Choosing Parenting Curricula Based on the Interests, Needs, and Preferences of the Parents Who Will Use It

Harriet Heath, Ph.D.
Director, The Parent Center Child Study Institute/Thorne School
Bryn Mawr College, Bryn Mawr, PA


Guide to Finding a Parenting Curriculum to Suit the Strengths, Interests, and Preferences of Specific Parents

Part 1. Describing a Curriculum
Part 2. Identifying a Parent's Strengths, Interests, and Preferences
Part 3. Identifying a Group of Parents' Strengths, Interests, and Preferences

Identifying a Group of Parents' Strengths, Interests, and Preferences

What are the goals in planning for this group of parents? _______________________________________________
Age of children of parents in group ________________________________________________________________
How many weekly sessions will parents be willing to attend? ____ 14 ____ 10 ____6 ____ 3 ____ 1
How much would members be willing to pay per session? __ $25.00 __ $20.00 __ $15.00 __ $10.00 __ $5.00

Check all of the following that the group members appear competent in--

The parents know about --

___ Attachment, building and maintaining relationships

___ Developmental stages

___ Families of Origin

___ Feelings and how to deal with them

___ Parent's goals

___ Beliefs systems

___ Learning styles

___ Needs people have in order to survive and to live happily

___ Using needs to motivate children

___ The parental role

___ Relevance of past experience

___ Safety issues

___ Self esteem

___ Sibling and peer relationships

___ Temperament patterns

___ Values and ways of integrating them into family life

___ Other

The parents can --

___ Advocate for children

___ Anticipate

___ Balance demands of work and family

___ Brainstorm

___ Calm self--take a perspective

___ Communicate effectively

___ Design an appropriate environment

___ Discipline

___ Empathize

___ Enjoy

___ Implement life skills

___ Manage stress

___ Negotiate

___ Observe objectively

___ Plan effectively

Play with:

___ young children

___ adolescents

___ Problem solve

___ Reflect, assess about situations

Relate to, respond to, interact:

___ young children

___ adolescents

Resolve conflict with:

___ young children

___ adolescents

Teach and guide:

___ young children

___ adolescents

___ Think through an issue

___ Use community resources

___ Other

Which methods of presenting content seem most appropriate for this group?

___ Lectures, having information given them

___ Opportunities to integrate the knowledge into their situations

___ Sharing their situations

___ Hearing others experiences

___ Being given solutions

___ Figuring out solutions

With what kind of leadership do the parents seem comfortable?


___ untrained, may come from group

___ trained in specific curriculum

___ highly trained in both content and group skills

For professionals looking for an appropriate curriculum for a given group:

Record major philosophical positions of the group.

List commonly heard child rearing advice.

Copyright © 1998 Harriet Heath.

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