The Incredible Years® Blog


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Magical Visit to Bergen Norway and Fjell Where Children, Teachers and Parents are Supported (Written by Carolyn Webster-Stratton)

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Children Singing at Incredible Years Conference

While visiting Norway for the European IY Networking Meeting, Bjorn Brunborg (IY parent mentor) and Marianne Gjerstad (IY Dina teacher and peer coach) took me on a field trip to Fjell to see two Kindergarten Schools. In Norway, kindergarten Schools are available for children ages 1 to 5 years.

Knappskog Barnehage School

Knappskog Barnehage School

This beautiful school opened 7 years ago and is nestled in the side of a mountain. It has an outdoor play area surrounded by rocky hillsides which the children are allowed to explore. The glass fence around the play area has pictures drawn on it by children as well as the Incredible Years logo! This logo originally was drawn by my daughter when she was 4 years old so it is exciting to see her art alongside some Norwegian children’s art. Looking out at the rocky mountain I can almost image trolls waiting to play with the children.

Principal Anette Kaland and Carolyn

Principal Anette Kaland and Carolyn

At this school there are 57 children and 28 of these are toddlers (ages 1 to 3 years). In the toddler classrooms there are 2 preschool teachers and 2 assistants for 14 children. The children start school as young as one year of age beginning in August and they stay there from 8:30 am to 4:30 pm. The principal Anette Kaland had taken the IY Teacher Classroom Management Program many years earlier when her daughter attended this school. The school has a wonderful warm and calming atmosphere and I think that I would like to work here with these children, teachers and trolls.

Gardstunet Barnehage

Gardstunet Barnehage

The next school is located on a farm and is what I imagine Old McDonald’s farm to look like with a large, red barn, many animals and children playing happily. It is surrounded by a beautiful hillside and forests where the children can also explore. Even though the day is cold (freezing temperatures) the children are outside, dressed in their snow suits and playing happily. I see that Willy Problem Solver (managed by teacher Sonja Pedersen) is also dressed in heavy clothes and a warm hat and is playing with the other children. Willy and a group of 5-year-old girls grab me by the hand to take me on a guided tour. I discover that Willy and Molly (managed by teacher Heidi Valen) are constant companions of the school’s children, modeling and encouraging problem solving, communication and emotional regulation. This school has 4 age-groups of children – 10 toddlers (1-3 years of age), 15 children (mixed ages 1-4 years), 12 preschoolers (4-5 years) and 19 early school age children (4-6 years).

 Certified Preschool Teacher Kristina Bergsvlle and Heidi Iren Vatne, Manager

Certified Preschool Teacher Kristina Bergsvlle and Heidi Iren Vatne, Manager

In the first three younger age groups the teachers who were trained in the IY Teacher Training Program model verbal and nonverbal communication methods, guide children with emotional, social and pre-academic coaching, and provide constant positive attention for positive behaviors. The teachers in the older children’s group also deliver the Dinosaur Curriculum lessons twice a week. These teachers took the first Dinosaur teacher training delivered in Norway in 2007 and are accredited in delivery of the dinosaur program. They have incorporated Dinosaur concepts throughout the day for the children. Every month they focus on one of the Dinosaur program themes. In one classroom I notice how children earn small Wally Problem Solver picture coins for sharing, helping and taking turns. When they get 5 of these coins they can trade them in for a Dinosaur foot. When the class earns 19 dinosaur feet they get to choose a class reward – this class has chosen an ice cream party. Another class has selected a slumber party in the hay for their classroom reward. I also want to work at this school and be a child again! I meet with one of the accredited preschool teachers, Kristina Bergsvile and the administration manager, Heidi Iren Vatne, who show me a video of how the children are teaching Molly to feed the horses hay and later how to jump in the hay and participate in their cooperative play. They tell me all new teachers get IY training and that they participate in teacher booster sessions yearly to keep their motivation high. It is a magical place. (Stay tuned for a new IY YouTube video of this event)

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I end the tour at the Town Hall and meet a group of accredited IY teacher peer coaches for the IY parent, teacher and child programs.

