Michigan Parenting Resource

You know that feeling when you love GenerationPMTO so much and get so excited about how it is helping families that you just want to tell everyone about it? Well, that is the motivation behind an exciting new grant project led by Dr. Kendal Holtrop (Associate Professor, Michigan State University), Luann J. Gray (Michigan PMTO Statewide Coordinator), and Amol Pavangadkar (Director, Michigan State University).

The aim of this project is to create a free, online parenting program that can introduce evidence-based parenting strategies to caregivers across the state of Michigan. This parenting program incorporates foundational content from GenerationPMTO and is meant to promote long-term, positive changes in child mental health.

Michigan's Kendal Holtrop (left) and  Luann J. Gray (right), and GenerationPMTO have a long, successful history together as the PMTO intervention has been implemented across the state through the community mental health system for 15 years. This project represents a unique opportunity to build on this strong foundation to develop a PMTO-informed parenting program that can reach even more families.

The program itself, called MI Parenting Resource, will feature a number of brief parenting videos. The content is based on the PMTO-informed two-day training curriculum and focuses on three key skills from the GenerationPMTO toolbox: clear directions, emotion regulation, and skill encouragement. Parents will be able to log onto the program from the convenience of their own computer or smartphone, watch the videos, earn virtual incentives, and learn practical skills for improving their parent-child relationship. The goal is for 500 caregivers to access the program by the middle of next year. The project team is also collecting data to measure caregiver satisfaction with the program and evaluate changes in parenting practices and child outcomes.

A unique feature of this program is that instead of relying on actors, the videos feature real parents who completed the PMTO intervention and want to share their experiences with others. In the the photo above a caregiver demonstrates using skill encouragement with his grandchildren at dinner time. Below, Amol Pavangadkar (right) is at a video shoot in Detroit, Michigan.

The project team drove around the state, in the middle of the winter, to shoot these videos – having parents explain the different PMTO skills and demonstrate them in real-life situations with their children. The videos, therefore, allow parents to learn parenting skills from other parents. This strategy is intended to enhance engagement in the program and reduce the stigma associated with seeking out a parenting intervention. 

The development of the MI Parenting Resource program was made possible with funding from the Michigan Health Endowment Fund, generous support from GenerationPMTO and the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services, and the amazing efforts of the Michigan PMTO team and the families they serve. MI Parenting Resource will go live this fall, so stay tuned for more information!