Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Effective Parenting = Dropout Prevention

The dropout rate in many inner city schools that serve African American children is a shockingly high 50 percent. What a horrible waste of life and human potential!

The best place to begin to turn this unacceptable situation around is where children learn the value and importance of education, the home.

When the Center for the Improvement of Child Caring (CICC) created the Effective Black Parenting Program 25 years ago, we incorporated this motivational necessity by framing the parenting skills and strategies that are taught in the program within what we have called The Pyramid of Success for Black Children (shown above).

Indeed, the first session of this 15 session educational program begins by engaging the parents in a “call and response” dialogue that has the parents asking themselves what are their life goals for their children. The program then discusses the qualities and characteristics that the children need to develop in order to achieve the goals and indicates what parents need to do to in order to bring out those qualities in their children. Two of the goals that invariably emerge from this teaching approach are “good jobs” and “good educations.”

Then the program goes on to teach parents such skills and strategies as Effective Praising and the Thinking Parents Approach. The instructor lets the parents know that by learning and applying these with their children they are insuring that they are on “The Path to the Pyramid of Success for Black Children.” And parents get it, and begin using the skills and strategies with their children. And then they see fine improvements in their children’s behavior and in their relationships with them.

Such insurance should be the birthright of every child, regardless of culture or life circumstance. If we made sure that all parents received this sort of inspiration and training, it would not be unrealistic to expect the dropout rate to decrease and that more young people would lead productive and healthy lives.

To learn how to bring the Effective Black Parenting Program to your community through having local instructors trained to deliver it, click here.

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