As Parenting Educators, our goal of parenting education is to:
- strengthen families by providing relevant, effective education
- support and encourage an optimal environment for the healthy growth and development of parents* and children.
* The term parents includes key persons who play the central, parenting role in a child’s life.
- are individuals whose background includes preparation in the following areas: child development, adult development and learning, family relationships, parenting education, and interpersonal and group facilitation.
- are familiar with various frameworks, theories and schools of thought that influence and guide practice in parenting education.
- work in partnership with parents, understanding that each parent/child relationship is unique.
- provide both education and support to respectfully address the goals and needs of parents and families.
- continually expand their knowledge base of issues and topics relevant to children and families.
- work toward developing multiple perspectives to address the diversity of families, children and communities.
- provide the education and support parents need to make and implement effective decisions for their families.
- build networks, share resources and advocate to effect change on behalf of the families they serve.
- are committed to their child’s well being.
- have the responsibility to love unconditionally, nurture, guide, educate, encourage and protect their child from birth to adulthood.
- most effectively meet the needs of their child in the context of a respectful, responsive and supportive relationship.
- are a child’s first and most influential teachers and profoundly impact all domains of growth and development.
- are the primary decision-makers for their children.
- bring strengths to their parental role.
- bring unique histories, goals, values and beliefs to their role.
- deserve and can benefit from parenting education and support.
- is a life-long, dynamic process.
- is reciprocal between parent and child.
- is influenced by many factors including temperament, personality, biology and the unique experiences brought to the relationship by both parent and child.
- is influenced by the social, economic and psychological context of families, communities and cultures.
- involves creating a balance between the needs of the child and the needs of the parents.
- helps parents guide their child through childhood toward healthy adulthood.
- enhances family relationships and promotes family resiliency.
- is consistent with current, validated research and information regarding child and adult development.
- is based on best practices and principles of parenting education and family support.
- promotes knowledge and skills through education and support for all parents.
- recognizes, respects and responds to the unique contexts, religious, racial/ethnic and cultural diversity of each family.
- is an effective resource for a strength-based approach to serving all families.
This document is a working draft that will be revised and altered continually. Feedback is welcomed.