During your groups you can ask parents to “buzz” with another parent, to share and write down their ideas for a particular topic (e.g., establishing a bedtime routine, recording “positive opposite” behaviors of negative behaviors, rewriting negative thoughts or negative commands, or sharing calming strategies). When setting up these buzzes, plan ahead of time which parents you will pair up with each other. The benefit of doing a paired buzz instead of a group brainstorm is that every parent is immediately engaged in a task and involved in coming up with solutions. In large group brainstorms, perhaps only half the group contributes ideas and the other half is disengaged, or quiet, or distracted. After the buzz (3-5 minutes) is completed, each buddy can report on their buddy’s ideas and these can be recorded by the co-leader. These are fun for everyone – try them out! Be sure to use the buzz handouts in the leader’s manual for these exercises.
During the buzzes, particularly for those that involve cognitive work related to self-praise, calming thoughts, challenging negative thoughts, setting goals for behaviors to be ignored, managing stress, or identifying their positive opposite behaviors, give parents either a buzz handout or thought card (which can be downloaded from our web site) to use to write down their agreed upon ideas. The more you can get parents to commit to 1-2 clearly defined behaviors or specific word or thought statements to practice at home the better the learning. For example, if parents are very self-critical and have difficulty with positive coping self-talk, after group brainstorming ask parents to write down the specific self-statement that is their favorite thought that they will try to rehearse that week. By practicing one thought statement over and over again it is more likely to become an established pattern of thought. You might consider laminating some of the key statements or thoughts on these thought cards so parents can keep them at home as reminders.
Download our editable Thought Cards – these can be emailed to parents individually.
Editable Buzz Forms
Download our editable Buzz forms – these can be emailed to parents individually after each session.
Parent Buzz Form (for Preschool or School Age parent groups)
ASD Parent Buzz Form (for Autism Spectrum & Language Delays Parenting Program)
For more Hot Tips, download our Hot Tips for Parent Group Leaders!