Michigan State University researchers release free, online parenting video series as Michigan families stay home

May 18, 2020 - Liz Schondelmayer

Michigan State University researchers Dr. Kendal Holtrop (pictured below) and Amol Pavangadkar teamed up with the Michigan Parent Management Training - Oregon model (PMTO™) program to develop a series of short, research-based parenting videos accessible to parents and caregivers across the state of Michigan. 

Following Michigan’s statewide “Stay Home, Stay Safe” initiative in response to the novel coronavirus strain, COVID-19, the videos will launch on May 18 on the official MI Parenting Resource website. Michigan residents can register using their county and zip code to access all of the website’s videos and information.  

The video series will build off foundational concepts of GenerationPMTO, an evidence-based parenting intervention backed by over 50 years of research. This project is led by Dr. Holtrop, an associate professor in the Department of Human Development and Family Studies at MSU. 

According to the Kids Count data center, there are over 400,000 Michigan children with a behavioral, emotional or developmental condition. The MI Parenting Resource program can provide support to families of these children, as well as any parent or caregiver looking to improve their family dynamic - especially throughout the unique hardships brought on by the coronavirus pandemic.

The program is uniquely designed to foster healthy parent-child relationships, empowering parents by providing tools that build off strengths they already have. The videos will focus on three key parenting strategies: clear directions, emotional regulation and skill encouragement. 

“This program is all about caregivers teaching caregivers,” explains Holtrop. “We are hoping to decrease the intimidation, guilt and stigma individuals feel when they reach out for parenting help.”

Holtrop adds, “This program is meant to reach families who often struggle to access needed parenting services, such as rural families, under-insured families and families with less financial resources. This is a way for these families to receive the support they need, completely free, from the convenience of their computer or smartphone.”

On top of creating the website and developing its content, Holtrop and her team will also be collecting program data to measure user satisfaction and evaluate changes in parent-child interactions. 

The videos were produced by Pavangadkar, a professor in the Department of Journalism in the College of Communications Arts and Sciences at MSU. Together with a team of talented undergraduate students, Pavangdkar supervised the creation of 22 brief videos, featuring families who have gone through the PMTO parenting program. 

The team traveled to seven families’ homes across the state, gathering testimony which was then edited into short, accessible videos about different aspects of the program.

Access the videos and other available parenting resources here.