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Nurture ~ Structure ~ Self-Care Take      Parenting 3

Theory Behind the Take 3 Programme

Take 3 draws on several theoretical models, including Family Systems theory, CBT, Transactional Analysis, Rogerian Person-Centred approach and Adlerian psychology.  

See attached for more detail about the theoretical influences on Take 3>>

Whilst it includes well-proven behavioural techniques for behaviour management (such as the use of choices and consequences, and paying less attention to undesirable behaviour and more attention to desired behaviour), it also focuses strongly on relationship.

Experience at ground level, working with parents living in very challenging situations, showed us that it was not enough just to teach behavioural techniques, however well-proven those techniques might be. If a young person was refusing to engage with their parent, acting out, maybe absconding from home for days at a time, the parent-child relationship was usually very insubstantial and strained.  It would be impossible for a parent to put in place any effective strategies until some respectful communication was re-established.  What we found was that in these sorts of situations parents needed to stop and consider both their own feelings and their young person’s feelings, because relationships are fuelled by feelings. The more they could become aware of the nature of all the feelings involved on both sides of the relationship, the more they could understand and repair the relationship. The skills taught on a Take 3 course enable parents to do this repair job.


Feedback from  T3 Facilitator : June

Take 3 Programme Materials History & Development Research and Evaluation What is Special about theTake 3 Programme What is Special about Take 3? What is the Take 3 Programme? Theory & Ethos History & Development Research & Evaluation Buy Resources Who is it for? Who is it for? What is the Take 3 Parenting Programme?


Feedback from a T3 Facilitator : Lisa

The Misbehaviour Iceberg

We introduce the idea of the Misbehaviour Iceberg because we realised that parents (along with governments, police, schools and local authorities) commonly expend huge amounts of time, energy and resources – often to little effect - focusing on the misbehaviour of young people, without looking ‘below the surface’ at what was going on at a deeper level. When relationships are strained or broken, human beings of all ages feel angry, lost, confused, powerless, depressed – a host of difficult feelings arise, which lead to misbehaviour. This misbehaviour will manifest in young people as different degrees of ‘acting out’, and in parents as ineffective parenting.

These difficult feelings usually arise because the individual has unmet needs (particularly emotional ones) and in Take 3 we help parents to become more aware of their own needs as well as those of their young people. Hence the emphasis in the programme on self-care for the parents and also on teaching parents to stop, to breathe and to listen to their young people. Listening is a key skill for relationship building, but we also introduce it as a behaviour management tool.

A Logical Approach

The core sessions in Part 1 of Take 3 follow a simple logic: if something needs fixing, first you need to understand what’s not working and why; secondly you need the right tools to fix it.  In Take 3, parents learn experientially some simple psychology, and with a new awareness they can begin to see more clearly how their own and their young people’s needs are not being met. Then they are given a raft of ‘tools’ to help the situation, parenting skills and strategies that have worked well for others. They are encouraged to try them out each week and report back on what works better for them.

First they learn to care for themselves, so they are in a better place to help their children. Then they learn crucial skills to nurture their young people, so they can begin to understand their unmet needs and raise their self-esteem, and finally, once their relationships with their young people begin to heal and strengthen, they are taught to negotiate firm and fair boundaries. These are the three key features of the programme: self-care, nurture and structure.

As parents learn to listen to their adolescents, they begin to understand their unmet needs. Most parents find listening a very challenging skill to learn, but the beauty is that even if they manage to stop, breathe and listen once in a while, their relationship with their child will improve, especially if their predominant parenting style has been aggressive, critical and opinionated.

Most teenagers feel they are not listened to or understood by adults, and many have a need for more encouragement and more attention. However, focusing on unmet needs is not, as some people think, a soft option. It is a caring option that can open parents’ eyes and hearts to a wider understanding about why their adolescents misbehave.  For example, common unmet needs amongst young people are:

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Take 3 Programme Materials

A Core Belief

Built into the ethos of Take 3 is the premise that, within the framework of their own personal histories, every parent is doing their best. From an outside point of view their actions may seem ineffectual, ill-considered, misguided or even damaging, but when viewed through a lens which includes the influences of their own upbringing, it can usually be seen that they are doing the best they can.

The majority of parents love their children and want the best for them.  Only when this fundamental good intention is seen and respected by practitioners can the most effective changes occur. Practitioners who are able to align with this premise will find parents more open to learning and practising new skills and strategies and more able to understand and support their young people.

History & Development of the Take 3 Programme>>