ParentAble teaches high school educators how to deliver parenting fundamentals to their students, helping them develop a foundational understanding of positive parenting practices. The ParentAble curriculum includes information about the effects of harmful parenting, the consequences of adverse childhood experiences, along with the power of resilience and positive parenting. The 5-10-unit course aims to reduce child abuse and neglect rates, break the cycle of harmful parenting, create a level of comfort with seeking future parenting resources and support, and increase students’ Social Emotional Learning Competencies.
ParentAble started as a student-driven initiative at Evanston Township High school in Illinois. A group of students from the C.A.R.E Club (Child Abuse Recognition Evanston) advocated for parenting education to be included in the wellness course required for graduation and they succeeded.
After over 25 years of community education efforts and tracking data, we have learned that:
Early parenting education can reduce child abuse and neglect rates.
Early parenting education can break the cycle of harmful parenting.
Early parenting education can create a level of comfort in seeking future parenting resources and support.
Early parenting education can increase students' SEL competencies.
FROM HIGH SCHOOL PARTICIPANTS
“I learned that parenting is a huge responsibility, and you can't take it lightly. It's hard, but you're raising another human being, so you have to."
“It was good for me to learn what others may possibly be going through at their homes.”
“I liked that it taught us how to be a positive influence in others’ lives.”
"[I learned] that we have the ability to shape children's brains and we should take advantage to do this in a positive way."
"I learned about ACEs [Adverse Childhood Experiences] and I think that changes my perspective a lot on my peers."
“It is very important to teach this in order to help the next generation.”
“We are learning about responsibility and caring for others.”
“I like that we got to learn about parenting. I feel like schools don't really talk about this and expect us to already know about parenting, which we don't have a lot of knowledge of.”