eParenting® is an innovative program initiative from UW-Extension Family Living Programs. The goal of eParenting® is to empower parents in their use of digital media as a powerful and positive tool supporting their parenting role.
eParenting® currently has two modules:
- Co-Parenting is a 2-hour, face-to-face curriculum developed for divorced or separated parents of infants to teenagers. The curriculum focuses on how digital media can be used to enhance parenting skills and build a secure connection between children and all their parents and caregivers. The curriculum also helps parents understand normal child growth and development in the context of divorce and separation.
- High-Tech Kids is a 2-hour, face-to-face curriculum developed for parents of youth 9-14 and focuses on the positive aspects of digital media, how digital media can support the developmental tasks of adolescents and how digital media can enhance parenting skills. This module has also been adapted to an online, FYI blog format
We are also working on an additional eParenting® module specific for “Little Ones”, for parents of toddlers
All will be designed to empower parents in their use of digital media as a means to enhance their parenting.
The role of media technology in children’s lives has increased at an astonishing rate over the last century. The evolution of digital media has been extraordinary and continues at a historic pace. Yet, many contemporary parents are only partially aware of the kinds of media that their children are using. Watching their children grow up as digital natives, parents often feel left behind and seek to learn more about the digital world in which their children are growing up.
Currently, most programs for parents about digital media focus on the potential negative effects of its use (e.g., cyber-bullying and online predators) and how parents can protect their children from such dangers. While these programs are valuable, they ignore the many positive aspects of digital media, including the ways that it can contribute to a child’s and family’s development, enhance the parent-child relationship and provide tools that can strengthen and extend childrearing skills.
Realizing that today’s parents can benefit from a better understanding of the role digital media play in their children’s lives and by learning how to use new media to enhance their responsibilities as parents, a group of Family Living colleagues is working on this exciting and innovative outreach.
Brook Berg, Eau Claire County FL Educator
Kristen Bruder, Dunn County FL Educator
Pattie Carroll, Dodge County FL Educator
Kari Lazers, Langlade County FL Educator
Lori Zierl, Pierce County FL Educator
Anne Clarkson, FL State Specialist
Laura Froyen, FL State Specialist
Mary Huser, FL State Specialist