Fjel Parent, Teacher and Child Peer Coaches

Fjell Parent, Teacher and Child Peer Coaches

I am greeted by Steinar Nesse who is the Chief Executive and has energetically supported the roll out of these training programs for at least 13 kindergartens.

They train 3 new kindergarten schools each year and will start another 3 in August. Over 400 kindergarten teachers have been trained in IY teacher and child programs. The peer coaches provide intensive support in the first year of IY training and start the first 2 months delivering the Dina program together with them. Gradually they decrease their time in the classroom letting the teachers deliver the Dina lessons more independently. In the 2nd year they meet with the teachers twice a semester to provide support.

In this community, all the teachers first receive the 6 monthly IY classroom management training workshops. Peer coaching is provided throughout the year and teachers have booster workshops once a year where they share stories of their experiences and how they have incorporated IY concepts in their daily work.

The community and their teachers have made a real and genuine commitment to helping enhance children’s social and emotional development. How lucky these children are!

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Children and Parents Service (CAPS) : “Early Years: Social and Emotional Wellbeing” awarded Best Practice – Congratulations!

CAPS-blog-postAs of January 2015, Children and Parents Service (CAPS) in Manchester has been published as a model of best practice for “Early Years: Social and Emotional Wellbeing” by the National Institute of Health and Care Excellence (NICE).

CAPS is a citywide, multi-agency early intervention service which delivers effective evidence based interventions including Incredible Years® parent programs to preschool children and their families. The service is a partnership between the NHS, Manchester City Council and voluntary sector Family Action. The service has been delivered across Manchester for over 15 years, employing over 50 people.
Caroline White & Maxine Crawley

Caroline White & Maxine Crawley

Over the past year this partnership has led to successful delivery of 31 Incredible Years® parent courses to 279 parents of 0 to 4 year old children, showing clinical improvements in both child behavior as well as parent depression and stress. The program reached 822 children in high risk families. This innovative outreach model has led to the continued successful engagement of the most vulnerable families, resulting in more parents working full and part-time, studying, and doing voluntary work. This partnership team is to be congratulated on their outstanding work delivering evidence-based programs such as Incredible Years® and Family Partnership model.

South CAPS Team

South CAPS Team

CAPS was recently published by the National Institute of Health and Care Excellence (NICE) as a model of best practice for Social and Emotional Wellbeing. NICE are a national organization, set up by government and independent of them, to review all international research on a range of physical and mental health problems with a view to writing guidance about the most effective treatments and interventions and the way in which they should be delivered. Their guidance hugely influences national and local policy, commissioners and strategic leads.

North CAPS Team

North CAPS Team

CAPS is extremely proud to have been chosen as a model of best practice highlighting the key elements of success, which include the following:

  • Delivering interventions to model fidelity
  • Use of standardized, valid and reliable measures (those used in the research) to measure child and parent outcomes.
  • Ensuring all practitioners achieve accreditation as IY parent group leaders, with all four levels of accreditation in the service (peer coaches, mentors and trainer)
  • High commitment to accredited, frequent and regular supervision
Central CAPS Team

Central CAPS Team

CAPS has also recently played a key role in the development of an Early Years pathway for all 0-5 year olds across Greater Manchester (10 local authorities) with a population of 2.7 million. The pathway outlines an entirely new redesign for all services of under five year olds and highlights Incredible Years® as one of only a few evidence based interventions that services should be delivering to families. In practice this is a large scale up and CAPS is leading on the workforce development required for such an ambitious project (even more impressive, all of this has been achieved during a sustained period of unprecedented cuts to public services).

Congratulations CAPS!
– The Incredible Years Team

(Blog post contributed to by Carolyn Webster-Stratton, IY Developer, and Caroline White, Head of CAPS Early Intervention and Accredited IY Trainer.)


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New Research! The Incredible Years for Parents of Children on the Autism Spectrum

Two researchers at the University of Maryland, School of Social Work conducted a study to determine the acceptability and short-term outcomes of the Incredible Years® Parent Program (15- week, preschool basic version) for parents raising preschoolers with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). This study utilized a pre-post design (with no control group) reported high parent acceptability of the program. Additionally, total stress related to the child was significantly decreased with intervention effect sizes from moderate to large following program completion (Sarah Dababnah & Parish, 2014). See article abstract on our website.

