The concepts behind the parenting style of active parenting are based upon the mid-20th-century research of social psychologists Alfred Adler and Rudolf Dreikurs. In its contemporary form, active parenting involves a continuing quest on the part of the parents to improve their parenting skills and stay abreast of new developments in child psychology and teaching methods.
Active parents take a proactive approach to parenting, as opposed to waiting for problems or issues to develop before they are addressed. They try to beat the problem to the punch and increase a child's awareness of an inevitable childhood issue (such as bullying or peer pressure) before it arises in the child's life.
By focusing early on developing a foundation of self-esteem, confidence and responsibility, active parents hope to augment the integrity, character and decision-making skills of their children.
One big advantage of active parenting is that it breaks the cycle of raising your child the same way you were raised. Under this system, you're constantly studying and refining your own concept of what it means to be a good parent. This constant effort to become a better parent should in turn result in a better kid, and this symbiotic relationship can foster a mutual respect between parent and child. It also prevents the tendency of some parents to raise their children the exact opposite of how they were raised in an attempt to protect the child from the unhappiness and resentment they experienced in their own childhoods.
Active parenting has its disadvantages, too. It can be time-intensive, guilt-motivated, and include lots of fad techniques one may learn and employ out of fear of missing out on the next big breakthrough in raising children.
If you'd like to do more reading on parenting, check out the next page for lots more articles.
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- AskDrSears.com. "What is attachment parenting -- the 7 baby B's." (Feb. 2, 2010)http://www.askdrsears.com/html/10/T130300.asp
- Baumrind, Diana. "Child care practices anteceding three patterns of preschool behavior." Genetic Psychology Monographs, 75(1), 43-88. 1966.http://www.devpsy.org/teaching/parent/baumrind_styles.html
- Baumrind, Diana. "Effects of Authoritative Parental Control on Child Behavior." Child Development, 37(4), 887-907. 1966.http://www.devpsy.org/teaching/parent/baumrind_styles.html
- Boccella, E. "Effects of the Active Parenting program on attitudinal change of parents, parent perceived behavioral change of children, and parent perceived change in family environment (Doctoral dissertation, Temple University, 1987)." (Feb. 3, 2010)http://www.activeparenting.com/researchabstracts.htm
- Darling, Nancy, PhD, MS. Clearinghouse on Elementary and Early Childhood Education. March 1999. (Feb. 3, 2010) http://www.athealth.com/Practitioner/ceduc/parentingstyles.html
- Dokoupil, Tony. "In Defense of Permissive Parenting: Why Talking Back May Lead to Smarter Kids." Oct. 21, 2009. (Feb. 3, 2010)http://blog.newsweek.com/blogs/thehumancondition/archive/2009/10/21/in-defense-of-permissive-parenting-why-talking-back-may-lead-to-smarter-kids.aspx
- Gordon, Serena. "Firm parents keep teen drivers safe." U.S. News & World Report. Sep. 25, 2009.http://www.usnews.com/health/family-health/childrens-health/articles/2009/09/25/firm-parents-keep-teen-drivers-safe.html
- Gurian, Anita, Ph.D. "Parenting Styles/Children's Temperaments: The Match." NYU Child Study Center. (Feb. 3, 2010)http://www.aboutourkids.org/articles/parenting_styleschildren039s_temperaments_match
- Mohler, Albert. "The epidemic of permissive parenting: the brats are coming." (Feb. 3, 2010) http://www.crosswalk.com/1243307/
- More4Kids. "What is active parenting?" (Feb. 3, 2010)http://www.more4kids.info/201/what-is-active-parenting/
- O'Connor, Richard, PhD. "Permissive Parenting." (Feb. 3, 2010)http://www.focusas.com/Permissive.html
- Ramirez, Laura. "Permissive Parenting: Drawbacks of Permissive Parenting." (Feb. 3, 2010)http://www.parenting-child-development.com/permissive-parenting.html