The Council of Europe and Family Policy

Policy to support positive parenting

All parents want to be a good mother or a good father to their children. Yet, most parents have found themselves in situations where they would have welcomed help in overcoming stress, controlling anger, or just in taking everyday decisions. Other parents need specific support because they are raising their children in difficult social, economic or personal circumstances.

While parenting is in many respects private, the Council of Europe considers it also a legitimate domain of public policy. Therefore, it encourages member states to recognise the importance of parental responsibilities and the need to provide parents with sufficient support in bringing up their children.

The Council of Europe has drawn up a set of general principles that underlie the concept of positive parenting. Positive parenting refers to parental behaviour that respects children’s best interests and their rights, as set forth in the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child.

According to this concept, parents should provide their children with