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Estimated Completion Time

16-18 weeks


The process of parenting is more than just having a child and making sure they eat, sleep and get to school on time. Learn what to prepare for, what to expect, and what vital steps a parent can take to create the best environment and life for their child. Parenting roles and responsibilities; nurturing and protective environments for children; positive parenting strategies and effective communication in parent/child relationships are some of the topics covered in this course.

Major Topics and Concepts

  • Discuss what it means to be a parent.
  • Understand the roles and responsibilities of being a parent.
  • Analyze the costs and rewards of parenthood.
  • Compare different parenting philosophies.
  • Describe the qualities that make a person a good candidate for parenthood.
  • Define self-esteem.
  • List characteristics of a person with high self-esteem and a person with low self-esteem.
  • Understand the self-esteem needs of children at different stages of development.
  • Identify factors that raise and diminish a person’s self-esteem.
  • Understand ways in which parents influence a child’s self-esteem.
  • Define “protective environment” and “nurturing environment.”
  • Discuss the kinds of nurturing and support children need at different ages.
  • Identify abuse and other potential impediments to creating a nurturing environment.
  • Describe strategies for nurturing special needs children.
  • Understand how to choose appropriate childcare.
  • Understand what positive parenting means.
  • Define punishment, discipline, and guidance.
  • Discuss how positive parenting can be used with children of different ages.
  • Understand the use of consequences in positive parenting.
  • Know the resources available to parents and where to find them.
  • Discuss communication and what makes communication effective.
  • Describe the differences between negative and positive communication.
  • Consider how to talk with children about their mistakes through positive communication.
  • Discuss some of the social issues that affect families.
  • Consider how parents can talk to their children about difficult issues.
  • Discuss family composition and some factors that influence this aspect of family life.
  • Examine the different types of families.
  • Discuss the history of Western families and how family practices have changed over time.
  • Consider multicultural families and the advantages and challenges that they face.
  • Discuss how parents can help their families adapt to a new culture or area.
  • Learn about youth organizations and their benefits.
  • Find examples of youth organizations and their purposes.
  • Discuss the benefits of volunteering with the community.
  • Define personal development and growth.
  • Examine how parents can help children with personal development.
  • Learn more about brain development in children.
  • Discuss some ways that parents can encourage brain development.
  • Examine how parents can use technology.
  • Learn about some of the advances in assistive technology and devices.
  • Consider the benefits of assistive technology.

Credits .5


  • Leadership and Organizational Skills
    Students will demonstrate the ability to access opportunities that help parents encourage personal growth and the development of leadership skills in children by analyzing the benefits of various youth organizations and volunteer activities.
  • Parent-Child Relationships
    Students will demonstrate the ability to apply effective communication skills to positive parenting strategies by illustrating how communication can be used to support language development, build healthy parent-child relationships, and work through difficult social situations.
  • Positive Parenting and Enviornments for Children
    Students will demonstrate the ability to design a protective and nurturing environment for children at various ages by using positive parenting strategies to solve dilemmas, analyzing the causes and effects of stress in a parent’s life, and identifying the risk factors and types of abuse.
  • Self-Esteem and Child Development
    Students will demonstrate the ability to promote the mental and emotional health of children by identifying characteristics of positive self-esteem, analyzing how various influences affect self-esteem, and explaining how parents can advocate for good social and academic self-esteem.
  • The World of Parenting
    Students will demonstrate the ability to describe the qualities that make a person a good candidate for parenthood by defining what it means to be a parent, examining the responsibilities, and analyzing parenting styles.
  • Trends and Science in Parenting
    Students will demonstrate the ability to describe how technology can be used by parents to support human growth and development by illustrating how technology can be used to support brain development and considering parenthood by benefits of assistive technology.



Attend a virtual open house

We offer regular online open house webinars where VLACS staff members provide parents and students with an overview of our programs and answer questions about online learning.