- Parenting from the Individual Psychology Perspective:Obstacles, Challenges, Culture, and Psychoeducational Programs
This is a special issue on parenting, for which Paul Rasmussen is the guest editor and solicited the majority of the articles. It includes five articles from a variety of perspectives, as well as a personal tribute to Daniel Eckstein, who passed away as the result of an unfortunate accident on September 9, 2013.
The lead article by Paul Rasmussen, titled “The Task, Challenges, and Obstacles of Parenting” provides a valuable perspective on the importance of good child guidance models, which may originate from parents, caregivers, or professionals. The author weaves a sterling tapestry of words describing the way the Individual Psychology constructs of responsibility, cooperation, and respect are fundamental to the development of psychologically healthy children. In pursuing these Individual Psychology constructs in child rearing, he provides insights into the challenges and obstacles that may arise.
The theme of obstacles and challenges of parenting is continued by Moore and McDowell, with a focus on the African American family. This article is a must-read for multicultural classes because it provides a scholarly historical perspective of the challenges of the African American parent. A first-person account provided by the African American authors is especially valuable. To build the case for some of the unique and significant challenges faced by this particular culture, one of the authors uses a narrative of parenting one of her own children; in this context she also presents perceptions of racism in the United States. The authors address the topic respectfully and effectively articulate an African American parent’s experience.
Oryan’s qualitative study on the family council is interesting from a cultural perspective. His finding indicates that similar instruction on the family council intervention in parenting groups yielded different results when [End Page 87] presented to American and Israeli parents, respectively; this difference is related to different cultural perceptions between the two groups. The editors were particularly surprised with the way each group addressed conflict and implementation of the intervention. We believe that this article makes a significant contribution to the topic of cultural differences in the context of a family council intervention.
Moving away from obstacles, challenges, and the impact of culture on the parenting process, the last two articles describe parent interventions currently used to address the needs of parents in parent education groups. “Modern Approaches to Modern Challenges: A Review of Widely Used Parenting Programs,” by Lindquist and Watkins, provides the reader with a variety of parent psychoeducational programs that practitioners can use with parents. The value of this article is that the authors reviewed both Adlerian and non-Adlerian programs. We appreciate the inclusion of studies that support each program’s efficacy.
The final article is by Michael Popkin, whose psychoeducational program, Active Parenting, may be one of the top three parent education programs by sales in North America and internationally. From a historical perspective, Popkin is a true visionary with his ideas related to video-based programs. His was the first structured parent educational program in North America to use a video component. This article offers a personalized history of his journey of developing the Active Parenting program.