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Discipline Program

Ruth’s Own Distinctive Discipline Program is an exceptionally concrete, structured, and comprehensive program that works! It is used with preteens and teens struggling with mild to severe behavior problems, and covers a wide variety of issues:

  • Nothing else has worked 

  • Not having effective structure and rules in the home 

  • Consequences and reinforcers are not effective, or non-existent 

  • Preteen or teen is resistive or defiant towards authority and rules 

  • Keeping troubled teen in the home versus residential placement 

Ruth’s goals are successful and healthy behavior management and behavior change. This program can make a significant and positive impact on the relationships within a family, proven throughout Ruth’s career of over 25 years in private practice working with youth.


This program is comprised of a “checking/time out” system. A “check” is a specific verbal cue given by a parent or authority to the preteen and teen right as he/she is exhibiting a maladaptive behavior, using Guided Group Interaction’s 16 core maladaptive behaviors, such as manipulation, disrespect, authority, lying, easily misled. These checks serve to educate and guide, not punish them, in learning the real problems and issues underlying their actions. Also, this system teaches free active choice, options, self-regulation, and awareness and acceptance of consequences. This puts the responsibility on the teen to change. The parents in turn learn to disengage and stay in control, rather than getting verbally “hooked” and manipulated.

Time Out

The “time out” part of this system can be explicit and structured, or only parts of it may be necessary, if needed at all. The purpose is to provide the preteen and teen a specified time to regain control and to have time to process the cause/effect relationship, healthy options and choices, and to learn from their choices and actions. In time, they'll internalize the checks, actually checking themselves and stopping the maladaptive behavior on their own, replacing it with a healthy and helpful behavior (action, response).

Ruth trains, guides, encourages, and supports parents in all this program’s skill sets: 

  • Checking system for the 16 core behavior problems 

  • Time out system 

  • Effective consequences and reinforcements  

  • Specific communication styles, and “Planned Ignoring” 

  • Emotional self-regulation 

  • “Soft House Arrest” and “Full House Arrest” (to help keep a teen in the home versus residential placement) 

  • On call availability as the parents are first learning this program 

  • Crisis intervention      

See Also:

Parent Training and Support

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