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The Evolution of Parenting Education | by Dr. Popkin

Dear parent educators and those who support them,

One thing we know about life on this beautiful planet is that from the smallest virus to the smartest human, no matter where you fit on the food chain, if your species has survived then you are adaptable. Lately I have been extraordinarily impressed with the ability of parent educators to respond to our changing world by evolving from live classes to virtual ones with the grace of a caterpillar discovering it now has wings.

When the COVID-19 lockdown hit and our leaders needed safe ways to continue teaching Active Parenting courses, we offered a Virtual Rights Program that enables leaders to teach courses over the internet at no additional cost to their organization using the platform of their choice such as Zoom, WebX, and others. It may be one of the silver linings of our unique times. We are learning how to reach parents where they live with the benefits of high quality, leader-facilitated parenting courses on platforms that encourage media sharing and face-to-face online interaction.

This bodes well for all of us. Even after the virus is no longer a problem we will still have this new way to reach parents who may not be able to attend live classes. I do not foresee virtual courses ever replacing live courses altogether, but I do see them continuing as an effective alternative.

Not only have our virtual courses flourished, springing up like wildflowers in communities all over the world, but we also recently completed our first virtual Training of Trainings (TOT) from Active Parenting’s home office in Atlanta to leaders…virtually…everywhere.   Manager of Training Micole Mason led a staff of experienced trainers: Steven Hargrave, Nebra Brock, and yours truly. I can’t speak for myself, but the others were clearly fantastic. In fact the TOT was so successful (and sold out so fast) that we are planning to offer a second one in the fall of 2020.

So, here’s to you and the work you do for families and children in these challenging times. Survive and thrive and continue making a difference.


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See how other Leaders are offering virtual parenting classes:

YES Community Counseling Center writes: “‘Active Parenting’ is perhaps the most effective program ever offered in the ‘how to’ of raising children.” See how they are offering Parenting of Teens courses via Zoom.

Learn about the success that the AZ Youth Partnership is having with their Active Parenting: First Five Years online parenting classes. One participant wrote: “I am so grateful for Active Parenting: First Five Years. As a first-time parent, these classes have really helped. They are fun, enlightening, and educational. They have provided me with the tools I’ve needed to better myself as a parent. I keep going back to these classes not only because I learn something new every time, but to hear other parents’ experiences and share mine. It really does take a village and this class is my village.”


Active Parenting Publishers founder and president Michael H. Popkin, Ph.D. has been providing research-based education programs with an emphasis on nonviolent discipline, mutual respect, and open communication for over 35 years. He is widely known for his expertise in the field of parent education and has appeared on over 100 TV programs, including CNN and The Oprah Winfrey Show.