The goal of parenting education is to enhance understanding of adolescent development and the role of the family in this development. A key focus is how healthy family functioning enables the family to be a source of strength for its members. The more knowledge parents have about normal adolescent development and functional families the better they can identify family issues and resolve them.
Education should be pursued actively whenever the opportunity arises during conversations that take place during the course of a flexible family focused case work approach.
Key topics likely to be beneficial for all families include:
- adolescent development and realistic expectations of adolescents at different stages of development, especially individuation and the changes this tends to bring in family dynamics
- family factors that promote resilience
- the importance of being good role models especially in terms of responsible alcohol use
- the importance of monitoring the adolescent’s whereabouts
- the importance of spending quality time together
Topics that may be beneficial when an adolescent has a drug problem include:
- drugs and adolescents including how and why young people become involved with drugs and the nature of treatment
- harm minimisation principles and strategies
- relapse and recovery including ways in which parents can help their child avoid or recover from relapse
Topics likely to be beneficial for families experiencing conflict with their adolescent include:
- boundaries, limits, authority and discipline including how parents can maintain authority in healthy ways
- communication, conflict resolution and fighting fair
- family problem-solving skills
Provide caregivers with printed material on topics in which they express interest or demonstrate need for further information.
Provide information about additional sources of parenting education available in the community.
NOTE: Practice Element F4 is derived from the Family Support Network described by (Hamilton, Brantley, Tims, Angelovich, & McDougall, 2001).