For families that are struggling to understand their children or children who feel they cannot behave for their parents should look into Parent-Child Interaction Therapy (PCIT).
This is a behaviour-based, family-oriented therapy that helps parents and their kids mend their relationship through interaction.
This mode of therapy was created in the early 1970s by Psychologist Sheila Eyberg.
This theory was based on Diana Baumring’s developmental research on authoritative parenting skills and Constance Hanf’s two-stage behavioural program to train mothers with developmentally disabled children.
Adults will be able to improve their parenting and language skills through PCIT and children will know how to better control their emotions.
Families seek out PCIT to help address concerns or improve relationships with each other
The idea is to turn negative behaviours into positive ones.
How it works is the therapist speaks to the parents of key principles and techniques to strengthen their relationship with the children.
Then, a one-way mirror is used to observe parents play with their kids and use skills and techniques that they were taught.
Parents receive live coaching through an ear bug device so that they will be fed advice on what to do.
Targeted behaviours are tracked over time to see the progress in both parents and children.
The relationship enhancement phase
This will help improve and strengthen the bond between parents and their kids.
The child will decide which activities or toys to play with their parents and parents will use positive reinforcement skills while playing with their child.
Parents will be able to learn about praising their kids for good behaviour, communication, paying attention to their child’s activities, and demonstrating enthusiasm to them.
There are no negative words, criticism, or sarcasm used. The discipline and compliance phase is when parents provide easy instructions to their children with clear consequences for obedience and disobedience. When children demonstrate good behaviour, parents will thank them. If bad behaviour is displayed, the children will get a timeout.
According to GoodTherapy, a study in 2011 showed that kids between ages 8 and 10 with language impairments were able to improve.
Kids between ages 2 and 7 were able to address common behavioural issues like aggression, non-compliance, defiance, and short temper. This method will reduce the chances of physical and verbal child abuse as well as build a positive parent-child interaction.
PCIT is beneficial for any family who is looking for help.
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Page last reviewed and clinically fact-checked | October 19, 2021