The Incredible Years® Blog


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Promoting Healthy Activity in Kids ~ Incredible Adventures of Wally: Sports Edition (Part 3)

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Wally completes his tour of Seattle sports with a visit to the Mariners, where he hits a home run and helps win the game! Wally has enjoyed learning more about all of these sports teams and the hard work that goes into each sport. He also has realized how much he has enjoyed being part of a team and being active.

Even though Wally has to retire from professional sports, he still plans to spend lots of time outside this summer with his friends, playing and teaching them all the things he learned in football, soccer, and baseball!

He hopes the other kids will join and see how fun it is to play together outside, release energy, be creative, and spend time socializing with each other.

Until next time!

 

~The Incredible Years

 


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

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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)

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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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Incredible Years® Building Blocks For Head Start (Part 2)

Benefits of Teacher Training and the Child Dinosaur Curriculum for
Promoting Children’s Social and Emotional Development

Incredible Years® in Head Start (Part 2)

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In our previous post, we discussed how the Incredible Years® (IY) Parent and Teacher Programs have been researched and proven effective in Head Start settings. The IY Child programs have also been studied in a Head Start environment (in conjunction with IY Teacher program), in both a larger classroom prevention setting as well as a smaller treatment group setting for children.

The studies illustrate how children in head start who receive the IY curriculum demonstrate increased social, emotional, and academic skills, as well as reduced aggression. By implementing interlocking programs for parents, teachers AND children, this allows for greater results and consistency for everyone involved. Read on to see how IY Programs have been successful in head start classrooms as well as with groups of children with ADHD and ODD.

Studies: Effects of IY Classroom Management Program for Head Start Teachers headstartquote2

Over the past 20 years, a half dozen randomized control group studies in the US, Wales and Ireland have shown that using the Incredible Years (IY) Teacher Classroom Management Training Series in Head Start or Sure Start (in United Kingdom) results in significant improvements in teacher’s use of student coaching methods, praise, proactive discipline and classroom management strategies. In addition, intervention classrooms (where teachers received IY training) showed increased student positive interactions and cooperation with teachers and peers, school readiness and engagement with school activities compared with control classroom students. Additionally, intervention classrooms had significantly reduced peer aggression than control classrooms.

Webster-Stratton, C., M.J. Reid, and M. Hammond, Preventing conduct problems, promoting social competence: A parent and teacher training partnership in Head Start. Journal of Clinical Child Psychology, 2001. 30(3): p. 283-302.

Hutchings, J., et al., Early results from developing and researching the Webster-Stratton Incredible Years Teacher Classroom Management Training Programme in North West Wales. Journal of Children’s Services, 2007. 2(3): p. 15-26.

Study: Effects of Combining the IY Teacher Classroom Management Program with the Child Dinosaur Social and Emotional Curriculum In Head Start Classrooms

This study was designed to assess the effects of the Teacher Classroom Management plus the Classroom Dinosaur Social and Emotional Curriculum (Dinosaur School) for economically disadvantaged populations. Head Start, kindergarten and first grade teachers were selected because of their high rates of families living in poverty. Matched pairs of schools were randomly assigned to intervention or control conditions. In the intervention classrooms, teachers offered the Dinosaur School curriculum in bi-weekly lessons throughout the year. They sent home weekly “dinosaur” home activities to encourage parents’ involvement. Children and teachers were observed in the classroom by “blind” observers at the beginning and end of the school year. Results reported from multilevel models of 153 teachers and 1,768 students indicated that teachers used more positive classroom management strategies and their students showed more social competence, emotional self-regulation, school readiness skills and reduced conduct problems compared with control students. Satisfaction of the program was very high regardless of the grade levels.

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Incredible Years® Classroom Dinosaur Child Curriculum

Webster-Stratton, C. and M.J. Reid, Strengthening social and emotional competence in socioeconomically disadvantaged young children: Preschool and kindergarten school-based curricula, in Social competence of young children: Risk, disability, and intervention, W.H. Brown, S.L. Odom, and S.R. McConnell, Editors. 2008, Paul H. Brookes Publishing Co.: Baltimore. p. 185-203.

Webster-Stratton, C., M.J. Reid, and M. Stoolmiller, Preventing conduct problems and improving school readiness: Evaluation of the Incredible Years Teacher and Child Training Programs in high-risk schools. Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry 2008. 49(5): p. 471-488.

Webster-Stratton, C. and K.C. Herman, Disseminating Incredible Years Series Early Intervention Programs: Integrating and Sustaining Services Between School and Home Psychology in Schools 2010. 47(1): p. 36-54.

Studies: Effects of the Small Group Treatment Dinosaur Curriculum

headstartquote3In addition to the evaluation of the Classroom Dinosaur program with a selected population of socioeconomically disadvantaged populations, four randomized trials have been conducted with children diagnosed with Oppositional Defiant Disorder and ADHD, using the IY Small Group Dinosaur Curriculum.

These studies have shown increases in children’s emotional language, social skills and appropriate problem solving strategies with peers as well as reductions in conduct problems at home and children.

Webster-Stratton, C., M.J. Reid, and T.P. Beauchaine, Combining Parent and Child Training for Young Children with ADHD. Journal of Clinical Child and Adolescent Psychology, 2011. 40(2): p. 1-13.

