It was also found that the presence of two effective parents in the family has a greater impact on the assessment of a family situation by a child as happy, less anxious and conflict, and in addition, has a positive effect on the social adaptation of a child, as well as child’s self-acceptance and sociability (Reid et al. 217). In the prism of recently appearing problem of fathers’ insufficient participation in children up-bringing, it is shown by Reid et al. (209-11) that an effective father has a positive influence on the self-esteem of a child and attitude to parents as a couple. To a greater extent than a mother, a father affects the positive emotional attitude toward school, social appropriateness of child’s behavior, closeness with a mother, perception of the family situation as less conflict and absence of conflicts in relationships with peers. In its turn, the effectiveness of a mother has a positive effect on the closeness with father, acceptation of self and child’s sociability, while the existing imbalances in the up-bringing of today’s children due of their parents’ lack of awareness have a negative impact on the formation of children behavior patterns (Reid et al. 213-14). All this causes the urgency of the problem of preparing an individual for the performing the role of a parent.
The survey conducted by Dinkmeyer et al. (87-89) showed that 98% of respondents believed that modern person needs to be prepared for parenthood. At the same time, it was found that subjects primarily note the importance of the family in preparing a person for the responsible parenthood (74%). Many respondents indicate that schools and universities, namely teachers, can provide a professional help to a student to prepare one for the future parenting (13%). Only 13% note that expert psychologists and specialists of special social and psychological centers should be engaged in the preparation for responsible parenthood.
In general, preparation for marriage and parenthood means the formation of a certain set of moral feelings, qualities of character, individual’s willingness to take on new responsibilities in relation to one’s future marriage partner and children. Understanding of one’s moral duty, one’s commitments, as well as the rights of others in relation to themselves is very important. Basing on Dinkmeyer et al. and Reid et al., we may come to the conclusion that conscious parenting includes:
- Proactive stance, constant self-development, responsibility for one’s own life;
- Care for the family and one’s role in it;
- Conscious conception and the preparation for it;
- Healthy and happy pregnancy;
- Preparation for childbirth, treating it as a miracle, and at the same time as an absolutely natural process;
- Obtaining the necessary knowledge, attitudes, and emotions;
- Conscious approach to the physical care and development of the child;
- Active influence on the environment in which the child lives – ecology, social circle, information environment, etc.;
- Conscious approach to learning and education: showing example, the choice of learning methods;
- Communication within the family, traditions, trust, sincere interest of parents and children to each other.
Overall, the hypothesis that personal maturity is a decisive factor in the formation of the effective parenting has been confirmed by the results of empirical research by Lohaus, Vierhaus, and Ball. Thus, the common factors for fathers and mothers belonging to the group of ineffective parents are such factor as focus on themselves and their own affairs, lack of desire to master parenting skills, and intrapersonal conflicts of parents indicating that these parents have unresolved personal problems, which explain their parental weakness (Lohaus et al. 369). On the other hand, the common factor in effective parenting is, above all, acceptance of oneself as a parent. Specific maternal factors include: characteristics of a self-actualizing personality, priority of self-transcendence over self-actualization, and focus on parenting. Specifically paternal factors include personal maturity and holistic view of the world (Lohaus et al. 372). These factors turn to be the driving force behind the formation process of the “parent relations”ť subsystem effectiveness on the one hand, and personal maturity on the other.
The development of personal maturity of parents by means of psychological and educational technologies is one way of building effective parenting. The psychological mechanism of such technologies lies in changing the “parent relations”ť subsystem through the development of parent personal maturity by activating the process of self-development, which has a positive effect on the “child relations”ť subsystem (Dinkmeyer 76-77). At the same time, psychological and pedagogical technology of forming effective parenting should correspond to the relevant criteria of adaptability: conceptuality, system character, controllability, efficiency, and reproducibility (Matthews and Hudson 80-82). For example, a program for the active support of parenting discussed by McGroder and Hyra consists of the following stages: organizational, implementation, and analytical.
The organizational phase of the program is mostly focused at active outreach and awareness-raising work: high-quality and reliable information on the strengthening of the role of parents in family up-bringing is carefully prepared and distributed; personal interviews with population are conducted on the issue of responsible parenthood formation and early prevention of family problems. The implementation stage involves the formation of the target groups to participate in the classes of psychological assistance to young couples in their family life and preparation for responsible parenthood through individual and family counseling and participation in training (McGroder and Hyra).