Reality Therapy via Total Behavior allows restitution : LUSENET : GLASSER Choice Theory & Reality Therapy : One Thread

Excerpt from The Choices Activity News, Week of March 8, 2004

Reality Therapy via Total Behavior encourages restitution. Recently, the White Swan girls finished up their basketball season, dropping games to Warden and Burbank. When they played Warden, I was video-taping and didn't really get a chance to concentrate on the game and what was really happening. After the Warden loss, I was disappointed, as the girls came back from 12 point deficit only to lose in overtime, after a Warden player was able to make a desperation 3 point shot to take it into overtime. This was especially disappointing as this huge lapse in defense negated a great comeback and jeopardized a state berth. To make short story shorter, I voiced my disappointment to Nancy, my daughter, and my wife on the way home--how the team should have rebounded and hustled more. Nancy took it as a criticism about her play.

The coach in me has encouraged her to block-out and rebound all season; I assumed she didn't during the Warden game. The next day, I was blown away, as I read that she pulled down 11 rebounds, had 4 assists, and scored 6 points. Sunday afternoon, I spoke to her coach, while I was dropping my son off at basketball practice; he mentioned that she'd played the entire game, as they needed her hustle and defense. Sunday evening I apologized for my criticism of her and related how she has done more academically and athletically than I'd ever dreamed of when I was her age. (And that, perhaps, just perhaps, I was expressing self-disappointment way after the fact, regarding what I didn't do as a younger person.) However, I would like to think that I am encouraging her to have no regrets--no thoughts like "I shoulda." or "I coulda." or "I wish I had. . . " Regret is a positive feeling, as it cues us to more productive behaviors for the "next" time.

I related this situation to one of our classes and posed the question, "Why was it necessary for me to apologize? What was I missing?" Someone offered Love & Belonging, another, Power. Love & Belonging obviously because my actions had placed a barrier blocking communication and expressions of care and concern. Power, as it affected my ability to perform in my fatherhood role and because my actions were inconsistent with my character. Restitution, by way of an apology, allowed me to get my Total Behavior car back on the road after a wreck and again have access to Power and Love & Belonging in the relationship with my daughter. Last weekend, we sent off for some track and discus shoes for Nancy's track season. The track coach in me. . . . .

-- Ted Donato (, March 04, 2004

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