The Basics of PCIT and How it Can Benefit your Family

Every parent wants to raise their child right. Unfortunately, it’s not always an easy task. Each child is different, and there’s no clear-cut way to raise them. You could go through dozens of parenting books, but you’ll find that it doesn’t have all the answers. Lucky for us, psychology has come with new programs to raising kids. One approach that’s gaining more recognition today is parent-child interaction therapy (PCIT). Here are the facts to know about the program.

What is PCIT?


Developed in the early 1970s by Dr. Sheila M. Eyberg, PCIT is a new form of treatment.

It combines ideas from play therapy and behavioral therapy. This form of treatment focuses on how parents or caregivers interact with children, as guided by a trained coach. It aims to improve their relationship with each other through PCIT techniques. PCIT is directed towards turning negative behavior into more positive, wanted behavior.

Who Can Benefit from It?

Newly developed, the treatment is primarily for children of ages 2 to 7. Moreover, PCIT was meant to aid parents in raising children with disruptive behavioral and emotional disorders. This includes children who experienced abuse and trauma in the past. It addresses many behavioral issues such as non-compliance, defiance and aggression.


PCIT has been found to be especially useful and productive in other situations. This form of therapy has been used when dealing with children on the autism spectrum. Likewise, it has been used with foster and adoptive families as well as at-risk families.

How is PCIT Done?


A basic PCIT program has two stages: relationship enhancement and discipline training.


First, relationship enhancement is done through child-directed interaction (CDI). Under this stage, parents are coached into developing a healthy and nurturing bond with their children. This is typically done by having the parents play and interact with their children in a controlled playroom while being observed by and guided by a coach.


Under this stage, parents are taught the acronym PRIDE, which stands for praise, reflect, imitate, describe and enjoyment. During their playtime with their children, they are meant to praise positive behavior and reflect on what their children say. Additionally, they should imitate their children’s positive behavior to show approval of it. Describing what their children are doing helps build vocabulary in the child and shows that parents are paying attention. Parents are also tasked to show enjoyment and enthusiasm for their children’s activities.


Second, discipline training is aparent-directed interaction (PDI). This time, the parent takes the lead when it comes to discipline. Under this stage, parents are to give easy-to-understand instructions to their children. They provide specific and positively-expressed commands. When the children show compliance, they are given praise. Should they prove noncompliance, the children are given a time-out, teaching the difference between correct and incorrect behavior.

How Can it Help my Family?


Every child experiences unwanted behavior at some point. Some parents may find it easier to correct their children than others. Typically used for families with children exhibiting behavioral and emotional disorders, you may see that PCIT can still benefit your family.


You may choose to go through formal treatment, where you will be coached. Conversely, you may only read up on PCIT and apply its techniques when raising your children. You’ll find that the program gives many perspectives on parenting. Better connections are made between the parent and child, creating a closer relationship that helps you raise your child right.

Raising Better With Interactive Therapies

Having a child is not so difficult, but raising one is an entirely different story. What more if you have to raise two, right? In the era where technology plays a significant role in making or breaking a child’s personality development, parents should be more aware of ways or processes to adapt to counter these distractions.


Parents sometimes use gadgets to help them with taking care of the children. It’s easy for them just to open a tablet or a phone and let the child play programs or applications that could entertain them. It’s true that it is one way of keeping a child busy, but the question —Is it good for her? Is it good for you? Is it the best way?


Health in Gadgets


“Health is Wealth,” they say. Eye-problem, obesity, autism, lack of motor skills and problematic behaviors? Do these health problems look familiar to your child? A survey, National Survey of Children’s Health, produced primarily by the Maternal and Child Health Bureau of the Health Resources and Services Administration showed that these health problems are more prominent for children who use gadgets more often.


How do you get the best of both worlds? How do you manage your child, his or her personality without having to sacrifice play time? Well, Parent-Children Therapy is the best way to go!


Parent-Children Interactive Therapy


A lot of parents have a hard time with juggling career and raising a child that is why certain organizations started to conduct and create therapies which combine play and behavioral therapies between young children and their parents.


