The Incredible Years® Blog


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Promoting Healthy Activity in Kids ~ Incredible Adventures of Wally: Sports Edition (Part 2)

wally_sports_comic2

In our previous post, Wally helped us see how fun it can be to get outside, enjoy some sports, and play with friends and family! Well, Wally decided to take a break from Football after he lost his ball in the tree, and try his hand (or should we say “foot”??) at soccer instead! Besides, he didn’t like wearing a football helmet and his mother insisted he must if he were to play this game.

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Wally didn’t like wearing the heavy football helmet, but Carolyn insisted he must.

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To prove her point, Carolyn put the helmet on also – to show Wally it’s not so bad. Then she realized Wally was right – it WAS really heavy! These two will have to stick to “non contact” sports, we think!

Does it seem like Wally is flip flopping a bit? Should he give up on football so easily? Should he be bouncing around to different sports, or stick to one and become really proficient at it? Maybe that sounds like a silly question, but it’s one that many parents have asked themselves. Where is the line between promoting your child’s perseverance, commitment, and ability to follow the rules, and letting him make his own decision to give up because it is hard work or he doesn’t like the rules?

Being child-directed, or child-led, is a really important way of letting your child explore his likes and dislikes. This allows your child to develop his or her own individuality and discover what activities are truly enjoyable. Of course, it’s good to promote perseverance – if something is difficult, that doesn’t mean it can’t also be fun. Striking the balance between encouraging your child to be persistent while still allowing them the freedom to explore options and do something else is key!

Through exploration and play, children will learn which activities are right for them. It might be a team sport such as soccer, football, golf, swimming, softball, rugby or basketball, or a more individual sport such as running, walking, gymnastics, learning to yoyo or joining the circus! (It happens!) The take away point should always be focused on physical and mental health and, particularly for children, having fun and spending time together as a family and with friends.

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Promoting Healthy Activity in Kids ~ Incredible Adventures of Wally: Sports Edition (Part 1)

wally_sports_comic1

Wally, like many young children, loves to play outdoors. In this series about promoting healthy activity in kids, we’ll follow Wally as he tries out for different sports, and also consider the benefits of exercise and outdoor play for children.

You may remember when Wally and the whole puppet gang decided to start exercising back in October (if not, refresh your memory by clicking here!).  We shared an article that showed how the Incredible Years programs had been linked to healthier outcomes and lower rates of obesity. You can read that article here. 

In Part 1 of this series, let’s consider some of the benefits of exercise, sports, and outdoor play for children. With summer on it’s way, this is a great time for families to start planning play time outside all together! Spending time playing together outside fosters family bonding and helps children see how physical activity can be fun. Especially for younger children, try not to impose rules but instead allow them to be child-directed and explore different sports and games.

You can bring a variety of options to the park and try out some different games like tag, kicking the ball around, or playing catch.  This sort of play promotes hand-eye coordination and motor skills, and it can also be a wonderful way to foster your child’s imagination and creativity, allowing him/her to explore new things. Another benefit is helping children see how exercise can come in many different forms and be enjoyable. It promotes a healthy, active lifestyle, and gives children a way to release energy!

Check back next week – Wally will continue making the rounds of Seattle sports teams, trying to choose which one is right for him!

~The Incredible Years Team

 


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Dr. Webster-Stratton attends Washington DC forum, Leans In with Marilyn Monroe

Hello and Happy Friday!

Earlier this month, Carolyn Webster-Stratton presented at the Institute of Medicine forum in Washington D.C., “Strategies for Scaling Tested and Effective Family-Focused Preventive Interventions to Promote Children’s Cognitive, Affective, and Behavioral Health: A Workshop.”

The workshop included a variety of presentations examining “effective family-focused interventions at sufficient scale and reach to reduce the incidence and prevalence of negative cognitive, affective, and behavioral outcomes among youth in the United States.” (http://www.iom.edu/Activities/Children/ChildrensHealthForum/2014-APR-01.aspx)

Carolyn presented information about the Incredible Years programs, potential barriers to implementation/fidelity, and ways to overcome these barriers. Below is a video of the full presentation, which can also be found on YouTube and on the Institute of Medicine website!

Additionally, while there, Carolyn had a chance to “meet” Marilyn Monroe (a statue in the hotel lobby – she looks very realistic!) and found yet another good chance to “lean in”

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The Incredible Years® in Pediatric Settings

Evaluation of a parenting program for treating children’s early disruptive behavior problems delivered in a pediatric setting. 

