New PCIT Certification Assures High-Quality Parenting Coaching for Encompass Families

By Liann Smith, Washington State Parent Support Specialist & Encompass PCIT CoachLiann

Here is a mouthful — “Washington State PCIT Parent Support Specialist.” What does that mean? It is a certification that is 3 years in the making. In 2011, I had been practicing as a Parent coach for two years, using a very good curriculum, but I still had parents struggling with their child’s misbehaviors. As I researched more tools, I found Parent Child Interaction Training (PCIT). It is a set of parenting tools that increases emotional connection and control with a child and teaches parents how to set calm, predictable limits. Best of all, the parent is taught specific skills and then coached while they interact with their child in a playroom via an ear bud (the coach views the parent-child through a one -way viewing window).

To earn this certification, I engaged in the 40 hours of direct teaching from the University of Washington at Harborview medical Center. The next step was a one-year internship with monthly fellowship phone calls with our trainer. Next was submitting three DVD recordings demonstrating the coaching skills specific to PCIT and having a live observation with my trainer. Lastly, was an application process with PCIT International, meeting all the requirements to take the certification examination. On August 29th, 2014 I passed the PCIT International exam.

Why is this important for local families? It ensures a high quality of parent coaching. Although this process was rigorous, it was surely worth it. I learned to be precise with the tools of Parent Child Interaction Training. And the certification affirms PCIT as an evidenced-based practice, meaning there are specific assessments in place that guide the coach for predictable outcomes. The outcomes increase emotional connection between parent and child and decrease negative behaviors of the child. Simply put, families enjoy one another.

When families come to see me for the first time, I always explain to the child that I am their parent’s teacher. They always smile at this statement. I tell the child, “Your parents told me they don’t want to be good parents, they want to be GREAT parents.” With the tools of Parent Child Interaction Training, I truly do help parents be GREAT parents.

Here is a video outlining what the Encompass PCIT lab looks like, how the coach interacts with families and some of the tools you will learn if you engage with Parent Child Interaction Training. VIDEO — 

Call 425.888.2777 for more information on how your family can participate in PCIT.

Click here for more information about PCIT International.


Back-to-School at Encompass! Be welcomed, ready, involved and connected!

By Julie Forslin, Early Learning Program Manager10423946_10152302106013061_7893580381580850930_n

September 2nd begins the 2014/2015 school year at Encompass! We have been getting ready and are so excited to meet our new students and see how much our returning students have grown this summer.

Learning as much as we can about your student and your family is a priority for us—and we believe every child learns and grows in his/her unique way. We will design our program around them. We’ve found this approach works much better than changing your child to fit our program! So please join us on Thursday, September 3 from 6:30-7:30 for Parent Orientation to review the handbook and get to know us, too (please contact us if you have a conflict and we will make arrangements to get you the information).

It is my hope that your family not only takes full advantage of the programs offered by our early learning program, but also utilizes the many programs at Encompass that include parenting support groupsparenting education workshops and coaching, toddler playgroups, pediatric therapy, parent nights out, and more.

How to Get Involved at Encompass

Share Resources & Camaraderie – Moms Moment – September 1

Volunteering – Donate Your Time & Energy to Nurturing Children & Enriching Families

Get Connected & Informed – Attend Parent Orientation – September 3 at 6:30

Reach Your Family’s Potential – Attend our FREE Parenting Workshop on Avoiding Power Struggles – September 4

Get involved with our Autumn Gala – Attend, plan, volunteer, invite friends: Now through Nov 1

Learn more about your child — Join us at our monthly FREE developmental screenings – September 8 (Snoqualmie) and 9 (Issaquah)

Experienced Childcare & a Lot of Fun – Register for Parents’ Night Out – September 13

Be Welcomed, Informed & Inspired – Attend our Moms Meeting – September 16

Engage Your Toddler Developmentally & Meet Other Parents — Join our Toddler Playgroups – Register now. Begins September 5

Support Encompass with Every Purchase through AmazonSmile –

Purchase comedy night tickets and support Encompass – October 1

Follow us on social media – Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, blog

Decrease Parental Stress and Target Challenging Behavior

By Kerry Beymer

PFP_WashingtonColorEach April, people across the country join forces to raise awareness of the terrible tragedy of child abuse and neglect for National Child Abuse Prevention Month. At Encompass, we know that parenting can be difficult – especially when kids have challenging behaviors. Parenting is the most challenging yet most important job we do and in those challenging times parental stress runs high. Parental stress levels can be a predictor of child abuse.

