About the Parent Education Network

Parent Education for Great Kids, Great Families

As a parent, you face one of the most challenging, and rewarding roles of your life. No matter how much you love your child, there will still be moments filled with anger, frustration, and at times, desperation. What do you do?

Parent Education Network (P.E.N.) has a proud history of providing quality parenting workshops and courses for parents and caregivers in the community since 1974. We are a non-profit, charitable community service agency, offering essential programs to support the most important role of all – parenting.

Through our workshops and classes, you will learn how to use kind and firm methods to raise a child who is responsible, respectful and resourceful. You’ll learn practical approaches to parenting challenges that strengthen family relationships.

Our goals are to help parents:

  • Improve verbal and non-verbal communication in the home
  • Prevent and resolve family conflict, in a manner that preserves the dignity and worth of all family members
  • Help children develop the skills of self-management and maturity, through cooperation, responsibility, independence, and courage
  • Build a positive, strong, and resilient self-image in our children and ourselves

P.E.N. was founded on the philosophy of Adlerian psychology, whose approach to humanity considers the virtues of equality, respect, and democratic freedom as its guiding principles.

From 1984 to 1988, we were affiliated with Humber College. Back then we were known as the Etobicoke Family Life Education Council. We hosted lectures and workshops by some of the best-known names in the field of parenting and childcare, including sessions with Leo Buscaglia (Love and the Family Today), Barbara Coloroso (Discipline – Kids Are Worth It), Faber & Mazlish (How To Talk So Kids Will Listen), and many others.

During these years, Parent Education Network started an in-house Leadership Training Program, through which our own parent educators began facilitating parenting classes. We continue to train new leaders drawn from the expertise of our parent members.

Over the years, our focus has completely shifted from large-scale lectures to building sustainable parenting skills in our community by offering small and affordable classes where lively group discussions and learning from each other can flourish.

For many years, Parent Education Network was funded by The City of Toronto Community Services Grants Program. As of December 2011, our city funding was discontinued.  We now rely on private and corporate donations and course fees to sustain us.

Parent Education Network currently has approximately ten P.E.N.-trained educators who lead our many classes.