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By Susan Makowski, Prevention Specialist

Are you looking for ways to improve your relationship with your children? Do you feel like you could benefit from gaining a few new insights into some effective parenting techniques?  If you find yourself answering YES then please continue reading to find out more about “Active Parenting” and “Active Parenting of Teens”

These programs were developed by Dr. Michael Popkin and are a resource Hanley Foundation offers to parents and caregivers throughout Florida. 

The programs typically are conducted in six sessions each one building on the next using a combination of PowerPoint slides and video vignettes.  The programs address topics such as:  defining mutual respect, offering choices to our children, communication skills, natural and logical consequences, motivation behind certain undesired behaviors, the value of a proactive approach to many parenting situations and family enrichment activities and meetings.  

Both programs focus on the same core concepts.  Active Parenting addressing ages 5-12 and Active Parenting of Teens covering ages 13-18 offer age-appropriate video examples for the concepts being shared.  Discussion is encouraged to allow parents to share their real-life examples. Having the group facilitator and other class participants help apply the program concepts to those situations is a great way to build a class community. Knowing you have support in your parenting journey and realizing there are others having the same challenges makes the sharing more powerful and valuable.  

Some parents have indicated the concepts the program teaches not only apply to parenting but can be applied to other relationships as well.  For example, spouse/partner, siblings, co-workers are some areas participants have stated growth and positive impacts have occurred.

Who, Where, What, When, and Why of “Active Parenting”

WHO:  Any parent, grandparent, or caregiver may participate. 

WHERE: Currently due to social distancing, Hanley Foundation offers this program via Zoom groups. Facilitators and participants view the PowerPoint presentation along with the program videos via the computer and then participate in group discussions. (When we are safely able to congregate, programs run in various places in the community including churches, churches, community centers, homes, etc.)

WHAT:  Active Parenting is a video-based, interactive learning experience. The program is composed of six sessions covering:  The Active Parent, Cooperation & Communication, Responsibility & Discipline, Building Courage & Self-Esteem, Understanding and Redirecting Misbehavior, and ends with School Success.

WHEN:  Whenever a group of 5 or more can be coordinated and a leader is available to facilitate the class sessions.

WHY:  Because in the words of the program developer, Dr. Michael Popkin, “Parenting is both important and difficult.” Education is an ongoing life-long pursuit and this program is a fantastic way to gain parenting knowledge.   

Sign up for current Active Parenting Programs happening here