Psychological Services of Pendleton, LLC

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The information provided in this section is intended for clients as an adjunct to their treatment at Psychological Services of Pendleton, LLC. It may also provide useful information to the general public, but it should not be considered a substitute for psychotherapy with a psychologist or other qualified mental health professional.

Parent-Child Coercive Cycle Handout

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The Parent-Child Coercive Cycle

A.
Parent gives a directive that is ignored by the child.
Parent attacks
Child counter attacks
Parent backs down or loses control
B.
Child makes a demand that parent rejects.
Child attacks
Parent counter attacks
Child escalates
Parent backs down or loses control

Breaking the Parent-Child Coercive Cycle

Parent Directs (A)
  1. Parent gives a direction which child ignores.
  2. Parent stops talking, leaves, removes a reinforcer (e.g., turns off videogame), or removes child from reinforcement (e.g., moves away from cookie aisle, puts child in Time Out).
  3. Once child begins to comply, parent gives positive attention or provides some other reinforcement.
Child Demands (B)
  1. Child makes demand that parent rejects.
  2. Child acts out or tries to argue.
  3. Parent stops talking, leaves, removes a reinforcer, or puts child in Time Out.
  4. Once child begins to calm down, parent gives positive attention or provides some other reinforcement.
  5. Once child stops arguing, parent makes counter offer to child’s request, staying engaged with child as long as child stays calm.