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Table 1 Skills Taught in the How-to Parenting Program

From: How to talk so kids will listen & listen so kids will talk: a randomized controlled trial evaluating the efficacy of the how-to parenting program on children’s mental health compared to a wait-list control group

Session/Chapter title Skills Examples
Session 1/ Chapter 1 Helping children deal with their feelings - Listen to him/her with full attention; Look at the child when s/he speaks.
- Acknowledge with a word, and/or a sound; “Oh…”; “Hm”
- Try to name the child’s feeling; “That can feel scary”
- Give him/her what s/he desires in fantasy. “I wish I could make a snack appear for you right now”
Session 2/ Chapter 2 Engaging cooperation - Describe what the problem is; “There are boots in the middle of the hallway”
- Provide some more information; “It’s hard to walk when boots are blocking the way and wetting the floor”
- Remind the child with just one word; “Kids, the boots”
- Express your own feelings without attacking the child’s character; “I feel irritated when I come back home and can’t walk in the hallway”
- Write a note. “Please bring us back on our rack” (signed: your boots)
Session 3/ Chapter 3 Alternatives to punishments - Express own feelings without attacking the child’s character; “I don’t like to see food residues on the couch”
- State your expectation; “I expect eating to take place in the kitchen”
- Show him/her how to make amends; “This couch needs to be cleaned. Here’s a wet sponge with some soap on it”
- Give him/her two options; “You can either eat your snack in the kitchen before watching TV or watch TV without a snack”
- Take action if needed; After giving options (see above), take away the snack.
- Problem-solve with child. Acknowledge child’s feelings; Express yours; Brainstorm (write child’s ideas and your own); Select one idea, Plan and implement it.
Session 4/ Chapter 4 Encouraging autonomy - Let him/her decide; “Do you want the blue or the red shirt?”
- Respect the child’s struggle; “Pouring milk in a glass can be tricky, sometimes it helps to use a wide glass”
- Limit the number of your questions; Let child talk about his/her day when s/he wants to.
- Don’t rush to answer his/her questions; “Interesting, why do you think kids lose their teeth?”
- Promote some outside resources; “I wonder what the dentist would say”
- Don’t take away the child’s hope. “An astronaut! What an interesting career.”
Session 5/ Chapter 5 Descriptive praise - Describe the child’s behavior or accomplishment; “I see toys on their shelf”
- Describe own feelings; “It feels good to sit on the couch easily”
- Summarize the child’s behavior with a noun. “That’s what I call organization
Session 6/ Chapter 6 Freeing children from playing roles   Example: the “sore loser”
- Notice counter role behavior from the child; “You shook the winner’s hand”
- Provide him/her with counter role opportunities; “Let’s play a game of …”
- Let the child overhear positive comments; “Suzie congratulated me when…”
- Model appropriate behavior; “Congratulations for winning this game!”
- Recall one of the child’s counter role behavior in the past; “I remember when you congratulated me for winning at …”
- If s/he reverts to an old role, state your feeling and expectation. “I expect you to congratulate the winner after a match”
Session 7 Integration Open, guided discussion;
Activity about managing typical parent-child interactions by integrating various skills;
Description of participants’ accomplishments in learning skills.