Estimated read time: 2-3 minutes
Carole Mikita ReportingWe have all seen and experienced out-of-control behavior from young children and sometimes said to ourselves, "I wish there was someone who could tell me how to handle this." Actually, just such a program exists.
It starts at Wasatch Canyons in a place called Parent-Child Interaction Therapy. The aim is to help families. Sometimes the courts will send parents and children there, but other parents go there for a number of reasons.
I visited with a young couple and their four-year-old son who were referred by their pediatrician. You will see in three months time the remarkable change.
Therapy for the Lalor family began last September with psychologist Kevin Gully observing Tiffani and Jaden, her four-year-old son who has ADHD.
Tiffani Lalor: "I was home all day with both the kids. Kind of, you know at the end of my rope, didn't know where to go, what to do."
Things were no better with Jaden's dad, Brett.
Brett Lalor: "Honestly, I'd have to say when I first came in, I didn't know, really whether it was going to help out or not."
Help came from a Primary Children's Medical Center program. Dr.Gully met with the family once a week for three months. He works through a one-way mirror.
Kevin Gully, Ph.D., clinical psychologist, Primary Children's Medical Center: "If I turn out the light in here, I'm able to see the parent and the child in this room, and then the parent is directing interacting with the child, rather than myself."
Parents and children learn what are called pride skills, positive reinforcement.
It's called parent-child interaction therapy, and the idea is not to be judgmental of the situation parents find themselves in, rather to be supportive.
We jump ahead to November, after eight weeks of training.
Mom: "If you hit then you automatically go to time out, then you automatically go to time out. Now we can play. Now we can play."
Dr. Gully: "Mom, that was a great job giving the instructions. They are loving parents and they came in, and they were really motivated, and they did a great job."
"Jaden, I'd like to use the red duck. Hand me the red duck, please. Thank you so much for listening and minding. I like how you gave the duck to me."
Now it's December, the whole family has a session with Kevin.
Tiffani Lalor: "This program has made such a dramatic difference in our lives and at home, and I can't thank Dr. Gully enough."
Tiffani and Brett took what they learned home. They have achieved what they had hoped.
Dr. Gully says 95% of parenting is not giving commands, but rather making children feel good about themselves by praising their accomplishments no matter how small.