The Family Life Education (FLE) is a preventive approach aimed at preventing various problems in families before they occur. FLE is different from family therapies because the latter is meant to find remedies n existing problems within a family (Titmus, 2014). There are different FLE programs for adults are different from those of adolescents and children. Such programs are more varied and complex (Duncan and Goddard, 2016). This is because adults must meet the needs of the family and also bear responsibility for the family. Another reason why FLE programs for the adults is different is that to a greater extent; they must prepare adults for marriage life as well as parenting life. The most commonly used programs in the United States and also other parts of the world include Parent Effective Training (PET) and Systemic Training for Effective Parenting (STEP) and PATH Program.
Systematic Training for Effective Parenting
Description of the Program
Systematic Training for Effective Parenting (STEP) provides the needed skills to parents who encounter frequent challenges especially dealing with their children (Jonyniene et al. 2015). The program enables parents to identify misbehaviors from their children as well as how to correct them. STEP often results in the autocratic style of parenting. The program is deeply linked with the Adlerian psychology. In addition to that, children can learn from logical as well as natural consequences how to make their own decisions.
The structure-STEP has four critical versions. They include early Childhood STEP meant for parents of up to 6., for teens and adolescent, STEP for parents who have children up to 12 years of age and Spanish STEP, which is usually a complete translation of the STEP program belonging to parents of children 6 through 12 years of age (Allen et al. 2016). It is also essential to note that SPEP is usually presented in a group format of parent between 6 to 12 years of age.
The Targeted Population-STEP program is usually for parents who have problems raising their children. The program can also be used in families with a child receiving mental health interventions, child maltreatment, at risk for parenting problems or abusive parents.
Length of the Program-The program usually takes up to eight to nine weeks to be taught. Importantly, the teaching is facilitated by individuals who have participated in STEP program, by a social worker or a counselor.
The Objectives Goals-The main objectives of the program are to promote a family structure that is more participatory through the fostering of the competence, independence, and responsibility among the children. In addition to that, it facilitates improvement among the children.
The effectiveness of the program depends highly on the ability of the parents to implement what they have learned. In addition to that, parents are required to understand the specific needs of the children or the main reason why their children have difficulties in following instructions or obeying them. It is also recommended for parents to spend more time with their children so that they can understand them effectively and efficiently. What makes the program effective is that it is structured in a way that it helps to serve specific children' age group. For instance, there is a STEP program for children between 6 and 12 years and those of the adults (Allen et al. 2016). In addition to that, the program enables parents to identify specific issues affecting their children as well as how to handle such children. Parents are also taught how to record specific changes in behaviors of their children.
One of the strength is that parents can effectively monitor behavior changes and instill the culture of commitment and handwork among their children. In addition to that, the program improves communication effectively between children and their parents. Children can make appropriate decisions in their life. One of the weakness is that with this program, parents may end up being authoritative against their children and this may make things worse. The program may not be effective for parents who work on a daily basis since it requires parents to spend more time with their children. The last weakness of the program is that it requires continuous dedication especially parents with children of different age groups.
Parent Effective Training (PET)
Developed by Dr. Thomas Gordon, effective parent training has been used in more than 53 countries as a training program for children (Long et al. 2017). The program provides proven communication logical and practical skills as well as problem-solving skills to any demographic status of the child and parents.
The Structure and Length-The program is organized into eight sessions that last for three hours. In most cases, the program is flexible and can be delivered at weekends as well as weekdays.
The Targeted Population-The program is meant for social workers, counselors as well as educators on how to deal with the children.
Program objectives-To establish a smooth and effective relationship between children and their parents. Importantly, the program is also meant to solve a conflict that can exist between children and their parents.
The program is organized into eight effective sessions aimed at educating children on how to educate parents on how to deal with their children. Importantly, It is also effective in enabling parents to learn how they can help their students. The program is flexible hence accommodating a parent with different schedules.
One of the advantages is that it the program enables the establishment of a meaningful relationship between parents and their children. In addition to that, the program also enables parents to master effective communication gaps that may exist between them and their children. Importantly, parents are also able to learn skills in identifying problems affecting their children and how to help them (Katzmann et al. 2017). One of the weakness is that the program doesn't provide a varied reason for different types of children. In addition to that, it doesn't provide a comprehensive approach to how parents should solve problems affecting their children. One of the alterations that should be implemented is that the program should have stages and sessions for parents who have adolescents, teenagers among others.
