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 simply don’t know how to meet the needs of their children. Kids don’t come with instruction booklets. And even the best of parents often don’t know how to handle some situations.
Through “on-the-job” training and modeling of warm, nurturing ways of responding to children, therapists can demonstrate to 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 for children and families are diverse. The intention is to replicate some of the normal, everyday activities of most families. We attempt to provide an atmosphere that the family is accustomed to.
Some of the family activities may include:
- Playing outdoors on playground equipment, playing basketball, riding bikes, and other wholesome outdoor games such as badminton, croquet, soccer, etc.
- Playing indoors with appropriate 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.
- Eating a meal or snack so that the family can eat together at a table, engage in appropriate “family talk” at the table, and cooperate in the clean-up process. It’s important that the atmosphere at the table is peaceful and pleasant. We emphasize manners and expressions of appreciation, the values that help build strong family bonds.