Resources for Parents

Resources for Parents

Understanding Parent Management Training

Understanding Parent Management Training

Takeaways for busy parents:

  • Parent Management Training (PMT) is a gold standard empirically-supported treatment for children and their parents.
  • PMT is designed for children over 6 experiencing significant tantrums, emotional dysregulation, difficulty with attention, impulsivity, poor social skills, or complex family dynamics with increased parental frustration.
  • The treatment is typically completed virtually or in person through 12+ weekly sessions.
  • PMT strategies focus on positive reinforcement, learning practical consequences, setting limits, and effective communication.
  • One primary goal of PMT is to support parents in aligning their parenting strategies and utilizing effective techniques to improve the family dynamic.

Parenting is a rewarding yet challenging journey. It comes with many difficulties, from understanding developmental stages to raising siblings with entirely different personalities. More than ever before, parents are bombarded with information and resources to be an effective parent. There's a tremendous amount of noise when it comes to parenting. Managing more complex behaviors, such as tantrums and behavioral challenges, can be even more confusing. Fortunately, evidence-based techniques are designed to help support parents navigate such challenging behaviors.Parent Management Training is a practical, evidence-based therapy that targets challenging behaviors in a household and supports parents in implementing effective parenting strategies that make a real difference.

What is Parent Management Training?

Parent Management Training, or PMT, is a structured and evidence-based behavioral parent training developed to help parents implement evidence-based tools. It is a well-established approach designed to help parents navigate behavioral concerns, such as tantrums, defiance, arguing, negotiation, aggressive behaviors, and more.

PMT has been validated through various randomized control trials (the gold standard of research methods). Randomized control trials have shown consistent evidence that PMT improves child behavior problems, decreases parental stress, and improves family functioning. Meta-analyses combine multiple quality research studies to provide a comprehensive overview of the effectiveness of programs. These analyses have shown a moderate to large effect size for reducing child behavior programs with parents who consistently use PMT strategies. Many long-term studies have shown that the improvements in PMT can be sustained over time. Parent Management Training is a practical, evidence-based therapy to target challenging behaviors in a household and support parents in implementing effective parenting strategies.

What do PMT sessions look like?

PMT is recommended for children over the age of 6. Children under the age of 7 can engage in a live parent-child coaching treatment called Parent-Child Interaction Therapy. Families engaging in PMT may have a child experiencing significant tantrums, emotional dysregulation, difficulty with attention, impulsivity, poor social skills, or complex family dynamics with increased parental frustration. Parent Management Training has been proven effective for children with Attention-Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), oppositional behaviors, and overall challenging parent-child dynamics.

PMT is a structured, evidence-based intervention designed to improve the parent-child relationship and provide parents with practical parenting skills to manage challenging behaviors. The therapy teaches parents specific skills to interact with their child positively and effectively, which can improve the child's behavior and reduce negative interactions between parent and child.

Therapy typically consists of 12-20 weekly sessions, each lasting one hour. PMT sessions are exclusively parent-only, working with the therapist as a parenting coach. Your child may be brought in at some sessions if it is decided to be clinically helpful. During each session, the therapist will offer the opportunity to problem-solve through high-level concerns and discuss any recent stressors affecting the family. Each session will involve learning a new evidence-based skill that parents are encouraged to implement in between sessions.

How does PMT work?

PMT uses the overarching principle of positive reinforcement to encourage appropriate and adaptive behaviors in children. This involves praising, rewarding, and acknowledging their efforts and achievements. PMT helps parents learn how to communicate effectively with their children while accounting for their developmental stage. Family communication is often reinforced by learning active listening skills, understanding how to have hard conversations, and validating emotions.

Parents learn practical problem-solving skills to work with their children to address challenging behaviors constructively. This may involve identifying the underlying causes of behavior, brainstorming potential solutions, and implementing strategies to address them. PMT sessions focus on positive reinforcement and setting limits and boundaries. As with any behavioral parent training, consistency is key. Parents are encouraged to establish clear expectations and boundaries and consistently enforce them. PMT adds the benefit of having an individualized parent coach to support families with the most complex decisions.

Parent Management Training is a valuable resource for parents seeking guidance in managing the ups and downs of parenting. By teaching practical strategies for managing behavior, improving communication, and strengthening parent-child relationships, PMT can help families thrive. Parents can benefit from the principles and techniques taught in PMT programs, whether facing minor behavioral challenges or more significant issues. With dedication and practice, parents can become more confident and effective in their role, ultimately fostering a positive and nurturing environment for their children to grow and thrive.

Disclaimer: This information is for educational purposes only and is not meant nor intended to be health care advice or treatment. Should you need assistance with any mental health or psychological issue, including any parenting issues, you should contact a mental health professional.