The Clearinghouse for Military Family Readiness at Penn State, in partnership with the Department of Defense’s Office of Military Community and Family Policy, is developing the THRIVE Initiative to empower parents with skills that will aid them in using better parenting practices from the prenatal period until their children reach adulthood. The initiative consists of four age-specific, skill-building segments, and, in each, developmentally appropriate programming will guide parents in learning and utilizing evidence-informed parenting and health promotion skills. By doing so, parents can foster positive youth development and resiliency across their children’s lifespan.
Grow! is the first of the four segments to be developed, and it has been specifically designed to teach parenting strategies that can benefit parents with children ages 5 to 10 years of age. The Grow! program is delivered as five highly interactive and video-based sessions that are each approximately 90 minutes in length and led by a trained facilitator. The sessions are intended to be delivered to groups of 10 to 12 families.
There are three primary focuses of the Grow! program:
- The targeted parenting skills selected for inclusion in the Grow! curriculum have been demonstrated in research as positively impacting child outcomes. Examples of these skills include using discipline to teach, giving praise and encouragement, engaging in child-directed play, and establishing rules and routines.
- Parents are taught strategies for managing their own stress and ways to help coach their child in developing positive coping strategies.
- The curriculum recognizes that promoting physical activity and encouraging healthy eating are parenting skills that can be taught. Parents learn about evidence-informed child feeding strategies, recommendations for physical activity and screen time, and how to overcome barriers to eating healthy and being active.
The face-to-face version of Grow! is fully developed. Grow! has been implemented in two civilian communities in central PA, and is currently being implemented and evaluated at eight military installations in the U.S., Japan, German, and Italy.
The THRIVE team is currently developing an online version of the Grow! curriculum.
To implement a program in your community or to register for a program, contact:
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