This was last week’s published article, and I was delighted because our family’s clinical psychologist sent a copy of it to America’s IYP office 🙂

(originally published in and



What if I could tell you how to improve parent-child interactions, so you can stop yelling in the mornings and your child happily hangs their towel up after a bath?

ID-10070716By Clare Bloomfield
ID-10070716By Clare Bloomfield

Before you launched into your job or career, chances are you received training or completed a course, so you knew procedures, how to complete tasks, operate equipment.

Fortunate parents have the opportunity to attend antenatal classes, where you learn about birth options, basic newborn care and most importantly, meet a few people who are going through the same stage as you, providing the basis of the all-important support network.

However not many families are given much of a crash course in parenting – how to deal with tantrums, non-compliance and unappealing behaviour, and how to play, praise and enjoy your child (because for some people this doesn’t come naturally).

I often hear people joke that ‘babies don’t come with manuals and instructions’, but let me tell you about the next best thing: parenting courses.
Ok, stop groaning! As with anything, attitude is everything – so you’ll get the most out of a course if you go into it with positive goals and a willing approach to give it a go.

New Zealand is host to a fabulous international renowned parenting course called, ‘The Incredible Years’. This course is a 16 week, weekly session programme that helps parents with strategies to build a respectful family relationship.

The course is useful for turning behaviour around from the undesirable to a more positive family life, so if you’re struggling to deal with a child that is demonstrating challenging behaviour, then The Incredible Years programme can help you set clear rules and boundaries to improve behaviour.

For families who deal with behavioral or developmental issues, many psychologists and social workers recommend the course to establish a calmer household. Having done the course for this reason, I can highly recommend it for setting structure, developing social skills and eliminating/minimizing the disruption that these traits and behaviours can cause.

Every family will get something out of this course, because the strategies can be adapted from toddler to youth. You may even find some techniques helpful to use in your relationship or working environment! Adopting clear limits, problem solving, listening and talking skills, empathy and redirection are life-long skills to ensure your child’s success in life. Having done the programme for a second time, I can see its ability to be adapted to every family situation.

Based on a foundation of a respectful relationship with plenty of play, fun, encouragement and celebration, The Incredible Years will also teach parents strategies such as ignore, distract, redirect, limits and (my own personal weakness) consistent follow-through. The focus is on encouraging behaviours you’d like to see, and using consequences to deal with the behaviour you don’t want!

Contact your nearest Ministry of Education district office if you’re interested in the Incredible Years – Parent programme.

Read more about it online at

If you cant get onto a course this year, try and get hold of the book. It doesn’t replace the course, but may help you adopt some different strategies to help you in the mean time!!

EDITED: Here is the link to what the American IYP office had o say about my articles 😛


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