A Pyramid of Success

The Parenting Place bridges approaches to The Pyramid Model

When Barbara Hopkins, Lisa Metz and Patti Correll-Syring of The Parenting Place in La Crosse set out to become trainers for The Pyramid Model of Social Emotional Development, they weren’t sure exactly what they were diving into, but with their curiosity sparked and their excitement building, they knew it was going to be momentous.

And momentous, it has been. With a defined vision of how to bridge the approaches for parents and providers, the staff of The Parenting Place forged ahead. They skillfully blended The Pyramid Model of Social Emotional Development into services for both families and early care and education professionals, knocking down programmatic silos as they went.

Their approach was always two-fold from day one. They would not only be providing professional development to child care providers, but also integrating the principles and concepts of The Pyramid Model into parent education, play groups and home-visits.

In doing this, they met great success. As Lisa described, the Pyramid Model provides a cohesive approach to and explanation of child behavior and development and is paired with good, doable strategies for both parents and providers.

It is this connection between reaching parents and providers that have invoked such enthusiasm among both groups. Provider portfolios demonstrate meaningful reflections. Providers disclose that they have experienced changes in how they view what a child with strong behavioral issues is really like after viewing the Pyramid Model videos. They now have a renewed sense of how to work effectively with parents because they have expelled negative notions regarding parenting. Providers have started to understand what it is like for parents to live with a strong-willed child, and a new mutual respect has emerged.

Equally, parents have explored responses to child behavior and have had giant “ah-ha” moments with the support and bonding of a small group. Parents have also picked up tools to work more effectively with their children, as well as their family’s child care provider. Tools like Patti’s Oreo sandwich of communication which suggests layering empathy, limits and acceptable choices to result in a pattern of positive communication.

From this enhanced communication and partnership between parents and providers, they have been able to offer children continuity in early experiences. The evidence is clear as technical consultants and home visitors alike have recognized tools like Buddy the Dog, Tucker the Turtle, scripted stories and visual schedules being implemented in care and in home.

The Parenting Place has given proof to the fact that when parents and providers are supported in concrete and coordinated ways, it has a great impact on the early experiences of a child. And so in closing with a word from a wise parent, “Maybe the answer has been inside of me. It has been there all along, once I opened my ears and my heart”.
For more information and free resources on The Pyramid Model of Social Emotional Development, visit: CSEFEL Website or The WI Pyramid Model. For more information about SFTA and our members, visit our website.