is one thing stronger than all the armies of the world:
an idea whose time has come." -Victor Hugo
The job of parenting is one that is both extremely important
and extremely difficult, but for too long our society has treated
it as if it were either unimportant or easy, and left parents
to fend for themselves.
Today's parents face greater challenges than ever before and
are becoming less and less confident in their parenting skills.
They may hear from their own parents that they aren't measuring
up, yet it's clear that the methods their parents used won't work
as effectively in today's world.
So they seek answers through magazine articles and books,
actively searching for that magic solution to make them better
parents. They jump from one theory to another, but their attempts
are met with failure; their family life becomes chaotic because
of the inconsistency, and parents are left feeling even more
frustrated and inadequate.
Nothing changes, not because they aren't trying, but because
change takes time, consistency and commitment. And also because
parenting is a job that requires training and support, something
they've never had.
As a child and family therapist I developed a strong belief
in the importance of parenting education. I realized my efforts
to help children would be temporary at best, and that if I wanted
to help them over the long term I needed to get parents involved.
When I saw the changes that occurred with more parent involvement,
I began using parenting education as a regular component of my
counseling. This helped me establish a positive rapport with
both parents and the community. As I began offering more and
more courses in schools, churches and other community locations
I began to realize that parenting education was not just something
that could benefit parents whose children were having problems,
it was something that could benefit all families. Since that
time I've heard from hundreds of leaders who have seen firsthand
the power of effective parent education. Today, we see Active
Parenting groups offered throughout the United States and in
many other parts of the world. It is an idea whose time has come.
This booklet contains information that my staff and I have
collected over the years in our work with parents and professionals.
Much of what we have learned has come from fellow Active Parenting
leaders, and I hope that we will all continue sharing what we
learn in our mission to bring parenting education to communities
around the world.
Active Parenting Publishers