Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Checking Out Young Kids

Nearly fifty years ago when I was beginning my graduate work in child psychology, I was one of the first members of my family to notice and want to do something about the strange behaviors of my nephew Dean. He was about two years old, without speech and chewing on the back of his hand. It was appalling and tragic. It turned out that Dean was autistic, and would now be a child who would be considered as being at far end of the autism spectrum.

Dean was given just about all of the therapies and interventions that were then available through UCLA and its neuropsychiatric clinics, as well as the therapy that was part of Dr. Ivar Lovaas in the psych department. Dean eventually had to be hospitalized at the then Camarillo State Hospital and he died in his early 30s at a group home for similarly disabled adults.

Later in my career in the early 2000s when I was in a position to generate funding for the Center for the Improvement of Child Caring for a project that would focus on the needs of special needs kids and their families, I initiated and generated the first online questionnaire for alerting parents of young children to the possibility that their child did have special needs that required professional attention. That questionnaire, the CICC Discovery Tool, then got fairly good usage in LA County where we had funds to publicize its existence.

The Tool asks parents to indicate how their child is currently functioning in terms of his or her
(1) development of Motor skills (physical development),
(2) thinking and learning (cognitive development),
(3) listening, cooling and speaking (receptive and expressive language development),
(4) seeing, hearing and touching (sensory development)
(5) making friends and showing feelings (social and emotional development) and
(6) dressing, washing, and feeding themselves (daily living skills).

Many parents and child care workers have made excellent use of the results of having taken the tool online. In some instances, they have used the results, which come out in the form of a developmental profile, to convince pediatricians and others in the helping field, that a child does need assistance right now. In most instances, parents found out that their kids were developing in line with normative age expectations.

In either cases, they were also alerted to parent training programs that could help them be better Moms and Dads. So the Tool also puts you in contact with really great resources to make family lives richer and more harmonious, whether or not your kids look like they are underdeveloped or disabled in any way.

The Discovery Tool is available online on CICC's website. There is also a book version of the Discovery Tool available from CICC.

Do use this pioneering alerting tool to check out your children five and under, or to have kids in your family or the kids of friends who look like they are not growing at a normal rate

Its use can change lives for the better.

Monday, July 18, 2011

So Much To Tell You

Good morning, my friends. Though it has been a while since we last posted on here, that doesn't mean we haven't been extremely busy continuing to do our best to play a part in helping parents be the best they can be for their children.

Among the many things going on is the news that we have a new book out that we want to tell you about. The book grew out of our successful "Effective Black Parenting" program and is called "The Soulful Parent: Raising Healthy, Happy & Successful African-American Children." In the book, parents and program instructors share stories about how they have used the teachings of the program to create happier homes and happier and healthier relationships with their children. Their stories are accompanied by illustrations of what the program teaches, so that you too can make use of the skills and parenting ideas of the program in your relationships with your children.

It was an ambitious undertaking but one that we are very proud of and we believe it will make the lessons of the program accessible to a lot more people who might not be able to make it to workshops.

Speaking of workshops, we have a couple coming up to tell you about as well. But more on that later. Here is a link to where you can find out more about the book and purchase it as well:


Have a great day!

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Raising Proud and Capable African American Children

I have just designed and will be conducting a special two-hour webinar about how communities can use the Effective Black Parenting Program to help in Raising Proud and Capable African American Children.

The webinar is scheduled for Thursday, January 14, 2010 at 2:00 PM Eastern time.

It will cover the following topics and issues:

  • The Impact of Barack Obama on Raising African American Children

  • Program Development Research Findings:Parenting World Views, Parenting Practices, and What Black Parents Share About Being Black.

  • The Pyramid of Success for Black Children and What Black Parents Can Do to Stay on the Path to the Pyramid.

  • Pride in Blackness: Positive Communications, Coping with Racism, Avoiding Black Self-Disparagement.

  • Traditional Black Discipline vs. Modern Black Self-Discipline.
  • General Parenting Strategies: Pinpointing Child Behaviors, The Thinking Parent's Approach, Family Rule Guidelines, Children's Developing Abilities, Children's Thinking Stages.

  • Basic Parenting Skills Taught in a Culturally Sensitive Manner Using African Proverbs: Effective Praising, Effective Verbal Confrontation, Time Out, Systematic Ignoring, Special Incentives.

  • Special Topics: Single Parenting, Preventing Drug Abuse
  • Research Results on Program Effectiveness.

  • How to Bring the Program to Your Community
People and organizations who enroll in the webinar will be eligible for receiving discounts on the instructional materials that are needed to run the program, as well as discounts on the fees for enrolling themselves or their staffs in upcoming instructor training workshops where they can be certified to deliver this national model, parenting-skill building program.

To learn more about the webinar and to enroll in it, click here.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Webinar on "How to Help Your Community Raise Its Children"

A 2-hour webinar which I will be leading on Tuesday, December 8, 2009 at 2:00 P.M. Eastern Time will provide you with many ideas and resources that you can use to help your community do the best job possible in raising its children.

The event is called, Helping Your Community Raise Healthy Children: A Webinar on Effective Parenting Resources.

