Professional Certification Training

When Your Kids Push Your Buttons: The Professional Certification Training

The When Your Kids Push Your Buttons Certification Training is designed for parent educators, therapists, guidance counselors, social workers, teachers, childcare workers — anyone working with children and families. You will learn to incorporate the “Buttons” methods into your work and may be certified to teach “Buttons” workshops to parents.

No training is currently scheduled. Bring one to your area by contacting Bonnie.


In this approximately 16 hour training, we explore concepts, theories and ideas that will help you serve and better understand the parents and children you work with. You will learn what our buttons are, where they come from, why they get pushed, and how they can be defused so they do not control our reactions to children. You will learn that it is not behavior that does the pushing but what we create in our own heads.

We discuss the cognitive chain reaction model of button-pushing and then explore the layers below to understand the role of expectations, standards, and beliefs that play their role in ineffective and often harmful reactions to children’s behavior. We cover the meaning beneath that behavior, what it is attempting to say, and how to respond to it effectively.

The exercises are the key to personalizing the theories into our lives. You will have the opportunity to work them through individually. We will hear each other’s, discuss them, and analyze them, so you will be able to facilitate them yourself.

Within the dynamic of our group, you will share stories; the issues other professionals are working with and how this approach can help. Whether you incorporate the ideas and methods into your personal work or decide to teach a “Buttons” class for parents, you will be encouraged to use your own style and approach. The manual will provide you with the information you need and assist you in dealing with everyday situations you come upon in your work.

Session Schedule

A weekend schedule: We convene at 6:30 pm the first evening and meet for two and a half hours to cover introductions, overview of goals, and the basic principles of the “Buttons” method. In order to get the most from your training, participants should have read When Your Kids Push Your Buttons And What You Can Do About It prior to this first meeting.

Included is the “Buttons” facilitator’s manual and parent workbook to be used throughout the training.

The next two days are both full days, starting at 9:00 am with a light breakfast, and finishing up at 5:00 pm. We break for one hour at lunch time.

Day One 6:30pm – 9:00pm

  • Introductions
  • Group Dynamics
  • The Art of Connective Parenting

Day Two 9:00am – 5:00pm Part 1:

  • Identifying Buttons
  • Our Agendas
  • The Gap
  • The Buttons Chain Reaction Model
  • The Role of Assumptions
  • Understanding Standards and Expectations

Day Three 9:00am – 5:00pm Part 2:

  • Adjusting Expectations
  • Uncovering Beliefs
  • How Beliefs Serve
  • The Eight Buttons
  • The Four Stages of Parenting
  • The Nine Habits to Defusing Buttons

Day Four 9:00am – 2:00pm:

  • Re-parenting
  • Individual Presentations

What certified Buttons Educators have to say?

You cannot take a course like this and walk away unchanged. I feel as though the course pushed me into another phase of my life.

After having delivered the “Buttons” training, I find that material which focuses almost exclusively on the child’s behavior, not nearly as engaging for parents (or me for that matter). I am hooked on Buttons and I find I can “hook” parents on it too.

This training has left me feeling—I want more! It has given me the tools to be able to not only help other parents become the parents they want to be but also for myself as a parent.

Bonnie, I want to thank you so much for your wonderful Buttons training. It both reinforced my own parenting philosophy and pushed me to really challenge myself in so many meaningful ways. When I read a parenting book or go to a workshop there is always wisdom to be gained. I usually however remain skeptical about or disagree with some element of the presenter’s vision. That was not the case with you! I learned so much from you and thought that your perspective was both inspiring and refreshing. At the same time you provided me with tools to grow and a path to bring more introspection and mindfulness to my parenting. I so look forward to sharing this with others.

This work has given me more resources and tools to offer both parents and individuals in discovering their psychodynamics and how their childhood has affected them. The worksheets provide a guide so that people can put words to the thoughts that come before their reactions. Thank you for an informative and enlightened weekend.

I will use and integrate the material into my work with parents, teachers and children to further the success of all three. It definitely gives me new perspectives and tools to offer others.

It will affect my work with magnitude! It raised my awareness of balancing needs, making connections, my assumptions and new beliefs about myself.

This work will change and improve my relationships with my students. The awareness that students have problems instead of are problems is a huge fundamental shift that will lead to greater connections and ultimately more learning for everyone in my classroom. Next stop-sharing this with other teachers.

The process is very tightly and efficiently organized and is an excellent means by which to access those deep and sometimes dark places where assumptions are born.

Bonnie is passionate about this philosophy and her belief is evident in every part of the course.

 I will be able to delve in deeper with staff about their hidden triggers and where they come from – so they can understand fully how they potentially impact on a child’s crisis.


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