Yale Parenting Center
Making Families Stronger July 2016

From Alan Kazdin

School is out for the summer and everyone is ready for a much needed break.  During the school months, getting children up and out of the house on time, getting homework done, and so on is hectic.  Summer can be a welcomed and valuable break from these struggles, but of course has its own challenges and opportunities.

Summer is a great time for family activities.  It is beneficial to have at least one activity in which family members are together.  Family activities can increase a child's psychological and behavioral well-being.  Focus on any activity that allows family members to engage with each other.  The activity does not need to be expensive or over the top thrilling to gain the benefit.  Go to a sporting event, a children's museum, a community fair, or on a picnic.

Benefits from family activities not only stem from the time together, but also establishing something that can become regular.  A break from the rigorous school year routine is definitely needed, however consider making something else in the summer regular and predictable.  Establish something as simple as shopping together, reading each night, or even cooking a meal together routinely in the summer.  This predictable event or routine has enormous benefits to the child and family life, reduces stress, and improves family relationships.

A break in the summer is great all by itself.  National surveys show that children, adolescents, and adults in the U.S. often experience a great deal of stress.  Stress is not just psychological, but can have detrimental biological effects such as making people more vulnerable to illness.  Free time, down time, time together, and just enjoying yourselves are all wonderful to combat stress.  The Yale Parenting Center hopes that you will have a fun and stress-free summer.


For Parents

Make the Most of Your Summer!

Free Program Now Available

Is your child struggling with behavioral difficulties?

We are now open for enrollment in our new study at the Yale Parenting Center!  

Who? Connecticut parents with children 6-12 years old.
Have a child with behavioral problems.

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.

How do I know if I am eligible for this study?  You are welcome to email or call our intake coordinator, Natasha at natasha.hamilton@yale.edu or 203-432-9761.

Click here for more information

Easy Tips for a Fun and Constructive Summer Time

Be down with down time.  There is so much structure and rushing around during the school year.  Allow summer to include some down time for your children.

Make family time. 
Summer is a great opportunity to create some family time.  Do something together as a family.  Take a bike ride, go to the beach, or play a game at home together.

Encourage reading time. 
Summer reading is one of the best ways to continue learning and avoid losing skills over the summer.  Reading to your children or having them read on their own is important.  Allow them to choose the reading materials they enjoy.  Most local libraries or your child's school provide a fun summer reading program.  Participate in this program to encourage reading throughout the summer.

Make time for memories. 
If you have the opportunity, summer is a good time to create an enduring experience for your children.  Take a trip somewhere special that might introduce a skill or interest late in life.  Maybe it's a trip to an art museum, sporting event, or historical area. 

Summer Camp Survival

Many families send their children to summer camp for child care and to give their child recreation during the summer months.  There are day camps, sleep over camps, and so many specialty camps to choose from.  Once you find the camp that is right for your child, it can be difficult to make the transition and the new schedule work best for your family.  Here are some ideas to make that happen.

  • Try to keep a regular bed time and wake up time.  Although it is nice to be a little more lax in the summer, don't expect your child to be able to get up early if they are staying up later than usual.  Camp is active and summer sleep is still important.
  • Check in.  Talk to your kids each day about camp.  Ask open ended questions rather than yes/no questions.  Also, be sure to check in with the camp counselors to see how your child is adjusting.
  • Allow for down time.  Many camps involve a day full of games and physical activity.  Give your child some down time after camp.
  • Reinforce the positive.  Find times to praise your child while transitioning to a camp schedule.  Praise for getting out of bed calmly,  getting ready in the morning, or for good camp behavior. 

Professional Interest

Need Your CEU's This Summer?

Sign up for our July Basic PMT live webinar for professionals.  We are approved by APA and NASW to provide Continuing Education Credits. 

Click here for more information

Training to Fit Your Summer Schedule

Do you want to make the most of your summer?  Our video stream webinar series might just be the most convenient way to learn our evidenced-based model.  Purchase the video streams and watch them whenever you want, day or night.  Video streams are available for both our Basic and Advanced trainings. 

Click here for more information 

Summer Review

Summer is a great time to brush up on your professional skills.  Let's review a key concept of Parent Management Training that you can use with all the parents you see.  Praise!!  When you teach parents to effectively praise their children for behaviors they would like to strengthen, be sure the following components are included.
  • Be specific - tell the child exactly what they did that was good
  • Be close - go into the same room as the child when you are praising
  • Use touch - high-five, hug, kiss, pat on the back, or fist bump each time
  • Be immediate - praise right after the positive behavior
  • Be enthusiastic - sound super excited

Make sure you practice this skill with the parents rather than just talk about it.  This practice will help parents to translate the skill at home with their child. 

What's Happening at the Center

Dear YPC

Please help!  I am worried about my son, Jackson, this summer.  His last day of school is tomorrow.  He starts camp soon after, because I will be at work.  Last year he had such a hard time at camp.  He did not follow the camp counselor's directions and he often had to sit out of activities.  I want him to enjoy camp and I don't want to have to worry about his behavior all day while I am at work!  Sincerely, Dave

Dear Dave,
Thank you so much for reaching out to us for help.  There are some things you can do to help improve your child's behavior and experience at camp this year. 
First, see how it goes.  There could be a difference in his behavior this year.  Give him a week to settle in and then find out how he is doing.
If noncompliance is an issue again this year, consider setting up a simple positive reinforcement program to address it.  Find one counselor to be your point person.  This counselor should be someone who is at camp and with your son pretty consistently.  Ask the counselor if he or she would mind letting you know how Jackson did at following directions each day during just one small piece of the day.  Choose one activity or time slot to focus on (ex: free activity time or lunch time).  If he does well each day with that slot, praise him enthusiastically and maybe give him a small reward or special privilege.  Once that slot is consistent (4 days out of the week he does well), then you can add more time.
We hope this helps!
Sincerely, YPC

Modified Summer Schedule

The Center will have limited availability in the month of August.  If you are interested in any of our programs or products, please contact us before August.

Click here for contact information

We Are On the Radio

Did you hear our radio commercial for our current project?  You can listen to it by clicking on the attachment to this newsletter!  Check it out!

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