The Incredible Years® Blog

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Incredible News from the Holy Child Program in Palestine

  • from the Holy Child Program Quarterly Report
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Building Our Turtle Shell

This quarter, students finished their unit on problem-solving and started learning about anger management with “Tiny Turtle” in Dina Dinosaur school. As part of the process the students enjoyed building a new turtle shell for school, (our old one finally fell apart). Next they learned how to withdraw into their own shell and calm down. Every student practiced the calm down skills and generating positive solutions. Their classmates were available to coach and congratulate them as they practiced!The students’ homework was to use these skills at home with their friends and family.

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The finished masterpiece!

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Practicing Calm Down Skills

One student told his mother that “Dina Dinosaur school teaches us how to express our feelings.” He shared a specific example of how he used his new skills with his sister. He said: “ I feel hurt when my sister calls me ‘buns’ (fat) and she feels hurt when I call her ‘loser’ My solution is to stop calling her ‘loser’ so she will stop calling me ‘buns’. The mother, needless to say, was thrilled and surprised by her son’s new skills!


One of the HCP teachers shared how surprised she was when one of her students told her he used to be “very naughty” and frequently made “problems” at his previous schools. His teacher told him it was very hard to believe because he was so well behaved at HCP. The student replied; “That’s because you have rules here and Dina School!


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Our Incredible Mothers

In December our mothers from the Group of Peace received certificates for completing the units on positive attention and special time. The group leaders commented on how dedicated this group of mothers is. They are always on time, come with all their homework completed and rarely miss a group. Feedback from the mothers is equally positive. All of the mothers said they had learned to be more patient with their children. Several mothers said they learned to calm down and communicate more with their children. Others identified that they “learned to understand their children’s feelings and how to share their opinions.” One mother shared, “After I thought about the way I raised my children I found that I made many mistakes, but Mothers group (The Incredible Years program) taught me how to deal with my children. I learned how important ‘special time’ is.” The mothers unanimously agreed that talking to other mothers in the group and collaborating with each other was extremely helpful.

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Role Playing How to Coach Children in Mothers Group


Visit the Holy Child Program website to read the full report.

Carolyn Webster-Stratton traveled to the West Bank to see the Incredible Years® implementation at the Holy Child Program (certified by the Palestinian Ministry of Education). They implement Incredible Years® Parent, Teacher, and Child programs. Watch this powerful video of the time Dr. Webster-Stratton spent in West Bank, and interviews with group leaders using the program!


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IY Mentor Jane Davidson’s project a finalist for a 2018 Children & Young People Now Award



Jane Davidson with accredited parent group leader Helen Shorrocks

Our incredible Mentor Jane Davidson’s project with Dorset County Council to deliver the Incredible Beginnings® program was recently a finalist to receive a 2018 Children & Young People Now award.

In their consideration for the award, the Dorset County Council team describes that as a result of the project they have found “improved children’s social and emotional development, improved relationships between parents and children, improvement confidence in practitioners, reduction in challenging behaviour.”

Watch a video testimonial the Dorset County Council team has put together, featuring participant reflections on the Incredible Beginnings® course.

Jane and her colleague Clare Williams are currently delivering their 5th and 6th courses of the Incredible Beginnings program with early years providers in Dorset.

Cheers to Jane’s continued success bringing the Incredible Beginnings® program to teachers of young children in Dorset!

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18th Annual Mentor Meeting, Forcalquier, France

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September 19-21, 2018

Charembeau Hotel, Forcalquier, France

by Carolyn Webster-Stratton



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This year 48 Incredible Years mentors/trainers met at Charembeau Hotel about 2-3 miles from Forcalquier village in France. This beautiful, meditative and relaxing place with panoramic views of the Luberon mountains allowed lovely walks by lavender fields, pear and olive trees, swims in the hotel pool, and breakfasts & lunches together including local croissants, homemade honey from nearby bee hives, fig jam, cheeses, French bread, salads, desserts and more.

All this served as the backdrop for our IY mentor presentations, small group break outs, discussions and practices with Incredible Years friends.

2018 Mentor Meeting Theme: “Tailoring the Incredible Years Programs to Fit…”

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Helping Wally Pack his Tailored Clothes


Carolyn introduced Wally, dressed like a French boy with beret, scarf and purse, who talked to the mentors about his problem with packing all his highly tailored clothes into his suitcase. He said he needed help with packing in a more tailored way because he had all the clothes he thought necessary for dancing, being a detective, calming down, and for sharing his play times and puppets with his favorite mentors. Carolyn reassured him that the mentors would help him tailor his suitcase more efficiently and strategically.


