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Brad The Therapist
Brad The Therapist, LCPC
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 549
Experience:  10 years of experience in working with youth and adults
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My fiance and I live together with my 2 boys (12 and 10) and

Resolved Question:

My fiance and I live together with my 2 boys (12 and 10) and his triplets (10). We recently have been experiencing escalated issues between the 2 sets of children to the point, my fiance is considering splitting the scheduled time we get them. (we are each on a one week on, one week off schedule with our ex-spouses). The proposal is to not have them here on the same weeks. I feel we are not doing our part as parents by taking the problem away. We need to be more organized and engaged in our roles as a family unit. Advice?
Submitted: 5 years ago.
Category: Mental Health
Expert:  Brad The Therapist replied 5 years ago.
Brad The Therapist :

Thank you for your post. Before providing my suggestions, I was wondering what concerns you have for splitting up the visitation schedule? What types of fights do the children get into? How long have you lived with your fiance and how long has the children know about the relationship?

Customer:

I do not want to split the children into separate weeks. First, it was the triplets not liking how my youngest treats me, so they were not treating him well. He has gotten better through counseling and my being consistent. The fights are normal kid stuff; no one wanting the eldest child to tell them what to do, 2 of the children always wanting to be in control and "right" all the time; my eldest has ADHD and when having a bad day, is not verbally nice to anyone. Again, he is in regular counseling and already does not fit in at school. He wants to fit in, however, we have to consistently work on tools and social skills. They have know about the relationship for over a year. We have all been in the same house for 9 months.

Brad The Therapist :

Have you considered using a behavioral chart with all the children when they are under your care?

Brad The Therapist :

By the way, I applaud you for the consistent work you and your fiance have put in for your children.

Customer:

I have. I was going to incorporate it into the chore chart. They will earn points for completing tasks and good behaviour. They lose points for tasks not done right and poor behavior. Like the token exchange economy.

Customer:

Thank you. =)

Customer:

I feel lost right now

Brad The Therapist :

What is the reward the children earn if they earn enough points?

Customer:

The whole dynamic will enable my fiance to not feel overwhelmed, and I firmly believe it will calm things down and teach the children how to be good citizens and take responsibility for their own actions.

Customer:

There will be an award list too. We will all come up with a list of "cool stuff/activities" as a group. Mike and I will detrmine the point factor based on importance of the lesson learned from completing the task or the importance of the good behavior e are trying to mold and encourage.

Brad The Therapist :

Yes, that is correct...Also, if you do split it up, it is not necessarily a permanent arrangement as the children's behaviors improve, you and your fiance can slowly integrate them again.

Brad The Therapist :

Great! My only suggestion for the behavior/chore chart would be to take out the losing points part, but instead assign a point value for each expectation.

Brad The Therapist :

For example, if making a bed is 3 points, you can assign a range of 1 to 3 for the job they do

Brad The Therapist :

And bonus points can include being extra helpful in chores, when telling on each other or when not reacting when being provoked

Customer:

So, if they don't do what they are asked, or dish attitude, do not deduct points? I just want to be clear. This has turned out to be pretty intricate. I want to do it right.

Brad The Therapist :

That is correct, deducting points will make it difficult for them to earn the reward.

Customer:

Bonus points, good call. I was thinking bonus tasks they could choose to do as well.

Customer:

Ok. Noted!

Brad The Therapist :

Deducting points basically make them fall behind and not able to catch up

Brad The Therapist :

having a range of points instead, based on the expectation will make it easier and the kids will feel less reprimanded

Brad The Therapist :

Do you have any other questions?

Customer:

No, will I be able to get a transcript of this? I am putting the board together while they are at their other parents this next week. Does this typically calm things down a bit?

Customer:

I guess that was another question, sorry.

Brad The Therapist :

Not a problem. Yes, once you click on the "accept" button

Brad The Therapist :

you will see a transcript of this conversation

Brad The Therapist :

Yes, things will calm down as this behavioral plan will allow you and your fiance to be even more consistent with them that the more structure and consistency you provide, the more calmer things will be

Customer:

Whew, thank you Brad. I appreciate your time and feedback.

Brad The Therapist :

Not a problem. I wish you and your family all the best!

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