Interactive Parent Training

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What is interactive parent training?

Interactive parent training is the cornerstone program of The Ark. It’s not just telling a parent what to do – it’s modeling how to be an effective parent when the therapist joins the family in activities. Most ineffective parents are uneducated about how to meet the needs of their children. Through “on-the-job” training and modeling of warm, nurturing ways of responding to children, therapists can teach parents the skills needed to form attachment bonds with their children, moving towards a healthy, functioning family.

What does an interactive parent training session look like?

The activities of interactive parent training for children and families are diverse with the intention of replicating some of the normal, everyday activities in which families participate. Activities will be tailored according to each families’ culture and lifestyle (when possible), in an attempt to provide an atmosphere which the family is accustomed to. Below is a list of some family activities which may be utilized during interactive parent training:

  1. Playing outdoors on playground equipment, playing basketball, riding bikes, and other wholesome outdoor games such as badminton, croquet, soccer, etc.
  2. Playing indoors with appropriate developmental toys for babies, children, and teens. A wide range of toys, board games, arts and crafts, and other equipment and materials are available for use by the family.
  3. Eating a meal or snack so that the family can learn to plan and prepare a meal, eat together at a table, engage in appropriate “family talk” at the table, and cooperate in the clean-up process. The atmosphere of the family time together at the table will aim to be peaceful and pleasant, with an emphasis upon manners and expressions of appreciation, the values that help build strong family bonds.