Systematic Training for Effective Parenting Programs (STEP)

These video-assisted parenting programs have been used successfully with millions of parents. STEP programs are probably the most widely used parenting programs in the United States.

Three versions of the program are available and are designed for parents of differently- aged children:

  1. Early Childhood STEP – for parents of children under six,

  2. STEP: Systematic Training for Effective Parenting – the original program for parents of children six to twelve years of age. There is a Spanish language version of this program: STEP Spanish.

  3. STEP/Teen – for parents of children 13-19 years of age.

All versions of the program teach extremely positive approaches to understanding and raising children. The STEP approaches include appreciating that children’s behaviors are motivated by a variety of goals, that encouragement for children becoming the best that they can be is extremely important, and that family councils for making decisions for and with children are highly valued.

The authors of these programs include some of the most respected parenting authorities in America, including Drs. Don Dinkmeyer, Sr., Gary D. McKay, Don Dinkmeyer, Dr., Joyce McKay and James S. Dinkmeyer.

The research studies on the effectiveness of the various STEP programs, some of which are available in books written by CICC’s founder and director, Dr. Kerby Alvy, (Parent Training Today and Bringing Parenting Education Into the Early Childhood Care and Education System), show that parents are extremely appreciative of what they learn and that their participation in the programs significantly improves their parenting.

Each program version teaches a variety of parenting skills and strategies, like:

  • The Goals of Child Misbehavior
  • The Courage to be Imperfect
  • Effective Listening
  • Effective Discipline
  • Problem Solving
  • Natural and Logical Consequences
  • Encouragement

The programs are designed to be taught as classes that meet for seven parenting sessions. One-day seminar versions can also be taught and various segments of the programs can be taught in one-hour parent or lunch-and-learn meetings.

Below are the topics that are covered in each of the seven sessions for each program version.

Early Childhood STEP – For Parents of Children Under Six

  • Understanding Young Children
  • Understanding Young Children’s Behavior
  • Building Self-Esteem in the Early Years
  • Communicating with Young Children
  • Helping Young Children Learn to Cooperate
  • Effective Discipline
  • Nurturing Emotional and Social Development

STEP: Systematic Training for Effective Parenting – For Parents of Children Six to Twelve Years of Age.

  • Understanding Yourself and Your Child
  • Understanding Beliefs and Feelings
  • Encouraging Your Child and Yourself
  • Listening and Talking to Your Child
  • Helping Children Learn to Cooperate
  • Discipline That Makes Sense
  • Choosing Your Approach

STEP/Teen – For Parents of Children 13-19

  • Understanding Yourself and Your Teenager
  • Changing Your Response to Your Teen
  • Communicating Respect and Encouragement
  • Encouraging Cooperation and Solving Problems
  • Using Consequences to Build Responsibility
  • Deciding What To Do – Part I
  • Deciding What To Do – Part II

Bring a STEP Program to Your Community

CICC can arrange to have a professional instructor come to your community and deliver a STEP parenting class or seminar. Click here to begin the process.

Become a Parenting Instructor

Another way to bring the STEP programs to your community is for you or other people in your area to participate in an instructor training workshop to learn how to teach the program yourselves. Click here to learn about instructor workshops.

Obtain Instructional Materials

You can also bring the various STEP programs to your area by obtaining the complete Instructor’s Kit of training manuals and videotapes. If you are already a skilled parenting educator or group leader, you will be able to use these instructional materials in learning how to run the program on your own. Click here to obtain the program kits.

Obtain Parent Handbooks

You can also learn about and use the STEP program skills and strategies by purchasing the handbooks that parents receive when they enroll in a STEP parenting class.

Click here to obtain the parent handbooks for the STEP programs.

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