There is no single known cause of child maltreatment. Nor is there any single description that captures all families in which children are victims of abuse and neglect. Child abuse occurs across all socio-economic, religious, cultural, racial, and ethnic groups. No one is immune. It must be emphasized, however, that while certain factors often are present among families where maltreatment occurs, this does not mean that the presence of these factors will always result in child abuse and neglect.

In 2011, Child Protective Services (CPS) accepted referrals for 46,636 individual children, equaling a rate of 30 per 1,000 children under age 18. Bear in mind that only a portion of child maltreatment is reported to CPS, and not all referrals are investigated.

To reduce child abuse and neglect in our community, Encompass offers a host of programing that can help decrease the parental stress and help parents sort through their children’s challenging behaviors, including:

Each of us can make a difference preventing child abuse and neglect. There are a few ways for you to get involved:

  • Educate yourself and others about child abuse and its prevention by visiting or
  • Build a support network by increasing your involvement in your community. Getting involved with Encompass programs, community center groups, or library programs is a good start.
  • Volunteer for organizations serving children and families.
  • Contribute to organizations working to prevent child abuse. At Encompass, your contribution will go a long way at helping to develop healthy children and create strong families – two critical components of child abuse prevention. To donate, click here.

With your support, we can to increase child abuse prevention efforts in our community.

To report child (or adult) abuse, call 866-ENDHARM in Washington State.

6 Ways to Ensure Your Summer Camper is a Happy Camper

1summer campby Julie Forslin, Early Learning Manager, Encompass

Summer has become a time to engage in learning opportunities—choosing the right summer camp from all the great options in the area can feel “in tents”! There are camps for children of all ages, abilities, personalities, schedules and interests—and I am going to share my 9 years of experience managing Encompass’ summer camps to guide you through the camp selection process.

For 15 years, Encompass has been the enrichment summer camp of choice for Snoqualmie Valley families. We offer more than 40 unique themes including: “Terrific Trains,” “Cooking up Science,” “LEGO Mayhem,” “Mud, Muck and Goo,” “Gymnastics” and “I Love a Parade.” Don’t miss out on your child’s favorite camp—register now—there are only 12 spots in each camp!

Let’s get started!

  1. Discover what is available in the area. Macaroni Kid has already created its 5th Annual Summer Camp Guide broken out into categories including art instruction, dance, music, theatre, gymnastics, learning & fun, nature experiences and sports instruction. There is a calendar view so you can match up your child’s interests and schedule to what is available.
  2. Create a short list. Gather recommendations from friends, neighbors and your child’s peers to understand the values, operating procedures and scheduling of each camp. Most camps are not a daycare solution.
  3. Identify the camp’s program emphasis. Enrichment-focused camps combine the fun of camp with academic and social skill building. These types of camps are designed to mitigate summer learning loss, review academic skills and accelerate learning. Other camps offer freedom to pick and choose activities. At Encompass, we want to make camp a fun and memorable learning experience for your child, while remembering that it is summer and they need time to play and have fun with their friends.
  4. Know the staff-to-child ratio. Your child should be well supervised and get lots of attention at camp. For day camps, these are the average staff-to-child ratios: 1:8 for campers 6 to 8 years old, 1:10 for those 9-14 and 1:12 for campers in the 15-18 age range. Special needs camps would have a much lower staff-to-child ratio. One of the reasons Encompass has been voted Most Loved Summer Camp is our very low staff-to-child ratio of 6:1 in 4-10 year olds olds and 4:1 in two year olds.
  5. Inquire about the camp staff. Who works with your child is critical to your child’s camp experience. In addition to facilitating camp activities, counselors serve as role models and should be dependable, trustworthy and show enthusiasm for their role. Encompass’ own preschool teachers lead all camps except golf, gymnastics and drama—whose teachers are contracted professionals from these fields in the community. All lead teachers are first aid/CPR certified. We hire college and high school students to act as camp assistants and role models for the campers. One of our current preschool teachers started as a summer camper herself, was hired as a camp assistant as a teen and went on to teach preschool and summer camps.
  6. Can the camp accommodate special needs? If your child has special needs, either physical or behavioral, be sure to ask if the camp is equipped to handle these special requirements for your child. Encompass offers camps to children with all abilities and can make accommodations if necessary for all children to participate.

I hope this has helped you begin your adventure in choosing the right summer camp for your family! We are very excited about starting our 15th year of offering amazing fun-filled camps at Encompass and we have some great new options this year as well as some old favorites.

Summer at Encompass
A variety of theme-based, enrichment-focused summer camps are offered at Encompass for children from 2- to 10-years old. Our drop-off camps are a week long (or 3 days for 2-year olds) for a half day—or you can blend a morning and afternoon camp for a full-day experience!

