The Gearing Parenting Program and Classes

Parents deserve a new understanding of emotions and behavior and then effective answers and guidance that apply to their child specifically.

Parenting children can be one of the most rewarding experiences in our lives.

We nurture, guide, and counsel all along the way and hope that our child understands our values, internalizes our insight, and is prepared for a happy and successful life. However, children with intense emotions often have the additional burden of confusing and powerful emotions and reactions. They may not be receptive to our parenting or cannot seem to use what we have taught them. Our other children may not struggle with the same challenges. They generally listen to us and organically generate the effective coping skills they need to make good decisions. Especially with children who are sensitive and reactive, their emotions can change quickly and unexpectedly leaving us with no idea about what to say and how to coach them through this moment. Over time, we can feel lost and helpless and burned out.

Research has revealed that a child with intense emotions often needs a particular type of parenting to guide them through childhood and adolescence. They are needing different communication strategies, acceptance and awareness of their powerful emotions and specific strategies in how to manage negative thoughts and emotions in their daily lives. Most importantly, they need a parent who has been educated in the basics of emotions, communication, validation, and strategies of changing our emotional reactions and how to shape and reinforce behaviors while also effectively modeling better reactions. Once trained, the parent can reinforce more effective coping skills on a daily basis to help the child calm down and to regain perspective when something upsetting happens. Many families struggle with these issues for years before finding the right help for their child. Often, counselors and therapists simply work with the child without consideration of the struggle, anguish, and challenges the parents face every day.

At Gearing Up, we believe that parents deserve better. Parents need a new understanding of emotions and behavior and then effective answers and guidance that apply to their child specifically.

Gearing Up’s acclaimed parenting program, written and presented by our veteran psychologists, Dr. Milt and Sylvia Gearing, has helped hundreds of Texas families over the last thirty years discover these important answers and how to implement them in the real world. Best of all, the Gearing Parenting Program can now be taught in the format that best suits your family’s schedule. Here are a few of the different formats currently offered:

Parenting Skills Sessions

The primary engine of change, these weekly sessions present the actual skills, lessons, and strategies of the Gearing Parenting Program with one of Gearing Up’s trained parenting therapists. Since there is so much material to cover, these sessions are intended to be purely educational with some time dedicated for questions about today’s material. These sessions are based exclusively on the methods developed by the Gearings during their thirty-five years of helping hundreds of parents and children. The Gearing Parenting Program is a highly acclaimed, highly effective approach based on their own research, extensive clinical experience, and the many world renowned experts they have worked with over their three decades of practice.

Parenting Personalized Coaching

This second weekly session for parents covers the direct application of the skills sessions to your family through personalized coaching with a Gearing Up trained parenting therapist. These personalized coaching sessions are highly recommended since parents often benefit from focusing with a specialist on how to use the skills, strategies, and philosophy of the Gearing Parenting Program in their family. Parents are able to review past incidents in depth, game plan how to handle difficult situations in the future, and how to help their child become the person they want to be. Parenting therapists are also able to review previous skills material, clarify concepts in more depth, and further develop how the program applies to your relationship with your child. The counselors who offer these sessions have had advanced training with the Drs. Gearings in offering excellent applications of the Gearing’s innovative parenting approach.

Advanced Short Courses

Once parents master the basics of our parenting program, they may need additional resources and skills both for repairing and maintaining the parent-child relationship and for facing new challenges in the future. Parents who have completed the Parenting Program basic course will then have access to more advanced short courses taught directly by Dr. Milt Gearing and Dr. Sylvia Gearing. These short courses will include more specialized topics, deeper dives into complex concepts from the entire curriculum, and even present brand new research to equip parents with the latest and most effective parenting strategies. These short courses will last approximately 6-10 weeks (length may vary course to course) and will only be offered at limited times. Please contact our office to have the most up-to-date information for our next short course offerings.

Here is a brief sample of what the Gearing Parenting Program offers:

Overview of Challenges

  • “What Is Going On With My Child?” The Definition of Emotional Dysregulation and Emotional Vulnerability and How Emotions Create Behaviors
  • Understanding the Super Sensor Child
  • How Mood Disorders Develop In Children and Teens Even With Great Homes
  • The Recurrent Nature of Mood Disorders – What They Are and How to Prevent Relapse and Recurrence
  • Why We Teach and Practice New Coping Skills with Children
  • How Biology Weighs in: The Biosocial Model of Emotion
  • The Vital Role of the Brain in Reactions and How We Use Neuroplasticity to Improve Reactivity Patterns

Changing Our Parenting

  • The Mindful Parent — Becoming the Emotionally Present Parent
  • Becoming Present — Learning to Modify and Soften our own Reactions with Mindfulness and Distress Tolerance Skills
  • Mindfulness in Parenting–Specifics, Steps, and Strategies
  • How to Untangle Tangled Thinking in parenting and in our child
  • Opposite Action and Problem Solving in Parenting
  • “Doing” and “Being” Minds in Parenting
  • Middle Path Thinking – Reacting and Processing Skillfully in Parenting
  • Validation — The Secrets to Rapport Building and Soothing With Our Children
  • Communication Skills for Softened Startup, Bidding, and The Power of Positive Emotions
  • Why Trust Declines and How to Restore It
  • Conflict Resolution: The Keys to Repairing and Restoring Rapport
  • Cognitive Skills for Resilience in Parenting
  • The Secrets to Reviving the Relationship with Our Child

Obstacles to Mindful Parenting and How to Overcome Them

  • How High Emotional Arousal Affects Your Relationship with Your Child
  • Invalidation: What We Don’t Want To Do
  • The Three Most Common Types of Invalidation Parents Fall Into
  • Learned Helplessness and Parental Burnout: How to Dispute those Negative Thoughts.
  • Easy to Apply Cognitive Reconstruction with Hopelessness in Parenting
  • Explanatory Styles: Permanence, Pervasiveness, and Personalization
  • Ineffective Thinking in Parenting and How to Overcome It

Helping My Child Improve Their Behavior: Behavioral Shaping in Parenting

  • Shaping and Reinforcement: The Strategies of Behavioral Science in Generating Positive Behaviors
  • Overview of Key Coping Skills in Parenting
  • Alternative Solutions to Punishment
  • How Reminding Doesn’t Increase Compliance
  • The ABCs of Behavior Change
  • The Fundamentals of Shaping Behavior
  • The Four Types of Reinforcement
  • How To Use Reinforcement To Get Results
  • How to Shape and Reinforce Behaviors
  • Staying the Course: Finding Familial Peace
  • How to Sustain the Longevity of Newly Learned Skills