Are You Struggling To Manage Your Child’s Behavior?

Little girl in a red dress sitting on a boardwalk hugging teddybear, view from behind

Are you worried about your child’s developmental and what will happen if his or her behavioral issues become more problematic? Do you feel too embarrassed by your child’s behavior to invite people into your home or to take him or her with you to work or social events? Maybe your child throws temper tantrums or argues with you about every instruction you give. Or perhaps he or she doesn’t know how else to behave, and your disciplinary response or his or her environment may be unintentionally encouraging the behavior. Have the challenges of managing your child’s behavior problems led to increased stress or arguments with your partner? Have you almost given up trying to connect with and support your child, perhaps even believing that you have failed as a parent? Do you wish you had the skills and resources needed to know how to pick your battles and productively manage your child’s behavior?

Almost All Parents Deal With Behavior Challenges

Many parents have normal and valid questions, doubts and concerns about how to build a healthy, respectful and productive relationship with their child. Whether they are arguing, lying or using physical aggression, there are a variety of reasons why children develop inappropriate patterns of behavior. Difficult behavior is often reinforced by other children or adults, and a lack of consistency can make it hard for children to know how to behave. And, many children between 2 and 8-years-old are very aware of their environment, decisions and the reactions of adults, and anger or disobedience may be a way to test the limits of what is appropriate. Countless struggling parents turn to books, blogs and other resources, searching for parenting skills and techniques in a scattered fashion and failing to see any improvements.

The good news is that there are steps you can take to manage difficult behavior and connect with your child. Parent-Child Interaction Therapy (PCIT) is an intensive treatment program specifically designed for children between 2 to 8 years that improves the quality of parent-child relationships and provides parents with skills to manage the challenging behaviors of young children.

How Does PCIT Work?

pcitAt Chupik Counseling, we provide non-judgmental coaching and positive, constructive feedback to help you address the challenges in your parent-child relationship. PCIT is an evidence-based parent training program backed by extensive research. Because of its proven effectiveness, it has been adapted to aid parents dealing with varying sets of presenting issues, cultures, family structures and languages.

Unlike traditional one-on-one therapy for children or adults, PCIT keeps you together with your child during treatment. You have enormous influence over your child and his or her development, and with the right resources, support and skills you can feel more confident and foster a healthier parent-child relationship. Instead of giving you techniques to try at home, we offer direct coaching and immediate feedback so you can practice communication and parenting skills in a safe environment. During sessions, you and your child will interact while your therapist observes from a separate room. Using a one-way-radio called a “bug-in-the-ear,” your therapist will coach you and provide feedback as you learn new, more effective parenting skills that work for you.

PCIT is conducted in two phases. The first phase focuses on creating or strengthening a positive and mutually rewarding relationship between the parent and child. The second phase focuses on learning and using effective behavior management strategies to improve compliance and decrease disruptive behavior.

In addition to providing collaborative coaching and immediate feedback, we collect data during every session and use progress monitoring to review and revise our treatment plan as needed. By understanding how you and your child interact and identifying what approaches do or don’t work and when, you can take strategic steps to improve behavior and feel more confident in your parenting skills. As a part of PCIT, and with your permission, we can work with your school or other providers to ensure your child receives the support and reinforcement he or she needs outside of sessions. If your child’s behavior is extremely disruptive and/or puts him or her at risk, we may refer you to a psychiatrist who can help to stabilize his or her behavior.

At Chupik Counseling, we have been helping parents and children work through challenges and strengthen their relationships for years. We have seen firsthand how effective counseling and coaching can be in developing parenting skills and strengthening the parent-child connection. With Parent-Child Interaction Therapy, you can learn the practical tools and strategies you need to manage difficult behavior and foster a healthier, happier relationship with your child.

But you may still have questions or concerns about PCIT…

I’m worried I’ll find out I’m to blame for my child’s struggles.

PCIT at Chupik Counseling is about helping you improve your relationship with your child, not about placing blame. There is no right way to parent, and you’re doing the best you can with the skills you have. The fact that you are searching for ways to better connect with your child speaks to the fact that you are committed to helping your child.

I have too many other professional and family responsibilities to spend time at parent-child therapy.

PCIT is a weekly 50-minute session, so there is a time commitment. But, if we think it is the right fit for you and your child’s needs, we will work with you to find times that don’t interfere with your other obligations. Morning and evening sessions are also available.

I’ve tried different parenting approaches in the past and nothing worked. How will this be different?

We can work together to understand why the techniques and strategies used in the past didn’t work and what barriers or concerns stood in the way. We then use PCIT to provide practical resources, real-time coaching and individualized feedback as you practice new parenting skills in a supportive environment directly with your child.

You Can Strengthen Your Relationship With Your Child

If you are ready to begin working toward a healthier, happier relationship with your child, or if you still have questions about PCIT at Chupik Counseling, we encourage you to contact our office.