Power of Parent Leaders!
parents engage in meaningful leadership roles, they have a powerful
impact! Parent Leaders are committed parents who work to make their
community's schools, social services, health care providers and
other resources more responsive to and supportive of children and
families. They may be parents, grandparents, kinship care providers,
foster parents, or anyone in a parenting role. They speak and act
from their own perspectives and not in a staff role for an organization.
Leadership - - when Parent Leaders and staff work together on mutual
goals - - creates even greater success for all concerned. It is
achieved when parents and staff build strong partnerships and share
responsibility, expertise and leadership in areas that affect families
and communities. Shared Leadership provides multiple perspectives
and diverse strengths and talents, the result of which is the achievement
of better outcomes.
you think of yourself as a leader? Research (Kouzes & Posner)
has shown that everyone has the potential to become a leader. Three
ways to learn about leadership are:
" From others who serve as role models
" From formal trainings
" By just taking action
Useful information can be gained and skills and knowledge can be
built by participating in training, such as the Parents Anonymous®
Inc. Shared Leadership in Action training. Sometimes the best way
to grow stronger as a leader is to just decide what you most want
to accomplish, develop a plan to reach your goal and begin working
toward it. You will learn by trial and error. The good news is that
you will learn a tremendous amount about leadership no matter what
happens as a result of your efforts.
supports for Parent Leaders are:
" Contact with other parents in leadership roles;
" Opportunities to take on leadership roles, however small
at first, and a safe setting in which to practice them;
" A relationship with another person who is respected and trusted
and who provides important feedback and support;
" A sense of belonging to the group or organization where the
leadership skills are put into practice.
are tremendous benefits to building your skills as a Parent Leader
and working in Shared Leadership to accomplish your goals. It can
also affect other parts of your life as you change and grow. The
following examples highlight some of these benefits for parents,
children and families.
Serving as a Parent Leader provides opportunities for growth and
helps parents gain increased self-esteem, a stronger sense of personal
power and greater leadership capabilities.
" Parent Leaders increase their skills in setting and reaching
specific goals for themselves, their families and their communities.
" Parent Leaders often garner increased respect from their
family members and friends.
" Often, children of Parent Leaders begin to demonstrate leadership
behaviors appropriate for their age in their homes, schools and
Parents can take on valuable roles as Parent Leaders in many ways.
" Serving on boards and councils
" Advocating for individuals, families and/or programs
" Starting a new program in your community
" Participating in Focus Groups
" Becoming a spokesperson for a local organization
" Joining a task force
that you have your idea, it's time to put it into action. After
thoughtfully assessing your readiness to become a Parent Leader,
you are ready to develop a realistic plan for expanding your work
in Shared Leadership. Here are some areas to consider.
" What goals do I want to accomplish? By when?
" Whose help do I need, particularly related to my family,
friends, employer, staff, and Parent Leader partners?
" What resources do I need, particularly related to financial
support, childcare, transportation and training?
" What steps do I need to take to accomplish my goals?
" What individuals and groups need to be involved to help me
accomplish my goals?
You can do it! It will not only change your life for the better,
it will have a positive impact on the lives of your family members
and on your community as well. You, too, can be a Power Parent.
You, too, can make a difference.
Founded in 1969, Parents Anonymous® Inc. is the nation's oldest
child abuse prevention organization. A national leader in helping
individuals, organizations and systems achieve meaningful Shared
Leadership by building partnerships between parents and staff, Parents
Anonymous® Inc. leads a dynamic international Network of accredited
organizations and affiliates that implement quality Parents Anonymous®
Groups and Children's Programs.
weekly, free of charge, Parents Anonymous Groups, parents find a
caring, supportive environment where they can learn new parenting
strategies, increase their ability to deal with stress, build their
leadership skills, expand their social support networks and develop
realistic expectations of themselves and their children. While parents
are meeting, their children participate in complementary Children's
Programs to promote their positive growth and development.
the Parents Anonymous® Inc. Web site, www.parentsanonymous.org
for more information about Parents Anonymous® Inc.