Parent Child Journey is an integrated 10-session parent behavior management training program. It is for parents who are looking for a comprehensive approach to problem situations and behaviors. By the end of the program, parents have learned how to evaluate the source of their child’s difficulties and individualize effective management strategies. Different children. Different parents. Different approaches.

For Parent Child Journey in Spanish, go to: Journey Course en Español.

You may also be interested in Parent Child Excursions – individual courses on special topics in child development and behavior.

Your “10 mile” Journey

Here is what’s covered in each unit of the course.

1. Know Your Child: What is it about your child – and your family situation – that causes problem behaviors and problem situations? Dr. Shapiro explains his developmental-behavioral assessment tool, “The Gander.” Learn how accurate description and clear understanding leads to individualized and effective management.

2. Time–in: Individualize your approach to spending positive time with your child, repairing relationships, and taking care of yourself too.

3. Engagement and Understanding: Individualize your approach to securing your child’s attention and ensuring that they understand your expectations. Don’t mistake inconsistent engagement and understanding for lack of motivation or inability.

4. Motivation through Positive Attention: Individualize your approach to reinforcing good behavior. Learn how to motivate your child to meet appropriate expectations, play and work more independently.

5. Motivation through Experience: When should parents step forward? When should parents step back? By selective use of natural consequences and first-then techniques, give your child the opportunity to learn from their own experience.

6. Motivation through Rewards: For your child and your family, do’s and don’ts of using external reinforcement. When to use rewards and how to use them.

7. Problem Solving: Moving beyond behavior management, how children – and parents – can learn to frame problems in specific and solvable terms, then collaborate to solve problems. A developmental approach.

Helping parents prepare the child for the road and the road for the child.

Girl in woods illustration

8. Time-out and Ignoring: What to do when proactive strategies fail? An individualized approach to getting through difficult moments. When to use time-out or ignoring and how to practice good technique.

9. Pausing for empathy and self-reflection: Our preferred reactive strategy. The importance of responding to our children – and ourselves – with calm understanding. Teaching and practicing the language of emotion, validation, and love.

10. Accommodations/Interventions: The road ahead. Finding the right balance of accommodation and skill building. Understanding remaining hurdles and setting priorities. A scientific approach to long-term developmental care.


Participate in ten, weekly discussion groups via Zoom. Each week, we will focus on one of the ten “Miles” of Parent Child Journey content. In each one-hour session, Dr. Shapiro or one of his expert colleagues will answer your questions, discuss weekly course topics and trouble-shoot implementation of behavior management strategies.

When you register for the live discussion group, you get Dr. Shapiro’s comprehensive recorded video course free! (See the video course description on the right.) This is a “flipped classroom” model.

What does “flipped classroom” mean? Each week, get the course content on your own. Use the video course (or book) to learn the material at your own pace. Then, come to class ready to discuss. For each “mile in your Journey,” join your group leader and other parents to talk about individualizing your approach, implementing strategies, and solving problems.

These Interactive Zoom Discussion Groups are great for parents who are learning Parent Child Journey for the first time and for previous Parent Child Journey graduates who are looking for a refresher.

Pay what you can: Recommended range: $100–$350. Those who can pay more, thanks very much for supporting those who can’t. Again, when you sign up for Parent Child Journey, you get:

  • participation in a live discussion group (ten weekly one-hour sessions)
  • access to the recorded Parent Child Journey At-Your-Own-Pace Video Course (6 months)

Fall 2022

Parents of Challenging Children: Preschool through Pre-Teen

WHEN: Ten Thursday nights, 8:00-9:00 PM (ET)
October 6 – December 15 (skip Nov. 24)
WITH: Dan Shapiro, MD
WHERE: On Zoom (link provided upon registration)

Parents of Challenging Teens and Young Adults

WHEN: Ten Wednesday nights, 8:00-9:00 PM (ET)
October 12 – December 21 (skip Nov. 23)
WITH: Sarah Wayland, PhD
WHERE: On Zoom (link provided upon registration)


at your own pace iconYou can take the recorded video course, at-your-own-pace, without participating in a group. Purchase this online course and get six months of access to the Parent Child Journey video program. This recorded course includes over 10 hours of content, broken up into short (3-5 minute) videos. The video player allows you to pause, speed up, slow down, and re-watch course videos as many times as you like. In addition, you get action-oriented homework assignments and the complete text of Dr. Shapiro’s book, Parent Child Journey: An Individualized Approach to Raising Your Challenging Child. Go through the video course now and you can always sign up for a live discussion group later.

Journey Course Preview

boy pushing girl in a cart

Resources for Journey Program

YOUR GANDER Instruction Manual
The Gander© provides an easy way to assess your child’s developmental and behavioral profile. Understanding your child’s profile will help explain the source of behavioral challenges and guide individualized management. The multi-modal Instruction Manual provides detailed – and fun –explanations.

Parent Child Journey: The book
Get your copy of Dr. Shapiro’s expansive book, Parent Child Journey: An Individualized Approach to Raising Your Challenging Child. With compassion, creativity, and humor, Dr. Shapiro presents in-depth discussion of his entire parent training program, including illustrations, graphs, charts, and detailed examples. Plus, there’s an entertaining fable that winds in and out. Available in paperback or Kindle eBook.

