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Press Release

Release Date: August 08, 2019

by Chickasaw Nation Media Relations Office

  • Anyone wanting to grow as a parent or caregiver is welcome to attend a series of classes offered by the Chickasaw Nation. Classes are available to the public at no cost and focus on nurturing behaviors, parent empowerment and historic Native American child-rearing traditions.

ARDMORE, Okla. – The Chickasaw Nation provides parenting education classes to interested members of the public for no cost at the Chickasaw Nation Family Support office, 2341 N. Commerce, Ardmore. Anyone wanting to grow as a parent or caregiver is welcome.

These classes, offered through the parenting education program, focus on nurturing behaviors, parent empowerment and historic Native American child-rearing traditions.

Classes are available as a series. The series will be available 10 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. every Friday through Sept. 27.

The parenting education class is taught by Shala Cubit, Chickasaw Nation Parenting and Community Education Manager.

“Parenting is probably the hardest job anyone will ever do,” Cubit said. “It often comes with such a high expectation, as if parents should just know what to do. But that is not always the case. It helps to have a place where you can ask questions and gain insight.”

Her classes offer such a place.

Cubit is a trained instructor certified in two curricula: Nurturing Parenting Education and Positive Indian Parenting. Lessons from both programs are woven into all classes.

Nurturing Parenting Education is internationally-recognized as a program which empowers parents and enhances their self-worth, empathy and discipline. Rather than focusing on basics like changing diapers and feeding, this program helps parents build healthy relationships and create better environments.

The Positive Indian Parenting (PIP) program pulls parenting insight from historic Native American child-rearing patterns, blending traditional values with modern skills. Parents can expect to learn about the values of storytelling, cradleboards, harmony, lessons of nature, behavior management and use of praise.


Storytelling is a tradition of the Chickasaw Nation. Stories can demonstrate the important role of communication with children, the parent’s role, helping children develop in the areas of making good choices, spending quality time with family and developing trust.


The use of cradleboards is discussed as well as wrapping, massaging and singing to encourage nurturing. Cradleboards were used to help with child development and understanding the importance of child development.


Harmony, balance and the relationships among all things are examined by parents as they look at ways Native Americans traditionally maintained a harmonious living environment. The purpose of this lesson is to give parents an opportunity to learn how to structure their family life so things can run smoothly.

Lessons of Nature

Parents gain a sense of the ways cultural teachings in the past encouraged living skills. By applying these ideas to modern life, parents can help their children grow strong and at peace with the world around them.

Behavior Management

Children are taught self-control early. Traditionally, Native American children had role models for showing respect but were respected, as well. Environment was also important. The environment was structured by parents and community, so children could succeed at what they tried.

Use of Praise

Parents learn the ability to encourage the behavior they like to see in their children. By relying on the cultural strengths exhibited in traditional ways, parents can begin to be positive through the appropriate use of praise.

“Parents can expect to walk away from these classes with a better understanding and growth as an individual,” Cubit said. “This will then benefit the family as a whole.”

Registration is required. Child care will not be provided.

For more information, or to register, contact the parenting education program at (580) 310-7900 or visit