PARENTING FOR EMOTIONAL GROWTH: A TEXTBOOK, WORKSHOPS & CURRICULUM FOR STUDENTS IN GRADES K THRU 12
Henry Parens, MD Professor of Psychiatry, Thomas Jefferson University
Parenting for Emotional Growth is based on a multi-disciplinary research project conducted between 1970 and 2007.* This intensive study of a group of mothers and their children over thirty-seven years led to the development of the materials here. Designed for parents, caregivers, educators, and mental health professionals, these documents are constructed to spell out in substantial detail how to optimize a child's emotional development and health.
The files include:
• Parenting for Emotional Growth: Textbook - Explores the psychodynamic theories that address parenting issues pertinent to optimizing the child's psychological development, mental well-being, and abilities to adapt constructively.
• Curriculum for Students in Grades K thru 12- In a unique collaboration between mental health and education professionals, these materials are developed into a pyramid of grade-appropriate courses to span grade levels K through 12.
• Workshop Series for Parents and Other Caregivers - More than 40 workshops containing questions and discussions, role-plays, interactional exercises, written and oral lessons, and occasional games to provide opportunities for participants to experience the content both intellectually and emotionally.
• Lines of Development - Topics from the textbook are presented in a format designed to provide a perspective on specific major developmental lines such as aggression, self and human relationships, sexuality, and conscience formation.
• The Urgent Need for Universal Parenting Education - A video overview of the research project which led to the development of these documents. It includes footage and observations from the participants and the investigators recorded over the thirty-seven years of the project.
*by the staff of The Early Child Development Program, formerly from the Department of Psychiatry, The Medical College of Pennsylvania at The Eastern Pennsylvania Psychiatric Institute, Philadelphia, PA.
Henri Parens, MD
The Workshops, like the Lesson Plans, contain many opportunities for the participants and students to learn both didactically and experientially by direct, live observations. Questions and discussions, role-plays, interactional exercises, written and oral lessons and occasional games provide ample opportunity to experience the Workshops contents both intellectually and emotionally.
Workshop Instructors must be cognizant of ethnicity-specific mores and customs of Workshop participants; guidelines are provided to facilitate such ethnic considerations.
Henri Parens, MD
The PEG Curriculum has 3 distinctive features:
- It addresses the mental health domain of parenting. We emphasize that we are talking about the emotional aspects of rearing 'the human child', whatever the child's race, ethnicity, or religion, because all human infants have the same basic emotional and psychological needs. This course of study for parenting consists of three sub-domains of study: (a) human emotional and behavior development; (b) strategies for optimizing the child's development; and (c) other pertinent parenthood issues.
- The curriculum materials extend from the kindergarten level through 12th grade. In a unique collaboration between mental health and education professionals, some of these materials are now developed into a pyramid of grade-appropriate courses to span grade levels K through 12. Individual educators and schools can further develop these materials as best suits their specific student population. We believe that best results will be achieved in communities where educators and mental health professionals continue to collaborate to achieve prevention-optimal materials.
- This is a laboratory type curriculum. As in a biology or physics course, the students are exposed to live materials, actual and specific child-parent observations, and interactional activities in the classroom as well as in outside assignments. Audio-visual materials are used secondarily to supplement live observations.
Henri Parens, MD
In developing the Parenting for Emotional Growth Textbook, we planned to structure the units in such a way that the same issues, be it the development of self and relationships, of aggression, etc., would be addressed in the same sequence at the various stage levels of the child's development. Thus, in the Textbook, the issues will be ordered in the same sequence in all of the units.
While using the textbook for classroom or workshop preparation or for individual study, some users have sought to follow one or another particular line of development through the length of its evolving from infancy through adolescence. To facilitate this user's task, we formatted the textbook materials to accommodate this developmental view of the materials. We did this only for those lines that have been most focused on by Workshop leaders, teachers as well as parents.
Henri Parens, MD
This textbook, on which the Parenting for Emotional Growth Curriculum, Workshops, and Lines of Development are based, is highly detailed and is based in psychodynamic theories that address parenting issues pertinent to optimizing the child's psychological development, mental well-being, and abilities to adapt constructively. The presentation of materials is organized by the rationale that when parents know, understand, and can positively handle the child's evolving emotional and experiential needs and psychological developments, the parents' rearing strategies tend to better optimize their children's developmental potential than when such knowledge, understanding, and handling are lacking. It is exactly because this educational approach has been shown to bring about growth-promoting parenting that our aim is the institution of parenting education alongside "reading, writing, and arithmetic" in the primary and secondary education of every child. In addition, through the Workshops, we want to reach those who have already become parents as well as those who work with children in order to heighten their growth-promoting efforts toward optimizing their children's development.