The Incredible Years, an award-winning parent training, teacher training, and child social skills curriculum (Dinosaur School), has been selected by the U.S. Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention as an “exemplary” best practice program. The Incredible Years is designed specifically for children in the classroom. With the help of child-size puppets, children learn to get along with others, solve problems, control anger and express feelings. The program also provides parents with weekly, facilitated discussion groups where they learn to increase nurturing parenting skills while decreasing their children’s oppositional behaviors.
The Parent Training aspect is designed for parents with children up to age eight. It is focused on strengthening parent competencies and encouraging parent/child relationships. The program increases parent communication, limit-setting, problem-solving and anger management skills.
The Teacher Training
The teacher training intervention provides an exciting opportunity for teachers to become more knowledgeable in classroom management strategies and promote supportive teacher-parent communication networks. It has been found that children in classrooms with teachers who received this training experienced improved relationships with peers and are more cooperative with teachers. Additionally, teachers who participated in this training were found to use more praise and be more nurturing, consistent, and confident. Children of pre-school age participate in classroom and small group activities to build skills in problem solving, emotional competence, empathy, anger management, and friendship development.
Through Dinosaur School, children experience growth and learning in their social-emotional, physical, language and cognitive development. The curriculum instills conflict management and problem solving skills in children ages 3 to 5. The use of puppets Dina, Wally and Molly contribute to the success of Dinosaur School.