Testimonials about FLIP IT

FLIP IT! Transforming Challenging Behavior won a 2012 National Parenting Publications Award (NAPPA), handpicked by their prestigious team of expert judges and parent testers.

What have others said about FLIP IT?

After a month of FLIP IT, my son told me that I don’t yell anymore.

A stressed mother of a 4-year-old boy


I attended one of Rachel’s webinars that was just a short introduction to FLIP IT, and I can’t believe how relevant it is to my everyday practice! As a daycare manager, one of my roles is to share and develop resources, and I think I’ve now shared the webinar [recording] link with at least ten people who work with or alongside children. They have reflected back to me what I felt [while] watching Rachel – it’s so simple and fun to use! It allows us to be more creative in our solutions and really get to the core of the feelings our preschoolers have, which are many and absolutely important to honor. Before, it was so easy just to redirect and give consequences to inappropriate behaviors … With FLIP IT, we can grow our empathy and compassion with our littles and encourage them to be more feelings-aware and self-motivated to do good and kind things. One of my educators said, “It has reminded me to stop and turn things personal for each child. To use creative solutions rather than cookie-cutter ones.” And it’s working for those children we were redirecting all the time. Now they can start to tell us their feelings and begin solutions on their own! Also, how fun it’s been to challenge myself to stop say, “but”!

Megan Seiferling

Facility and Staff Hiring Manager, Island Kids Academy Esquimalt Ltd. (Canada)

I have been a family educator for 10 years, and I wanted to reach out to tell you that FLIP IT has truly been a life-changing strategy. This has worked not only for my preschool class, but also for my own children (teenagers now); my son who has autism and is nonverbal; my husband who is a disabled army veteran with severe PTSD; as well as my own coworkers and staff. This has truly been a life-altering gift that you have given me. I wish everyone could fully embrace how powerful this tool truly is!

Bobbie Bryner

Family Center Manager, Tri County Community Action, Inc. (PA)

Responding effectively to challenging behavior is a process, not an event. The FLIP IT strategy is a simple and easy-to-use intervention. Learning to use FLIP IT enables teachers to be in control of themselves and to respond in a manner that helps children to understand their feelings, respect themselves and others, and develop important problem-solving skills.

Barbara Kaiser

Co-Author, Challenging Behavior in Young Children: Understanding, Preventing, and Responding Effectively

FLIP IT is a program that empowers adults to transform children’s challenging behaviors into opportunities for them to learn what they can do, how to problem-solve, to express feelings in a healthy way, and to gain self-control. Whether you are teaching yourself, providing adult education or mentoring, you will love the well-developed and attractive training materials that present sequenced active learning strategies. Author Rachel Wagner’s understanding of children comes shining through.

Dr. Donna Wittmer

Author, The Young Child: Development from Prebirth Through Age Eight, Endless Opportunities for Infant and Toddler Curriculum: A Relationship-Based Approach, and Infant and Toddler Development and Responsive Program Planning: A Relationship-Based Approach

FLIP IT contributes to the already substantive DECA [Program] resource material by providing an emotionally supportive intervention model that can be readily understood and implemented by staff and parents without years of clinical training. This guide is a valuable addition to the DECA [Program] collection. I highly recommend it for Head Start programs and child care centers throughout the country.

Lesley Koplow, LCSW

Director, The Center for Emotionally Responsive Practice at Bank Street, Author of Unsmiling Faces: How Preschools Can Heal, and of Creating Schools That Heal: Real-Life Solutions

We are doing our first full FLIP IT training for our preschool staff tomorrow. I wanted to thank you again for developing this strategy and training and sharing it with our folks up here in Anchorage. I have been using FLIP IT often this fall and I keep finding myself in awe of its ease of use and effectiveness. It is simple, yet complex, and I am starting to understand all its applications. The most effective part of the strategy for me is that no matter how frustrated, goal-orientated, or hurried I am when I initiate the FLIP, by the end I am in the right frame of mind. As soon as I really want to be the adult helping the child to problem-solve, learn, and feel better, all goes well. Amazing, really?!?! We will be channeling your knowledge, compassion, and energy as well!

Katheryn Staples

Early Intervention Services Instructional Lead, Anchorage School District (AK)

I used this method on a boy that I coach on a robotics team. He has cochlear implants which have never quite worked right, making his language skills very low. He knows a little sign language, which we use with him, but other than that he doesn’t speak much. At practice, this boy would try to get your attention by signing “crying” and saying “I sad” over and over again. He would stop working and even put the sheet that covered the table over his head. When asked why he was sad, he would just shake his head and again say “I sad.” Now I know to never ask a kid why, because they don’t know. The next practice after we talked about [FLIP IT], I used it on the boy. When he said “I sad, I sad,” instead of asking why, I said “I’m sorry you are sad, but on this team, we work hard and help our teammates. What do you think we could do so that you won’t be sad anymore?” He just shrugged his shoulders and said “I sad” again. I then told him that I sometimes like to go for a walk when I am sad, and he shook his head “yes” and we walked the halls for a few minutes. When we got back to the classroom, he went back to working with his team. He just needed a little attention. This is great for me, because now before practice starts, he and one of the coaches walk the halls together for a few minutes and he is good for the rest of practice. This program was really effective for him, and helped me because I can focus on the other kids a little more now.

Anonymous Coach

Hamilton, OH

My teachers are still posting FLIP IT success stories on our Professional Development Community from the FLIP IT training they had this fall! It was so well received here. I think part of the reason for the success is that my co-presenter and I are able to get in the classrooms and coach teachers through the steps until they are more comfortable using them on their own. High Scope and FLIP IT are the two best train-the-trainer experiences I have had in my 34 years in Early Childhood!

