The Mothers and Parenting Curriculum addresses the real experiences and challenges of young mothers through 18 streetwise group sessions that provide support, information and motivation in areas of parenthood and relationships. The National Partnership for Community Leadership developed the curriculum. Many of the curriculum activities were derived from Fatherhood Development: A Curriculum for Young Fathers. The Fatherhood Development curriculum was written for young fathers 16-25 years of age, who were unmarried, low-skilled, and living in urban settings. Appropriate modifications and revisions were made to the Mothers and Parenting Curriculum to give expression and relevance to the realities and needs of young mothers. When optimally presented, the workbook can serve as the “glue” that makes a program beneficial to young mothers.
The 18 workbook sessions are organized around four areas of content, as follows:
Personal Development begins with team-building activities and continues with discussions of values, defining womanhood, and life skills. Mothers are encouraged to consider their own values and how they communicate them to their children; messages that society and their own families send them about what it means to be a woman and mother.
Life Skills includes skill-building sessions on communication, decision-making, and dealing with stress. A key theme here is that the ability of individuals to live satisfying, productive lives depends largely on their effectiveness as communicators and decision-makers.
Responsible Parenting is the heart of the workbook, focuses on the important role that mothers play in the lives of their children. Topics covered include the roles and responsibilities of mothers, the impact mothers have on the way their children develop, what to expect from children at different stages of development, how to have a positive influence on children, how to handle the daily needs of children, and how to discipline children in an effective way.
Healthy Relationships further explores ways to communicate effectively, and considers differences in male and female styles of communication; how to have a more positive relationship with the child’s father, and how to manage anger, resolve conflicts, negotiate relationships, team parenting, and an exploration of marriage relationships.
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