Yale Parenting Center

Making Families Stronger September 2015

From Alan Kazdin

Back To School Routines

School activities are a huge departure from summer days filled with camp, trips, and late bed times.  The transition back to school may not be easy for children or parents.  As your child begins school, work on developing the routine and rituals of getting ready on time, having breakfast, and getting out the door for the school bus or ride.  Getting into these daily routines can be a major source of tension in many families.  Nagging and shouting often occur naturally as the parent tries to get their child moving in the morning.  Remember to keep the tensions down and stay calm.  If your child is not great at one part of the routine (getting out of bed and dressed on time), you can help.  Perhaps clothes for the next day can be selected the night before.  Waking up early before your children wake up can also help reduce your stress level in the morning.  You can even practice (go through the motions of getting ready) on the weekend just to make a game out of it, make it fun and positive, and give you the chance to praise your child's successful practice.  You will notice as you work on these routines, some tasks may not get done, and that is okay.  When establishing routines, it is more important to remain calm and focus on what went well with the knowledge that you and your child will iron out the kinks as time goes on. 


For Parents

How to Develop a Positive Relationship with Your Child's Teachers

Here are some tips for creating positive relationships with teachers and handling concerns throughout the year.

  • Emphasize the importance of a joint effort.  Work together with your child's teacher and avoid the position that your child's school behavior and academic success is the school's responsibility.
  • Recognize the teacher's position and praise his or her efforts.  Provide positive feedback when you can.
  • Solicit the teacher's ideas and recommendations and identify what role you can play at home.
  • Prepare for conferences or phone calls with a list of questions or concerns you wish to discuss.
  • Contact the teacher regularly for an update on your child's progress by commenting on some of the specific positive changes.

Here Comes the Homework!

Every new school year presents new challenges.  One of the biggest and most dreaded is homework.  Homework doesn't have to be a fight.  Here are some tips to help get you and your child off to a happy homework place this year.

  • Establish a distraction free zone to do homework.
  • Choose and stick to an approximate start time.
  • Have proper materials and let your child choose them.
  • Use a teacher involved daily assignment sheet.
  • Stay calm and be specific when you are telling your child to start homework.
  • Praise your child's efforts before correcting mistakes.
  • Take a break if things get heated.
  • Set up a plan to reinforce homework if it is difficult, your child can earn small rewards or privleges for doing it calmly and praise.

For more help with homework, check out our streaming mini parent webinar! 

CT Project

Is your child struggling with behavioral difficulties? 

There are spots available in our research program for CT residents!

  • Who?  Connecticut parents with children 6-12 years old.
  • What?  A 6-session evidence-based program for the parents or caregivers of children who are struggling with behavioral difficulties will be provided at no cost.
  • Where?  Yale University in New Haven.

Contact Emily today at emily.mcwhinney@yale.edu

More information here!

Professional Interest

How to Help Your Clients with School Problem Behaviors

Tackling a problem behavior at school can be overwhelming for us as clinicians.  It is a long school day with many challenges and factors. The best way to work on school behaviors is to use a skill called shaping.  Shaping is the process of changing a difficult or complex behavior by breaking it up into steps.  Reinforcing each step until it is consistent before adding more is the key.  For example, if you are working with a child who has difficulty staying seated at school, you could use shaping to change this behavior.  Maybe the child gets reinforced with praise and a small reward for sitting calmly for just one short peroid of time (snack time, or 10 minutes of writing time).  Then once that is consistent, more time can be added.  No punishments should be given if the child fails a step and parents should be in charge of the reinforcement.  For more information on how to use shaping and all of the PMT techniques to help your clients, check out our live webinar series.

Check it out here!


Upcoming KPMT Trainings

The next live Basic Parent Management Training Webinar is scheduled for October 20th, 22nd, 27th, and 29th from 12:00 pm to 2:00 pm EST.  Sign up today!

Click here for more information!

What's Happening at the Center

We're Back! 

The Yale Parenting Center is back to regular hours!  Please see our website for more information.

Yale Parenting Center Website Click Here!

Parenting Video Streams

Want a convenient and affordable way to learn the best parenting strategies?

Choose our Mini Parenting Webinars or Kazdin Methodsm Sessions!



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