wft logo

RelationTIPS Newsletter
April 2010  
In this issue
Understanding The Parenting Pyramid: Part 2 Teaching
Emotional Spring Cleaning
FREE Mental Health Screenings
Teen Group Starting Soon!
THE PARENTING PYRAMID: Part 2 - Teaching Pyramid
By Jonathan Harrop, Marriage and Family Therapy Student Intern
Amber Dunford

"If you want a child to be disciplined - correct them.
If you want them to learn self-discipline - teach them."
The Great Pyramids of Egypt are magnificent and old. If anyone ever decided to try to preserve these pyramids, it probably would not be wise to work on preserving the top portion of the pyramid while the lower portions continue deteriorating away. This would only assure the destruction of the pyramid. The same is assumed with "The Parenting Pyramid", a model created by the Arbinger Institute. Every layer is important to create this beautiful structure, however, there is an order of importance. It would be wise to work on preserving the bottom portions as we work our way up the pyramid. The parenting pyramid is rightfully called so because of the nature of how a pyramid works. The last article discussed the very top layer of the Parenting Pyramid: Correction. While correction is most certainly needed in parenting, there is another principle that is more fundamental so that the correction will be effective and beautiful: that is - Teaching.

"The Parenting Pyramid"
Parent/Child Relationship
Parent's Relationship
Personal Way of Being
In my
first article on the Parenting Pyramid I related a story of when I was five-years-old. I had stolen some candy, my mother was notified, and she made sure to correct me. While it was very appropriate to correct this bad behavior, we, as parents, cannot always wait until our children do something bad in order to correct them. The job of a parent is difficult. We must be actively looking for opportunities to teach our children, to prevent the bad stuff from happening, and to help bring out the good in them. 
If teaching is so good, why do we tend to fall short in this area?! There may be a number of reasons, but all-in-all it takes greater effort. Think about it... when we focus the majority of our parenting on correcting, all we have to do is wait until something bad happens, and then we can correct them. With teaching, however, we have to be active - we have to be proactive - always looking for opportunities to teach our children, to prevent the bad things from happening as much as possible. However, there may be some things that we miss in our teaching. My mother taught me a lot, but she probably didn't think that she had to teach me that stealing was wrong... I was only 5-years-old! What made my mother's correction effective, was that she also taught me that stealing is bad and why it is bad. Think about it. How can a 5-year-old child know that stealing is wrong if he/she has never been taught that? A classic example of this principle is that of a 3-year-old child about to run into the street when the parent runs and grabs them and then reprimands them for running into the street... only to have the child respond, asking "what's a street?" So often where we fall short is not in our efforts to correct, but in building that correction on a foundation of teaching. If we are not teaching our children, then our correction will be empty and ineffective.

So when you teach, what will you be teaching? Most often you will be teaching principles, values, morals, and sometimes simply facts. Probably the thing children hate most are the infamous phrases: "Because I said so!" or "Just because!" These phrases are often attempts to discipline, but are not founded upon teaching. On the other hand, when we take the active effort to teach our children, and to found our correction upon teaching the principles behind the correction, then we are helping to instill the values in our children that will encourage self-discipline in them and will help them to continue to make good choices on their own. On the other hand, when our correction lacks the foundation of teaching, then it becomes empty. As a result, our children's obedience can then become empty and based only upon the reason that "Mom or Dad said so." As the quote at the beginning of this article states... if our goal is to help our children obey us, then consistent quality correction can do that. However, if we desire our children to learn self-discipline, then we must teach them and help them instill the values and principles we desire for them to use in their lives.
Taking the pyramid analogy again, a pyramid isn't complete without its top portion... but the top portion of a pyramid relies completely upon the portion below it to keep it steady and firm. Correction is needed in parenting, however, correction relies completely upon teaching in order for it to be effective and for it to do what we hope it will do.

Take a moment to see if your correction is founded upon teaching. Do you ever throw out the "Because I said so!" or "Just because!" comments... or something similar to that nature? It's easy for us to throw those comments out there, especially if we are tired and irritated. Focus this next little while on teaching your children and be prepared to go a level deeper with me next article.

To schedule your $50 therapy session with Jonathan
email or call 801-944-4555
Featured on
KSL TV's Studio 5 
by Julie Hanks, LCSW, Owner/Clinical Director
Amber Dunford

The light of springtime often inspires the cleaning out of clutter in your home and yard, and exposes the cobwebs and dust bunnies that have been collecting during the winter months. It's also a good time to consider cleaning out your emotional space: your thoughts and feelings. Just as it feels good to walk into an organized closet or enjoy a sparkling hardwood floor, emotional spring cleaning can provide a boost and a sense of relief and accomplishment. So, put down your mop and storage bins because I've got a different kind of spring cleaning for you.

To WATCH TV SEGMENT or read Julie's cleaning checklist, click HERE.
In recognition of National Depression and Anxiety Awareness Week & Children's Mental Health Awareness Week we will be offering FREE mental health screenings by appointment for you or your child. 
Schedule your screening  by calling at 801-944-4555 or email us. 
Teen GroupLed by Dr. Todd Dunn, Licensed Psychologist
Adolescence can be a tumultuous time.  Our teen group offers a safe, relaxing atmosphere where high school-aged teens can explore and resolve the following issues and more:
Who am I?
How can I feel more confident?
Why do I feel so lonely
How can I feel closer to others?
How can I get along better with friends?
How can I get my parents to understand me?
What do I believe in?
Where am I going in life?
Group will be on-going and starting soon.
Meets weekly from 4:00 pm to 5:30 pm
Cost is $50.00 per session.
To register call us at (801) 944-4555 or email.
JOIN A THERAPY GROUP! ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Women's Therapy Group - Wed.  5:30-6:30pm ($25)
Women's  Therapy Group - Thurs. 5:30 - 7:00pm ($50)
On-going weekly therapy groups for women, focused on healthy
relationships, depression & anxiety, family issues, body image, and more.
K.I.D.S. Group - Fri.  3:30-5:00pm ($50)
Weekly play therapy group to help children ages 8-11. This group will help your child gain skills to manage anxiety and strengthen social skills.
Teen Group - Tues. 4:00 - 5:30 pm ($50)
Weekly group for high school-aged teens. This group is designed to help teens work through the tumultuous time of adolescence in a safe and relaxing atmosphere.
Starting soon: Men's Group, Children's Divorce Class!
To join a group please
Email or call (801) 944-4555. 
Join Our Mailing List 
Forward to a Friend
 Follow us on... 
Twitter Logo 
 Facebook Logo