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a parent practice that facilitates high quality time between parents and children. Therapists help parents use attending to improve the quality of the overall parent-child relationship. Within attending, the child picks an activity, and the parent joins this activity in a very positive manner. While they are attending, parents are encouraged to be as non-critical as possible while also providing occasional praise.


“What should my therapist be doing?”

  • Explaining the rationale behind the proposed intervention before beginning
  • Asking you to be involved with play activities that your child chooses
  • Teaching you to describe and encourage your child’s actions using positive, non-judgmental, language.

“What should I be doing?”

  • Playing with your child on a regular basis
  • Practicing skills inside and outside of therapy sessions
  • Asking questions of your therapist as needed (e.g., What kind of comments should I make when playing with my child?)

“How will I know if it is working?”

  • The overall quality of your relationship with your child improves (e.g. you both value time spent together more)
  • Negative attention-seeking behaviors are replaced by more pro-social behaviors (e.g. your child gains your attention by engaging in play instead of throwing a tantrum)