Parenting for Lifelong Health for Young Children
Helping parents give children the best start in life.
How do parents develop positive relationships with their children and apply non-violent discipline? Since early 2018, parents across Montenegro, who have attended the parenting programme “Parenting for Lifelong Health for Young Children” delivered by various cities’ Primary Health Care Centres, kindergartens, and civil society organizations answered these questions over the course of three months and through 12 modules, as they learned about positive child-rearing practices. Between January 2018 and May 2020, almost 500 parents were reached by the programme.
The parenting programme is primarily aimed at establishing positive relationships between parents and children, developing a sense of competence in parents, and thereby preventing violence against children aged 2 to 9 years.
Many participants commented that the workshops helped dispel misconceptions about building parental authority, such as that children should only be obedient or that beating a child is effective. The findings of a study on the programme’s effectiveness in May 2018 show, among other things, its impact on a decrease in physical and emotional punishment and reductions in dysfunctional parenting behaviour and in caregiver depression.
This programme is part of a larger suite of parenting programmes called “Parenting for Lifelong Health” which are open-access, non-commercialized, and offered free-of-charge to parents. These programmes have been developed and rigorously tested through a collaboration between WHO, UNICEF, the Universities of Cape Town and Stellenbosch in South Africa and the Universities of Oxford and Bangor in the United Kingdom, and are being implemented worldwide.