Karen Spahn

Early Childhood Consultant, Green Hills AEA, Glenwood, IA

I recently attended the NAEYC Conference and went to Rachel Wagner’s session. I thought she was a great presenter and was very inspired by her approach to behavior management. I immediately went over to the Kaplan booth in the exhibit hall and got her FLIP IT book. After reading it, I decided to buy 22 copies so I would have them for my entire staff. I am excited to have my staff read the book and to have us all speaking the same language. I think this is a great technique and I think my teachers and families will really benefit from it. Please thank Rachel for me!

Leslie S.

Director, Red Bridge Early Childhood Center, Kansas City, MO

I visit a daycare with a certain child that falls apart when things don’t go her way, and let me tell you, “it ain’t pretty” when it happens either! Once, she had a two-hour screaming fit because she wanted a certain teacher to hand her a paper towel. (That teacher was busy and she could reach the paper towels herself and others were offering to help … and you get the picture.) So, mostly everybody just walks around her like [on] eggshells.

Yesterday, she threw a fit because another child wore the paint shirt she wanted. (He even took it off for her and she threw it across the room, so then another child put it on who wasn’t giving it up … once again, I’m sure you get the picture!) I decided, “I’m flippin’ this girl!” I went to the couch and held her and said “I know you’re really sad and upset because you want to wear the bunny shirt (insert scream here), but so and so is wearing it right now (insert extra loud scream here). What else could we do to make you feel better? (Insert a little calmer scream, but add wiping snotty nose on me.) Then we began listing some ideas. We came up with wearing it at nap time! She was completely happy with that idea and the crisis was settled in about ten minutes!

I’m convinced that if I had just said “You can’t have the shirt now, but you can wear it at naptime,” she would have continued screaming her “mad as a wet hen” act! Only going through the steps together did she feel validated and given the power to fix the problem herself … well, she thought she fixed the problem herself. What a perfect solution for those children that want complete control! And what’s even better is that the whole ordeal actually helped build our relationship. Rather than me being the bully teacher making her stay in a timeout crying, I was her coach, her supporter and most of all, her understanding teacher that she knows cares and loves her!

Thanks again, Rachel! I’m off to another daycare to FLIP some more kids!

Amy Anderson

Professional Development Associate, Project REACH, University of Missouri, Columbia, MO

I attended your training in San Antonio one year ago this month! I loved it! We (my partner and I) presented to a group of 65 here at Region 10 last Wednesday – 95% of the respondents to our survey, thus far, said they would recommend this training to others!!! All sorts of positive feedback! Just wanted to thank you for making this training so thorough (great stories, easy-to-understand concepts, practice scenarios, and the Practice Picture FLIP Book). [This is] a program that is really easy to be enthused about and present to teachers and others. We will be presenting to more teachers (at their sites) soon. Thanks for all your GREAT work! We are continuing to FLIP IT here in Texas!

Sharon A. Carr, LMSW

Mental Health Consultant, Early Head Start/Head Start, Region 10 Education Service Center, Richardson, TX

A fellow co-worker and I will be presenting FLIP IT [soon]. We feel very confident with our training, the booklet, and DVD that we can certainly train our staff! I can let you know the outcome of our training. Thank you for the FLIP IT strategy! I love the simplicity of the strategy and bringing “feelings” to focus in the work with children.

Roberta Wolschon, MA, LLPC

Mental Health/Education Specialist, MCCSA Head Start, Clinton Township, MI

WOW … I am still FLIP IT crazy. Angela and I trained all of the staff when we got back. It took two separate months. [For] next year, I have talked to other content areas (foster grandparents and transportation), [and] they want the training for their people, too. THANKS to you all for the opportunity to become a train-the-trainer for FLIP IT. We continue to brag on it every chance we get. It is so important to us, and the children we serve.

Sunni Zimmer

Mental Health & Disabilities Coordinator, CAPE Head Start, Evansville, IN

The FLIP IT Train-the-Trainer was one of the best trainings I have attended. I really enjoy trainings that are practical and can be put to everyday use. I have been “flipping” every day!! Thank you for the information!

Wendy Greenlief

Early Learning Mentor Coach, Community Action Southwest, Washington, PA

My training went VERY WELL. I love the material – loved presenting it. I even took “ICK” for my group. My audience loved it as well – many great comments. I just had a feeling that FLIP IT would be something that would appeal to people who work in the trenches and sure enough. Thank you for putting together this material and for your help with my presentation. I am going to try and get FLIP IT out there more.

Jan Frost

Professional Development Associate, Project REACH, University of Missouri, Columbia, MO

I have been using it with my 4- and 8-year-old with a lot of success – even this morning when my 4-year-old was upset since she could not find her blankie. It was so cool to see her think through the process and find the solution on her own – and then even later tell me, “Daddy – are you happy that I am using my manners and not having a fit over my blankie?!” THANK YOU FOR MAKING MY LIFE A LITTLE EASIER!!

Ken Baker

Father of a 4-year-old

FLIP IT is a great tool to share with teachers. It provides a step-by-step process for acknowledging children’s feelings while setting clear limits and teaching problem-solving skills.

Aviva Shira Starr

EChO Program Manager, Durham Exchange Clubs' Family Center, Durham, NC

I love FLIP IT! It combines everything (and more) of what I have been trying to teach our teachers in a simple and usable way! Thanks so much for this great tool!

Kim Baumgart

Pocatello Chubbuck School District #25 Head Start, Pocatello, ID

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