To view this page ensure that Adobe Flash Player version 11.1.0 or greater is installed.
DOUBLE TAP TO ZOOM WITH PHONE OR TABLET and embarrassingly out of control when she’s picked up at school. In addi- tion, Beth has been wondering something: Has Gabby been running out of the classroom because she has been locked in her room regularly and now can’t stand feeling closed in? It feels as though the whole business of trying to parent with gentleness has backfired. As Julia and I talk with her more, this soft-spoken woman tearfully reveals that she married a man who has turned out to have a temper not unlike her father’s. Her husband works all the time, she notes. In some ways, given what he is like when he’s home, that can be a relief. In fact, Beth is so unhappy in her marriage that she has been thinking about divorce. But she feels stuck, she tells us. She and her husband have three young kids and not enough money to support two households. In our ever-deepening conversations with Beth, the first layer of obser- vation leads to a second and even a third. And what Julia and I learn about underlying issues leads directly to hopes for change. The categories behind our three-part flips come in handy, too, as we brainstorm with Beth about goals she has for getting support, for gaining control over Gabby, and for changing the back-and-forth between them that is leading her daughter to become less and less compliant. As we move from what we all see to what we think to what Beth can do, the three of us do some role playing. Beth tries out what a firm but reasonable “voice of authority” might sound like (see chapter 16). We talk about how she can set effective limits at home. In addition, we consider how she and the team can partner to help Gabby learn to “pop up and tune in” (an attention-related skill examined in chap- ter 7). With help, Beth becomes far more effective with Gabby and far more confident in herself. Watching this mother start to experience a sense of empowerment is a pleasure. Shooting for an Ideal While Living in the Real There is much to celebrate as Gabby moves through her final year of pre- school. But Gabby and her family’s story isn’t one with a perfect ending. Like so many children with challenges, this girl makes wonderful progress. Yet she heads off to kindergarten in a way that has everyone holding their breath. Not surprisingly, Julia gets a call from Gabby’s new teacher before the end of September. He wants advice as to how he can help his most chal- lenging student stay focused and calm when he is on his own in a classroom with twenty kids. It is a great credit to the preschool team that Julia has 14 Chapter 1 COPYRIGHTED MATERIAL