Among the topics and issues that I will address and amplify upon are:

  • How Society Benefits When Parents Are Effective

  • What Parents Do For and On Behalf of Children

  • What Constitutes Effective Parenting in Contemporary Society

  • The Most Productive Pattern of Parenting

  • Programs that Teach and Support the Productive Pattern, including Special Programs for Parents of Ethnic Minority Children

  • Research on the Impact of Parenting Programs

  • Ways to Engage Parents in Parenting Programs

  • Considerations about Charging Parents for Parenting Programs

  • Numerous Resources which You Can Immediately Use, including Free and Inexpensive Resources
To learn more about and enroll in this webinar, click here.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

We Must Stop Hitting Children! Part 7 -- Are Physically Punished Children Better Behaved?

Parents use physical punishment primarily to reduce undesirable child behavior in the present and to increase desirable child behavior in the future.

The research findings on the short-term effectiveness of physical punishment in achieving child compliance are mixed. A meta-analysis (which is a method of research synthesis that statistically combines existing data to discern the average strength of the findings) of five studies examining children's immediate compliance with physical punishment found a positive effect on average. However, the findings were highly inconsistent in that one of the studies found no effect and another found that children were less likely to comply when physically punished.

In one of these studies, the authors concluded that “there was no support for the necessity of the physical punishment” to change children's behavior.

The research to date also indicates that physical punishment does not promote long-term, internalized compliance. Most (85 percent) of the studies included in a meta-analysis found physical punishment to be associated with less moral internalization of norms for appropriate behavior and long-term compliance. Similarly, the more children receive physical punishment, the more defiant they are and the less likely they are to empathize with others.

Parents often use physical punishment when their children have behaved aggressively, such as hitting a younger sibling, or antisocially, such as stealing money from parents. Thus it is particularly important to determine whether physical punishment is effective in achieving one of parents' main goals in using it, namely to reduce children's aggressive and antisocial behaviors over time.

In a meta-analysis of 27 studies, every study found physical punishment was associated with more, not less, child aggression. A separate meta-analysis of 13 studies found that 12 of them documented a link between physical punishment and more child antisocial behavior. Similarly, in recent studies conducted around the world, including studies in Canada, China, India, Italy, Kenya, Norway, Philippines, Thailand, Singapore, and the United States, physical punishment has been associated with more physical aggression, verbal aggression, physical fighting and bullying, antisocial behavior, and behavior problems generally.

The conclusion to be drawn from these studies is that, contrary to parents' goals when using it, the more parents use physical punishment, the more disobedient and aggressive their children will be.


The NEW Confident Parenting is a book that discusses all of the issues surrounding the use of physical punishment and offers an entire program for raising children without ever having to use physical punishment.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Parenting Classes and Court Referrals

Millions of parents who are going through divorces, custody conflicts and child welfare hearings are mandated by the courts they are dealing with to enroll in parenting classes. Such "court accepted" parenting classes are not always easy to find and/or are often offered at days and times that parents cannot take advantage of without having to take time off the the job or time away from the home.

Online Parenting Classes that are "court accepted" now exist to fulfill this need.

The Online Parenting Class by Dr. Ari Novick that I recommended in a prior article (Effective Parenting and Online Parenting Classes) fits the bill. It not only teaches solid parenting ideas that everyone can learn from, but also addresses many of the specific challenges that court referred parents are dealing with, such as adjusting to becoming step or blended families, learning how to co-parent, and managing stress and conflict.

If you or your family, friends, or colleagues are raising children during divorces, custody hearings or have been reported for possibly abusing or neglecting your children, this is an appropriate class for you.

To learn more and to enroll, click here.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Effective Parenting and Online Parenting Classes

Much is known from decades of solid research about what parenting attitudes and practices in combination are the most helpful in raising healthy and achieving children. A pattern or style of parenting that features abundant parental warmth, empathy and responsiveness, fair and firm disciplinary guidance, and making children priorities in our lives has been shown time and time again to be the best mixture or pattern.

The most direct way of learning this pattern, or refining the pattern you are already employing, it to enroll in a parenting class that teaches the skills and attitudes of this Productive Parenting Pattern. Classes that teach the pattern usually run for 7 to 15 sessions of education and require parents to arrange their lives to leave the home to attend the class at a local agency, school or religious institution, obtain babysitters, etc. As a result, not all parents can participate because of not having the time or energy to arrange their lives to get this valuable training, education and support.

However, with the advent of the Internet, and the creativity of parenting program developers, it is now possible to participate in high quality parenting classes from the convenience of your home. And to do so at the times and days that you select.

An Online Parenting class that does that, and which I recommend you take advantage of, is one that has been created by Dr. Ari Novick, Ph.D. Dr. Novick is a licensed Marriage and Family Therapist and an expert in family relationships and anger management. He is also an adjunct professor of psychology at Pepperdine's Graduate School of Education and Psychology. His Online Class teaches the basics of the Productive Parenting Pattern, including Empathy Training, Rewards and Discipline for Children, and Avoiding Parenting Mistakes.

To learn more and enroll right now, click here.