Strategies

Avoiding Difficult Situations
Improving Difficult Situations
Providing Choices
Creating Predictable Routines

Chapter 8: Managing Consequences

Attention as a Consequence
Tangibles as a Consequence
Sensory Feedback as a Consequence
Escape as a Consequence
Using Behavior Problems to Choose Reinforcers
Punishment and Bribes
Structured Ways of Reinforcing Your Child

Chapter 9: Replacing Behavior Problems

Teacher Pessimism
Functional Communication Training
More Help

Section III: Special Topics

Chapter 10: Transitions

Making Positive Transitions

Chapter 11: Sleep Problems

What Is Sleep?
Sleep Problems
Sleep Assessment
Good Sleep Habits
Sleep Medications
Bedtime Problems
Night Waking Problems


Appendix A: Blank Forms

Self-Talk Journal
Thoughts and Feelings
ABC Chart
Scatter Plot
Behavioral Contract
Satisfaction with Life Scale
Mindfulness Attention Awareness Scale
Thoughts Quiz
Albany Sleep Problems Scale (ASPS)
Sleep Diary
Sleep Intervention Questionnaire (SIQ)

Appendix B: Additional Resources


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