Each morning our days began with presentations related to IY research, dissemination and tailoring of IY programs.

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2018 Mentor Meeting Presenters

Tailoring the Incredible Years Programs to Fit….

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Carolyn presented the metaphor of how IY group leaders, coaches and mentors are not only “builders” with construction tools supporting secure parent-child relationship foundations and “gardeners” providing adequate scaffolding, water and sunshine so the child can grow to its full potential but also are “tailors” whose job it is to make the clothes fit each individual according to their size, shape, culture and preferences. She presented some examples of how to tailor the IY programs when there has been family trauma or marital conflict, as well as how to promote healthy life styles in order to reduce obesity and promote physical health, and how how to tailor programs for families who have children with ADHD and Autism. She talked about the tailor’s tools such as sizing things up and taking accurate measurements, customizing to different body sizes and goals, the importance of using patterns (or protocols), getting good “fittings” with pins, practices and adjustments, to layering and using appropriate materials (selected vignettes), to taking time to untangle thread knots and working through barriers, to getting the right fit and providing space for growth with additional IY programs and sessions. She showed a video of herself tailoring in a training by doing spontaneous role plays addressing different children’s language needs for those who are on the autism spectrum. Carolyn introduced the new program Experts in Action: Tailoring IY for Working with Children on the Autism Spectrum and with Language Delays. Tailoring was the theme or goal for subsequent small group break outs to look at how to tailor the IY programs to participant goals, needs and child developmental status.

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Attachment:  Stephen Scott started with a talk entitled,The Cost of Love: Financial Implications of Insecure Attachment in Antisocial Children. Stephen presented his attachment study and talked about how the IY focus on supporting responsive parenting as well as limit setting is promoting secure attachment which in turn is related to positive outcomes for children.



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Incredible Beginnings: Jane Davidson presented her clinical work and outcomes delivering the Incredible Beginnings (IB) Program to 4 different groups (56 practitioners) involving 38 nurseries and kindergartens and 2770 children in Dorset. See her presentation, “Incredible Beginnings in Dorset, UK”.


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Caroline White and Joanne Singleton presented their Incredible Beginnings program delivery in Brinnington, Stockport, to daycare and preschool teachers and early years providers. See their presentation, “Incredible Beginnings – Brinnington Trial and Evaluation”.


Carolyn opened the day with welcomes to new mentors in training as well as celebrating mentors who have completed accreditation and/or received awards. New materials, publications and translations were reviewed. The rest of the day continued small group breakouts to discuss tailoring in different programs as well as implementation support and review of our time-out message.

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IY Teacher Classroom Management (TCM) Program Research in Norway

Oddbjørn Løndal presented the outcomes of a study evaluating the IY TCM program in kindergarten and school age settings. The effects for the universal sample on problem behavior and social skills especially for 1049 kindergarten children are promising.  See his presentation, “Evaluation of the IY-TCM Program in Norway”.



Carolyn opened the day with a brief overview of the numbers of group leaders trained in the various parent, teacher and child programs by country.  Click to view these pie charts on our web site.  Carolyn shared current numbers of certified Peer Coaches and Mentors around the world, as well.

Ten Years of the Ministry of Parenting

Jeannie speaking 9039.jpgJeannie Gordon presented her Incredible Years story of moving from NHS to developing a not-for-profit community interest company. This allowed her with the help of grants to offer IY programs such as School Age Basic, School Readiness, Autism program and Home Coaching. She presented SDQ data and parent satisfaction outcomes for 219 parents in the last 3 years. She talked about obstacles and successes inspiring her team’s work.  See her presentation,Ten Years of the Ministry of Parenting – Our Incredible Years Story”.


Small Group Research in North Carolina

Desiree speaking 9044.jpgDesiree Murray presented her work with a study evaluating Small Group Dina pull-out sessions in schools for at risk early elementary children. She talked about program adaptations made in consultation with Carolyn, including recess coaching, teacher in-service trainings, parent evening meetings and school counselor inclusion. Her study included 11 diverse schools and 17 groups with 172 students (87 intervention & 85 comparison). Fidelity of program delivery was very high. Satisfaction according to teachers and parents was presented.  See her presentation, “Implementation of the IY Dinosaur School Program for At-Risk Students”.  Stay tuned for outcome measures next year!

