Facilitator Best Practice Question:
“When showing the some of the Parents Plus DVDS, in my last group, one of the parents said she thought the scenes were too idealistic and not relevant to the behaviour she was dealing with. I was a bit thrown and found this hard to deal with in the group”.
Answer: “It is very common for parents to challenge the DVD footage and say that situation is not relevant to them or too idealistic or that the footage is dated (in the case of some of the role play scenes). When experiencing these challenges as a facilitator it is easy to feel thrown off course and to become defensive. However, the important thing to realise is that such challenges are common and even welcome in a group. When the parents are engaging critically with the videos this can be viewed as a strength and is preferable to the parents being passive, or disinterested in the videos . A questioning critical stance is a sign that the parents are really engaging in the material and thinking it through and gives rise to an energetic group process. When parents challenge the material a thoughtful response on the part of the facilitator is what is required. It is important not to argue or disagree with them, but instead to take time to understand their point of view and to guide them to adapt the ideas to their own situation. Below are two examples. Have a look in the Group Skills Chapter in the Parents Plus manual for more ideas”.
Parent 1: That last scene looked like it was acted. The situation is a bit dated. Facilitator: I know what you mean, it is a role-play of a common family situation… However, what principles do you think the parent was demonstrating in the scene? How do you think these might work in real life?
Parent 2: That last scene seems a bit too idealistic. The child didn’t shout that much and he seemed to come out of his mood too quickly. My son would never do that.
Facilitator: Yeah, I agree that in other real-life situations children might behave worse or take a bit longer to come round. What principles to you think might apply in those challenging situations? What do you think the parent should do in the scene if the child continued to misbehave? How should they respond?
John Sharry, CEO Parents Plus