Parent Management Training (Parent Training)

Parent training, also known as parent management training (PMT) or behavioural parent training (BPT), are training programs that aim to change parenting behaviors and teach positive reinforcement methods for improving children and adolescent behaviour problems. It is commonly used for oppositional defiant disorder and conduct disorder.[1][2]

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Don’t get stuck in the trap of consequences and discipline in parenting. Focus on the basics first:

  • Stress management
  • Focusing on the positives
  • Then focus on discipline and consequence strategies
  • Caregivers of children with emotional disorders may themselves also fall into patterns of behaviour that reinforce the child's intense experience of strong emotions or unhelpful coping strategies.[3]
    • Parental overprotection may play a role in a child's cortical stress response.[4]
    • Inconsistent reinforcers and discipline are associated with increased disruptive behaviours
    • Psychologically critical behaviours by caregivers may be associated with risk for depression,[5] borderline symptoms,[6], and other behavioural issues.

Emotional Caregiving Behaviours

Adapted from: Barlow, D. H. et al. (2010). Unified protocol for transdiagnostic treatment of emotional disorders - Therapist guide. Oxford University Press.
Emotional Caregiving Behavior Example
Accommodation/Overprotection • Not allowing the child to engage in age-appropriate activities for fear something might happen to them
• Making excuses to others for withdrawal/avoidance/aggression
Negative Social Attention/Criticism • Focusing on negative aspects of the child's behaviour and ignoring the positive aspects
• Speaking about child negatively to others
Inconsistency • Inconsistent/inaccurate reinforcement and punishment
• Excessive (or absent) discipline behaviours
Modelling of Intense Emotions • Demonstrating excessive emotional reactions to stimuli or avoidance of such
• Communicating or sharing adult worry with a child
• Using aggressive behaviours or swearing often when angry
3) Barlow, D. H., Farchione, T. J., Fairholme, C. P., Ellard, K. K., Boisseau, C. L., Allen, L. B., & May, J. T. E. (2010). Unified protocol for transdiagnostic treatment of emotional disorders: Therapist guide. Oxford University Press.