Parenting Education’s Effect on Parenting Practices and Attitudes: a Review of the Literature

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Parenting Education’s effect on Parenting Practices and Attitudes: A Review of the Literature What is parenting? According to Merriam-Webster (2014) parenting-also called child rearing-is the process of taking care of children until they are old enough to take care of themselves. Therefore parent education can be defined as “programs, support services and resources offered to parents and caregivers that are designed to support them or increase their capacity and confidence in raising healthy children” (Hirschy, 2001). Bringing up children is the most significant and challenging task that most of us will embark upon. If children are to be given the best start they can possibly have then, parents must be provided with sufficient support to enable then to fulfill their child rearing obligations. Parenting Ideology and Perceptions of Parenthood Romagnoli, and Wall (2012) introduce the concept of ‘intensive mothering’ in which they characterize as the ideal form of parenting. They contend that “intensive mothering is centered solely on the needs of children, which have expanded, beyond the physical to include emotional, psychological and cognitive needs.” They go on to say that the transition to the concept of intensive mothering began in the 1990’s during a time when researchers began touting the intellectual and psychological effects of one-on-one time, play and different cognitive activities with infants. Susan Allen’s study on parent’s perceptions of intervention practices revealed that participants felt a need for support and encouragement in their parenting practice. This support was paramount in establishing their confidence in their ability to parent effectively (Allen. 2007). Romagnoli, and Wall (2012) completed a narrative study in which they interviewed ten females between the ages of 18-25 about their perceptions of motherhood. The mothers all

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