The Common Sense Parenting[CSP] Framework


imagejpeg_2(3)_resizedCommon Sense Parenting[CSP] is a group-based class for parents. It is comprised of 6 weekly, 2-hour sessions led by trainers who focus on teaching practical skills to increase children’s positive behavior, decrease negative behaviors and model alternative behavior.


  • Equip parents with a logical method for changing their children’s behaviors through teaching positive behaviors, social skills, and ways to reduce stress in crisis situations
  • Provide parents with practical strategies for enhancing parent-child communication and building robust family relationships


  • A group/class format with a recommended size of 8-10 parents per group
  • A class curriculum that is formatted to include a review of the prior session including homework, instruction of the new skill, modeled examples, skill practice/feedback, and a summary.

Course components are organized as follows:

Session 1 – Parents are Teachers

  • Effective discipline
  • Describing children’s behaviors
  • Using consequences to change behaviors

Session 2 – Encouraging Good Behavior

  • Giving kids reasons
  • Using Effective Praise to increase positive behaviors

Session 3 – Preventing Problems

  • Teaching social skills to children
  • Using Preventive Teaching to set children up for success

Session 4 – Correcting Problem Behavior

  • Staying calm
  • Using Corrective Teaching to stop problem behaviors and teach alternative behaviors

Session 5 – Teaching Self-Control

  • Safe home plans
  • Using Teaching Self-Control when children are not cooperating or are having an emotional outburst

Session 6 – Putting it all Together

  • Holding family meetings
  • Establishing family routines and traditions
  • Developing a parenting plan for using all the CSP skills

Common Sense Parenting[CSP] directly provides services to parents/caregivers and addresses parenting challenges, especially with youth who have behavior problems. The recommended intensity is one 2-hour weekly session with a 6-week duration.

This program is typically conducted in a community agency, daily living setting, hospital, and school. It includes a homework component.


Parents receive homework at each session in the form of activity worksheets, which help them practice and think about the concepts learned in class. They are instructed to remember examples of their attempts to practice the skills at home. Both the worksheets and personal examples are reviewed at the next session.


Materials are available in languages other than English. These include:

Hindi, Japanese, Russian and Spanish

For information on which materials are available in these languages, visit the program’s website.

RESOURCES[needed to run program]

  • Audio/Visual equipment
  • Credentialed trainers and program materials
  • Enough space for 8 – 10 parents to meet with the trainer
  • Wheelchair accessibility
  • On-call support for hearing impaired parents

For more information, visit the website:


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