Special Needs & Camp Assistant Programs
Champ Camp is an Encompass program designed to meet the needs of children who can benefit from structured teaching to help strengthen their social language and behavioral skills*. For older campers, we offer our 11-13 year old teacher assistant program—this is a great opportunity to gain leadership experience by working with younger students and there is the possibility that these students can become paid assistants in the future.

40+ Unique Camp Themes!
New camps this year include “Penguins to Polar Bears”, “Monsters Inc.” and “Mini Olympics”   . We added a second “LEGO” camp as well as a “Superheroes” and “Mythbuster” camp. And the always-popular “I Love a Parade”, “Spy Kids” and “Amazing Artists” camps are back! Each camp includes teacher-planned, age-appropriate, theme-based craft and activities. Encompass prepares healthy snacks daily for all campers and activities take place in both our beautiful outdoor and indoor learning environments.

Download the full schedule, camp descriptions and fees.

I am looking forward to seeing returning campers as well as meeting new campers and their families to welcome them to the fun that is Encompass summer camps.

Julie Forslin is the Director of Early Learning at Encompass. This is her 9th year as manager of Encompass summer camps, 3rd year as Early Learning Manager and she taught camp for 4 years. She also has 14 years’ experience as a preschool teacher. Contact Julie at 425.888.2777 with your questions about Encompass summer camp. Register at

*application required



Get outside and PLAY!

Kerry Beymer, parenting support and education manager

By Kerry Beymer, Parent Education Manager

I recently taught a class about exploring play and the importance of play in child development. We used to think play was important as a stress reliever for learning, but it is through play that children actually learn. So when you tell your kiddos, “Go outside and play,” you are encouraging the growth and development of social, emotional, physical and cognitive skills.

In my classes, I always ask parents if they remember being outside all day long as children and coming home when it was dark.  We had the “street light rule” when I was growing up. When the street light came on, we had to come back home.  As a mom, I can’t imagine my child being gone all day long without my knowing exactly where he is. Can you? Our world has changed, but the importance of playing and exploring your world has not. So what are we to do as parents?

Developed by Talaris, the Parenting Counts curriculum has helpful tips for moms and dads to encourage play:

Repetition may bore you, but not your child. Children learn by repeating. Let your child play the same game or play with the same toy over and over. They will move on when they are ready.

Make time for play! Many parents think they have to teach through lessons or classes. Often, the best learning takes place during play.

Get involved! Become part of their game rather than trying to lead the way. Let them make the rules.

Let your child take the lead. Playing works best when you respond to your children’s cues and follow their lead.

Let your child determine the pace of play. The best way to teach a new skill is to show your children how something works. Then, step back and give them a chance to try.

Don’t force or prolong play. When your child is tired of an activity, it’s time to move on.

Consider safety. Help your children understand any safety rules for play, and make sure they are supervised. Nothing ruins a good play environment faster than a child getting hurt.

Make an area safe for children to play. Move small or breakable objects out of reach and take safety precautions. When you child-proof an area, you give your child permission to move and play freely.

We know there are many benefits to letting children play and explore their world, but current research suggests that over the past 20 years children have lost 12 hours of free time a week, including eight hours of unstructured play and outdoor activities. (Hofferth,S.L. 1999)

In the last decade, we have seen a change in how our children play. Their time has focused more on academics, with an emphasis on organized sports and other structured, out-of-home activities. We cannot dismiss how television and computers, in the name of entertainment, have sapped kids’ play and creativity.

My kids are older, but they still love to play with their mom. So while the weather is nice, let’s get out there and PLAY!

Kerry Beymer (pronounced BEE-murr) graduated from Washington State University and has been a parenting educator for more than 15 years. She is Parenting Support and Education manager at Encompass. Kerry has two children, one in college and one in middle school. She recently was certified as a “Parenting Counts Educator” by the Talaris Institute of Seattle. Kerry uses humor and storytelling in her classes in a non- judgmental setting. “Parenting,” she says, “is the most challenging and most important job there is.”

Great Parents Notice the Positives

parents-notice-praise-positive-behavior2011 12-05 Liann Smith119mugLR

By Liann Smith
(This blog, originally posted October 11, 2012, on the Impact Parenting website blog,  is reposted with permission.)

I was in Costco this weekend returning something. The lines were long but I had to get it done.

