From the Desk of Extension – Family Relationships Matter and Parenting Education Can Help

Pattie Carroll, Human Development & Relationships Educator, UW-Madison Extension Dodge County

Parents and caregivers are integral to healthy communities. Building strong relationships is the key, and UW Extension Dodge County is a source of well-researched, quality information aimed at supporting just that. What we know is that parents are their child’s first and best teacher. However, while parenting may come naturally to some, others may need additional support and guidance to understand child development, positive discipline, and even the importance of self-care.

Parenting may come naturally to some, but others may need additional support and guidance to understand child development, positive discipline, and even the importance of self-care.

Parent education provides caregivers with knowledge, resources, skill-building practices, and it helps parents and caregivers learn tools and strategies to provide a positive and nurturing environment where children thrive physically, emotionally, and cognitively. Here are key benefits that may result from attending parenting education programs:

  • Improves parental empowerment and competency as well as parental satisfaction.
  • Increases positive parenting practices like planned discipline, establishing routines, and encouraging nurturing behavior.
  • Increases social connections where parents can exchange parenting advice, provide emotional support, and share resources.
  • Improves child behavior. Children of parents who participate in parenting education programs often demonstrate increases in their prosocial behaviors and decreases in negative behaviors.
  • Improves parent-child interactions and results in an overall better understanding between family members.
  • Improves parental mental health and well-being.
  • Decreases the use of corporal punishment and the risk of child abuse by helping parents learn about alternatives to physical punishment.

Source: Wilder Research (https://www.wilder.org/)

Pattie Carroll, UW Extension Dodge County- Human Development and Relationships Educator says, “Normalizing parenting education is important, there should never be a stigma around learning.”  Carroll also invites you to check out the statewide virtual parenting programs offered through UW Extension Institute of Human Development & Relationships. Scroll to the bottom of the page and see a calendar of virtual parenting programs offered through UW Extension. https://parenting.extension.wisc.edu/ or visit the Dodge County Extension web page, https://dodge.extension.wisc.edu/ .

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