CICC's New Confident Parenting Program (NCP)

The information in this program outline is provided by the program representative and edited by the CEBC staff. This program has been reviewed by the CEBC in the following Topic Areas:

About This Program

Target Population: Parents of children (2-12 years old) who are experiencing behavior or emotional problems

For parents/caregivers of children ages: 2 – 12

Brief Description

The CICC's New Confident Parenting Program uses a cognitive-behavioral orientation to train parents in using non-violent child management skills in their relationships with children. Parents are also encouraged to use such skills in relating to spouses and other adults. It was originally developed in child mental health settings and has been used in other human service and educational settings since that time. The CICC's New Confident Parenting Program is designed as a ten-session program to be used with small groups of parents. This way each parent can receive individualized consultation from the instructor on the home behavioral change projects that are assigned. A one-day seminar version of the program for large numbers of parents has also been created.

Program Goals:

The goals of CICC's New Confident Parenting Program (NCP) are:

  • Prevent and Treat Child Abuse
  • Prevent and Treat Child Behavior Disorders
  • Reduce Parental Stress
  • Reduce Parental Contributors to Child Substance Abuse
  • Improve Child School Performance
  • Cope Better with the Effects of Racism and Prejudice
  • Teach Tolerance
  • Strengthen Family Cohesion

Essential Components

The essential components of CICC's New Confident Parenting Program (NCP) include:

  • Pinpointing and Describing Behavior: Parents are taught how to pinpoint the specific behaviors that they would like to see their children engage in more frequently and those they would like to see less of. This pinpointing involves not only being specific about observable behaviors, but indicating where and when the parent would like to see more or less of them (at bedtime, in the morning, at the dinner table, etc.)
  • Behavior-Specific Praise: Behavior-Specific Praise consists of seven behavioral components: (1) looking at the child, (2) moving close to the child, (3) smiling at the child, (4) saying positive things to the child, (5) praising the child's behavior and not the child, (6) being physically affectionate with the child, and (7) moving into action immediately upon recognizing desirable behavior.
  • Mild Social Disapproval: Mild Social Disapproval is intended to decrease the repeated misbehavior of children and establish limits to the child's behaviors. It also consists of seven behavioral components: (1) looking at the child, (2) moving close the child, (3) a disapproving facial expression, (4) a brief verbal comment or command, (5) low intensity, (6) non-verbal gesture consistent with disapproval, and (7) immediate delivery. The verbal component is to be disapproving in content, but not demeaning or threatening. The emphasis is on simple and brief commands such as "Stop that!" rather than "You're a naughty girl" or "If you don't stop doing that, I'm going to get the strap."
  • Ignoring: The essence of this ignoring skill is that it be used consistently in response to the behaviors that it seeks to reduce. It consists of five behavioral components: (1) looking away form the child, (2) moving away from the child, (3) neutral facial expression, (4) ignoring the child's verbalizations, and (5) ignoring immediately upon noticing the misbehavior.
  • Time Out: Time Out is a form of punishment that is used when all else fails and the child's behavior has exceeded reasonable limits. The child is removed from social interaction and attention. The Time Out is explained to the child as having to go to a "cooling off" place for a short period of time when her/his behavior has gone too far.
  • Special Incentive System: This system consists of having the child earn points, stars, or tokens for engaging in specified desirable behaviors. The child turns these in for various tangible rewards and/or special privileges. The rewards or privileges are chosen from a Reward Menu which is negotiated cooperatively by the parent and the child. The components of Special Incentive Programs are: (1) defining desirable behavior, (2) counting the target behavior(s), (3) creating the reward menu, (4) establishing the exchange ratio, i.e., how many stars for what rewards, (5) charting of behaviors, (6) praise for positive behavior changes, (7) program adjustments, and (8) phasing out the program.
  • Flexible group parenting class available in two formats:
    • 10 two-hour sessions format: Recommended size of 8-12 parents per group
    • One-day seminar format: Recommended size of 50 to 200 parents per seminar

Parent/Caregiver Services

CICC's New Confident Parenting Program (NCP) directly provides services to parents/caregivers and addresses the following:

  • Parents with child management problems like disruptiveness, disobedience, restlessness, tantrums, bedwetting, shyness, aggressiveness, laziness, and fears

Delivery Settings

This program is typically conducted in a(n):

  • Adoptive Home
  • Birth Family Home
  • Community Agency
  • Foster/Kinship Care
  • Hospital
  • Outpatient Clinic
  • Residential Care Facility
  • School


CICC's New Confident Parenting Program (NCP) includes a homework component:

Parents complete homework assignments between each training session, including such assignments as counting the child behaviors which they seek to change, applying praise and other such skills three times a day to interaction with the target child, applying and charting the impact of the use of various skills, and creating and using a home special incentive system.


CICC's New Confident Parenting Program (NCP) does not have materials available in a language other than English.

Resources Needed to Run Program

The typical resources for implementing the program are:

  • The Parent Handbooks with program and skill descriptions
  • An overhead projector and screen
  • Space for 8-12 parents with enough room to break into dyads for skill practice

Minimum Provider Qualifications

The program is designed to be led by one instructor who presents the program, demonstrates and models the skills, and provides individual consultations to parents on their home behavior change projects. Practitioners ranging from paraprofessional prevention specialists and parent involvement coordinators to children service workers with Bachelor's level degrees to PhD level psychologists have been trained to deliver the program. It is best to have had prior training in behavior modification or behavior analysis as well as education and training in child development and group dynamics.

Education and Training Resources

There is a manual that describes how to implement this program, and there is training available for this program.

Training Contact:
  • Center for the Improvement of Child Caring (CICC)
    phone: (818) 358-4858
Training is obtained:

On-site on a contractual basis or by enrolling in scheduled workshops in different cities

Number of days/hours:

Three 6.5-hour training days

Relevant Published, Peer-Reviewed Research

This program has been reviewed and it was determined that this program lacks the type of published, peer-reviewed research that meets the CEBC criteria for a scientific rating of 1 – 5. Therefore, the program has been given the classification of "NR - Not able to be Rated." It was reviewed because it was identified by the topic expert as a program being used in the field, or it is being marketed and/or used in California with children receiving services from child welfare or related systems and their parents/caregivers. Some programs that are not rated may have published, peer-reviewed research that does not meet the above stated criteria or may have eligible studies that have not yet been published in the peer-reviewed literature. For more information on the "NR - Not able to be Rated" classification, please see the Scientific Rating Scale.

Currently, there are no published, peer-reviewed research studies for CICC's New Confident Parenting Program (NCP).


Eimers, R., & Aitchison, R. (1977). Effective parents: A guide to confident parenting. New York: McGraw-Hill.

Lifur-Bennett, L. (1982). The effects of an Adlerian and a behavioral parent education program on learning disabled children and their parents. PhD Dissertation, Los Angeles: California School of Professional Psychology.

Office of Substance Abuse Prevention (1991). Parent training is prevention: Preventing alcohol and other drug problems among youth in the family, (DHHS Publication No. ADM 91-1715) Washington, DC: U.S. Government Printing Office.

Contact Information

Kerby Alvy, PhD
Title: Training Coordinator
Agency/Affiliation: Center for the Improvement of Child Caring (CICC)
Phone: (818) 358-4858

Date Research Evidence Last Reviewed by CEBC: January 2015

Date Program Content Last Reviewed by Program Staff: June 2016

Date Program Originally Loaded onto CEBC: January 2008