engaging reluctant parents through adult learning theory ... · engaging reluctant parents through...
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ENGAGING RELUCTANT PARENTS THROUGH ADULT LEARNING THEORY TO BUILD STRONG SYSTEMS Marina Serebrenikov, MAS Parenting Arizona
Parenting Arizona uses a variety of curriculums to connect with parents in attempt to provide opportunities for bonding and prevention of child abuse: Nurturing Parenting Triple P Parents as Teachers Active Parenting Family And Schools Together
Adult Learning Theory- Brainstorming
What creates a motivated participant? What defines a difficult participant?
Adult Learning Theory: This approach recognizes the role that the adult trainee plays in
terms of their goals, past experience, expectations and the need and ability to control their learning experience.
Andragogy The process of developing learning materials for an adult audience.
The term was coined by Knowles who contended that adults are different from children in that their learning experienced is not only shaped by their interaction with the materials but also by their ability to control their interactions. Adults may also have preconceived ideas about particular types of learning based on past experiences.
Six Principles of Adult Learning Theory
Adults are internally motivated and self-directed Adults bring life experiences and knowledge to
learning experiences Adults are goal oriented Adults are relevancy oriented Adults are practical Adult learners like to be respected
Adults are internally motivated and self-directed Adult learners resist learning when they feel others are imposing information, ideas
or actions on them (Fidishun, 2000). Your role is to facilitate a parents’ movement toward more self-directed and
responsible learning as well as to foster the parent’s internal motivation to grow.
How to implement: Develop rapport with the parent to optimize your approachability and encourage
asking of questions and exploration of concepts. Show interest in the parents thoughts and opinions. Actively and carefully listen to
any questions asked. Lead the parent toward inquiry before supplying them with too many facts. Provide regular constructive and specific feedback (both positive and negative); Review goals and acknowledge goal completion. Encourage use of resources such as libraries, internet and other community resources.
Adults bring life experiences and knowledge to learning experiences Adults like to be given opportunity to use their existing foundation of
knowledge and experience gained from life experience, and apply it to their new learning experiences.
How to implement: Find out about your parent- their interests and past experiences
(personal, work and study related) Assist them to draw on those experiences when problem-solving,
reflecting and applying reasoning processes with their own children. Facilitate reflective learning opportunities which Fidishun (2000)
suggests can also assist the parent to examine existing biases or habits based on life experiences and "move them toward a new understanding of information presented.”
Adults are Goal Oriented
Adult students become ready to learn when "they experience a need to learn it in order to cope more satisfyingly with real-life tasks or problems" (Knowles,1980 p 44, as cited in Fidishun, 2000).
How to implement: Provide meaningful learning experiences that are clearly linked to
personal goals, as well as assessment and future life goals. Provide real case-studies as a basis from which to learn about the
theory, and implications. Ask questions that motivate reflection, inquiry and further research.
Adults are relevancy oriented Adult learners want to know the relevance of what they
are learning to what they want to achieve. How to implement: Ask the parent to do some reflection on what they expect
to learn prior to the experience, on what they learnt after the experience, and how they might apply what they learnt in the future, or how it will help them to meet their goals.
Adults are practical Encourage parents to recognize first hand how what they are
learning applies to their life context. How to implement: Clearly explain your clinical reasoning when making choices
about assessments, interventions and when prioritizing client's clinical needs.
Be explicit about how what the parent is learning is useful and applicable to the problem you are working with.
Promote active participation by allowing parents to try things rather than observe. Provide plenty of practice opportunities with ample repetition in order to promote development of skill, confidence and competence.
Adult learners like to be respected
Respect can be demonstrated to your parents by: Taking interest Acknowledging the wealth of experiences that the
parent brings to the relationship; Regard them as a colleague who is equal in life
experience Encouraging expression of ideas, reasoning and
feedback at every opportunity.
Holding our Parents
Building of a therapeutic alliance: A safe and trustworthy relationship between parent
and therapist, based on the practitioner capacity to be sensitive to the unique needs and circumstances of each parent involved in intervention.
Create a “holding environment”(Winnicott,1965)- the need for humans to have the sensitive availability of another someone willing and able to “hold” and “be with” their emotional needs.
Creating a Model Relationship
Circle of Security: First focus on creating a secure base for the parents
and teaching basic attachment theory and observational skills.
When children feel safe they are “hard wired” to be interested in exploring their environment.
Circle of Security
Getting Parents to Engage
Some different techniques to get parents to relate to the material being presented: Homework practice Video examples Personal stories Write it down Group activities Quizzes
Create an activity for your lesson plan
Our Difficult Client
Mellissa Molano Age 22 Mom of 3: ages 4,2, 2 months. Has an open CPS case, but retains custody of her
children Limited support network “Children should not be threatened they will never
learn that way. Punishments must be followed through- one good spanking will decrease any further outbreaks. That is how I was raised, and I turned out fine. I respect my elders.”
Dealing with Difficult Parents
Remember that the parent loves the child Be careful the language used when communicating with
parents Never react Admit defeat Take a non-adversarial stance Make a paper trail Some people are just abrasive, argumentative, or
difficult Kill them with kindness!
Building Strong Systems
How do you implement adult learning into your programming and curriculums?
1. Child centered approach 2. Parent centered approach
Handbook of Infant Mental Health- Charles H. Zeanah