Practical Access Podcast

S5 E2: Choice Theory

June 10, 2021 Season 5 Episode 2
Practical Access Podcast
S5 E2: Choice Theory
Show Notes Transcript

In today's episode, Dr. Rebecca Hines shares a resource by the Glassier Institute for Choice Theory.  Choice Theory is taught so that individuals can understand their own behavior better and the behavior of others. Tune in to today's episode to learn more from Drs. Rebecca Hines and Lisa Dieker.

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Link to Resource:

Season 5; Episode 2

Lisa Dieker 00:01
Welcome to practical access I'm Lisa Dieker.

Rebecca Hines 00:04
And I'm Rebecca Hines.

Lisa Dieker 00:06
And Becky this one is again our light-hearted summer reading and I love that you chose something that I know is dear to your heart. But it is interesting, to me, because is it about making the best choice and as someone who I know is really big on that, for your kids and you've done that well with people you work with. Enlighten us a little bit about using choice for routines and getting your life kicked off. So again, I love the thought, and so I'd love to hear what you have to say and reflect on that.

Rebecca Hines 00:39
Well, you know what Lisa actually everything I have in life is because I'm a very decisive and good choice maker.

Lisa Dieker 00:48
You are.

Rebecca Hines 00:50
And also because I understand and take accountability for the choices that I made, and I think it's one of the things you know all joking aside it's one of the reasons Lisa and I are good friends. We're accountable, if we mess up, we mess up, and you know I don't know what it is about our upbringing, or anything else, some people are like that some people are not.
But I became fascinated with this idea of choice theory like many, many moons ago when I was an undergrad and just taking a, you know, foundations course and reading about William Glasser. So I'm sure on our podcast I have referenced Glasser before because choice theory became really, understanding it, became a staple of how I interacted with students. And when I, later in my teaching career, went into working with kids with significant emotional behavioral disorders, I studied it more formally I went back and hit Glasser's reality therapy and his reality therapy later became this choice theory and I'm a firm believer that if we want to change outcomes for ourselves, we have to change something about ourselves so choice theory, this is really long you guys are like wow when did Becky get so serious.

Lisa Dieker 02:13
Yes, I was about to say. I was like yes, miss philosopher, please.

Rebecca Hines 02:16
You're welcome, this episode will be about my personal philosophies. Well, ironically so this reading is, it's a free download on Glasser's website called the Little Book of Choice Theory and when they say a little book, I mean you know it is just, it's short, it communicates clearly the basic principles, and William Glasser was not an educator but he has an educational component, so the good thing about this Lisa as a summer reading is that it's, it's something to reflect on and think about yourself and your own wellness and what's working for you in your life and what's not working, etc.. I laugh because even like you know, on the third little you scroll through this little book and you know the third slide is like what choice theory can do for you, are you satisfied with your life right now? Do you find your work environment motivating? Are your personal relationships supportive? Do you feel in control of your life? It sounds like 

Lisa Dieker 03:16
What relationships, we're all going through zoom yeah.

Rebecca Hines 03:20
It sounds like an advertisement for you know some, some prescription medication it's not.

Lisa Dieker 03:33
Ask your doctor...
Rebecca Hines 03:35
Exactly so it's the you know choice theory revolves around this idea of you know, whose behavior can you control and so many times, so many times, in so many settings in schools.
I hear people say oh, I wouldn't let that kid do that I wouldn't let this kid get away with this, you know and they say that about parents oh I wouldn't let that mom if he was my kid I do X, Y or Z and it's you know it's draining for those of us who work with kids with real problem behaviors.