In well child visits pediatricians frequently see parents who are asking about their children’s hyperactivity, aggression and defiant behaviors. Such behaviors are a developmentally normal phase for toddlers because they lack the language and self-regulation skills to control their impulses.  However, toddlers and preschoolers who exhibit these behaviors at high intensity and frequency are at risk for continuing this disruptive behavior pattern in later childhood and many parents and caregivers do not have the parenting tools to respond effectively.  These early onset behavior problems are associated with academic underachievement, and confer risk for later life psychopathology including criminality and substance abuse (Tremblay, Nagin, & Seguin, 2004).  Effective early intervention is crucial.

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Unfortunately even though numerous clinical trials, meta-analyses, and consensus guidelines recommend that psychosocial interventions should constitute the first-line approach for treatment of early disruptive behavior problems, the proportion of children receiving evidence-based programs is decreasing (Comer, Chow, Chan, Cooper-Vince, & Wilson, 2013). Children are more likely to receive psychotropic medications, even though controlled trials of the efficacy of this approach for this age group have not been conducted.

Primary care physicians, who see families frequently during a child’s early years, are strategically placed to help parents prevent the development of serious disruptive behavior problems and to expand the availability and accessibility of services by offering evidence-based parent training programs.

A newly published randomized control group trial has tested the efficacy of using the Incredible Years® (IY) toddler parent program in 11 diverse primary care rural and urban pediatric practices (Perrin, Sheldrick, McMenamy, Henson, & Carter, 2014).

Ellen PerrinThis study was conducted by Dr. Ellen Perrin, a developmental-behavioral pediatrician who is Director of Research at the Center for Children with Special Needs and  Professor at Tufts University School of Medicine in Boston Massachusetts.

This particular evidence-based program was chosen because of its extensive research and ease of delivery. A recent meta-analyses of  50 studies utilizing the IY program reported its success in improving child behavior in a diverse range of families (Menting, Orobio de Castro, & Matthys, 2013).

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Study Method

Parents were selected for this program based on behavioral screening above the 80th percentile on the Infant-Toddler Social-Emotional Assessment Scale. The study sample is characterized as high risk or borderline clinical because children were selected based on elevated symptoms of behavior problems.  A total of 150 parents were randomly assigned to either the IY 10-week, 2-hour parent program or a waiting list control group.  An additional 123 parents were assigned to the parent intervention without a randomly selected comparison group. The parent program was offered primarily by psychologists or social workers in conjunction with a member of the pediatric office staff.  Among the 3 study groups, 54% to 73% completed at least  7 group sessions.

Positive results

Results showed that parents who participated in the IY program reported more change in self-reported parent and toddler outcomes at post treatment than did parents in the waiting list control condition. Analyses of independent videotaped observations of parent-toddler interactions showed that negative parenting, child disruptive behaviors and negative child-parent interactions were lower at post treatment and at 12-month follow-up compared with baseline observations for parents who received the program.  No differences were found for the waiting list control parents at post condition compared with baseline.

The findings are very promising and suggest that offering the IY program as a group model in pediatric settings is a cost effective way of reducing children’s behavior problems and providing secondary preventive intervention (Stein, 2014). (Stein, 2014). The next step is to convince practitioners, who typically see these families in individual treatment sessions, of the value of the group learning model for providing behavioral training for parents of young children and building support networks for their families.

Please don’t hesitate to contact us for more information about the Incredible Years® Programs and/or this recent research!

Click this link to read the full article!

If you are interested in learning more about The Incredible Years programs, click this link to go to our website.

References:

Comer, J. S., Chow, C., Chan, P. T., Cooper-Vince, C., & Wilson, L. A. (2013). Psychosocial treament efficacy for disruptive behavior problems in very young children: A meta-analytic examination Journal of American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, 52(1), 26-36.

Menting, A. T. A., Orobio de Castro, B., & Matthys, W. (2013). Effectiveness of the Incredible Years Parent Training to Modify Disruptive and Prosocial Child Behavior:A Meta-Analytic Review. Clinical Psychology Review, 33, 901-913.

Perrin, E. C., Sheldrick, R. C., McMenamy, J. M., Henson, B. S., & Carter, A. S. (2014). Improving parenting skills for families of young children in pediatric settings: a randomized clinical trial. Journal of American Medical Association Pediatrics, 168(1), 16-24.

Stein, M. T. (2014). Group-Based Parenting-Skills training in primary care offices:Are we ready for the challenge? Journal of American Medical Association, 168(1), 7-9.

Tremblay, R., Nagin, D., & Seguin, J. (2004). Physical aggression during early childhood: trajectories and predictors. Pediatrics, 114, 43-50.