Webster-Stratton, C., M.J. Reid, and M. Hammond, Treating children with early-onset conduct problems: Intervention outcomes for parent, child, and teacher training. Journal of Clinical Child and Adolescent Psychology, 2004. 33(1): p. 105-124.

Webster-Stratton, C. and M. Hammond, Treating children with early-onset conduct problems: A comparison of child and parent training interventions. Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 1997. 65(1): p. 93-109.

Building Blocks for Promoting Children’s Cognitive, Social and Emotional Development

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Parents and teachers starting early to work together to build a strong foundation of social and emotional development in children is the most effective way to achieve optimal academic growth and school achievement and reduce delinquency and substance abuse.

For group leader reflections regarding using the IY programs with Head Start, view this video!


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Guest Post: Dina and Wally Teach About Staying Safe

Dina and Wally Teach About Staying Safe

By Patti Meyer-Lee, MS. Ed., IY Certified Group Leader

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Objective

At Gateway-Longview Therapeutic Preschool in Bowmansville, New York, our teachers use the Dinosaur School Curriculum as part of the school’s Safety Theme. The objective is for students to understand that teachers will keep them safe at school.

Lesson Presentation

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Incredible Years Calm Down Thermometer Poster

When the lesson is presented Dina Dinosaur talks about being calm and safe. She models calm, safe behavior with deep breaths and a Raggedy Ann body (curriculum cue cards for Wally taking deep breaths and showing a relaxed body are shown). Children practice these calm down skills with Dina.

Next Dina calmly explains that when children get of control and are not safe, the teacher and Dina will keep them safe. They model what will be happen if this occurs and start by reassuring the children that Wally is only pretending to be out of control/unsafe. Wally demonstrates how to go to the calm down chair to take deep breaths and cool down into blue on the calm down thermometer. After Wally does this the teacher and Dina ask Wally how he is feeling. Wally talks about how his breathing exercise is helping him. The children are also given turns to ask Wally how he feels and tell him how they try to stay calm.

Practice

During the practice part of the lesson the teachers take photos of the children practicing safety as they work and play in the classroom. Later the children make a collage of their photos entitled “SAFE PLAY.” Throughout the day children are reinforced for episodes when they practice safe behavior. Parents are encouraged to attend these dinosaur lessons and to use a similar approach at home.


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Parenting Program Researched as a Home Visit Intervention

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IMG_2323 - Version 2Renda Dionne (certified group leader) and her colleagues have completed a randomized control group study using the home based Incredible Years (IY) parent program (Basic Preschool) with American Indian families with children (ages 3-10 years). Their approach involved a motivational phase, which set a historical context for parents’ current difficulties, and an intervention phase, which linked the IY principles and skills within cultural traditions, beliefs and values.

The program was delivered in 11 home visits, each lasting approximately 90 minutes. The home visiting coaches used the IY collaborative approach (without modification) including watching video vignettes, role play practices and homework assignments. With every skill taught, culturally based stories were offered to create a stronger connection to the skill.

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The Incredible Years Parent Program being implemented as a Home Visit model

For example, child-directed play was linked to respect for others, praise was linked to honoring others, limit setting linked to historical trauma, and prevention to ceremony.  Preliminary evidence looks promising with significant improvements in observations of parenting and child behavior in the intervention condition compared with the delayed-intervention group.

The majority of participants reported high levels of satisfaction with the program.  Given that historically few American Indians have taken part in research studies, we are excited about these findings and the potential for implementing the program with the American Indian population. It is particularly innovative they way researchers integrated a cultural approach as an adjunct to the Incredible Years program.

Click here to read the article!
Dionne, R., Davis, B., Sheeber, L., and Madrigal, L. 2009. 
Initial Evaluation of a Cultural Approach to Implementation of Evidence-based Parenting Interventions in American Indian Communities  Journal of Community Psychology, V.37.7. 911-921. DOI: 10.1002/jcop.20336

Want to learn more about implementing the Incredible Years Programs as a Home Visiting Model? Click here!


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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.


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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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Be our Valentine!

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Happy Valentine’s Day, from Wally, Dina, Felicity, and the Incredible Years staff!

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Watch our fun Valentine’s Day Video, below, or by clicking here!

Also, we sent out a newsletter earlier this week that included a fun Valentine Activity you can do with a group of children, along with some helpful tips for parents and teachers to foster children’s understanding of emotions. You can read the newsletter by clicking here!

 

~The Incredible Years Team


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Incredible Years Basic Parent Group Leader Training!

Last week we were happy to have a wonderful group of folks from all over the states come to Seattle for Parent Group Leader training! Carolyn Webster-Stratton trained the participants about how to implement the Incredible Years Parent Programs (for working with parents of children ages 2-8). During the 3 days of training, participants were provided with hands on experience in the form of role plays and practices. They collaborated together to develop principles for working with parents, recruitment strategies, and more!

The Incredible Years holds regular group leader trainings in Seattle, WA for people interested in implementing our programs. See our “Workshop Schedule” for more information!

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In the photo above, Carolyn leads parent workshop in Seattle, Jan 29-31, 2014. Participants represent multidisciplines including child psychiatrists, psychologists, nurses, social workers and teachers. They represent the following states California, Buffalo New York, Oregon, MA, New Hampshire, Hawaii, Kansas, Minnesota and WA. Carolyn is holding her Chinese  puppet Fu (stands for luck) and is wearing a red scarf because it is the Chinese New Year.