The Chicago Parent Program (CPP) is a parenting-skills training program that aims to prevent or reduce behavior problems in children, ages 2 to 5, by strengthening parenting skills, reducing reliance on harsh and inconsistent discipline methods, and improving parenting confidence.
CPP is grounded in social learning theory and the belief that parents can shape their child's behavior and social–emotional well-being through the quality and consistency of their communications and behavioral interactions. Developed in collaboration with an advisory board of African American and Latino parents of young children, the CPP is designed to address the needs of a racially, ethnically, and economically diverse population of parents.
Two trained group leaders deliver the program during weekly 2-hour sessions for 11 weeks, and at a booster session 4 weeks later. Materials include a group leader manual and over 150 video vignettes depicting common parent–child interactions at home and in public settings (e.g., grocery store, laundromat). The scenes, which present challenging situations that parents typically face with their children, serve to stimulate discussion and problem solving related to child behavior and parenting skills. Sessions focus on helping parents become clear about their goals for their children and strategically applying the new skills to advance those goals. Topics include building positive relationships with children (e.g., child-centered time, maintaining family routines and traditions, using praise and encouragement), child behavior-management skills (e.g., setting clear limits, following through with consequences, using effective forms of discipline), stress management, and problem-solving skills. Each session includes role play or group activities and at-home practice assignments designed to help parents apply the skills they are learning.