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Program to Build Parenting Skills in Teenage Parents

Components of the Program

Being a teenager is associated with multiple psychological and emotional issues. Becoming a parent during this stage of life adds extra difficulties and requires those who have not reached adulthood to undertake enormous responsibility. The proposed short-term program is aimed at supporting the specified group by disseminating practice-oriented knowledge on caring for children and overcoming mental health issues as a teenage parent. Its first part, a workshop, will cover a variety of topics to introduce teenagers to infant care, thus filling in knowledge gaps and promoting safe feeding, sleeping, and playing.

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Workshop 2 is devoted to a set of topics dealing with diseases in infants. It will promote the use of safe hygiene procedures to prevent infections in children and dispel certain myths surrounding sudden infant death syndrome to increase teenage parents’ overall health literacy. Workshop 3 is a unique component that is to discuss teenagers’ common psychological and mental health difficulties in the context of their early transition to parenthood. It will approach the development of parenting skills by promoting psychological self-care and teaching teenage parents to recognize the signs of mental exhaustion and maintain positive interpersonal relationships despite stigmatization.

Theories Guiding Program Development

Program development has been informed by three theories and concepts about teenagers that they introduce. Bandura’s social learning theory finds reflection in the selection of approaches to teaching – to acquire practical skills, participants will watch video materials and observe the use of baby-simulating dolls. Next, using Erikson’s psychosocial development theory and the central conflict in adolescence, the course stresses the promotion of teenage parents’ independence in caring for infants. As per Piaget’s theory, potential participants are in the formal operational stage, which means that they are capable of participating in discussions about mental health and interpersonal relationships.

Addressed Issues and Participants with Disabilities

The program is aimed at addressing a variety of issues dealing with human development and promotes healthy motor development in newborns by fostering child care skills. Language development is not the priority area, but the program’s content can support language skills and vocabulary development as well. Lectures and exercises will strengthen participants’ problem-solving skills and encourage young parents to maintain social relationships whenever possible and keep track of their emotional condition. Common disabilities in the age group include vision impairment and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. The use of handouts with notes and the opportunity to take breaks to prevent information overload will help to support participants with these conditions.


Capuzzi, D., Stauffer, M. D., & O’Neil, T. (2016). Theories of human development. In D. Capuzzi & M. D. Stauffer (Eds.), Human growth and development across the lifespan: Applications for counselors (pp. 25-54). John Wiley & Sons, Inc.

Graham, N., Schultz, L., Mitra, S., & Mont, D. (2017). Disability in middle childhood and adolescence. In D. A. P. Bundy, N. de Silva, S. Norton, D. T. Jamison, & G. C. Patton (Eds.), Child and adolescent health and development (3rd ed) (pp. 221-238). World Bank Group.

Kagawa, R. M. C., Deardorff, J., García-Guerra, A., Knauer, H. A., Schnaas, L., Neufeld, L. M., & Fernald, L. C. H. (2017). Effects of a parenting program among women who began childbearing as adolescents and young adults. Journal of Adolescent Health, 61(5), 634–641.

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