In today’s societies in which children and youth receive a lot of information, it is important that they learn to be active and develop their ability to think independently and critically. In this kind of diverse and changing environment, authoritative ways of parenting do not meet the ‘future survival needs’ in a best possible manner. Instead, parents should be co-learners who may negotiate with their children, learn from children’s experiences and draw from their own knowledge resources and experiences for the best interest of the child. The role of parents is to be sensitive and responsive to child’s needs and opinions. This is the way in which a child assumes an attitude to active citizenship already in early childhood. Interaction with a child should be characterized by mutuality and reciprocity. COFACE supports this approach, called ‘positive parenting’, as a form of good parenting.

Informal education provided by parents and other family members is essential to complete formal education. COFACE members provide a wide range of parenting support services to empower parents in a number of fields from addressing school and cyber-bullying, developing financial literacy, promoting sensible use of technology and how to protect children in the digital online world, learning to interpret the impact of advertising on children and their food choices, and much more. All with a view to supporting informal forms of education in the family – the family being an essential space for making or breaking stereotypes, shaping attitudes and behaviours towards others and society as a whole.


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