Dababnah, S. (2015). Feasibility of an empirically-based program for parents of preschoolers with Autism Spectrum Disorder The International Journal of Research and Practice.

Dababnah, S., & Parish, S. L. (2014). Incredible Years Program Tailored to Parents of Preschoolers with Autism: Pilot Results Research on Social Work Practice, 10, 1-14.

A second paper was recently published (S. Dababnah, 2015) reporting qualitative data from individual interviews with parents. Parents reported they benefited most from child emotion regulation strategies, play-based child behavior skills, parent stress management, social support and visual resources. Parents interviews suggested they would like to see  additional vignettes of children with ASD, identify alternative “sensory” rewards and access to visual resources and they also wanted to add more sessions focused on individualized parent self-care and support.

Dababnah, S. (2015). Feasibility of an empirically-based program for parents of preschoolers with Autism Spectrum Disorder The International Journal of Research and Practice.

father and son looking at cue cards

It is interesting this study should come out the same year that a new Incredible Years Parent Program for parents of children (ages 2-5) on the Autism Spectrum or with Language Delays was released. This new parent program includes vignettes of parents and children with ASD and language delays, incentives including sensory activities, visual resources, emotional and social coaching methods, pretend play enhancement, ways to promote children’s self-regulation skills and additional family support. The program can be used as a supplement to the basic IY parenting program or offered separately as a 14-week parent program. See below a short overview video for this program!


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North Carolina Agency Shows Incredible Years’ Impact on Families

Thompson Child and Family Focus is an agency in North Carolina currently using The Incredible Years programs to teach parenting classes within their community. “Thompson is a non-profit organization operating three distinct campuses, each providing comprehensive education, treatment, and care for children (birth to 18 years) in need.” (Thompson website, http://www.thompsoncff.org/)

Thompson has sent a number of group leaders to Seattle for Group Leader Training, and they also have staff who are “Certified” group leaders, meaning they have gone through our certification process to ensure they are implementing the program as it is intended, with fidelity (this is vital for evidence-based programs!). It is clear the commitment this agency shows to high quality standards pays off in the outcomes they see with their families.

Recently, we were sent a powerful video discussing the work they do and the impact of The Incredible Years parent classes on the community. Though they have a number of campuses, the video focuses on the work being done in the Grier Heights community, which is host to high crime rate and unemployment.

According to the video, many of the parents are single mothers, searching for a stable income, and are experiencing numerous stressors. Says group leader Shunta Daniels, “Regardless of whether you come from a high socio-economic class or a low socio-economic class – parents want the best for their children.” The parents attend the classes for 16 weeks and learn to build positive solid foundations with their children.

“The parenting class has been an experience – a wonderful experience – and not an experience that I expected. It’s been a learning experience, it’s been a growing experience – it gives you a greater respect for yourself and other people.” (Quote from parent in video.)

Be sure to watch video at the top of this page, and share with your friends! You can also view this on our website, in the testimonials section.

If you are a parent interested in attending an Incredible Years parent group, click here. 

If you are interested in implementing the Incredible Years programs through your agency, contact us!

 


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Helping Teachers Develop Successful Classroom Management Strategies

As many of you know, teachers find themselves spending increasing amounts of time attending to students’ aggressive, hyperactive and non-compliant behaviors in the classroom. Not only does this cause stress and put pressure on teachers, it can create a negative environment for students and eventually lead to serious problems in school, as well as antisocial behavior. We believe it is vitally important to equip teachers with the necessary tools and resources so they feel empowered and supported to work in the school setting and manage difficult behaviors.

The Incredible Years Teacher Classroom Management Program aims to provide early preschool and kindergarten teachers with the skills to effectively manage their classroom and promote children’s social, emotional, and academic competence. This particular program is led by a group leader who provides 6 full day workshops to teachers, providing them with information and tools to practice in the classroom. During these  workshop days, teachers learn about the following:

  • Building positive relationships with students
  • Providing attention, coaching, encouragement and praise
  • Motivating students through incentives
  • Decreasing inappropriate behavior
  • Emotional regulation, social skills and problem-solving training

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Group leaders offer a collaborative and experiential approach, focusing on teacher goals and tailoring the groups for special needs and situations.

