Welcome to the JOY of parenting!

Your child’s first few years are so important! Learn how to make the most of them with Active Parenting: First Five Years, a program for parents and other caregivers. Written by parenting expert (and dad) Dr. Michael Popkin, this course will show you how to nurture your child with a “just right” combination of freedom and nonviolent discipline. Millions of parents have achieved success with Active Parenting—and you can, too!

Video, discussion, and activities make for a fast-paced workshop

Active Parenting: First Five Years uses entertaining video scenes to demonstrate common parenting challenges and solutions. Each workshop allows plenty of time for group discussion and activities.

Here’s what you’ll be learning:

(Note: the content and format of each workshop is determined by the leader of that workshop and may differ from what is shown below. Your workshop may provide a Parent’s Guide; if not, you can order one here. Check with your workshop leader for complete details.)

Session I: You and Your Child

  • Styles of parenting
  • Ages and stages of development
  • Building a bond with your child
  • The method of choice

Session II: Preventing Problems

  • Your child’s beautiful brain
  • Using nonviolent discipline
  • The “A-C-T” of parenting

Session III: Encouraging Positive Behavior

  • The power of encouragement
  • Choices and consequences
  • Caring for the caregiver

Session IV: Preparing for School Success

  • 6 smart things parents can do to help young children get ready for school

Sample video from Active Parenting: First Five Years


Your class will be a combination of activities, discussion, reading, and video. Here are a few sample scenes.

Evidence of Effectiveness:

  • Listed, along with other Active Parenting Programs on SAMHSA’s National Registry of Evidence-Based Programs and Practices (NREPP). Click here for the program profile NREPP.
  • Listed in Penn State Clearinghouse of Military Family Readiness (includes 1,2,3,4 Parents, the original version of Active Parenting: First Five Years, as well as Active Parenting and Active Parenting of Teens). Click to view the Clearinghouse listing.