The Incredible Years is a series of interlocking, evidence-based programs for parents, children and teachers, supported by over 30 years of research. The goal is to prevent and treat young children’s behavior problems and promote their social, emotional and academic competence. The programs are used worldwide in schools and mental health centers, and have been shown to work across cultures and socioeconomic groups.
The curriculum consists of 20 weekly two-hour sessions. Each group can serve between 6-8 children. Each session is led by a master’s level therapist paired with a trained paraprofessional who is there to assist with group dynamics and management. Treatment integrity is monitored through session-by-session protocols and unit checklists completed by therapists as well as by supervisor and expert video-tape reviews.
The biggest takeaway from our recent graduating parents was the insight they gained about the way they parent their children. Thanks to this program, they are now monitoring their parenting styles by being more attentive in order to promote: positive relationships & confidence, language and school readiness, emotional literacy and empathy, cooperative friendships, emotional regulation skills, anger management, perspective talking and interpersonal problem solving (to name a few). After the first session, the first homework assignment for the parents was to spend 15 minutes playing with their children (child directed play, something the child wanted to do – not the parent). Carving out those 15 minutes (just 15 minutes) out of the parent’s daily routines was tougher than imagined.
Look at this food pyramid, it is wide at the base where you need an abundance of the essentials (breads, meats, vegetables) and narrow at the top (the things you shouldn’t consume a lot of, sweets). The Incredible Years uses the same pyramid in educating parents about the different ways to engage their children. Some of the actions the parents want to do a lot of include: speaking, playing, listening and allowing the kids to lead the games (the base). Praising the children and rewarding them would be the next level (catching and acknowledging them when they are doing well). Then come the rules; next level is ignoring the behavior and finally punishment at the top. A parent may go through all the levels with their children in one day. The objective is to eat more fruits and vegetables and little or no sweets.
December 7 2013 was the big day, graduation. The group met at the SCCAP building at 153 North Stratton Street, Gettysburg Pennsylvania. Did you know that children can learn a lot from puppets and storytelling? As a matter of fact, a child may not trust an adult enough to have a conversation with them, but they will talk to a puppet (even though they know there’s an adult behind the puppet). Take a look at the video below and see how our program used puppets to help children learn social skills. If Manos Unidas is able to secure funding, Manos Unidas would like to start another Incredible Years program in January 2014.
There are 37 pictures from this event on our Google+ Page at: http://gplus.to/manosunidas. Be sure to follow (Manos Unidas) on G+ and Twitter @manosunidas1732 and subscribe to our YouTube Channel to keep up with our services in Adams County. Lastly, please leave a comment below and/or share this post.