Parenting Assessment Tools

Parenting assessment tools are available to the general public, family welfare or social workers and psychologists. These professional developed assessment tools provide insight into possible problem areas. A large variety of assessment tools exist for family use. Finding the one that fits the situation is not always easy. Help is available through community programs for parents who feel they are deficient in one or more areas of parenting skills.

Keys to Interactive Parenting Scale

KIPS is a paper-and-pencil parental evaluation tool that's used by psychologists and social workers, and focuses on 12 behaviors that enhance the effectiveness in parenting. The purpose of the test is to determine the interaction and understanding that the parent has of the child. Questions are designed to seek answers that indicate parental involvement in a child's emotional support, openness to the child's agenda, involvement in play, and the promotion of exploitative curiosity, to name a few. Simply, the test seeks responses that show interaction with the child, and an understanding of the child's needs.

Incredible Years Series of Parenting Skills

Dr. Carolyn Webster-Stratton, Professor and Director of the Parenting Clinic at the University of Washington, developed the Incredible Years series of parenting assessment and training tools 2. A separate program is available to provide education for parents who are problems with discipline problems. This is called the Incredible Years 2. Two types of pen-and-paper assessment tests are available within this program. The first is one in which a professional, like a psychologist, gives the test. A self-assessment is available for in-home use. Both types of assessments focus on confident and positive discipline techniques. The Incredible Years parenting is recommended by the American Psychological Association 2.

Kids Need -- Parenting Assessment Set

Mark Hamer's parental assessment tool for parents is entitled "Kids Need." The set includes an instruction book and a set of 52 cards and may be used within the home or in a professional setting. The 52-card set explores the perceptions of the parents on what their child actually 'needs' compared to what they 'want.' The cards are grouped into three sections -- children needs, children sometimes need and children don't need. Each card sports a visual picture of a particular situation. The situations include such things as the child having their own room, making mistakes and handling criticism. Social workers, psychologists and therapists use this type of assessment tool to pinpoint the parenting style within the family. As a self-assessment tool, understanding the difference between 'wants' and 'needs' helps to create rules and guidelines within the home.

Parenting Relationship Questionnaire

The Parenting Relationship Questionnaire is a pen-and-paper assessment tool, which determines the type of parent-child relationship that exists within the home 3. Questions in the assessment tool focus on areas of communication, attachment, discipline practices, involvement, parenting confidence, satisfaction with the school system and relational frustration. It is usually given to parents in crisis by a professional such as a therapist, psychologist or social worker.