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Child-Directed Interaction (CDI)

CDI, according to Dr. Shelia Eyberg (1988), the parent's goal is to follow the child's lead during play while being sure to follow the

“Don’t Rules” and “Do Rules of CDI”.

The child should be free to lead the activity and make their own decisions about what and how to play.


“Don’t Rules” during CDI:

Avoid commands: 


Reason: Allows the child to lead· Avoids causing unpleasantness· Child obedience will be taught later.



Indirect: Will you hand me that crayon?

Could you tell me the alphabet?


Direct: Look at this. Please tie your shoe. Come here. Let's go to the park. 


Avoid questions: 


Reason: Allows the child to lead the conversation. Many questions contain hidden commands· Asking questions may seem like you aren’t listening or that you disagree with the child.


That’s the purple one, right?

What color is this?

Are you having fun?

You want to play with the dolls?

What do you want to do?

What toys do you want to play with? 

What are you making?


Avoid criticism or correction:


Reason: Criticism doesn’t work to decrease bad behaviors · Attention often increases the criticized behavior · Criticism will lower the child’s self[1]esteem · Frequent correction creates an unpleasant interaction


You’re being naughty.

I don’t like it when you talk back.

Don’t scribble on your paper.

No, honey, that’s not right.

Airplanes don’t fly underwater.

If you don’t share, the kids at school won’t like you.


Implement the PRIDE skills (“Do rules of CDI”)

CDI Parental Video

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