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Proactive, Passive/Public Parenting Education

In an effort to improve the quality of parenting, Advancing Parenting places fifty concise and unambiguous parenting tips in public spaces.

Photo of David Dooley
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Updates: How has your idea changed or evolved throughout the Prize? What updates have you made to this submission? (1500 characters)

The only change is that I added one more parenting tip bringing the total to fifty-one.

Name or Organization

Advancing Parenting


Advancing Parenting is located in Bakersfield, CA. Our goal is to become national in three years.

What is your stage of development?

  • Advanced Innovator with 3 to 10+ years of experience in ECD


  • Non-profit

What is the stage of your proposal?

  • Full-scale roll-out: I have completed a pilot and analyzed the impact of that pilot on the users I am trying to reach with my idea. I am ready to expand the pilot significantly.

Describe how your solution could be a game-changer for your selected Opportunity Area (600 characters)

The concept of continuous quality improvement was a game-changer for the automotive industry. It transformed the unreliable cars of the 1970's into the dependable cars we drive today. Doesn't something as vital as parenting deserve the same effort??? I chose Opportunity Area four, Surprise Us, because proactive, passive/public parenting education doesn't just teach parenting skills to parents. It's a new kind of parenting education that reaches everyone, everywhere, all the time, for generations to come...a constant, ongoing effort to continuously improve the quality of parenting.

Select an Innovation Target

  • Channel: A new way to deliver existing products or services to customers or end users.

Tell us more about your innovation (1500 characters)

Advancing Parenting is a nonprofit organization dedicated to ensuring the quality of parenting in communities.  Toward that end, we place fifty-one concise and unambiguous parenting tips in public spaces, including but not limited to windows of stores, offices, restaurants, vehicles, and billboards.  This, in an effort to elevate the quality of parenting, reduce adverse childhood experiences (ACES), and improve educational outcomes for children.  We began with parenting tips on bumpers and windows because it was the least expensive way to get things rolling.  Turns out they're wonderfully effective, and a way for individuals, agencies, organizations, and businesses to all become parenting educators.  Our plan is to ​1) partner with the Ad Council and employ increasingly impactful media to display the parenting tips.  For example...appealing school age spokespersons and/or families presenting the tips on static and digital billboards and semi trailers) see the examples below, and  ​2) expand geographically until proactive, passive/public parenting education is an ongoing and permanent international phenomenon.

What problem are you aiming to solve? (3 sentences)

The problem is unsupportive and harmful parenting. Our goal is to elevate the overall quality of parenting and prevent the kind of parenting that hurts children.

Explain your idea (5000 characters)

The uploaded images are rough examples of what the parenting tips would look like on static and digital billboards and semi trailers. Advancing Parenting, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, was founded in 2012 by David Dooley, a resident of Bakersfield, CA.   Our activities are based on four truths. 1. The quality of any community has much to do with the quality of the parenting happening in the homes within the community.   2. Generally speaking, children raised by parents who engage in best parenting behaviors and practices become responsible, caring, competent citizens.   3. Similarly, children exposed to adverse childhood experiences or parents who have poor parenting skills become unhealthy, emotionally crippled, and sometimes dangerous citizens.   4. Parenting behaviors and practices, both supportive and harmful, are frequently passed from one generation to the next. Advancing Parenting believes there has been a general decline in the quality of parenting and it's having a devastating impact on children, families, and communities.  Parenting education is the key to reversing this decline. Sadly, conventional parenting education is often unpopular, inconvenient, stigmatizing, and poorly attended. Additionally, it is mostly reactive rather than proactive, focuses on individual families, and is not designed to improve a community's overall quality of parenting.  Advancing Parenting is pioneering a proactive, community-based parenting education that teaches behaviors and practices generally recognized as supporting the healthy development of children, and discourages parenting behaviors and practices generally recognized as disrupting the healthy development of children. Advancing Parenting’s approach, which we call proactive, passive/public parenting education, is unique and innovative. Traditional parenting education, which requires planning, time, and effort focuses on select parents and takes place in an office or classroom. Proactive, passive/public parenting education, which requires neither planning, time, nor effort reaches everyone, everywhere, all the time. Grandparents, mature parents, young parents, soon-to-be parents, teen parents, and school age children all read our messages and learn what good parenting is and isn't. 

Who benefits? (1500 characters)

1. The two generation approach to helping families is the latest "thing". Advancing Parenting's activities do not target a specific group or demographic. Indeed, we do not even target parents specifically. You might call what we do a multiple generation approach! This is because everyone reads our parenting tips. Imagine a car carrying a grandparent, a parent, and some children of varying ages. They see one of our tips on another car, truck, or billboard and it becomes a topic of discussion. Yes!!! This is the kind of parenting education that will change the world for the better! 2. People who have placed our parenting tips on their vehicles report that at stoplights drivers point, smile, nod, and give thumbs-up. Often a phone is used to take a picture of the tip right at the stoplight! 3. Bakersfield residents report that they love reading the tips and appreciate the reminders. One parent commented that the tips give him permission to do what he instinctively knows is right, but is reluctant to do because of peer and/or media pressure. Visit our homepage,, and click on the Pinterest link to see many examples.

What kind of impact will your idea have? (1500 characters)

Parenting behaviors and practices are often passed from one generation to the next, so yes, as parents learn and implement supportive parenting behaviors and practices their children will copy those parenting skills when they become parents. Could the idea lead to wider or systemic positive change? Yes, as the quality of parenting improves, rates of child abuse, substance abuse, domestic violence, and crime will decline, and educational outcomes will improve.

How does or how could your idea impact low-income children? (1500 characters)

Advancing Parenting's activities will positively impact all children, their families, and their communities.

