Course I

This course will take you through Lessons 1-7 of the award-winning ARK for Parents & Caregivers curriculum. Here, you’ll learn the foundations of effective parenting, focusing on understanding unconditional love and how to put it in action. The lessons include:

Lesson 1: Providing Unconditional Love

The way a child feels about himself determines how the child relates to the world around him. The most important gift a parent can convey to a child is the unconditional love that allows the child to feel valued and wanted. This lesson describes four important ways in which a parent can convey to a child he is loved and valued “no matter what.”

Lesson 2: Overcoming our Past

Parenting behaviors are typically passed down from generation to generation. People tend to parent the way they were parented. It takes courage and insight for us to question the traditions and practices that have been in our families for generations and to free ourselves from any parenting behaviors that no longer make sense or, in some cases, even cause harm or stress. The lesson teaches us how to embrace the parenting techniques received from our parents that helped us feel valued and loved and how to discard practices that made us feel degraded and devalued. The result will be the creation of new parenting behaviors that will grace the lives of the children in our families for generations to come.

Lesson 3: Creating a New Style of Parenting

The lesson describes the difference between fear-based parenting and love-based parenting. Parents who practice authoritarian, fear-based parenting techniques do so in hopes of making their children “respect” them. While those practices can produce desired behavior (at least in the short term), they also make it difficult to have close relationships with our children. Love-based parenting disciplines misbehavior and at the same time shows respect and love. Children give respect to those who show respect to them, and the behavioral changes produced by love-based parenting are long-lasting.

Lesson 4: Focusing our Communication

Have you ever complained, “My child doesn’t listen to me? It’s like talking to a brick wall”? One answer to this dilemma is a technique called “focused communication.” This lesson provides four insights into how to communicate with your child in a manner that helps promote effective communication and satisfactory responses.

Lesson 5: Using Natural and Logical Consequences

A powerful model for disciplining children is a model built upon “natural and logical consequences.” This lesson teaches how to create logical consequences and use natural consequences in response to children’s misbehavior. This disciplinary tool addresses the offending behavior in a manner that shows respect for the child and; at the same time, calls the child to make more responsible choices in the future.

Lesson 6: Promoting Success at School

One of the most important elements in promoting children’s success at school is the “parent factor.” Studies show a huge difference in a child’s academic success when parents get involved. This lesson emphasizes the importance of parents reading and interacting with small children and actively participating in their child’s academic and school activities as the child matures. It is essential that parents be engaged in their child’s education, no matter the grade or age of their child.  This lesson details how that involvement can take place.

Lesson 7: Encouraging our Children

The lesson shows the important difference between the words “praise” and “encouragement.” Praise compliments the results while encouragement compliment the child’s efforts. Praise, while well-intentioned, can sometimes be a source of discouragement because a child may come to believe that she is of value only if she achieves and performs well. Encouragement, on the other hand, builds a child’s self-confidence and prompts her to proceed with courage in spite of her mistakes. While light praise can be helpful, encouragement is the key to promoting children’s progress at school, home, and in life.

Course II

This course will take you through Lessons 1-7 of the award-winning ARK for Parents & Caregivers curriculum. Here, you’ll learn the techniques for effective parenting to optimize implementation of your parenting skills. The lessons include: