Purpose of review: This article reviews selected parenting programs for children aged 2-8 years old to inform primary-care pediatricians about options for families of children with behavior problems.
Recent findings: Young children with aggressive and oppositional behavior are at risk for serious antisocial behavior that may persist into adolescence and adulthood. Most parents wish to discuss parenting difficulties and their child's social and emotional development during well-child visits. Parent training programs are an effective option to promote positive parenting and discipline strategies and enhance a child's social skills, emotional self-regulatory skills, and problem-solving ability. Key parenting principles can be incorporated into developmental surveillance and anticipatory guidance during periodic well-child visits to prevent disruptive behavior problems, address parenting concerns, and nurture the optimal development of children's social-emotional competency.
Summary: The literature on the effectiveness of evidence-based parenting programs is growing. This information can enhance practicing pediatricians' understanding of available community resources and parenting support. These programs are feasible with families of various cultures and those at risk for parenting difficulties. Pediatricians can easily incorporate positive parenting principles into primary-care visits and developmental surveillance.