Innovation: What makes your concept innovative? (5000 characters)

Advancing Parenting is the only entity on the planet engaged in proactive, passive/public parenting education, so, yes, our activities are original, unique, and different. One big advantage of proactive, passive/public parenting education is that, unlike traditional parenting education, it is not stigmatizing. Many parents see traditional parenting education as an admission of failure.

Scale: Describe how your idea could reach a significant number of end-users. (1500 characters)

The market for our activities is unlimited because we do public parenting education, not conventional parenting education. See the attachment titled Comparison of Traditional Parenting Education and Proactive, Passive/Public Parenting Education. We are confident that the funding to carry out our vision will come in time. Thanks to the ACE Study there is a growing realization that the quality of parenting in communities isn't what it ought to be, and that there is a need for a new and different kind of parenting education

Feasibility: Where are you with understanding the feasibility of your idea? Describe what you’ve done so far and your plans. (3000 characters)

Advancing Parenting's activities are feasible. We have been putting proactive, passive/public parenting education into limited practice in Bakersfield for five years. An aspect of feasibility is desire for the activity. In our case the desire is all too real! Collecting dust on my desk are orders from across the U.S. and Canada for thousands of the parenting tips. Why are the orders just sitting there? Because we haven't the funds to print and ship them!!! Scalability won't be a problem because our activities require no new technology and minimal staffing.

Business Viability: How viable is your business model? (5000 characters)

It's very viable! Bakersfield citizens who have placed tips on their vehicles report that they love them and gets lots of positive feedback. Plus, I've already got all these orders and inquiries from across the globe. Our plan is to always utilize media that is hard to ignore, i.e. tips on vehicles, billboards, and semi trailers. Three in ten semi trailers have no graphics. They are owned by leasing companies and owner operators who have no product or service to advertise. Our plan is to partner with the Ad Council and trailer manufacturers, Utility, Hyundai, Stoughton, Wabash, Great Dane, etc., so that trailers roll off the assembly line with parenting tips on both sides. See the above examples. Imagine tens of thousands of fifty-three foot rolling billboards with parenting tips on them crisscrossing the U.S. seven days a week, 365 days a year!

HCD: How have you used human centered design to build or refine your concept? (5000 characters)

In regards to human centered design, the parenting tips themselves are carefully worded. The tips are parenting behaviors and practices generally recognized as supporting the healthy development of children. They are concise. They are unambiguous. They have impact when read. They are also injunctive social norms. That is, they are worded in such a way as to convey to the reader that the parenting behavior or practice is normal, common, accepted, and therefore worthwhile.

Tell us more about you (3000 characters)

I am retired and I was inspired by the work of American economist W. Edwards Deming.

Do you have the people and partners you need to do what you’ve described? (600 characters)

No, Advancing Parenting does not at this time have the partners/funding it needs. We would like to partner with the Ad Council.

As you consider your next steps, what kinds of help could you use? Is there a type of expertise that would be most helpful? (1800 characters)

Advancing Parenting knows what it wants to do and how to do it. We just need the funding.

Would you like mentoring support?

  • Yes

If so, what type of mentoring support do you think you need? (1200 characters)

Fundraising, bookkeeping, accounting, trademarking

Are you willing to share your email contact information submitted on OpenIDEO with Gary Community Investments?

  • Yes, share my contact information

[Optional] Biography: Upload your biography. Please include links to relevant information (portfolio, LinkedIn profile, organization website, etc).

Please visit our website,, to see many more examples.

Mentorship: How was your idea supported? (5000 characters)

I did speak with one of the mentors and we discussed the need for evaluation...something I'm well aware of. It's a frustration for me because we don't do traditional parenting education...the kind that happens in a classroom or office. Organizations that offer traditional parenting education can track attendance and administer pre and post tests. We aren't able to do that. Parenting is an activity that takes at least eighteen years. Hopefully, eighteen years of proactive, passive/public parenting education will result in an improvement in the quality of parenting and the decline of child abuse, substance abuse, domestic violence, etc. In the meantime, all we can do is report that there are x number of vehicles with tips on them, x number of stores with tips on the windows, x number of billboards and semi trailers, etc. and that they are being read x number of times per day. Basically, the sort of information advertising companies provide to their clients. I might add that advertising companies are quite successful at changing our beliefs and behaviors. I expect that proactive, passive/public parenting education will be equally successful. Currently in Bakersfield there are <150> vehicles with tips and <50> tips on windows of buildings, and they are being read hundreds of times per day.

Updates: How has your idea changed or evolved throughout the Prize? What updates have you made to this submission? (1500 characters)

No changes have been made during this time.
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Attachments (3)


Feedback from across the U.S. and Canada

The Fifty Parenting Tips.pdf

The following Advancing Parenting tips apply specifically to the recommendations outlined in the Harvard University Center on the Developing Child publication, The Science of the Developing Child. #s 1, 2, 4, 5, 7, 8, 9, 12, 20, 21, 24, 27, 31, 33, 34, 35, 36, 37, 38, 40, 41, 44, 47, 48, 50, and 51. All of our tips are available in Spanish as well.


Join the conversation:

Photo of IHD Team

David, this is a good idea, more often parents are always busy chasing work place deadlines at the expense of parenting. This a good way of reminding them of their obligations and your idea offers some literature to look at as they go about their daily chores. However, am interested to know how you will apply the same in a non literate society usually among the low income bands in informal settlements in the majority world.

Photo of David Dooley

Thank you for the comment. Hopefully, the folks who are literate will share the tips with those who aren't. This is a problem in Bakersfield. Kern County has one of the lowest literacy rates in the nation. Be sure and visit our website,

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