Parental support is important for both parents and children. In order to develop parental competences, the mere experience of parenthood is insufficient. Nowadays, to ensure a healthy family atmosphere and a successful upbringing of children, further measurements are necessary.
The purpose of this research is to investigate how parental education in Austria, especially in the case of Steiermark (Styria) is conducted. Elternbildung (Parental education) in Austria is, by definition, the educational support of parents by licensed organizations in order to enhance parental competences. Elternbildung targets primary the core family but also grandparents to better the cooperation and relationship inside the family. It supports the family in problematic situations in everyday life. Elternbildung is not instructive but accompanies the family in the educational process of the child. Its goal is to enhance already existing parental competences without interfering with the natural habit of the parents and always considers the personal background of the family.
It is a very effective tool to better the parent-child-relationship and works preemptive to domestic violence. Parents learn in small groups carried out by trained personal. It is important for any organization which carries out Elternbildung to be sensitive to all types of families, lifestyles and the cultural background of the participants. Target-groupspecific thinking and working is required. Self-reliance of the participants towards their educational responsibility is to be cultivated in order for the parents to develop self-efficacy in parenthood. Elternbildung is focused on making own experience rather than giving lectures. It is dialogical, respectful and appreciative. Due to recent trends there are also special activities for fathers, in order to integrate them more into the upbringing of the children and the educational process. Elternbildung supports parents in discovering their own way of raising their children in a better way.