The Incredible Years® Blog


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Guest Post: How to Create Fun Incentive Bags for Parents

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Guest post by Certified IY Group Leader: Bernadette (Bernie) Donaghy

Gina Biggerstaff and myself (Bernie Donaghy) delivered the Incredible Years® Basic Parent Programme in St Kieran’s Primary School in Colin, Northern Ireland, from March to June 2014. The Incredible Years® places strong emphasis on building positive relationships with children, and play time serves an important role in this.

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Carolyn Webster-Stratton and Bernie Donaghy

“Play benefits children in many ways by providing opportunities for them to learn who they are, what they can do and how to relate to the world around them.” (The Incredible Years: A Trouble-Shooting Guide for Parents of Children Aged 2-8 Years, by Carolyn Webster-Stratton, Ph.D.)

After discussing the importance of play time with children in our parenting class, we wanted to provide parents with something tangible to bring home for this special time spent with their children. We decided to give parents the opportunity to work with a range of art activities and resources, to enable them to fully engage with their children during their play time.

Gina and I used every opportunity to pick up different art resources as we were out and about (beg and borrow). We collected chalk, paper, paint, and more.  We asked local Nursery Schools, Primary Schools, Play Groups and Community Organisations for any unwanted or unused art materials or books. This also gave us the opportunity to publicise and spread the word about our Incredible Years® classes!

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The bags were used as an incentive each week and on completion of the IY Parent Programme we added a toothbrush and toothpaste, a book and a blank jig-saw. The parents loved their resource art bag and they reported that their children really enjoyed their play time together.

To learn more about The Incredible Years® implementation in Northern Ireland, see the recent blog post about this!

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Carolyn and Wally invited by National Children’s Bureau to visit Northern Ireland

Carolyn Webster-Stratton and Wally visit Northern Ireland June 1-5, 2014 at the invitation of National Children’s Bureau (NCB)  

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Wally preparing to give his speech, with Carolyn

NCB Launch Carolyn was so excited to be invited to Northern Ireland this month to help launch the Incredible Years® (IY) Northern Ireland Co-ordination Project. While there, she had the opportunity to meet Ewin Poots, MLA, Minister for Health, Social Services and Public Safety as well as Dr. Eddie Rooney, Chief Executive, Public Health Agency. Both of these individuals spoke at the conference about the importance of supporting families by using evidence-based programs that promote positive parenting and children’s social, emotional and academic competence. Carolyn introduced them to Wally Problem Solver and they seemed to enjoy his company. To learn more about the National Children’s Bureau, click here.

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(From Left) Carolyn & Dina Dinosaur, Dr. Eddie Rooney and Wally Problem Solver, Caroline White, Deirdre McAliskey, Celine McStravick, and Maria McAleese with Molly Manners.

The objectives of NCB’s new launch is to promote effective implementation of IY, program delivery fidelity, and group leader accreditation as well as to help agencies monitor and measure the impact of their programs through evaluations. The leaders of this launch are Celine McStravick and Deirdre McAliskey from NCB. Following the conference, a cross agency steering group with administrators of schools, agencies and foundations met to discuss system implementation issues.

Carolyn with IY Ni staff (Deirdre & James)

Carolyn and Dina with James McGinley and Wally

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Molly, Dina, and Wally listen in at the conference!

At the conference, Carolyn gave the keynote speech to a group of IY group leaders and administrators. She talked about the Incredible Years® Parents, Teachers and Child programs, research outcomes, and some of the agency and clinician barriers to successful program delivery. The group seemed surprised to learn that over the past 10 years, 574 IY parent group leaders, 94 child dinosaur group leaders and 64 teacher leaders have been trained. Carolyn presented 8 key building blocks for disseminating the programs with fidelity in the “real world.” When faced with an actual technological barrier to her powerpoint and video presentation delivery, Wally Problem Solver helped Carolyn with calm down strategies and solutions for how to both hold the microphone and speak to the audience with confidence despite being unable to show her carefully edited video clips. As happens with implementation of evidence-based programs, this illustrated how to go forward despite unexpected barriers. She discussed how to overcome such barriers and the importance of delivering the programs with fidelity in order to get the best outcomes for children.

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After some technological barriers, Wally helped Carolyn with “calm down” strategies so she could finish her presentation

Caroline White, Head of CASP Early Intervention, Central Manchester University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, and an accredited Incredible Years® Parent Trainer, spoke about her successful implementation of the IY program in the Manchester area over the past 15 years area. She provided examples of ways she has addressed each of the 8 building blocks to promote quality delivery. She talked about the importance of an interagency infrastructure that includes administrators, policy makers, and IY mentors to coordinate efforts and outcomes and who are in consultation with the developer and IY trainers.

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From Left: Carolyn Webster-Stratton, Caroline White, Maria McAleese

Carolyn with Maria McAleese (IY Mentor for Parent Program)

Northern Ireland is fortunate to have an accredited IY mentor, Maria McAleese (who provides ongoing consultation workshops, coaching and authorized training workshops) as well as an accredited IY Coach and Mentor in Training, Peadar Mckenna. These dynamic individuals have already provided coaching and video review feedback to many group leaders. In the afternoon, Maria and Peadar each led separate groups of group leaders to discuss the training, coaching and support structure and to review their needs. Carolyn joined each of these groups to explain the rationale for the certification/accreditation process and to answer questions.

Carolyn with Peadar McKenna (IY Parent Peer Coach and Mentor in Training)

2nd day of Conference with Consultation Day

This day started with a visit to Colin Neighbourhood Partnership, a community center in Colin to learn about the Early Intervention Community efforts at delivering all the IY programs. The highlight of this event was two parents who talked about their experiences participating in the program.  Carolyn introduced Dina Dinosaur who talked about the dangers of violence and announced the birth of her new baby. Baby dina will be staying at this center to learn about all the ways she can survive by learning to problem solve and make good friends.

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Carolyn with the team at Colin Neighbourhood Partnership

Additionally, parent and child group leaders met to get a preview of what happens on group leader consultation days. Normally, consultation days only consist of 12 participants (6 pairs of leaders) from either parent or teacher or child IY programs, who present selected video clips of their IY groups and receive feedback regarding their personal goals. However, in order to illustrate the value of this approach, more than 30 parent and child group leaders attended to watch 4 group leaders show their video clips and receive feedback. Maria, Peadar and Carolyn took turns leading the discussion of these video vignettes and also led participants in role play practices.

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Carolyn sets up role play practice for group leaders

Issues discussed, modeled and practiced included the collaborative role of IY leader and coleader, how to help a parent work out her relationship with her child’s grandmother, how to trigger spontaneous role plays in conjunction with home activity reviews, effective use of buzzes, how to coach play times to assist children who are developmentally delayed or non interactive, and how to manage children in groups who are off task and not engaged in the learning. While barriers to videotaping were acknowledged, participants seemed to appreciate the value and immense learning opportunity provided from video review and self-reflective learning with peers and with a mentor or coach. Carolyn answered other questions about IY programs such as ways the School Readiness and Attentive Parenting Programs could be used as supplements, accreditation requirements, and the importance of being able to offer more sessions according to risk level of the population. Participants were enthusiastic and supportive of each other and hopefully achieved Carolyn’s “fun” goal.

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Full Consultation day group!

To learn more about the Incredible Years® Programs, visit our website: http://www.incredibleyears.com

~The Incredible Years® Team


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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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“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.