The Incredible Years® Blog

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December Updates!

Hi all!

We wanted to remind you of a couple things that have been happening here at Incredible Years. Feel free to e-mail or call us with any questions!

1.  Thank you to all of you who took our social media survey! You provided some really helpful information and your comments are incredible. As we enter into the new year we hope to implement some of your fantastic ideas! One thing in particular we noticed was that some folks said they only recently found out IY is on Facebook and has a Blog. We hope we can all work together to help spread the word so that more people find out about these great tools for communication. Let us know how we can help!

2. WEBSITE UPDATES! We have added some VERY IMPORTANT things to our website this month!

  • Incredible Years Provider Listings: We have parents and social workers call us quite often looking for IY classes in their area. We have compile a list of IY providers for parent, teacher, and child classes and posted these to our website, here:
    You can access this page from the home page, by clicking “Parents and Teachers.” Then look on the right side of the page for the blue “Learn More” section and you will see the tab, “Looking for Incredible Years Groups?”
  • Downloadable Handouts: We have received really positive feedback about some of our blogs postings and our recently implemented “News and Tips” Newsletter. So we are transferring these (and others!) into downloadable handouts! Parents can access these, as well as group leaders, to provide to parents in your groups (or parents of children in your groups!). Parents can find the handouts here:
    (Go to “Parents and Teachers” then in “Learn More” click on “Articles for Parents”)Group Leaders can access the handouts here OR in the “Resources for Group Leaders” > “For Parent Programs” > “Extras for Parent Programs” – OR just click this link!
  • Videos for Group Leaders: You may have noticed we are posting quite a lot of new videos to the website and our YouTube channel. Many of these videos will be really useful for group leaders! They can be used as recruitment tools, to explain content/overview of the programs, and illustrate some concepts. The videos are spread out around the website, but we thought it would be useful to also compile them in one spot for group leaders. There is now a “Videos for Group Leaders” section on the main Resources for Group Leaders page. Go to the Resources for group leaders (home page, scroll down about mid way), and scroll down a bit to find the videos section.

3. Finally, we hope you are all signed up for our newsletter! Wally will be sending out his annual Christmas letter soon – he and Carolyn have been having fun putting together a Christmas story for you all!

~The Incredible Years Team

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Incredible Years Peer Coaching!

Peer coach 11-13 Seattle 4311

We are so excited to present a cohort of newly trained parent program peer coaches from around North America!

On Wednesday November 20th and Thursday, November 21st, seven peer coaches from the diverse locations of California, Washington, North Carolina, Maryland, and Colorado, plus Alberta and Quebec in Canada, came together to learn and practice parent group leader peer coaching. It was an intense two days, but the group left inspired and enthusiastic to get started.


Peer Coaching Pyramid

The training was led by Carolyn Webster-Stratton, and the group was aided by Tania Anstiss, a parent program mentor from New Zealand. Her input to the training was of so much value to the group – thank you for coming Tania!

Here are a few of the great comments we heard:

“The support was genuine and practice coaching today was a great learning experience!”

“Live coaching practice is very helpful!”

“I learned as a group leader as well as a peer coach.”

“This new approach was great.”


The newer group leaders who attended on day two benefited from the collective experience of the peer coach trainees, and now we look forward to all these new peer coaches going back and coaching other new group leaders.  The process will help the quality and fidelity of delivery of Incredible Years Parenting programs at these agencies, and we hope that it will also lead more facilitators to undergo the certification process themselves.

Thank you to the new peer coaches for their hard work these two days!!

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Incredible Years Survey

Hello friends!

We want to take a quick moment to ask you to please consider participating in our short, 9 question survey regarding Incredible Years social media. We have spent the last 6 months doing a lot of “revamping” – we delved in to the world of Facebook and Twitter, and started this blog! It has been a great experience for us and we are enjoying these new outlets to get the word out, but now we want to hear from you. What information do you want to hear about? How can we make things easier for you? As we start to think about going in to the new year, your input is incredibly valuable as we develop new content! If you have a spare couple of minutes, please take the survey, or even feel free to send us an e-mail with your feedback ( THANK YOU!

Survey link:


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Building Blocks for Reading with CARE with Preschoolers


Written by Carolyn Webster-Stratton, Ph.D.

Welcome to our final installment of “Reading with CARE” for Preschoolers! We hope you have found this series useful when considering different ways to read with your young children.

Building Blocks for Reading with CARE with Preschoolers

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c_blockComment and describe objects, colors, numbers, sizes, letters, emotions, and actions of pictures in books. Talk about the pictures in your native language while you point to the pictures, or run your finger under the lines of the words as you read them.  Take turns interacting and let your child turn the pages and be the story teller by encouraging and listening to him/her talk about the pictures or retell memorized stories

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a_blockAsk  open-ended questions and explore book together. Ask questions that show you are interested in the child’s thoughts and ideas.  E.g. “What do you think will happen next?” “What’s interesting about this page?”   Avoid asking too many questions or your child will think you are testing him.  To keep a balance you can intersperse open-ended questions with descriptive comments.  E.g. “I see a red car and one, two, three, four trees.  Oh, there’s a little mouse.  What do you see?”  When you do ask questions, don’t “test” your child about facts (e.g., “what color is this?” “what shape is this?”).  Questions with right or wrong answers put the child on the spot and may cause anxiety or resistance.

Examples of open ended questions:

“What do you see on this page?” (observing and reporting)

“What’s happening here?” (story telling)

“What is that a picture of?” (promoting academic skills)

“I wonder how she is feeling now?” (exploring feelings)

“What is going to happen next?” (predicting)

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r_blockRespond and listen attentively with smiles, encouragement, praise and delight to your child’s thinking and responses. Follow your child’s lead and empower his or her confidence.

“Good thinking, that is a tall giraffe.”

“You really thinking hard about that.”

“Wow, you know a lot about trains.”

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e_blockExpand on your what your child says. You can expand by adding a new word or similar word to what your child says or by reminding her of a personal experience or event in her life that is similar to the story in the book.

“Yes, I agree he is feeling excited, and he might be a little scared as well.”

“Yes, it is horse; it’s also called a mare because it’s female.”

“Yes, that boy is going to the park. Do you remember going to the park with grandma?”

You can also expand by encouraging your child to write his own stories, or dictate them to you and write them down.

“That’s awesome. You are learning your letters and are learning to read and are going to be ready for school.”

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You can expand by encouraging your child to problem solve solutions to the story plot and act out their ideas with puppets.

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Reminder to:

• Read in a quiet place, turn off any competing noises such as TV, stereo, radio or computer. Even the phone should be turned off during this time.

• Avoid commands and criticisms when children are reading.

• Allow children to reread stories as often as they wish. This is a pre-reading skill and leads to mastery and confidence.

• Read to children every day and allow them to see you reading.

• Offer a variety of books such as folk tales, poems, informational books, fantasy, fables and adventure stories.

• Involve siblings and grandparents in reading to your child in their language.

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~The Incredible Years Team

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