The Incredible Years is hosting a Group Leader training for those interested in leading these teacher groups, April 2-4, in Seattle, WA. This accredited training will be led by an experienced Incredible Years Certified Trainer and will provide group leaders with the understanding and skills to begin to implement the Teacher Classroom Management Program. School Counselors and Psychologists, Teachers, and other School Coordinators may be interested in attending this training in order to learn how to lead these teacher workshops.

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We would love to have you attend this training! For more information, click this link to view our workshop schedule or e-mail/call the Incredible Years (incredibleyears@incredibleyears.com or 888-506-3562). You can also view more information by clicking here.

We look forward to hearing from you!

For those interested in learning more about this program, we would recommend you take a look at some of our informational videos available online. These videos show teacher, group leader, and trainer perspectives regarding the Teacher Classroom Management program. View the videos by clicking on this link. You may also be interested in reading this article regarding Teacher Program Content, Methods and Process, here!

We hope you will share this information with teachers and other colleagues who may be interested. Our goal is to provide as much support and assistance as possible to all of the wonderful teachers out there!


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“Anos Incríveis” – Portuguese researchers at the University of Coimbra share their findings delivering the Incredible Years Parent and Teacher Programs

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Full group at Conference

Carolyn Webster-Stratton recently attended and presented at a conference, held at the University of Coimbra in Portugal, “Prevention and early intervention for behavioral disorders in preschool children: the effectiveness of parenting programs and school-based evidence.” Portuguese researchers at the University shared their findings delivering the Incredible Years Parent and Teacher Programs.

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The University of Coimbra is a public university, established in 1290. It is one of the oldest universities in continuous operation in the world and currently has around 20,000 students and hosts many international students. While there, Dr. Webster-Stratton felt she had been transported to Hogwarts, especially when she viewed the students’ robes and the gorgeous location.

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Carolyn and one of the university students

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Prior to being a University, this building was the Royal Palace (for four centuries!). The first of all the royal residences in Portugal, the Palace was inhabited by monarchs between the 12th and 15th centuries. In 2013, UNESCO added the university as a World Heritage site based on its architectural and artistic heritage.

While at the conference, Dr. Webster-Stratton had a chance to find out what was happening in the Psychology and Education departments at the University. She met a dynamic team of people who are delivering the Incredible Years programs with different populations.  She was impressed with their commitment to quality delivery of the programs as prevention programs as well as treatment programs for children with ADHD and conduct problems, and with their dedication to evaluating their results.


TV local news interviews Carolyn and the two Portuguese researchers who brought the program to Portugal.
(some of this is in English and some in Portuguese language ~ take a look at the beautiful university)

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Carolyn with Maria João (L) and Maria Filomena (R)

Consultation Day:  Carolyn began her visit with a group leader consultation day that was co-led with  Maria Filomena and Maria João, two psychology professors completing their Incredible Years mentor training. There were 11 participants attending who showed 6 different DVDs of their parent group work.  These clinicians had previously delivered any where from 2 to 7, 14-week groups.  The day began with three psychiatrists presenting 2 DVDs of their work delivering the parent program in the psychiatry department at the Realidade Hospital in Porto. The next two psychologists presented their delivery of the IY parenting program with residential care workers. The remaining psychologists showed their group session DVDs with parents of children with ADHD and ODD. It was a packed agenda with participants having carefully determined their goals and segments of video they wanted to show for feedback. The group was very open to feedback and readily engaged in practices and shared ideas for helping support parents’ learning and confidence in their parenting approaches.

