Dr. Michael Popkin's parent education programs have helped millions of people find better ways to raise their children. "We've done parents a disservice in our society, acting as if parenting is either not very difficult or not very important," he says. "For every other job in our society that is difficult and important, you get some kind of training."

Dr. Popkin says that parenting education is especially important with regard to discipline. "I think parents often spank just because that's the way they were raised, and they don't really know anything different," he explains. "Many of our parents spanked us when we were growing up, so we tend to think that must be the way to parent." Instead of using physical means to discipline, he suggests the FLAC method:

Give Your Kids Some FLAC:
  • Feelings: Acknowledge your child's feelings and emotions.
  • Limits: Set boundaries on what's acceptable in your home.
  • Alternatives: Give your child choices. Sometimes kids just need to feel that they can make decisions.
  • Consequences: Children need to understand that the choices they make can have good or bad consequences.

"Parenting education is not just for parents that are frustrated with their kids," says Dr. Popkin. "Parenting education is something for all parents. It can teach a comprehensive model of parenting: everything from how to get the toys picked up to good communication skills. It really can give parents an overall view on how to parent effectively so they can parent with confidence."


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