Fundamentals, Psychology

Can an Education in Parenting Styles Actually Improve Parenting?

education of parenting styles

“The rearing of the child must become a process of liberation by methods which shall not impose ready-made ideas, but which should aid the child’s natural self-unfoldment. The purpose of such an education is not to force the child’s adaptation to accepted concepts, but to give free play to his [and her] originality, initiative, and individuality”.

–Alexander Berkman

Mothers’ Experiences with Education of Parenting Styles

Julia Grant’s 1998 book, Raising Baby by the Book: The Education of Mothers, provides an overview of the education of parenting styles throughout modern history. Rather than hearing from the experts, though, we hear from mothers who took the experts’ advice and what they experiences as a result. Through interviews with a diverse group of mothers from a wide variety of economic and ethnic backgrounds, we are able to see the actual impact of the education of parenting styles on their everyday lives.

Since there is so much conflicting advice among those dedicated to the education of parenting styles, parents have become more discriminating consumers of professional advice. Most no longer follow such advice to the letter, but adapt it to their own circumstances, or sometimes, choose to ignore it completely. However, since parenting is probably the most difficult, and most important, endeavor that anyone can undertake, there will likely never be a shortage of new literature on the education of parenting styles to choose from.

The Role of Education of Parenting Styles in Determining Social Policy

Many people believe that parenting skills should be taught in school. One article in the Guardian, described a government program called Save the Children, designed to provide free parenting classes for anyone with a child under five years of age. Researchers will be studying the results of such programs. One of the reasons for the government instituting parenting classes is the belief that improved parenting will reduce social unrest manifested in behaviors such as rioting. Such behaviors in response to difficult living conditions created by economic inequality are increasingly being attributed to poor parenting free sample pack.
According to children’s minister Sarah Teather

“We want parents to be able to seek help and advice in the earliest years of their child’s life and for this to be a normal part of family life.”

The program is being piloted in areas experiencing a high degree of economic deprivation. Octavius Black, the founder of one of the courses taught in the program, believes that parenting skills can be taught. However, he also believes that sensitivity is required when initiating such programs because “challenging someone’s parenting skills is one of the strongest challenges to their identity”. High levels of participation in such programs is only possible if providers present the programs as a way to help parents build on their strengths, rather than shaming them for their weaknesses.

The Role of Education of Parenting Styles in Abuse Prevention

According to the Brookings Institute, in the U.S., there are more than 3 million investigations of child abuse each year. From those investigations, 800,000 children are identified as abused or neglected. For more than 1,500 children each year, the abuse and neglect is severe enough to result in death. Those deaths are usually attributed to parents overwhelmed by a sense of failure.
The institute points to research that demonstrates that parenting classes can not only reduce abuse and neglect, but can also save money. The offer statistics which prove that spending a relatively small amount to provide free parenting classes can save costly therapy and incarceration in the future. In addition to improving child development in terms of academic and social achievement, good parenting also results in reducing child mental illness and teen pregnancy.

Three such parenting programs have been tested in studies and were found to improve parenting outcomes. The first program, called Parent Management Training (PMT) uses a science-based approach, utilizing everything science has learned about parenting. The second program, used with families involved with child welfare services is Parent-Child Interaction Therapy (PCIT). This intervention program is the only one that requires parents to show competency in a variety of effective parenting skills to successfully complete the program.

The third program, developed in Australia and employed in a large-scale trial at the University of South Carolina, is called the Triple P-Positive Parenting Program. The program was found to reduce child maltreatment and the number of out-of-home placements. It was calculated that these programs resulted in real savings of $3,427 per family, a figure which did not include potential future costs of health services directly related to abuse. The cost of the media portion of the program cost less than $1.00 per child, and the costs of training service providers to host the classes was calculated at a modest $11.74 per child. In addition to government programs, there are also a number of helpful online parenting classes.

Perhaps one of the most important components of parenting classes is the support system that parents are able to develop with other parents while attending them. Being with people facing similar challenges teaches parents that they aren’t alone.

education of parenting styles
Maternal Cares, Color repro. of watercolor by Maud Humphrey Maud_Humphrey
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