Our programs

Our original Tuning in to Kids® (TIK) program teaches emotion coaching skills to parents and carers of children 3­ – 10 years old.

When parents and carers use emotion coaching skills with their children it helps to develop their emotional intelligence, meaning that children are better able to talk about and regulate their feelings, work through challenging experiences and behave and respond in socially appropriate ways. Emotion coaching also helps to prevent and reduce mental health problems.

By learning to use emotion coaching skills, many parents and carers find their children talk to them more, want greater contact with them and share more of their emotional experiences with them. The program also helps parents and carers reflect on the ways they cope with their own emotions, and teaches skills in managing and expressing emotions when parenting.

TIK teaches parents and carers to:

  • notice children’s emotions before they become overwhelmed
  • accept, validate and empathise with their child’s emotions
  • help their child reflect upon or name their emotions
  • assist the child to work through the emotion
  • help their child problem solve if necessary.

TIK was originally developed by Professor Sophie Havighurst and Ann Harley in 1999 and is evidence based. A number of randomised controlled trials and pilot studies have been conducted by our team as well as researchers in different countries around the world. See our research for further information.

About Tuning in to Teens®

Tuning in to Teens® (TINT) is an adaptation of the TIK parenting program that teaches parents and carers emotion coaching skills while focusing on the developmental needs of teenagers (11 – 18 years old). There is a greater emphasis on acceptance/empathy and helping parents and carers to manage their own responses when adolescents reject or push them away as they seek greater autonomy.

TINT was developed by Professor Sophie Havighurst, Ann Harley and Dr Christiane Kehoe in 2012, and a second edition of the program was published in 2019. TINT is evidence-based and has had two randomised control trials demonstrating improved parenting, parent-teen relationships and adolescent mental health.

About Dads Tuning in to Kids™

Dads Tuning in to Kids™ (DADS) is a further adaptation of the TIK parenting program that focuses on the father-child emotional connection. It teaches the same skills in emotion coaching that are taught in TIK, while providing additional content relevant to fathers and modifications to some program activities and processes. DADS has been strongly endorsed by fathers, with feedback that it is a welcome addition to the TIK programs on offer.

DADS was developed by Dr Katherine Wilson, Professor Sophie Havighurst and Ann Harley as an ‘add-on’ program, suitable for use by TIK trained facilitators who would like to offer men’s parenting groups. DADS is evidence based, with a randomised control trial of the program showing improved parenting, parent-child relationships and child behaviour as well as improvements in fathers’ partners’ emotional wellbeing and parenting.

About Tuning in to Toddlers™

Tuning in to Toddlers™ (TOTS) is a further adaptation of the TIK parenting program for parents of children aged 12 – 36 months. The program teaches parents skills in emotion coaching with greater emphasis on non-verbal ways of responding to emotions and a focus on responding to the attachment and exploration needs of younger children.

TOTS was developed by Professor Sophie Havighurst, Ann Harley and Dr Christiane Kehoe. TOTS is evidence based, with a pilot study and subsequent randomised control trial, completed in 2018, showing improved parents’ emotion coaching and children’s emotional functioning and also reduced stress cortisol levels in toddlers (measured using hair samples at 15 months follow up).

On the basis of these findings, resources for a new TOTS professional training workshop is currently being developed.

About Teachers Tuning In

Whole School Approach

The Whole School Approach (WSA) is a further adaptation of the TINT parenting program being led by Dr Christiane Kehoe.  It includes professional training of teachers while also offering a brief seminar series to parents and carers as well as a student program. A randomised control trial of the program was completed in 2022.

Tuning in to Kids® for Kindergartens/Childcare

An adaptation of TIK for kindergarten teachers and childcare workers is currently being developed by Professor Sophie Havighurst and the TIK team, with a focus on helping teachers learn verbal and non-verbal ways of using emotion coaching with young children. This adaptation of the program integrates material from TOTS. The program involves training kindergarten leaders/resource people as supervisors, teachers/childcare workers participate in a one-day workshop, and then teachers/childcare workers receive weekly supervision in applying emotion coaching in their interactions with children.

This version of the program is being evaluated in a randomised controlled trial with 50 kindergartens in Norway during 2019-2021 at the University of Oslo.

We pay our respects to the Traditional Custodians of the lands on which we work, and extend our respect to Elders past, present and emerging.

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