A Manatee County Safe and Drug-Free Schools skill-building program
for families whose teens are choosing out-of-control behaviors
Why was this program developed?
Developed by the Savannah Family Institute, and now in partnership with the Manatee County Safe and Drug Free Schools, FAMILY TO FAMILY WITH LOVE AND LIMITS was developed to address the following needs:
Parents, counselors, and teachers wanted a family program custom designed for teenagers who are exhibiting strong behavior problems, such as running away, ditching school, threats or acts of violence, disrespect, sexual promiscuity, drug or alcohol abuse, and threats of suicide.
Parents with out-of-control teens are often extremely resistant or hesitant to take charge of their son’s or daughter’s problems. FAMILY TO FAMILY WITH LOVE AND LIMITS was needed to break through this resistance and to get parents re-energized and motivated again.
Parents wanted to “learn by doing.” Instead of passively watching video examples of other people, parents wanted group coaches to ask for volunteers and demonstrate the concepts live and in person.
Parents wanted a program that was no longer than six sessions, yet that was entertaining, skills based, easy to understand, and actively involved their teens.
What makes this program unique?
There are four unique ingredients in this program that enable us to go beyond the typical parenting classes to reach the hearts and minds of both parent and teenager. These ingredients integrate the best aspects of group dynamics, psychoeducation, multi-family coaching, and the power of mentoring. They include the following:
1. A Soft Love Approach – We all know that a teen’s misbehavior is as much connected to a lack of structure as it is to a lack of nurturance. Yet, time and time again, we only provide our families with a “tough love” approach. FAMILY TO FAMILY WITH LOVE AND LIMITS gives parents concrete strategies to do both: reestablish authority through consistent limits and reclaim lost love with their teenager.
2. The Inner and Outer Circle – Family members will meet in “the inner circle” with the coach while the other parents and teens in “the outer circle” take notes and offer helpful suggestions. In this way, participants are defined as “experts” who help one another solve their own problems and learn key principles experientially. We will take real life problems from the families in your group and demonstrate how to solve these problems right in the class.
3. Short, Sweet and To the Point – Traditional parenting classes often last up to 8 weeks and contain watered down concepts like “I” messages that do not address the specific needs of the out-of-control teen. FAMILY TO FAMILY WITH LOVE AND LIMITS gets to the heart of the matter quickly, with steps like troubleshooting and button pushing that are custom fit for teens. Skills for creating new family contracts, with input from all participating family members, are defined and practiced.
4. The 7 Aces Night – Parents are asked to come without their teens during the fifth class so they can be given a menu of creative consequences to help them stop their teen’s “7 Aces” – (drug or alcohol abuse, disrespect, truancy, sexual promiscuity, running away, threats or acts of violence, or threats of suicide).
Who should take the FAMILY TO FAMILY WITH LOVE AND LIMITS classes?
The program is custom designed for all parents and caregivers of teenagers who enter into the “extreme” stage of behavior. Teenagers are “out of control” if they are between the ages of 11 and 18 and show two or more of these behaviors for longer than six months:
Persistent and serious lying Chronic truancy
Physical aggression Drug and alcohol abuse
Repeated running away Stealing
Sexual promiscuity Disrespect
Overview of FAMILY TO FAMILY WITH LOVE AND LIMITS
Two group facilitators will lead a small group of parents, caregivers and their teenagers in six classes, each two hours long. Two co-facilitators are needed because parent and teen breakout groups will be conducted. At times we all meet together; but other times parents and teens will meet separately in their respective breakout groups. Steve Rinder, M.A., Certified Family Therapist, and Janice Sumner, M.Ed., CAPP, Co-facilitator, will coach the FAMILY TO FAMILY program.
Parents and teens will attain skills through the following methods: group discussions, breakout sessions, application of concepts through the “Inner/Outer Circle”, and other materials. Each parent and teen will receive his or her own workbook. Each family will receive a copy of the program manual. Cost for the program is $20 per session/per family ($120 total).
What families have told us about their experience with our FAMILY TO FAMILY program:
“I felt that the approach was genuine and brought many success stories behind it. We were offered many choices for solutions, which provided adequate flexibility in determining what we as parents felt would be effective to encourage change (in behavior). Thank you again Steve and Jan.” Kathie G.
“We helped each other with our problems that we had faced during that week.” David R.
“Now I need to follow the rules!” Cynthia R.
“This helped our families to be strong, healthy, understanding, and come closer as a family.” Laura R.
Contact us for further information or to register for the next
FAMILY TO FAMILY WITH LOVE AND LIMITS group.
714-7300 Ext. 2011
Manatee County Safe Schools
PO Box 9069
Bradenton, Florida 34206
Phone (941) 708-8770 ext.2191