WHY SUPPORT PArents?
Has parenting changed?
Parenting today has changed dramatically from previous generations. In the past, most parents lived near their extended family and were able to receive guidance and support from experienced parents. Today’s parents often live across the country from their own families of origin leaving them to figure out all aspects of parenting for themselves. Without these critical benefits of living near extended family, parents must now turn to their community for the support they crave.
It's a different world. While every generation utters those words, the rapidly changing nature of modern life has shifted the skills our children need to thrive as adults. No longer are young adults entering the workforce and spending decades with the same employer, slowly moving up the ladder. The skills our children need to develop now are less about obedience and more about initiative as they shift employers and even careers multiple times in adulthood. Resilience, flexibility and self-discipline are critical to functioning in the workforce.
Even the way we use information has changed. No longer do children need to memorize vast amounts of data to have on hand. That information is now available right on our phones. Instead, we need to help our children develop critical thinking, communication and problem solving skills to navigate our diverse world.
Parent support provides today's parents with the tools and strategies needed to help their children build the critical life skills necessary for adulthood.
The Need for Parent Education
The goal of parent education and support is to reinforce parenting practices that promote healthy development and provide alternatives to harmful or non-productive ways of parenting.
A 1998 national survey of parents with young children examined the childrearing needs and pediatric healthcare experiences of parents with young children. 79% of parents in a national survey reported the desire for more support and information on parenting concerns (Young, et. al., 1998) However, our current medical system does not allow for in-depth behavioral support in pediatric offices.
The mental health of parents during the early years of life has a large impact on early brain activity, behavior and long-term behavioral outcomes (Dawson, et. al., 2000).
A meta-analysis of 55 studies from various countries found a strong relationship between participation in high-quality parenting programs and lower crime rates. “Children of parents who participated were as much as 22% less likely to later commit a crime (Piquero, 2008).”
The Case for Parent Coaching
Parent Coaching, also called Family Coaching, consists of a multi-step process aimed at creating change within the family system and has been identified as an innovative, evidence-based prevention model.
Results from The Nurse Family Partnership study showed that children in participant families were 50% less likely to be neglected or abused. In addition, participants were 60% less likely to be arrested by age 15 (Olds, 1997).
Results from Center for Disease Control study on efficacy of Parent Coaching showed participant families had averaged a 25% reductions in abuse and neglect, 33% reductions in foster care placements, and 35% reductions in emergency room visits or hospitalizations for abuse (Prinz, et. al., 2009)
Traditional mental health therapy often carries stigma, which may act as a barrier to those who view themselves as generally well functioning. Coaching is generally more approachable than therapy, further eliminating barriers to services.
Coaching involves collaborative methods of solving problems with clients who are an active participant in their own growth and development. Families receive support and guidance on normal parenting issues from discipline, sleep issues, toilet training, work life balance and general support around the stresses of parenting.
Coaching comes from a strengths based perspective, helping families capture their motivation for change, setting specific, realistic and measurable goals and evaluating when goals are achieved. It is a coach’s responsibility to identify when more intensive mental health or medical care is required. Our coaches are both Licensed Clinical Social Workers in the State of Washington.
Becker, Arielle L. "The Long Reach of Childhood Trauma." The CT Mirror. The Connecticut News Project, 20 Jan. 2015. Web. 28 Jan. 2015. http://ctmirror.org/2015/01/20/the-long-reach-of-childhood-trauma/
Center for the Study of Social Policy (2008). Strengthening Families. Retrieved August 3, 2010 from http://www.strengtheningfamilies.net/index.php/main_pages/protective_factors
Child Welfare League of America. (2007). National Fact Sheet 2007. Washington DC: Author.
Piquero A, Farrington D, Welsh B, Tremblay R, Jennings W: Effects of early family/parent training programs on antisocial behavior and delinquency. Campbell Collaboration, 2008.
Dawson G., Ashman S.B., & Carver L.J. (2000). The role of early experience in shaping behavioral and brain development and its implications for social policy. Development and Psychopathology, 12(4): 695-712.
Katz, B., 2010. “The Challenge of Seattle's Emerging Society” in The State of Metropolitan America. Washington, DC: The Brookings Institution. Retrieved August 3, 2010 from http://www.brookings.edu/opinions/2010/0528_seattle_katz.aspx
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Olds, D. L. (1997). Long-term effects of nurse home visitation on maternal life course and child abuse and neglect. Journal of the American Medical Association, 278(8), 637-643.
Prinz, R.J., Sanders, M.R., Shapiro, C.J., Whitaker, D.J., & Lutzker, J.R. (2009). Population-based prevention of child maltreatment: The U.S. Triple P System Population Trial. Prevention Science, 10, 1-12
Taaffe Young, K., Davis, K., Schoen, C., Parker, S., (1998). Listening to parents: A national survey of parents with young children. Archives of Pediatric and Adolescent Medicine, 152, 255-262.
U.S. Census Bureau. Seattle Metropolitan Division, WA Selected Demographics: 2008. In 2000-2008 American Community Survey.