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‘Who’s in Charge?’ Educational Workshops

A 9 week child to parent violence (CPV) programme aimed at parents whose children are being abusive or violent toward them or who appear out of parental control. The structure of the programme consists of 8 two and a half hour sessions with a two-month follow up. It is a part therapeutic and part educational programme and is aimed at parents with children between the ages of 8 – 18 years.


Who’s in charge?

Three Part Structure of the WIC? Group Programme

The first three or four sessions aim to change parental attitude, and in particular reduce blame, guilt and shame.

A variety of exercises are used to deconstruct some of the unhelpful myths that parents have absorbed about their child’s behaviour.

We aim to help parents understand that children’s bad behaviour is multi-causal, and we explore the nature of abuse, styles of parenting, entitlement and power and social changes that make CPV more likely.

The second half of the programme explores the use of consequences to change unwanted behaviour. This has similarities to the content of mainstream parenting programmes, but there are important differences.

Most parenting advice assumes that children are co-operative. However, most parents who attend Who’s in Charge? typically have children who have stopped co-operating, who often appear to care about very little, who may deliberately sabotage parents attempts to apply consequences, and who may escalate their violence when parents implement behavioural control strategies.

In the group we explore the difficulty of identifying consequences that the parent can implement, is willing to control and the child will care about (at least a little). We do not see the consequences in terms of behaviour modification, but in terms of empowerment of the parent; increasing the child’s respect for the parent, enabling the parent to be more assertive and altering the balance of positives and negatives that the young person experiences from their violent and controlling behaviour.

The third part of the group supports parents to make changes within the home while working on a few advanced topics; anger; assertiveness; self-care. The order of these topics is important. Until parents have made some attitude changes and become more empowered they are not usually ready to work on these topics. The anger topic is about their anger, as well as dealing with the young person’s anger.