What will you learn?
Parents who attend a Parents Forever™ course learn valuable skills and tools that will help to reduce the effects of the family transition on themselves and their children.
Parents Forever™ courses are available in-person and online. Both versions meet the 25 minimum standards required by Minnesota Statute 518.157 for Minnesota court-ordered parent education. See more about Online course approved by Minnesota Supreme Court.
In addition, an adapted version of our online course has been created specifically for North Dakota parents. (The North Dakota version does not meet Minnesota requirements.) Visit the Parents Forever™ online course for North Dakota parents webpage for more information.
The following information is about the in-person and online Parents Forever™ classes offered in Minnesota. Other states who offer the program may teach fewer or different topics. For information about in-person Parents Forever™ offerings in North Dakota, visit the Parents Forever™ — NDSU website.
Parents Forever™ course introduction
The first session of the curriculum helps parents understand what they can expect from taking the course. After participating in this session, parents will be able to:
- Understand the background and basis for the Parents Forever™ course.
- Explain the outline of the course and how it will be delivered.
- Describe topics and concepts they will learn in the course.
Taking care of yourself
A family transition like divorce or separation is a process. Parents are responsible for not only helping their children make the transition, but helping themselves adjust as well. At times, this includes navigating complicated legal issues, emotional issues, social network changes and emerging financial issues. This session helps parents understand and embrace that they need to take care of themselves first in order to effectively help their children through a family transition. The “Taking Care of Yourself” session will help parents:
- Describe thoughts and feelings associated with the family transition process.
- Examine the links between self-care and life skills needed during and after the family transition.
- Analyze how personal needs and wants affect goals and create an action plan to improve self-care for the future.
Taking care of your children
Parents and their children shape each other in more ways than parents may realize. After identifying where their children are at in dealing with the family transition, parents must recognize the strengths, experiences, and skills they can use to help their children. This session helps parents figure out how to establish and maintain balance between their own and their children’s needs. The “Taking care of your children” session will help parents:
- Recognize how the stages of child development influence children’s journey through the family transition.
- Identify characteristics of parent-child relationships that improve child well-being.
- Apply knowledge and identify skills that will lead to improved parent-child relationships.
Being successful with coparenting
During a family transition, it’s important for parents to take care of their own needs and build a strong parent-child relationship, but it’s also critical to try to establish a stable coparenting relationship with the children’s other parent. This session helps divorced or separated parents work towards success in coparenting. Everyone in the family will benefit if divorced or separated parents build a healthy coparenting relationship. The “Being Successful with Coparenting” session will help parents:
- Reflect on the nature of their coparenting relationships.
- Apply the communication and conflict management skills necessary for an effective coparenting relationship.
- Recognize that a parenting plan is an effective tool to prepare for positive coparenting.
Parents Forever™ course conclusion
After a family transition like divorce or separation, the future holds many possibilities for parents and their children. This session helps parents understand that although a divorce or separation can be difficult, a family transition can also provide an opportunity to become a stronger parent and to grow closer as a family.
The “Parents Forever™ course conclusion” session will help parents:
- Describe how self-care, parent-child relationships and coparenting relationships work together to improve family well-being.