New Mentors

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Tatiana, Kate, Joanne, Stephanie, Carolyn, and Andreia

Congratulations to Newly Accredited Mentors

In the past year 6 mentors completed accreditation in their respective program. These included:

  • Astrid Honoré from Denmark (not at conference) for the Basic Parent Program
  • Carolyn Rubenstein and Lindsay Sherman from USA (not at conference) for the Basic Parent Program
  • Joanne Singleton from England
  • For the Teacher Classroom Management Program Stephanie Shepard from USA
  • And for Parent Home Coaching, Kate Rhee from Scotland.
  • Tatiana & Andreia, Mentors-in-process, from Portugal (with paperwork pending)

Small Group Breakouts

Afternoons were spent in small group breakouts sharing video clips of workshops, coaching, and group sessions for various programs. On some days groups met around topics such as Time Out resistance, use of puppets, tailoring role plays, implementation support and video inter-rater reliability. Carolyn led a partial day presentation of the Attentive Parenting Program and Kimberlee covered the IY home coaching model.

Advisory Board

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IY Advisory Board

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IY Advisory Board member Sue Evans with our newest Mentor from Wales, Anne Breese


The advisory board met to discuss peer coach selection and needs as well as accreditation processes.  Sorry the picture above is missing Sue but she is included here with Anne Breese, our newest Mentor from Wales for the Classroom dinosaur program.






Food and Dinners Together

The first night most people met in town for dinner at one restaurant.

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Workshop breakfasts and lunches were served on the hotel deck in the sunshine. The food as well as the staff were truly incredible.




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The second night Stephen and Carolyn hosted a wine and snacks at Stephen’s lovely house including some live music entertainment. The views were amazing as was the company. Afterwards people split up for walks and dinner in small groups.

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Norwegian Team



Workshop Threads

At the end of the 3rd day. The workshop “threads” present the key points learned.

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The final night was a wonderful celebration dinner at L’Esperleuetil Cuisine and Cave on a deck with again amazing views.


Solving Wally’s Problem

Carolyn with Wally travel packs9180.jpgSince the workshop began Wally thought that with all the information he learned from mentors about tailoring his suitcase more strategically plus the help of the new red travel packing cubes he received from Carolyn that he had room in his suitcase to buy some baby shoes, herbs, meringues and a new basket. However, the travel packs were not big enough for everything! What should he do now?





Carolyn Jamila hands up9087.jpgThanks to Jamila for all her incredible organizational skills and to all the Incredible Years mentor team for supporting each other and for making this a successful meeting. I am proud of the IY mentors’ persistence, passion and committed efforts to promote fidelity IY program delivery by tailoring to every parent’s or teacher’s or child’s goals and needs.




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At the Forcalquier market I see all the tools that tailors can choose from. These are just the choice in buttons and below I try to select the color of the threads. Our work is multidimensional, diverse and must be sensitive to preferences and context as well as evidence based strategies. Thank you to all of you. Carolyn

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Invest in Kids receives funding for continued Incredible Years delivery

  • by Lisa Hill, Executive Director, Invest in Kids

Working in close partnership with Invest in Kids (IIK), Colorado has become one of the largest and most successful program replications of The Incredible Years (IY) in the country. IIK has raised $10M in private philanthropy support over 16 years providing IY to 80,000 children and parents by supporting hundreds of teachers, paraprofessionals and parent program facilitators throughout Colorado. The combination of the program’s robust evidence-base and IIK’s value-add supports in Colorado communities has shown consistent positive outcomes.

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IIK has worked with leaders in state government to understand the impact of the program and the opportunity to further scale and sustain the program. Earlier this year, Colorado included IY in the state budget as a direct line item for the first time. The funding, $624,000 in year one and $843,000 in year two and beyond, will support local implementation costs, IIK’s costs (site selection, training, coaching, evaluation) and fiscal intermediary costs at the Colorado Department of Human Services’ Office of Early Childhood. This public-private partnership is core to IIK’s vision for scaling and sustaining evidence-based programs.

Colorado has received national recognition including the July 2018 Results For America, “Invest in What Works: State Standards of Excellence” a roadmap for how state governments can consistently and effectively use data and evidence to achieve better results for their residents, which features Colorado (and Washington) as states recognized for leading the way. Specific to IIK and IY, the National Association of State Budgeting Officers (NASBO) increasing investments in evidence-based programs: citing the use of return on investment data in the budgeting process.

For more information on this funding or to learn more about IY efforts in Colorado, please contact Patrick Sablich, IIK Deputy Director, at

Read the Invest In Kids 2017-2018 statewide outcomes report here.

