When Your Kids Push Your Buttons: The Professional Certification Training

Professional Certification Trainin

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.

Bring a training 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