Using PRIDE Skills in Parenting
As parents, it is often common for us to get caught up in day-to-day tasks
that seem to take away from other areas of our lives. Between school,
work, sports, musicals, band practice and more, it’s difficult to find extra
time in our day. This can result in parents having to manage difficult behaviors
at home. For children, play is the way they communicate and make sense of their
world. Therefore, it is important that we take some time to engage with them in a
supportive and non-directive manner.
IoWA-PCIT is a type of therapy that focuses on the relationship between caregiver
and child. Throughout PCIT therapy, parents learns skills to help improve their
interactions when difficult behaviors arise. One set of skills taught is referred to
as PRIDE skills. PRIDE skills provide us with an acronym to call upon when we are
wanting to spend powerful time with the children in our lives. According to IoWA-PCIT and Beth Troutman, it is recommended that you spend five minutes a day
engaging in the following skills: The first letter, P, stands for Praise. Praise is most
helpful when it is specific and descriptive. For example, stating to a child, “thank
you for sharing”, is a positive and specific praise of behavior.
“R” stands for Reflect, simply meaning reflecting or saying what they say. Imagine
children playing with a red firetruck. They make noises that reflect a booming
sound that bounces off the walls. In their play, they may state, “I love firetrucks”.
A great reflection would be, “You love firetrucks”. The skill of reflection displays
to the children that you are engaged in their play, are showing them positive
attention and increases oxytocin levels in their brain, securing their attachment
The third letter is “I”, which stands for Imitate. Imitating the childen’s play is
important for interaction and can simply mean that if they are building with blocks,
then you build with blocks.
The “D” stands for describe. Let’s go back to the fire truck example. If children are
playing with a red firetruck, they may be pushing the fire truck, you can simply
state, “You’re pushing the firetruck”. This verbal description of what they are doing
lets them know that you see them; you are engaged and attentive to their world.
The last letter, “E” stands for Enjoy. Sit back and relax, delighting in your children
and their play.
If you would like to learn more about PCIT and how it could be a potential benefit
to your family, please contact Wholeness Healing Center, PC. at 308.382.5297.
Troutman, B. (2016), IoWA-PCIT, unpublished manuscript. www.pcit.lab.uiowa.edu
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Licensed Independent Clinical Social Worker
Licensed Independent Mental Health Practitioner
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