These therapies teach the parents ways and enhance their skills to counter mental disorders, personality, developmental difficulties and more. These techniques are mostly advised to parents who have advanced children aging 2 to 7 years of age.


The Process


Usually, what happens in Parent-Children therapy is that the child and the parent are being placedin a private room with a one-way mirror where a therapist can observe their behaviors and coach the parent on what to do with the use of an earphone. They supervise and study the relationship that needs to be built between parent and child.


Coaches tend to encourage the parents toavoid the use of negative language while communicating with the child.Instead, parents should focus more onpraising their kids just like what happens in the rewards system. They are equipped with strategies on how to help increase children’s vocabulary and emphasize the idea that children tend to imitate their behavior.


Effect of Interactive Therapies


Because of what parents learn from these, they become more open,and they now choose to create a closer relationship with their children. This affects the child also in a more positive way and helps them unfold better personality developments. How? They feel more loved.


Everybody wants to feel loved. Especially children, they may be young,but their feelings are very controlling. Avoidance of any negative or harmful actions toward your kid will soon have a significant impact and would lead encourage the child to become more of a better person.


Similar to anything, practice makes perfect. The continuing practice of these therapies creates a better environment for parent and children. They both become better.Further, they grow together and understand more about each other.


Where to Find a Therapist


If you need help, there are therapists accredited by PCIT International,and they are more willing to help. It is a licensed mental service provider that can help you find the best therapist anywhere you may be,and that could suit you without sacrificing your comfortability!


Do not take any chances with your child. Remember that your kid needs the best. Your loving child needs you. 


Encouragement and excellent communication are a lot better than any gadget or technology this world has to offer. Act now and see the results as soon as possible.


Be better. Be wiser. Bring out the hero your child has seen inside you.

How to Correct a Child’s Misbehavior

Kids tend to create trouble unknowingly or intentionally. Discipline is a must to prevent child behavior problems that may arise from this behavior. Parents need to put rules to anticipate this from happening. They have to explain the reasons why their kids are at fault. Otherwise, these instances would become bad habits if left unchecked. Experience wise, spending time and interacting with them is the best way to correct these misbehaviors.

How to confront your children

Parents can think of stratagems to fix a child’s behavioral problems without mentally or physically scarring them. It may pose some challenge, but it is not an impossible thing to implement. Here are some tips to correct your child’s wrongdoing.



  •   Lying

There are many times when kids don’t want to admit their wrongdoings, so they start to lie. It is a usual defense mechanism which gets them into more trouble and will become a habit if left uncorrected. Try telling them stories and fairy-tales about honesty which will remind them that lying is not good. Don’t overwhelm them with anger and fury if they ever admit that they are at fault. Ask them what is wrong and how bad is it for them to lie so you can help if needed and save the punishment for later.



  •   Stealing

Kids are very envious. They tend to have their eyes set on nice looking and colorful things and take it. It becomes a problem if they get it from others without permission. It may evolve into a pressing mental issue called kleptomania if not corrected. 

You have to educate them to ask permission if they yearn for something that’s not theirs even if it’s from their family members. Demonstrate to them that stealing is a terrible thing by setting them in an imaginary scenario with them as a victim. You can point out that they would also feel terrible if other people steal their things or get their things without their permission.



  •   Bullying

Bullying starts when kids start to make a circle of friends. There are times when other kids they don’t like unknown or new kids from interacting with them. Sometimes they will use violent means to force other kids out in worst cases. 

Young kids especially do this if they find the other kid is physically or behaviorally different and pick on them. Parents can change this by explaining to them that it is terrible to bully others. Clarify that everyone is unique and not to judge a person by how they look. Make them understand that there is no good in hurting other people. 

The parents should learn to differentiate discipline from punishment. Punishment is about making your kid suffer for the wrong things they have done. On the other hand, discipline is to make them understand the crazy things they did and that there are consequences for their actions. Sometimes punishment is unavoidable, but parents should keep it to a minimum if possible.