21st June 2018 
Adlerian Family Network UK #01

Adlerian Family Network UK

AFNUK is a growing network of Adlerian practitioners trained to deliver parenting courses and facilitate parent groups

Contact Rosemarie White for enquiries about AFNUK

The next residential Adlerian Summer School will be on 6-12 August 2017 at Felden Lodge in Hertfordshire. Families of all kinds are especially welcome. Keep up to date with our plans by visiting the Adlerian Summer Schools website.

Adlerian Family Network UK #02Parenting the Adlerian way: 11 key concepts

Based on the work of
Rudolf Dreikurs

1: Mutual respect based on the assumption of equality, is the undeniable right of all human beings. Parents who show respect for their children - while winning the children’s respect for them - teach the children to respect themselves and others.

2: Encouragement implies faith in and respect for the child as they are. When a child misbehaves they are usually discouraged and believe they cannot succeed by useful means.

3: Feelings of 'security' are highly subjective and not necessarily related to the actual situation. Real security cannot be found from the outside; it is only possible to achieve it through the experience and feeling of having overcome difficulties.

4: 'Reward & punishment' is an ineffective system. A child soon considers a reward their right and demands a reward for everything. They think punishment gives them the right to punish in turn, and the retaliation of children is usually more effective than the punishment inflicted by the parents! Children often retaliate by not eating, fighting, neglecting schoolwork, or otherwise misbehaving in particular ways that are the most disturbing to parents.

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Adlerian Family Network UK #035: Natural & logical consequences are techniques which allow the child, always with safety of prime importance, to experience the actual result of their own behaviour.

6: Acting instead of talking is more effective in conflict situations. Talking provides an opportunity for arguments in which the child can defeat the parent. If the parent maintains a calm, patient attitude, he or she can, through quiet action, accomplish positive results. Withdrawal (leaving the child and walking into another room) is most effective when the child demands undue attention or tries to involve you in a power contest. Often doing nothing effects wonderful results.

The less attention children get when they disturb you, the more they need when they are cooperative. You may feel that anger helps get rid of your own tensions, but it does not teach the child what you think they should learn.

7: Don’t interfere in children’s fights. By allowing children to resolve their own conflicts they learn to get along better. Many fights are provoked to get the parent involved, and by separating the children or acting as judge we fall for their provocation, thereby stimulating them to fight more.

8: Never do for a child what they can do for themself. A dependent child is a demanding child. Children become irresponsible only when we fail to give them opportunities to take on responsibility.

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Adlerian Family Network UK #049: Overprotection pushes a child down. Parents may feel they are giving to a child when they act for a child; in reality they are taking away the child's right to learn and develop. When parents begin to have faith that their children can behave in a responsible way, while allowing them to do so, the children will assume their own responsibilities.

10: Distinguish accurately between positive and negative attention if you want to influence children's behaviour. Feeling unable to gain positive attention,
and regarding being ignored as intolerable, children resort to activities which get them negative attention. For them, negative attention is better than no attention at all!

11: Understand the child's goal. Every action of a child has a purpose. It might not always look like it to you, but their basic underlying aim is to connect, to be valued and to have a place in the group, be it the family, the class at school, the youth organisation, etc. In short, children need to feel they belong.

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Adlerian Family Network UK #05
The 4 goals of misbehaviour

A child is usually unaware of their goals. Their behaviour, though illogical to others, is consistent with their own interpretation of their place in the family group.

  • Attention-getting: children want attention and service. We feel annoyed because they don't seem to remember what we tell them. We feel we need to remind and coax them.

  • Power: they want to be the boss. We respond by feeling provoked and get into a power contest with them – "You can't get away with this!" A child who wants to be powerful generally has a parent who also seeks power. One person cannot fight alone; when parents learn to do nothing (by withdrawing, for example) during a power contest, they dissipate the child's power, and can then begin to establish a healthier relationship with the child.

  • Revenge: they want to hurt us because they are hurting. We respond by feeling deeply hurt and seek revenge for our feelings.

  • Display of assumed inadequacy: they want to be left alone, with no demands made upon them and often have given up. We respond by feeling despair - "I don't know what to do!"

If your first impulse is to react in one of these four ways, you can be fairly sure you have discovered the goal of the child's misbehaviour.

[Further reading to follow shortly]

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