Akron Children’s Positive Parenting Program expands


Akron Children’s Hospital’s Triple P (Positive Parenting) Program has been modified to reach more parents and give them more flexibility in scheduling sessions and addressing the individual needs of their family.

Triple P offers proven, research-based strategies to deal with common behavioral problems, such as tantrums, whining, not listening, not following instructions, bedtime troubles, homework hassles, being disrespectful and misbehaving in public.

“Triple P was previously offered in a class, but is now offered in a one-on-one format with as many sessions as the parents need,” said Geoffrey Putt, PsyD, director of Parenting and Family Support Services for Akron Children’s.

The standard Triple P curriculum targets the parents of children up to age 12. The expanded program also offers Triple P to parents of teens ages 13 to 18, and “Stepping Stones,” which is targeted to the parents of children with autism, communication difficulties and other developmental concerns.

“We really hope to dispel the myth that these types of programs are for `bad parents,’” said Dr. Putt. “In fact, every parent can benefit from these strategies, especially when we take into account their personal concerns, goals and family dynamics.”

As its name suggests, Triple P emphasizes positive parenting techniques rather than punitive measures that typically escalate bad behavior.

“We teach parents how to avoid the common parenting traps, how to create a supportive learning environment in the home, how to develop positive relationships and encourage appropriate behavior,” said Dr. Putt. “We encourage parents to set rules and give clear instructions.”
After an initial intake session where the child’s behavioral problems are discussed and goals set, the Triple P team typically recommends that the parent(s) attend five to eight sessions with a Triple P provider. The team comprises pediatric psychologists and independently-licensed counselors and social workers who are certified in the Triple P curriculum.

“We work with the parents until the problem is resolved,” said Dr. Putt. “We will help parents set and achieve realistic, measurable goals. We want to see an increase in positive behaviors and a decrease in negative behaviors.”

Sessions are conveniently offered weekdays and evenings. In addition to Akron Children’s downtown campus, Triple P sessions will soon be available at the Green, Medina and Kent offices of Akron Children’s Hospital Pediatrics.

“Our goal is to expand the program even more and offer it at additional offices of Akron Children’s Hospital Pediatrics to make Triple P even more convenient and close to home for families,” said Dr. Putt.

Triple P is covered by many insurance plans with mental health benefits. Check with your insurance provider to verify coverage. A physician referral is not necessary. The program can accommodate parents who speak Spanish as their primary language and those who are hearing-impaired. The Triple P teen program uses a small group format, in addition to individual sessions.

For more information, call 330-543-8050 to schedule an appointment.

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