My Journey to Plan B

Today’s guest author is Jo-Anne Granstrom. Jo-Anne is a mother from Edmonton Canada and a strong supporter of the Collaborative Proactive Solutions model for behaviorally challenging children.

I’m thankful for fabulous articles, like this one, that lets people know about Dr. Ross Greene. 

I’ll start with the following quote that hit home to me: “Just because parents are not exactly sure what to do instead doesn’t mean that parents are in an educated way consenting to something that might actually not be good for their kid and it might actually be traumatizing their kid,” Greene said. “Sometimes parents of behaviorally-challenging kids are not always aware of what their options are, just like sometimes teachers are not aware of what their options are.”

The above words hit home to me and I’d like to share my personal thoughts to why. I was that scared parent that didn’t know what to do and assumed the school would know how to help me. I was that scared parent who thought a label would change everything and assumed a psychological assessment would get proper supports. I was that parent who looked into medication thinking there was a magic pill that was going to solve everything and life would be ‘normal’. I was that scared parent who would even send their child to their bedroom to ‘calm down.’ I was that parent who took Non-Violent Crisis Intervention thinking this would solve issues and keep everyone safe. I was that parent who didn’t know. 

Would I have been a parent who signed the use for a seclusion room to be used? Perhaps. I was scared. I was desperate. I didn’t know what else to do. 

However, now I know there ARE other options. The Collaborative Proactive Solutions (CPS) model has saved my life and my families life. Proactive Plan B prevented the escalations. Proactive Plan B prevents the need to ‘calm down’. Proactive Plan B has made me understand the kid I love so much. 

In my own journey, I have come to realize that adults do well if they can. Although I too made mistakes, it was these mistakes that made me realize that this is why schools, teachers etc are desperate too and may think that seclusion is the only alternative. I understand that teachers, students and staff, do well if they can. This was a big shift for me. It is still difficult for me to see the battles my kiddo must entail due to the lack of understanding, each and everyday. In fact, I cry many days over this. 

However, I realize I’m not alone. There is help. There are people like Dr. Ross Greene doing their best to help advocate along side of me. While Greene was here, in Edmonton, I literally asked him in the midst of sessions if after the conference he would speak to media. He did. He did this, to help Edmonton learn that there are alternatives. Even though Greene was super busy right down to the last second, he stepped up to help.

Now Edmonton knows. Edmonton has heard that there is an alternative. An alternative that I’ve tried so desperately to tell every single person I know. I’m thankful for my journey.

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