I was behind a dad and his two children. His son was about 7 and his daughter about 4 years old. As normal, one child was touching the other child. The dad responded with good boundaries and directions. BUT, here is what I also saw. He gave many commands but no praises. He never noticed when a command was followed. When dad said, “If you touch your sister again, all your treats will go away,” his son stopped bugging his sister and moved to play with the cart. Dad never noticed the positive behavior.

So my question to you is “Do you have anything good to say?”

It takes intention to notice the positive behavior. It hardly takes any effort on our part to notice the negative behavior, our children command us with negative. And we wonder why kids are always acting up.

Take 30 minutes today and be aware of how many times you correct or direct your child verses how much you notice the good behavior. Good parents do direct and correct, but great parents notice when their child behaves well.

When we notice the good stuff, we will get better behavior from our children. Best of all, we will have a closer relationship with them. Here is a quote that I have in my office:

“True obedience is a matter of love, which it makes voluntary not compelled by fear or force.” Dorothy Day, Peace Activist

Liann Smith is a certified Parent-Child Interaction Training / Therapy (PCIT)
coach at Encompass, an independent facilitator of the Becoming a Love and Logic Parentcurricula and the founder of Impact Parenting. She completed a certificate in parenting coaching at the Parent Coaching Institute in collaboration with Seattle Pacific University. She has an undergraduate degree in child development and biblical studies. She also is the mother of three grown children. For more than 17 years, she has worked with hundreds of families with children as a church ministry director and

New Year’s parenting resolutions

Kerry Beymer, parenting support and education manager

Kerry Beymer, parenting support and education manager

Each year at this time, many of us make a pledge to eat healthier, exercise more, stop bad habits and improve upon countless other behaviors. What if one of the resolutions were about parenting? And not just “I promise to be a better parent,” but actually making changes in specific actions. Here are my ideas for resolutions this year.

This year I will try to read more with my kids.
Everyone knows that reading to your kids is beneficial in many ways, but you may not realize that this is such an easy thing to do to increase the bond between you and your child as well as increase your child’s literacy. According to the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES), a division of the U.S. Department of Education, children who read at home enjoy a substantial advantage over children who do not. Only 53 percent of children ages 3 to 5 are read to daily by a family member (1999).
Even as children get older and don’t want to be read aloud to, we can set an example by setting time aside for reading. I can’t tell you how many times I have asked my kids if they have finished their reading while I was on the computer checking my Facebook page.

This year, I will try to be more consistent so my children know what to expect.
Routines are something that kids thrive on. Everyone has a crazy, hectic life, but what can increase calm in a household is having a routine that everyone can count on. Dinner is at________. Bath time is at _________. Bedtime is at _________.
In a class that I teach, “Parenting Skills for a Lifetime,” we call it structuring. This means planning the surroundings and events in our children’s lives so that they more likely can meet our expectations and have their own needs met at the same time.

This year I will try to play more with my child and let her lead.
Play has many benefits for children. It encourages their brain development and helps them develop social skills. Through play, children learn self-confidence and increased self-esteem. Tackling a puzzle or finally making a basket really can increase your child’s confidence. When we take time to play with our children, it really strengthens our bond. So often, we lead the play for our kids: “No, honey. The cow doesn’t go on the roof, it goes inside the barn.” Or, “If you stack those blocks that way, they are going to fall. Do it this way.” We do this to be well-meaning, but it’s far better to let your child lead the play within safe limits.

This year I will try to understand that I am being the best parent I know how to be.
Nobody is perfect. Take it from a parent educator — no one is harder on herself than I am. We all have rough days, and we all have things that cause stress in our lives. In my “Emotion Coaching” workshop, we talk about research that Dr. John Gottman has done with parents and their parenting styles, and he found that parents with good “Emotion Coaching” skills use them only between 30 and 40 percent of the time. It is time for us as parents to cut ourselves some slack. We all make mistakes, and we can use them as opportunities to apologize. Knowing when to ask for help is not claiming defeat. The stigma is over about taking a class or seeking parenting advice. Just know that if you want help, it is available.
If you are interested in any of these subjects, Encompass has several free classes and workshop series. We also provide individualized, one-on-one help with our Personalized Parenting Support and live coaching in our lab as part of our Parent-Child Interaction Training/Therapy program. Please check our website for more information at
Happy New Year!

Kerry Beymer (pronounced BEE-murr) graduated from Washington State
University and has been a parenting educator for more than 15 years. She is
Parenting Support and Education manager at Encompass. Kerry has two children,
one in college and one in middle school. She recently was certified as a
“Parenting Counts Educator” by the Talaris Institute of Seattle. Kerry uses
humor and storytelling in her classes in a non- judgmental setting. “Parenting,”
she says, “is the most challenging and most important job there is.”