Purpose: The PATHS (Promoting Alternative Thinking Strategies) program entails promotion of socioemotional competencies as well as the improvement of the target group's tendencies for aggression and other problems associated with behavior.
Target population: It is used as an education program for school going children at the elementary level, grades K-6.
Structure: PATHS curriculum comprises separate lesson volumes tailored for various grade levels including pictures, photographs, charts, posters, and other relevant materials. The program is organized into five concepts hierarchically integrated into lessons at every level. The conceptual domains include self-control, emotional understanding, positive self-esteem, relationships, and skills to solve conflicts. PATHS focuses on the dynamic relationship between real-life situations and cognitive-affective understanding. Each unit may focus on one skill domain or more but in a way, all five fields are integrated into each, and the preceding unit is analyzed and built upon (Bracket & Rivers, 2014).
Length of program: It is designed for teaching at least two times per week with daily activities to help support ongoing behavior.
Objectives: The goals of the program are to help children to use verbal thoughts to regulate themselves, enhance knowledge of language and communication, to analyze and solve issues using cognitive and linguistic skills acquired and encouragement of self-control and emotional understanding.
Assessment of PATHS
Effectiveness: The PATHS program has seen several tests and studies to determine its effectiveness in the emotional development of elementary school children. The studies involve the evaluation of not only regular schools but deaf/hearing impaired schools and other forms of special schools. The ability of the program to focus on interpersonal skills as well as personal skills is commendable especially because character and emotions are derived from this domains (Malti et al., 2012).
The program shows a remarkable improvement in the ability to control aggressiveness reduced ADHD compared to the control group. The follow-up studies seven and nine years after the starting period found a significant decrease in deliquescent adolescents. The study found that compared to control students, those subjected to PATHS received improved ratings in socioemotional character (Averdijk et al., 2016). The most significant effects of PATHS is on danger and safety where improvements were recorded in solving social problems, controlling oneself and emotionally understanding oneself and others. There were also improvements in socializing with peers and social school functioning (Malti et al., 2011; Averdijk et al., 2016; Malti et al., 2012).
Components for effectiveness: The success of is mainly due to its simplicity making it easy for children to grasp. Even the parents can be able to understand the teachings and help further develop their children. The children are through the actual process of decision making.
Analysis of PATHS
Strengths: One of the most encouraging facts about the program is that it can be used even in special schools. Also, it has been observed that it improves performance in school. Studies have also shown that different races conform to the goals of the survey (Averdijk et al., 2016; Malti et al., 2011).
Weaknesses: However, the program is only devised for only elementary level children and cannot be put to use by older students and adults. Also, the effects of parents on the character of the children are not in consideration in the program. Reports of dissatisfaction by teachers indicates a problem in its implementation.
Alterations: The program though looks effective from the results obtained and coupled with other programs such as FAST track would integrate the stakeholders, child, teacher, family, and community. Teachers should also be at discretion to modify the program as the needs arise.
Processing and responding to emotions has a considerable part to play in a child's education by affecting their socioemotional and cognitive development. There is a growing number of people advocating for the use of socioemotional learning on a much larger scale for the fruits to be fully realized. Some of the programs have been in use in some schools and have given encouraging and impressive results. Socioemotional programs such as PATHS, STEP, PET have been evaluated extensively and seen to bring positive impacts to both the students and the teachers.
Allen, M. L., Garcia-Huidobro, D., Porta, C., Curran, D., Patel, R., Miller, J., & Borowsky, I. (2016). Effective parenting interventions to reduce youth substance use: a systematic review. Pediatrics, e20154425.
Averdijk, M., Zirk-Sadowski, J., Ribeaud, D., & Eisner, M. (2016). Long-term effects of two childhood psychosocial interventions on adolescent delinquency, substance use, and antisocial behavior: A cluster randomized controlled trial. Journal of Experimental Criminology, 12, 21-47.
Duncan, S. F., & Goddard, H. W. (2016). Family life education: Principles and practices for effective outreach. Sage Publications.
Jonyniene, J., Kern, R. M., & Gfroerer, K. P. (2015). Efficacy of Lithuanian Systematic Training for Effective Parenting (STEP) on parenting style and perception of child beha...
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