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Carolyn with two Doctoral students, Sara Leitao (left) and Mariana Pimente (right)

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Carolyn with Tatiana Homem (left) and Andreia Azevedo (right)

Conference Day: This was a truly amazing and packed day that started at 10 am and went overtime until 7:30 pm with most people staying until the conclusion.  There were approximately 180+ participants with 50 of these being parents who had participated in IY parent groups. Additionally there were at least as many teachers participating as well as psychologists. There was a great deal of excitement as people greeted each other.  In addition to Carolyn’s two presentations there were 8 other presentations of research that has been conducted with the Incredible Years parent and the teacher programs. All outcomes are looking very promising with improvements in parenting and teacher practices as well as reductions in children’s behavior problems.  Drop outs are low and satisfaction reports very positive.  Research with the families of children with ADHD has recently been accepted for publication.

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Carolyn with Vera Maria Silverio do Vale, who did her research with Teacher Classroom Management, and a teacher with a turtle shell

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Carolyn with two psychiatrists, João Guerra and Vânia Martins

It certainly appears that this very energetic and collaborative team have successfully transported the Incredible Years Programs to Portugal.  They have accomplished a great deal and even Wally Problem Solver and Dina Dinosaur have learned to speak Portuguese!

~Guest post written by Carolyn Webster-Stratton, Ph.D.


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Teacher Classroom Management – Research and New Videos

Hello and Happy October!

The Incredible Years® (IY) Teacher Classroom Management (TCM) Program is intended to help teachers (of children ages 3-8) strengthen their classroom management strategies. It helps teachers learn fun, new ways to promote children’s prosocial behavior, school readiness, and also reduce children’s classroom aggression and noncooperation. We have a few exciting things that we would like to share with you today about this program!

1. Important Research

2. New Videos

Research

A new article has recently been accepted for publication in the Journal of School Psychology about the IY TCM Program. Judy Hutchings, Ph.D. (in Wales) reported on a randomized control group trial (RCT) with 12 teachers and 107 students.  Her primary outcome measure was independent classroom observations that showed that there was a significant reduction in classroom off-task behavior and child negative behaviors toward the teacher as well as to teacher negative interactions with target students. The preliminary results suggest the potential impact of this program on both teacher and child behavior.

Read the article here!

A second report on the IY TCM Program came out of Ireland by Sinead McGilloway and her research team. Her randomized control group study included 24 teachers and 217 children and used independent observations as outcome measures. These results indicated that teachers who had taken part in the training were using significantly fewer negative classroom management strategies (e.g., fewer threats and less shouting) and they reported using more positive strategies.  Observations indicated  a significant decrease in emotional symptoms in the intervention group compared with the control students. Further sub-group analyses indicated those children most ‘at risk’ derived the most benefit from the program.  A recent follow-up study showed that one year later, teachers reported they continued to confidently use the positive management strategies and described the classroom as a calmer and more pleasant place to work. Satisfaction with the program was very high.

See the report here!

Several more RCTs are being conducted with the IY TCM Program at Duke University, University of Missouri, the United Kingdom and Norway. Stay tuned for more results regarding this program!

New Videos

Recently, we added a new video series to our website and YouTube channel that highlights the Teacher Classroom Management Program – have you seen it yet?! The series highlights participant reflections based on their experiences with the TCM Program. These videos are available on our website, on YouTube, and (very soon) in DVD format (contact us for a copy!)

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Schools can use these videos to encourage teacher participation in this program. Results from TCM program research show that teachers who participate in the program develop support networks with other teachers and parents, feel confident about their classroom management strategies, and report classrooms with fewer behavior problems. As a result, teachers are able to more academic teaching.

There are 8 total segments and each segment addresses a different topic…

  1. Overview of the TCM Program
  2. Foundation of the Incredible Years Teaching Pyramid
  3. Managing Classroom Misbehavior
  4. Teacher Experiences Learning the Program
  5. Trainer Experiences Working with Teachers
  6. The Bedrock of Children’s Academic Learning
  7. Research Regarding the Program
  8. Dissemination, Certification, and Need for Ongoing Support and Mentoring

Whew! That’s a lot of information to cover! Each segment is under 10 minutes, and we really hope you will take a look at these when you have some spare time. See below for the first segment, “Overview of the TCM Program” OR  click here to view all the video segments.

~The Incredible Years Team