Lisa Dieker 04:03
Yeah, so it's funny too, because you know I, I'm gonna take it back into not only kids with behaviors, but even in schools where change is that problem you know I think we often judge and say, well, that teacher doesn't really want to change like that teacher is just trying to survive 18 kids online and eight kids in front of her, and you know six kids with their mask off and the phone's ringing and somebody needed to report an hour ago and this parent, you know. So I think we often try to do, you know, we try to look at the glass half empty and I'm not meaning to make a pun on Glasser, but I do think that choice theory is looking at you know most of that, that really reminds me of like these disconnecting habits are complaining, blaming, criticizing, nagging, punishing, threatening, and rewarding you to control you, you know. Rewards only work if you like the reward whereas I love the connecting habits thinking about that parent who's struggling at the mall with their kid, as you just said that you know, that parent or teacher walks down the hall and goes wow look at Lisa she didn't know how to control that kid well, maybe I do but I'm smart enough to know if I try to control this right now it's bad for everybody. And so I love those connecting habits that he shared of listening, respecting, accepting, encouraging, supporting, trusting, and negotiating differences. And the last thing I'll say there is, you know Becky I thought of those and I laughed, all the work we do with inclusive schools and kids having civil rights access to the general ED setting those are really the things that we really talk a lot about is you know it's not easy there's no easy button for anything we do in society, but I think Glasser reminds us that if we make the choice in a positive mindset, then it makes a whole big difference.

Rebecca Hines 05:50
That's, that's right, and I think it's easy you know all of those words and even as we read about things like mindfulness and all of these things now they really are all rooted in a lot of ways into Glasser's, you know originally 1965 I think is reality therapy.

Lisa Dieker 06:03 
Oh gosh, that old. 

Rebecca Hines 06:06
eah well and again constantly evolving into the choice theory now but it's this idea of you know, hope and empowerment and thinking differently about you know there's, there's nothing wrong with you there's just an imbalance somewhere and how can we shift this, this power struggle that we find ourselves in constantly and help simultaneously to help kids to start to learn to take responsibility by responding differently so. Always recommend Glasser and I was thrilled to find this as a, as a you know, they call it a book it's it's literally just an online, you know presentation that you can easily scroll through. It's got little exercises, to ask you know to get you to think about things that you really can control and things that you just can't. You know just looking at habits in our relationships, etc, and so, even though this is written with a wide lens you know to, to cover topics of you know relationships and everything else ultimately student-teacher relationships are authentic relationships and we deserve to be happy at work. And so, if we can embrace this idea that we can't change them, you know we can't make them change we can just model change. And so, for anybody who's been you know sitting around listening to things like this, all the time, so yeah okay you guys, but just give us some ideas of how. It's a good place to start, take a look at Glasser think about some of these things that are written from a from kind of a counseling perspective, and see if there aren't things that you can apply to your educational or home or work environment.

Lisa Dieker 07:50
Well, and I just want to point out that one of the exercises, I thought was fun and I'm in the middle of a pandemic, building a house which is never really a good choice, all I can say. But you know I love the fact of a quality world board, you know, what do you want your world to look like? And I do think that again that's another reason we are good friends, no matter how much we tease each other on a podcast or, if you're ever in a room with us, it gets even worse. But we both really do know what a quality world means for us and we do know when family is in the center versus work needs to be in the center and I love that you and I both have kids that would say oh yeah our moms would say 'no, right now, it is about work, it is not about you, for a moment,' so we're not afraid to say that we love our jobs and we love our children, at the same time, and I do think you know that world quality looks different for different people, and I think that's okay, but I think that's really what I love the most about all the different exercises was just you know what do you want your world to look at. I look at my new house daily because I'm really tired of living in a condo that's 600 square feet with somebody been married with for 33 years it's just not a good idea. So, again, I do think, though, that sometimes when things seem silly and I know that sounds very privileged but at the same time, when things are frustrating to you, looking at what the quality of the world can be when you make the right choices makes a big difference.

Rebecca Hines 09:09
Right and recognizing that you know these five basic needs, everybody has them and they, you know, the scope and the scale of them differ. For you, it might be, you know living in a small place for a short period of time and then there's you know there's kids living in a camper in the Walmart parking lot. You know, and so so being able to scale and understand however you're feeling but recognize you can't change the outcome for that child, you can't change where he lives, you know, all you can do is help him or her to understand how they can make choices that would land them in a different place later when they do have control, so I highly recommend it it's my number one summer choice.

Lisa Dieker 09:47
Got it, I love it light and fun all right well if you have questions for us, you can send us a Twitter @AccessPractical or you can also leave a
Rebecca Hines 09:52
A tweet

Lisa Dieker 09:55
Tweet, Twitter, something like that you know, one of those things on our Facebook page Practical Access.