Innovators of video-based education programs
Committed to supporting families through “every stage, every step” of their child’s development
Dedicated to preparing parent educators “every stage, every step,” helping them provide the best programs to the families they serve
Active Parenting Publishers (APP) was founded in 1980 by Dr. Michael H. Popkin, a former child and family therapist and Coordinator of Child and Family Services for Northside Community Mental Health Centers in Atlanta, Georgia. The goal in founding APP was to apply state-of-the-art educational technology to the field of parenting education. The APP model is largely based upon the theories of Alfred Adler and Rudolf Dreikurs as it relates to an “authoritative approach” to parenting as opposed to an “autocratic or permissive” approach.
The first three years of the company were devoted to research and development, as Dr. Popkin’s vision of integrating video and group discussion into advanced education programs evolved. In June 1983, APP incorporated and introduced the Active Parenting Discussion Program (APDP), the world’s first video-based parenting education program. Delivered in just six 2-hour sessions, the program was highly successful.
Following the success of APDP, APP went on to produce numerous video-based parenting curriculums, including those for families with young children, teens, and stepchildren, among others, in both English and Spanish language versions. In 2000, APP continued its pioneering tradition by launching the world’s first video-based online parenting class, Active Parenting Today Online Groups. This program combines video, reading, and group discussion—all administered online.
APP products are distributed throughout the US as well as worldwide, including Canada, China, Japan, Korea, Kuwait, and Sweden. APP also conducts Leader Training Workshops and Trainings of Trainers throughout the country to teach professionals and volunteers how to lead a group using the APP programs. Leader training is available all over the world via live classes, live webinars, and online leader training workshops. Today, APP continues to operate out of Marietta, Georgia, a town just northwest of Atlanta, providing quality education programs for parents, children, and teachers to schools, hospitals, social services organizations, churches, and the corporate market.
The Active Parenting model is largely based upon the theories of Alfred Adler and Rudolf Dreikurs known as “Adlerian psychology.” These theories include the importance of mutual respect between people, and an emphasis on cognitive-behavioral approaches to change, personal choice, and responsibility.
Parenting skills that derive from these theories and that are taught in Active Parenting are described as an “authoritative approach” (as opposed to autocratic or permissive), and include such methods as natural and logical consequences, recognizing the goals of behavior, family meetings and problem-solving skills, the importance of encouragement, and much more.
Dr. Popkin has extended the Adlerian model, creating specific methods designed to support and prepare families through “every stage, every step” of their child’s development. These include such tools as the “think-feel-do” cycle, the positive and negative approaches to the the four goals of behavior, the FLAC (Feelings, Limits, Alternatives, Consequences) method of discipline, the importance of relationship building through “family enrichment activities and the self-esteem spiral.”
In addition, Active Parenting includes communication theory evolving from the work of Carl Rogers, Robert Carkuff, and others that are used to teach active listening, empathy for others, feeling recognition, and problem-solving. These skills are taught under the title “Active Communication” and are the perfect complement to the cognitive-behavioral model of Adlerian psychology.