Children and young adults have a strong connection with their environment. The concept of parenting determines the outcome of a child's growth and development. Parenting education is, therefore necessary in strengthening families through provision of signs, efficient education and support and ensuring maximum environment for stronger growth and development of parents/nurses and children. Caregivers link effective parental educational programs with reduced rates of child mistreatment and abandon, normal cognitive and emotional development in children, improved knowledge of child development and parenting abilities, and more effective parental supervision and discipline (Azar, Nix, & Makin-Byrd, 2005).
Efficient parent education programs occur in various types and found in many locations. However, some parent education programs are universal and useful to any parent, while others are significant for specific population's demands. In essence, parent education falls into various categories; home-based, group-based, through newsletters or community services. Even though, there is a high range of parent education Programs, parents/caregivers encounter challenges determining the best practices. Furthermore, even with numerous research studies required to understand the significant elements of parent education programs, evaluating evidence-based programs explains the elements of successful parent education programs.
Assessments of efficient parent education programs naturally explain population characteristics and evaluate program features and procedures. The effective practices from such assessments are to understand and replicate effective programs (Armstrong, Birnie-Lefcovitch & Ungar, 2005).
Characteristics of parental program
The research study of parenting education proposes that the most efficient programs uphold a clear and constant focus on parenting knowledge and developmental information. Parental programs intend to reinforce the family level defensive factors through stressing on family strengths for instance, parents spend optimum time with their parents as they monitor their communications and show them affection. These programs are also effective in decreasing family level risk factors. For instance, the programs contain curricula that facilitate parental education on the strategies to reduce inconsistent and incoherent parenting and eliminate incidences of social isolation in families (Depanfilis, 2005).
Even though most parental programs are flexible and effective in responding to parents/children's needs, caregiver reinvents them to serve the purposes required. Parental education programs are purchasable from caregivers or replicated. However, even with the availability of the parent education programs, most parents still use ineffective programs. In order to optimize program usefulness, it is significant to use an experimented and verified program design because altering various components of a curriculum can render the program valueless. For example, reducing the number of activities recommended at each class session may undermine the efficiency of a program. If a particular parent educational program matches with the demands of a community, educators can execute the program with conformity while addressing exclusive needs of the participants (Mennen & Trickett, 2006).
The timing of the program depends on the needs of the participants. The delivery of the program ought to be earlier in order to respond to the participants' needs. Young parents can help eliminate incidences of later advancement of negative behaviors and establish a foundation for positive parent-child relationships in the future. Programs intended to evaluate the effectiveness of various stages of family development are also effective.
The active involvement of parents forecasts the degree of effect of parent education program. In essence, parents involved in applying their knowledge in the programs, tend to increase their involvement in the program. Some of the active learning approaches applied by parents in increasing their involvement in parenting programs include, role-playing.
Length of the program / sessions/
In addition, frequent and continuing contact with parents is essential in the success of parental program. However, there is limited information pertaining to how often and the length of time parental programs takes to meet. It is certain that continuous, repetitive coverage of a concept develops confidence and skills, which assist parents, incorporate the skills into their daily activities. However, parental programs that lasts for more than two years encounters the challenges of maintaining its participants. Most participants prefer engaging in a program that schedules its meetings on a weekly basis and monthly basis.
For example, participants may meet for about three to six months, which relates to approximately 12 to 24 sessions. This is reasonable for most of the participants. Families that are susceptible to high risks gain from frequent and continuous program. In this regard, it is important to increase the length of time allocated for the program in order to allow families develop confidence and modify dysfunctional perceptions or behaviors. Some of the researchers suggest that, families susceptible to high risks use about 30 to 40 hours of the overall allocated time program and obtain multiple program contacts every week through class sessions, home visits and from daily/weekly newsletters (Mennen & Trickett, 2006).
However, the length of time assigned to the program depends on the magnitude of the predetermined risks and the challenges encountered by different families. Research indicates that staffs emanating from various fields, such as social work and nursing, have successfully managed to maintain parent education. Programs characterized with competent staffs are effective compared to the programs featured with incompetent professionals. In addition, home-based programs have been successful when managed by nurses, because nurses have the power to influence the participants. In essence, most participants' takes heed of the advices given by the nurses on the assumption of their competence. As an emerging new field, parent education program has less regulation and standards for practitioner education.
However, professionals with a desire of sharing parent education skills and knowledge must show competence in terms of education qualification. In this regard, considering the significance of competent staffs to the achievement of parent education programs, there is a need to train individuals on the efficiency of the program. Educators that seem convincing to parents are essential in building relationship and showing the tremendous influence when executing the program. Even though, the credibility of the staff may partially relate to the proficient skills, traits such as, integrity, volatility, compassion, communication skills, and family sympathy contributes to the success of parenting education programs (Mennen & Trickett, 2006).
Research indicates that culture and organizational abilities may influence the success of parental programs. Efficient programs employ an ecological perspective by integrating all the necessary factors relating to a family, such as, educational institutions, extended families, finances, and so forth. Some programs may support the efforts already established by organizations, such as educational institutions and churches. For example, programs that integrate a school-related project with a parenting program are likely to succeed because of their increased support for a school project and a home-based project. In addition, there is a possibility of extending parenting programs through partnership with other societal agencies. Integrating parents to other required services improves parenting programs, thus, increasing parenting efforts (Mennen & Trickett, 2006).
Effective programs acknowledge the special requirements and cultural traditions of the different families they serve. They also match materials and programs to the various requirements of the various families. Participant's characteristics, for instance, race, income and the level of education are significant factors when selecting and executing a parenting education program. For example, even though research links poverty with less receptive, warm parenting and reduced child welfare programs, programs that target poor families have slim possibilities of succeeding, if they try to enhance parenting skills. The first objective of the parenting Program is meeting the basic needs before implementing parenting education. In essence, the population characteristics may change the design and implementation (Fricker-Elhai, Ruggiero & Smith, 2005).
Professionals entrusted with the implementation of parental educational programs encounter diverse challenges in deciding the effected persons in the implementation process. They face dilemma in deciding whether to hire marginalized families or native families in parenting education programs. Parental programs are universal thus, the personnel involved ought to be impartial and knowledgeable about universal issues. In this case, hiring and retaining personnel from minority backgrounds may delay the process because of the negative perceptions the population has on this group of people. Parental programs ought to be culturally tailored with various languages, cultures, rituals, beliefs and ethics and this increases the efficiency of the program with marginalized groups. Efficient culturally tailored parental education programs consider the following factors:
a) The personnel required to represent the cultural group
b) The difference between the values and the parenting techniques with the mainstream principles and the parenting techniques
c) The significance of the extended group in the success of the group
Although a program may fail to meet the above criteria, recruiting an individual who embodies a cultural group can enhance the success of the program.
Parents of Adolescents
Parents of adolescents symbolize another essential parent education population. Transition periods, like puberty, are moments when parent programs are effective. Parenting responsibilities during the adolescent stages occurs in various tasks. The most effective task of adolescent development is a positive rapport with a parent. Therefore, parent education programs for parents with teens intend to maintain a cordial and communicative parent-child affiliation. In terms of the development process, many teens are unable…