Response-Ability (Parenting Strategies for a Harmonious Family)

Ten years ago, I became a Davis Facilitator and about 6 clients into my practice, I noticed something. Children who came to me for Davis Attention Mastery programs had wonderful parents who had done the very best they could with the brilliant, creative and curious children they were given. But a lot of those children were also challenging. When a child completed a program, they had new tools and concepts, but the negative family dynamic was so ingrained, parents struggled to keep up as their child changed so dramatically. I saw a need to help these families break the cycle. 

So, armed with my belief in Maya Angelou’s saying “when you know better, you do better”, I set about to create a way for parents to know better – a slow and steady way to break the negative patterns and create strategies to help the parents use the concepts just learned by the child. This program is a separate and distinct entity from Davis programs. It is not Davis, but it dovetails nicely with the concepts learned in Davis programs. It is called “Response-Ability: parenting strategies for a harmonious family”.

Many families create negative interaction patterns that repeat, or they have made allowances for negative behaviour in the past because they recognized that their child was unable to learn from conventional parenting programs and methods. For example, a parent stops trying to have a child with ADHD learn to put their belongings away because the child was unable to focus long enough to understand or create a routine.  After a child has become oriented and learns the Davis concepts (including what the proper place, position, and condition of their belongings is) many parents are unsure how to proceed because they don’t know where to begin and what to expect.

Since they don’t know where to start, how much to try to change at once, and what to do, many read a ton of books or take a weekend crash course and try to change everything at once without building a foundation. It almost never works, and, in fact, can make things worse.

The purpose of my 7-week course is to allow parents to make positive changes to their parenting skills at the same time their child is making positive changes to their behavioural skills in a progressive, step-by-step way. This program is my personal attempt to give parents and children a fresh start. This program is an amalgamation of opinions, theories, and other parenting programs that I have created and used in the past. Much of the information may not be new to you, but my goal is to present it in a fun and interactive way. The program manual and sessions with the facilitator are set up so that each week the family learns, practices, and integrates a new strategy in a gradual step-wise way building on what they have learned the previous week.

This program was very successfully piloted with 8 families I worked with in 2011. Over the years I was asked several times to create a training program for other Davis facilitators to become qualified to provide it, but never seemed to be able to find the time. When Covid hit, I quickly put together webinars and set up a training program which has been full each time I’ve offered it since April. Currently a third group of facilitators is in training.

This course wouldn’t have been possible without the rich and varied personal experience I have gained parenting my own wonderfully gifted girls, Julia and Paige. A million thanks to my clients. Words cannot express how honoured I am to be in your lives!

To find out more about this course, you can join the Facebook Response-Ability Group or contact Beth Shier directly.

Photos on this page by August de Richelieu.