CRASH IN ACTION

Putting CRASH into action!

A theory or a framework is just that, until you put it to use and tweak it to best suit your needs. A great way of doing that is to see how it can apply to a couple of scenarios and then take it from there.

Below are some fairly common situations any parent of a teen could expect to face. And in each case, you’ll see how it’s possible step through the CRASH framework to guide you.

But first off, remember CRASH doesn’t tell you what to do… nor how to do it.

Let’s have a go…

SCENARIO: Your 15 year old has asked to go to their first ‘big’ party on Saturday night. You suspect that there will be kids drinking there, and you’ve never met the parents. Following CRASH, what could you do?

Let’s put CRASH into play here…

C = CONSISTENCY

  • How will your teen be expecting you to react to this invitation? What outcome is he or she potentially expecting? Take time to think, you don’t need to give a decision on the spot.
  • Is this a big-ticket item for you?
  • If you agree to them going, what are do you think your baseline expectations around this will be, as in future you will need to follow suit to maintain consistency.
  • If you say no – follow through without wavering, you can even arrange an alternative activity for that night to soften the blow.
  • If you say yes – be very clear on the boundaries you set AND be sure to do as you say (ie. picking them up at a certain time, calling the host’s parents etc). Decide in advance what any consequences will be, communicate them clearly and implement them if needed.

R = RESPECT

  • Explain you do respect their need to seek some freedom
  • but in return ask they respect your right to parent them as you see fit and accept whatever your decision may be

A = ACCOUNTABILITY

  • Discuss the potential dangers around teen parties and underage drinking – possibly cite some statistics or information around this and that for some kids their have been long term consequences from participating in what they thought would just be a bit of fun
  • If you are allowing them to go, discuss and be clear on their responsibilities and the potential consequences that may come from neglecting these
  • Explain how sometimes decisions made by others can have an impact on those not directly involved

S = SAFETY

In deciding whether to feel it is safe to let them attend, you could…

  • Contact the parents to determine the level of adult supervision and the likelihood of alcohol being there
  • Communicate your expectations to the parents, meet them beforehand if there is time and find common ground
  • Negotiate an lock-in pick up time for collecting them
  • Ensure they are attending with a friend who you know well
  • insist they send you a text message at a particular time during the night

H = HUMOUR

While there’s not much about this situation that’s funny for you right now, remember some of the parties that you attended in your teen years. Take a deep breath, laugh at some of the hi-jinx and remember you made it through A-ok. Make a mental note of what could be seen as humorous about this… maybe a month or so down the track!

And one more…

SCENARIO: Your 17 year old is in his/her final term of the last year of school and completely preoccupied by the upcoming end of school celebrations. They’ve booked tickets to go to school formal/graduation and also SCHOOLIES week away with their mates. School phones you to inform you they are at risk of not graduating due to non-submitted assessment and so it’s time to have a talk.

Let’s reflect on CRASH here to guide the discussion…

C = CONSISTENCY

  • Is this unusual or out of character for your teen?
  • Have you had consistent expectations regarding their school work/performance in the past?
  • if their school effort has slipped in the past, how have you dealt with it?
  • How will they be expecting you to respond to this? How may you have responded in the past?
  • What is your bottom line when it comes to

R = RESPECT

  • Respect for education and how close they are to completing their studies and self respect around getting to the end
  • Respect for others who’ve supported them throughout their schooling – teachers and family

A = ACCOUNTABILITY

  • Discuss that the reward of post-schooling celebrations only comes with the responsibility of maintaining an effort until the end
  • A logical consequence to not graduating is not being able to participate in the celebrations
  • Can there be a plan negotiated with the school to catch up on the work and detentions missed? If your teen then doesn’t make amends given the opportunity, be firm in applying the consequences.
  • Discuss links between expectations of school and then post school responsibilities (employment or further study)
  • Have you made it clear that you won’t be making excuses for them or begging for a reprieve?

S = SAFETY

The only real safety issue around this is them keeping safe at the post school celebrations… if they complete the work to be able to go.

  • Contact the parents to determine the level of adult supervision and the likelihood of alcohol being there
  • Communicate your expectations to the parents, meet them beforehand if there is time and find common ground
  • Negotiate an lock-in pick up time for collecting them
  • Ensure they are attending with a friend who you know well
  • insist they send you a text message at a particular time during the night

H = HUMOUR

Again, there’s not a lot right now to laugh about with this but consider what steps you can take to remain relatively lighthearted.

You being angry and stressed can not fix the situation, and ultimately the desire to fulfil their obligations to school must come from them.

In a few years time though, when they are settled into University or paid employment , do you think it will be possible to look back at this with humour?

Worksheet Download

JOURNALLING PROMPTS

Your CRASH Journaling prompts for this module…

  • Write about a parenting moment you would have handled differently if you’d applied the CRASH framework
  • What’s been your biggest learning or ahhh-haaaa moment from this program?

Just to recap

It’s time to pull the CRASH Parenting Framework together to show you it in action.

The individual elements you’ve covered so far are around…. being consistent with expectations and how you implement them; the need to build and maintain respect for people and relationships; keeping your teen accountable and dealing with natural consequences, all with a focus on safety. Plus there’s a good dose of humour to top it all off!

Stepping forward, it’s now time to pull these aspects together and above you can how the CRASH elements are able to be applied to specific scenarios.

How you can apply the CRASH framework to parenting your teen.

CRASH is not a prescriptive ‘you must’ or ‘you must not’ approach to parenting. It’s a model that you can work through when dealing with the overwhelm of parenting a teen.

When dealing with an issue – and CRASH can be applied to practically any issue you may face – following the framework gives you opportunity to clarify your thoughts and respond to the situation in a calm and considered way.                                                                           
Say goodbye to knee jerk, explosive reactions and use CRASH to calm your family farm.

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