Parenting schools to be rolled out to all municipalities in Montenegro

Parenting for lifelong health

Tina Dimić Raičević
Participants of the Parenting for lifelong health programme
UNICEF Montenegro / Duško Miljanić / 2019
10 June 2019

PODGORICA, 5 JUNE 2019 – Evaluation of the "Parenting for Lifelong Health" programme, which is being implemented in three Montenegrin municipalities with the cooperation of kindergartens, primary health centres, the association “Parents” and the NGO “Pedagogical Centre of Montenegro”, indicates that this programme can significantly improve relationships between parents and children and that it should be rolled out to all municipalities in Montenegro. This was concluded at the event organized at the "Đina Vrbica" kindergarten in Podgorica as part of the celebration of the global month of parenting launched by UNICEF.

The Deputy UNICEF Representative to Montenegro, Michaela Bauer, reminded everyone of nationally representative research from three years ago, which showed that 77 per cent of citizens of Montenegro believed that the state should support parents as they bring up their children.

The Deputy UNICEF Representative to Montenegro, Michaela Bauer
UNICEF Montenegro /Duško Miljanić / 2019

Based on this demand, UNICEF introduced the internationally renowned ‘Parenting for Lifelong Health for Young Children’ programme to support parents. We are glad that this programme will be offered to every parent in Montenegro because parents have a right to help.

Michaela Bauer, the Deputy UNICEF Representative to Montenegro

A mother who attended the “Parenting for Lifelong Health” programme, Biljana Bešović, says that programmes like this are the most important source of education for parents, children and the family as a whole.

The benefits of this programme are enormous. I am now familiar with various techniques I was not aware of before, which help me to redirect or change some of the undesired behaviour in my children. There is a much better atmosphere in the house, which prompted my husband to apply and to go through the programme himself.

Biljana Bešović, a mother who attended the “Parenting for Lifelong Health” programme

One of the fathers who attended the “Parenting for Lifelong Health” programme, Nikola Perović, highly recommends it to all parents, as it will help them to cope better with the various challenges of parenting.


What impressed me right at the beginning was that any participant could feel relaxed and openly present the problems they encounter in their own parenthood, while receiving support without being judged.

Nikola Perović, a father who attended the “Parenting for Lifelong Health” programme

The programme is accredited by the Institute for Social and Child Protection, and the Committee for Human Rights and Freedoms of the Parliament of Montenegro has recommended its expansion to all municipalities in Montenegro.

Deputy Minister of Health Miro Knežević points out that a good family is the foundation of a healthy society and that programmes such as this one are necessary for all of us.

Based on the good experiences in our primary healthcare centres in Podgorica, Bijelo Polje and Berane, where the ‘Parenting for Lifelong Health’ programme has already been implemented, we will also be strengthening other primary healthcare centres to be able to take part in this programme.

Miro Knežević, deputy Minister of Health
Deputy Minister of Health Miro Knežević
UNICEF Montenegro / Duško Miljanić / 2019

Deputy Minister of Education Arijana Nikolić Vučinić said that this programme has helped parents find more time for their children and to spend that time with them in a quality manner.

Deputy Minister of Education Arijana Nikolić Vučinić
UNICEf Montenegro / Duško Miljanić / 2019

We will always gladly accept such programmes, because if we teach parents how to be better at parenting and how to use these techniques, we will contribute to the better development of their children. 

Arijana Nikolić Vučinić, deputy Minister of Education

The association “Parents” stated that those who attended the parenting programme were extremely satisfied with it and that their positive experience has inspired a large number of other parents to apply for and attend the programme.

This is the very indicator – that we have managed to create and implement a good programme that enables parents not only to be better parents but also to be responsive to all their children's needs.

Kristina Mihailović, the Executive Director of the association “Parents”

The “Parenting for Lifelong Health” programme, implemented with the support of UNICEF in Montenegro, has been developed and previously tested in many countries around the world through cooperation between the WHO, UNICEF, Cape Town University and Stellenbosch University in South Africa, and Oxford University and Bangor University in Great Britain. In addition to Montenegro, this programme is also being implemented in the Czech Republic, Northern Macedonia, Moldova and Romania.

By promoting parenting schools, Montenegro joined the global month of parenthood launched by UNICEF on the occasion of this year's celebration of the 30th anniversary of the United Nations’ Convention on the Rights of the Child. The aim is to raise awareness of the importance of Article 6 of this Convention, which states that each child has the right to development, and Article 18 emphasizing the responsibility of all state parties to support parents in raising children, binding them to commit themselves to the implementation of family-friendly policies and programmes.