Prioritizing Relationships During Crisis Prevention

October 13, 2011

Preventing Behaviors

I’m a father of three boys on the autism spectrum.  Two of my son’s sometimes exhibit very challenging behaviors.  Talk about the need for crisis prevention!  The moments during those behaviors could be described as stressful, tense, nerve-racking, exasperating, or upsetting.  If you are a caregiver to a child with special needs or a dependent adult with dementia then I suspect that you could add a few words to this list too!

In spite of how my boys’ may behave at times, I love them.  I believe in having unconditional love for your child.  No matter what, a parent should stick by their child through good times and bad. Even when times get rough, that unconditional love and parent/child relationship should always be a priority.   There may be times when the best thing you can do for your child will be the hardest thing to do.  This is normal for those of us who prioritize our relationships with our children.

The entire philosophy of Relational Crisis Prevention, which I founded, is based on the belief that the relationship between caregiver and care-receiver is a priority.  All people, even those with challenging behaviors, have the right to be treated with dignity and respect.  They should be been as people first rather than a diagnostic label or a client-to-be-served.  That ONLY happens when relationships are given priority.

However, in some crisis intevention models the relationship between parent and child is rarely given priority.  Many of these models focus on managing challenging behaviors without being too concerned about the long-term relationship.  Many models never focus on the caregiver/care-receiver relationship.  The focus for many crisis intervention models is on:

  • Compliance
  • Control
  • Obedience

Unfortunately, punishment and even restraint can sometimes be the tools that are used to produce these outcomes.

Relational Crisis Prevention is an approach that involves a problem-solving process that helps you to develop positive solutions to prevent challenging behaviors.   Solutions that won’t damage relationships.  Solutions that establish safe boundaries and maintain a healthy relationship and create a climate of peace.    I know that you–just like me–endeavor to be the best possible caregiver that you can and struggle with difficult decisions regarding behaviors that stem from a diagnosis of:

  • Autism Spectrum Disorder
  • ADHD
  • Dementia
  • Alzheimer’s

I invite you to come back often or click subscribe and check for updates on how to manage crisis behaviors while keeping  your relationship with your child a priority.


About Michael Woods

Christ-follower, husband, chocoholic, and peanut-butter lover! I'm a father to triplet boys...each on the autism spectrum.

View all posts by Michael Woods


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