“Rules of Thumb” and “Other Things to Remember”


j-a-baaaqbajThese and more concepts will be taught during Garry Landreth’s Conference on February 17 and 18, 2017. We are looking forward to this amazing two-day training!

If you’d like to register, please go to the Events tab here.

*Rules of Thumb:

  1. Focus on the donut, not the hole!
  2. Be a thermostat, not a thermometer.
  3. What’s most important may not be what you do, but what you do after what you did!
  4. The parent’s toes should follow his/her nose.
  5. You can’t give away what you do not possess.
  6. When a child is drowning, don’t try to teach her to swim.
  7. During play sessions, limits are not needed until they are needed!
  8. If you can’t say it in 10 words or less, don’t say it.
  9. Grant in fantasy what you can’t grant in reality.
  10. Big choices for big kids, little choices for little kids.
  11. Never do for a child that which he can do for himself.
  12. Encourage the effort rather than praise the product.
  13. Don’t try to change everything at once!
  14. Where there are no limits, there is no security.
  15. Good things come in small packages.

See CPRT Treatment Manual for detailed information.


Other Things to Remember:

  1. Reflective responses help children to feel understood and can lessen anger.
  2. In play, children express what their lives are like now, what their needs are, or how they wish things could be.
  3. In the playtimes, the parent is not the source of answers.
  4. Don’t ask questions you already know the answer to.
  5. Questions imply non-understanding. Questions put children in their minds. Children live in their hearts.
  6. What’s important is not what the child knows, but what the child believes.
  7. When you focus on the problem, you lose sight of the child.
  8. Support the child’s feeling, intent, or need, even if you can’t support the child’s behavior.
  9. Noticing the child is a powerful builder of self-esteem.
  10. Empower children by giving them credit for making decisions: “you decided to _________.”
  11. One of the best things we can communicate to our children is that they are competent.
  12. Encourage creativity and freedom—with freedom comes responsibility.
  13. “We’re about to institute a new and significant policy immediately effective within the confines of this domicile.”
  14. When we are flexible in our stance, we can handle anger much more easily. When parents are rigid in their approach, both parent and child can end up hurt.
  15. When unsure of what to say to child or what to do, ask yourself, “What action or words will most preserve the relationship or do least harm?”
  16. Live in the moment—today is enough. Don’t push children toward the future.


See CPRT Treatment Manual for details.



*From Child Parent Relationship Therapy (CPRT) Treatment Manual: A 10 Session Filial Therapy Model for Training Parents, by Bratton, S., Landreth, G., Kellam, T., & Blackard, S.R. (2006). New York: Routledge.



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