We use Parent-Child Interaction Therapy (PCIT) and Barkley’s Defiant Child and Defiant Teen manuals as evidence based parenting practices. Dr. Walker has previously written in APA books about ways in which these manuals are compatible with Judeo-Christian parenting practices (see Walker and Hathaway, 2013).
Each of these manuals has some core components to them. These include:
- Teaching parents’ selective attention during Child Directed Interaction (CDI)
- Giving effective commands during Parent Directed Interaction (PDI)
- Therapeutic use of time out or grounding
- Creating a token economy
When we incorporate spiritual practices into these programs, we typically help parents to consider ways that their faith discusses each of these and other parenting interventions.
For example, if you use your selective attention with your child, this involves giving them positive reinforcement in the form of specific praise for specific behaviors. Basically, this involves guiding them with the use of your selected attention to engage in those behaviors that are best for them.
This idea is consistent with our suggested interpretation for the passage in Proverbs 13:24 that notes that sparing the rod spoils a child. We have suggested that shepherds in Biblical times also guided sheep with the crook of the rod rather than striking them with it. When you think of this Proverbs 13:24 this way, selective attention can be a “rod” that you use to guide your children.