Video-feedback Intervention to Promote Positive Parenting and Sensitive Discipline (VIPP-SD)

Target group:

VIPP-SD has been developed for parents with children aged 1 to 3, suffering from difficult behaviour (e.g. disobedience, tantrums, hitting.)


The ultimate aim of VIPP-SD is to prevent or reduce behavioural problems by strengthening parenting skills. The programme is primarily focused on increasing positive parent-child interactions by increasing parental sensitivity and improving parental disciplining strategies.

Intervention structure:    

The VIPP-SD intervention is family-focused and is short term. Interventions take place at home and are led by a trained support worker. The heart of the approach is that mother and child are filmed in episodes of 10-30 minutes. During six home visits, a support worker will then give personal feedback about the interaction with the child in order to encourage positive interaction and sensitive disciplining. The first 4 sessions take place every three to four weeks, the final two sessions (review sessions) can be spread further apart. The support worker will work using a detailed handbook, as this helps every family receive the same, standardized programme. While the basis of the intervention is the same for every family, the feedback on the video clips is adjusted to each specific mother-child pair. Feedback on the video clips is prepared by the support worker in the period between two home visits, using the script provided in the training.


In the VIPP-SD programme, support is given via a number of themes that are dealt with in a set sequence. Sensitive disciplining means being empathetic, clear and consistent when disciplining a child. As well as general verbal information about parenting and child development, parents are given specific information on the themes of sensitivity and discipline, during each session. These are, in sequence:

  1. Exploration vs. attachment behaviour: a child displaying contact-seeking behaviour and playing, with an explanation of various reactions required from the parent. When it comes to discipline, there are strategies such as induction (explanation about why there is a rule) and distraction.
  2. ‘Speaking for the child’: encouraging careful observation of signals from the child based on its facial expressions, and verbalizing non-verbal signals. Encouraging positive reinforcement as a method of discipline.
  3. ‘Sensitive chain’: explaining the importance of proper reactions to signals from the child (chain: signal from child – response from parent – reaction of child). Using a sensitive ‘time out’.
  4. Sharing feelings: showing and encouraging the affective adjustment of the parent to the child’s positive and negative emotions. Learning to show empathy and understanding for the child in discipline situations.

The final two sessions contain a repetition of the themes.

The method is as follows. The support worker provides general information about the development of the child and personal advice based on the video clips of the interactions between parent and child (video feedback) during daily situations, e.g. when playing together or tidying up toys. During filming, the role of the support worker is limited to inviting the parent to be filmed in a given situation with the child. Parents are encouraged to respond to the child in the way they would do under normal circumstances. The support worker will not give tips or advice or intervene in any way.

The intervention protocol provides guidelines for commentary on video clips. During preparation for the intervention, the support worker will link back to the session themes (such as complimenting the child when they carry out small parts of a given task as asked.) During the home visit, the support worker will show the video recording to the parent and discuss the selected sections with her.

The idea is to mainly use positive and successful moments of interaction, the aim being to show parents that they are able to respond sensitively when dealing with their child, even when disciplining them. In order to focus the parent’s attention on positive moments, the tape is stopped at moments in which there are positive interactions or in which the child is happy. By repeating the positive clips, important messages about the intervention are emphasized and a balance is offered against the negative moments. While the basis for the intervention is the same for every family (in terms of theme/ messages), the feedback from the video clips is customized to the specific parent-child pair.

The parents can also receive written information in the form of a brochure about sensitive parenting, with tips on dealing with behaviour which children find difficult. In such cases, these are given to parents at the end of the intervention as reference materials, aimed at helping them stick to the strategies they have learned.

Costs related:

  • A comprehensive script has been written for support workers. This is available in combination with the demonstration DVD. The intervention is scheduled across five days of workshops, with additional training exercises about which personal feedback is given.
  • The cost of the intervention is not (yet) known.

Further information:               

  • Contra-indications: children with developmental disorders (autism, ADHD) or mental retardation; parents with potentially life-threatening psychiatric problems, parents suspected of child abuse.

A series of amended versions of VIPP-SD is currently being developed and tested for immigrant families and for parents with mental retardation, (VIPP-TM for Turkish parents and VIPP-MR for Moroccan parents, respectively), as well as for families with a child with an autism spectrum disorder (VIPP-AUTI).

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