In eight sessions, participants learn skills in communication, nurturing, traditional behavior management and much more. PIP allows parents/caregivers to choose what is right for their families when it comes to reclaiming traditional knowledge and practices and applying them to their own lives. Following is a list of the eight sessions, with a brief description of each session:
- Session 1, Traditional Parenting: This session introduces the idea that historical Indian childrearing practices have a great deal to teach us as parents today. It explores what traditional parenting practices were and why they are important. Further, the parents are asked to discuss where they learned to parent and how many of the old ways have been lost.
- Session 2, Lessons of the Storyteller: This session is designed to explore storytelling as a part of parenting. It examines the tradition of storytelling in relationship to communication with children, the parents’ role in the development of good judgment, and the importance of spending quality time with children. Parents will explore their own knowledge of stories and storytelling and get practice in using the skills of the storyteller
- Session 3, Lessons of the Cradleboard: This lesson is designed to explore traditional methods of nurturing and how growth and development were recognized. It examines the use of cradleboards, wrapping, massaging, and singing as nurturing ways. Further, it looks at how child development was viewed and encouraged. Parents will receive information on the needs of children and examine what the old ways teach us about bonding, nurturing and development.
- Session 4, Harmony in Child Rearing: This session is designed to explore the traditional concept of harmony as it relates to family life. Harmony, balance, and the relationships among all things will be examined by parents as they look at ways Indian people traditionally maintained a harmonious living environment. Parenting ways that prevent problems, avoid discipline, and encourage growth and self-control will be examined.
- Session 5, Traditional Behavior Management: This session is designed to explore behavior management through looking at traditional ways and modern skills. It examines several old teachings about discipline and introduces the parent to modern concepts. Parents are asked to examine the values behind the old ways and apply those values when guiding their children’s behavior.
- Session 6, Lessons of Mother Nature: This session is designed to explore how Indian families traditionally taught living skills and social skills. It examines how nature was used as a teacher and how the examples from nature taught people to get along with one another, cope with hardships, and find strength. Several examples from various tribes are discussed, and parents are asked to examine their part in helping their children develop skills for living.
- Session 7, Praise in Traditional Parenting: This session explores the role of praise in traditional parenting. It introduces the idea that praise and positive reinforcement played an important role in child-rearing in the past and are still important today. Parents are asked to examine examples of the old ways and learn new skills for giving children praise to reinforce positive behaviors.
- Session 8, Choices in Parenting: This session is designed to help parents explore the things that Indian parents face today. It addresses the question “What makes it hard to be an Indian parent?” Parents are asked to examine again where they have learned to parent, the circumstances in which they now parent, the special problems faced by Indian children in today’s world, and the cultural issues parents face in parenting. Further, they are asked to determine what kind of parent they want to be. It is time to look realistically at the job of parenting, the limits and frustrations, and then to set some goals for themselves.
Additional Program Resources
- Additional program resources can be found on the NICWA website.
- Information on the funding of the program.
- Find out more detail about risk and benefit factors on the Center for Native Child and Family Resilience.
- Program impact report (pdf).
WSU Key Contact can facilitate the parent or caregiver sessions, or connect you to trained facilitators in your area. WSU Key Contact is also a Master Trainer who can provide training to certify participants as trained facilitators for the Positive Indian Parenting Program.