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Incredible Years in Colin, Northern Ireland

  • by Bernie Donaghy, Colin Transitions Programme Coordinator and accredited IY Parent Group Leader

Over the last two and a half years Incredible Years in Colin has been one of three signature programmes selected by the our Health and Social Care Trust (South Eastern Region) under the Northern Ireland Government’s Social Investment Fund.  In that time period we, in partnership with approximately 15  other agencies in the Colin area, have completed 31 Incredible Years  Programmes which included Basic Parent Programmes,  Toddler Programmes,  School Readiness Programmes plus we are at midpoint of 2 Incredible Years Autism and Language Delay Programmes.  In addition to these Incredible Years Programmes we have teachers from 2 of the Colin schools trained and using the strategies in Teacher Classroom Management, 3 Nursery schools  delivering Incredible Years Dina with a further two venues (1 school and 1 community organisation) joining this delivery in September 18 after their recent Dina Training (June 18),  completed 4 Incredible Years Baby Programmes and 2 Incredible Years ADHD Programmes as part of the Changing Lives Initiative.   Our evaluation of the Incredible Years Programmes are illustrated in the Colin Report Card which show impact.  We have been quite busy over this period.

IMG_4595.JPGOn Thursday 14th June we held a joint Celebration for the parents of the Colin Transitions Programmes  who completed the Incredible Years Parent Programmes and the Partnership with Parents Programme.   Over 100 parents plus facilitators, community leaders, and funders attended the event.  Parents spoke very positively on their experience and how they have implemented the strategies in their home.  Two of the parents gave an over view of their experience of pre, mid and post Incredible Years Programme to the attendees of the Event.  The parents spoke from the heart and the audience was clearly moved by the real life stories they heard.



To learn more about the Colin Neighbourhood Partnership and Early Intervention Community, please visit their website.

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Incredible Mentor-Emeritus Lesley Stanley honored

  • by Carolyn Webster-Stratton

Lesley Stanley, MNZM, a clinical psychologist, has received the prestigious New Zealand Order of Merit in the Queen’s Birthday Honours, in 2018.


In 2003, she started as an Incredible Years parent group leader, becoming accredited as a group leader and then Mentor, so that she could train others.  She was the first Mentor in the IY TCM program and is largely responsible for bringing the TCM program to New Zealand teachers.  Lesley helped integrate both parent and teacher programs in schools and provided training, consultation, and support to many IY group leaders throughout the country.  Today more than 20,000 parents and 13,000 teachers have accessed the programs.

Lesley retired in 2014 from the Ministry of Education, Special Education, where she had been the national Practice leader for Incredible Years and is now considered an Incredible Years Mentor Emeritus.  In her retirement she continues to volunteer with support to IY parent programs, and is truly an incredible person who has been committed all her life to supporting families, teachers, and children.  We are grateful to have had her on the IY team and happy to see her recognized for her great dissemination work.

Click here to read more about Lesley’s receipt of the Queen’s Birthday Honour.


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The Incredible Years® Conference in Denmark

  • by Malene Lundgren & Carolyn Webster-Stratton

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The Incredible Years® Conference in Denmark at Hindsgavl Castle on the 14th of May was a huge success, with almost 200 participants.  The purpose of the conference was to gather all Danish interested parties and make it a fresh start for the Incredible Years® Programs in Denmark.

The conference was opened by the director of the Center for ADHD Helle Hartung.

carolyn speaking.jpgShe gave a warm welcome to Carolyn Webster-Stratton, the developer of the Incredible Years® Programs.

The first theme was Carolyn’s personal, fascinating story about the creation and development of the Incredible Years® programs.

Next, Marie Louise Rimestad presented her research on the mediating factors/active ingredients in the Basic parent program.

Maria Møller Cassøe and Line Møller Sletting gave a presentation about the important role of play in the Incredible Years® program. And they presented a play suitcase with items to support the transfer of learning and play activities from session to home.

group photo.jpgThere is a lot of Denmark interest around the Incredible Years® Autism Program for parents and the Incredible Beginnings® program for day care providers and preschool teachers of children ages 1-5 years, so people were listening very carefully to the overviews of these programs that Carolyn Webster-Stratton gave in the afternoon. A perfect ending of a wonderful day.

The framework for the fresh start for the Incredible Years® in Denmark could not have been more perfect.


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Anton Rasmussen, Administrator, and Barbara Palmer, IY Mentor

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