FAQs About the Parent Child Journey Program

What is Parent Child Journey based on?

Parent Child Journey combines the wisdoms of many different programs and schools of thought. Starting in 1985, Dr. Shapiro ran parent groups in his general pediatrics practice based on the parent training programs of Forehand/ McMahon and Barkley. Over the years, he has modified his course to include the ideas in Ross Greene’s The Explosive Child, Martin Seligman’s Learned Optimism, William Carey’s work on temperament, B.F. Skinner’s behaviorism, Phillip Kendall’s cognitive-behavioral therapy, Mel Levine’s A Mind at a Time, Carol Dweck’s Mindset – and more. While the material presented in this course is based on the work of these innovative researchers, Dr. Shapiro’s Parent Child Journey Program provides a unique integration of these time-tested approaches. The result: an approach that’s comprehensive, practical and effective. For more about the history of Parent Child Journey and Dr. Shapiro, CLICK HERE.

Is the Parent Child Journey program effective?

At the beginning and end of every course, participants complete behavior rating scales. Over the years, about 75% of class participants have reported substantial improvement in their children’s problem behaviors and problem situations. A much higher percentage report that they feel better about their relationship with their children and their ability to handle challenging situations. These results have held true across socioeconomic groups and have not depended on whether the course is offered in person or online.

How is Parent Child Journey different from other parenting courses?

Parent Child Journey is an individualized approach. One size does not fit all. This is what separates Parent Child Journey from other parenting programs. First, parents are taught how to answer one fundamental question: What is it about your child that causes problem situations and problem behaviors? Second, parents are introduced to a tool kit; including a large set of time-tested proactive strategies for problem situations, and reactive strategies for problem behaviors. Then, well-equipped, parents are guided on how to choose and use the right tool for their child and their family in different situations.

Do you recommend completing all ten miles of the self-paced material before joining a live Journey Discussion Group? Or should we do “each mile” in the at-your-own-pace video course and the live discussion group, week-by-week, at the same time?

Most parents will want to do the At Your Own Pace Video Course along with the Interactive Live/Zoom Discussion Group. This means getting through the course material and starting to implement the homework strategies during the week before each group meeting. Although this is not completely at your own pace, you can still watch the video modules at your convenience. Advantage: You get the benefit of the discussion group while the material is fresh. This can help with troubleshooting and motivation. However, some parents will want to complete the At Your Own Pace Course first, then join an Interactive Zoom Discussion Group the next “semester.” Advantage: You can truly go at your pace; for example, take a few weeks with each “mile” instead of one week. It’s entirely up to you.

When will the next Interactive Live/Zoom Discussion Groups be offered?

We plan to offer live Discussion Groups three times per year. Start dates are usually in October, January, and April. These dates will be posted on this webpage and announced via our Newsletter. Sign up for the newsletter at the bottom of this page.

Can I register for an Interactive Zoom Discussion Group that is currently in progress?

We recommend joining a live discussion group from the beginning. But you can join a live discussion group any time. If you do register after a course begins, just catch up by viewing the video course content for the missed live sessions. You can use the recorded online video course or read the book. If you choose to wait for the next semester, again, a new group usually starts every January, April, June, and October of each year. Sign up for our newsletter at the bottom of this page for regular updates.

What if one parent can’t participate in all ten sessions? What if one parent doesn’t do any of the course?

For two-parent households, it’s always best if both parents participate. Whether you are co-parenting or a single parent, you can include others who are regularly involved in your child’s care; grandparents, nannies, daycare providers, etc. If the key players cannot participate in the live discussion groups, at least they can access the online video course or book. The main thing is implementation of strategies at home. You can set aside a time each week to share strategies and discuss homework with your co-parent or other childcare providers. In this way, those who are not participating in the live discussion groups can still collaborate and implement the program together.

What if one parent is not interested, does not think there is a problem, has a very different approach, or has been difficult to work with in the past?

It is not unusual for parents or other adults to be out-of-sync. Sometimes there is significant marital tension. Sometimes parents are divorced or separated. Sometimes there is blame, shame, anxiety or anger. This kind of conflict is all the more reason to work through Parent Child Journey. In this program, we move past sweeping generalizations about your child, yourself, and your co-parent. The approach here is practical. What is it about your child and the situation that explains the problem behaviors? Taking one problem situation at a time, what practical strategies will be most effective? By focusing on specific solutions, parents often find they are not so far apart as they thought. At the end of the course, it’s not unusual for conflicting parents to find that they are better able to work with each other.

You may also be interested in Parent Child Excursions: Special Topics in Raising Your Challenging Child – an entirely different menu of courses on common developmental and behavioral issues.

Thank you for all of the expertise, experience, time, energy, hope and caring that you have put into this workshop. What I am learning is becoming such a strong voice in my head now, especially when I think I have reached the end of my rope. I have also made some special, strong, new connections in the form of other parents going through similar struggles. That counts for a lot and gives me strength.

-previous Parent Child Journey participant