This webinar series focuses on home visiting practices with families. Learn how to select and implement appropriate home-based curricula. Find tips for how to establish and maintain relationships with families. Additional series topics include how to conduct child assessment in the family's home.
Supporting Positive Parent-Child Relationships
Supporting Positive Parent-Child Relationships
Home Visiting Series: Supporting Positive Parent-Child Relationships
Dr. Angela Fisher-Solomon: Good afternoon, everyone. We're so excited that you're here to join us this afternoon. While you're waiting for the webinar to begin, we see that so many of you have introduced yourselves in the chat box and told us your name and your current role and how long you've been in the role. So, we're going to give it about two more minutes and then we will begin our presentation. So again, good afternoon and welcome to the December Home Visiting Webinar Series, "Supporting Positive Parent-Child Relationships."
I'm Dr. Angela Fisher-Solomon, and I'm the senior training and technical assistant specialist for home visiting here at the National Center on Early Childhood Development, Teaching, and Learning, also known as the DTL. We also have from DTL Erica Reed, who will be providing technical support for us, along with Nigel, our webcast monitor from ON24. We appreciate both of them.
I'm really excited and honored to kick off the continuation of the Home Visiting Webinar Series with our wonderful collaborating colleagues and friends, Dr. Jennifer Olson and Nancy Darlington, from the National Center on Parent, Family, Community Engagement.
So before we begin to get into the information of the presentation, I just want to tell you that we'll be using some of the features of this webinar platform to help us interact. At the bottom of your screen, you will notice these widgets that are on the screen. If you have any questions during the webcast, you can submit them through the purple Q&A widget. We will try to answer these during the webcast. Please know we do capture all questions, so for those that we cannot answer during the webcast, we will get back to you via email. If you have any technical questions, please enter them here as well.
A copy of today's slide deck and additional resources are available in the Resource List, which is the green widget, and we encourage you to download any of the resources and links that you may find useful. Throughout the session, we will be using the blue group Chat widget to engage each other. You will also find additional answers to some common technical issues located in the yellow Help widget at the bottom of your screen. Each of these widgets are resizable and removable for a customized experience, so simply click on the widget, move it by dragging and dropping and resizing using the arrows at the top corner. If you have trouble, just try to refresh your browser by pressing F5, and be sure to log off of your VPN and exit out of any other browsers. This will be very helpful when you're viewing the presentation; and if for some reason you get disconnected from the webinar, use the same link used previously to just rejoin.
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Now, let's take a quick review of the session objectives for this afternoon. So at the end of the presentation, you should be able to recognize positive parent-child relationships and how they impact healthy child development. We're going to talk about identifying some strategies that home visitors can use to support parents' positive relationships with their child and we're also going to identify ways to support parents through stressful parenting situations, and we're going to review resources that home visitors can use to support interactions and experiences that build positive parent-child relationships.
Our agenda for the afternoon mirrors the flow of the presentation to support our session's objectives. And again, we're going to start out looking at the area of positive parent-child relationships, supporting a parent's positive relationship with their child and really what that may look like in home visits, and number three, supporting parents when parenting is stressful, and finally, again, to review some helpful resources to support you in the important work that you do with parents and their young children.
Before we begin, we want to hear from you. Many of you already have gotten used to the chat box and the Q&A widgets. So by using the chat box or the Q&A, please tell us, when you think about positive parent-child relationships, what comes to mind? So what we would like for you to do is think about that. When you think of positive parent-child relationships, what immediately comes to your mind? And Jennifer and I are going to give just a couple minutes. If you could respond in the chat box or the Q&A and just feel free to toss out, you know, any ideas when you think about positive parent-child relationships. Jennifer, we're getting some great answers: attachment, confidence, love.
Dr. Jennifer Olson: Oh, my gosh. I see them. I see them.
Angela: Do you see them?
Jennifer: "Gentleness, hope, trust."
Angela: "Kindness." These are great. These are great responses. I love someone just wrote, "respect," "positive feedback." This is very exciting for Jennifer and I, and it's really going to support our discussion this afternoon, so keep them coming. Feel free to keep them coming in, and what we're going to do is we're going to circle back. We have -- keep them flowing, and we're going to circle back to the responses later in the webinar. So again -- and I love someone wrote, "being in the moment." That's fantastic.
So again, thank you for sharing your initial ideas. We're going to circle back to these later on in the presentation, and right now I'm going to turn it over to Jennifer, who is going to talk to us about the Head Start Parent, Family, Community Engagement Framework. Jennifer, you want to take it away?
Jennifer: Hello, everybody. Thank you so much, Angela. I'm just so delighted to be here today, and you know we can't start anything...When we come from the Parent, Family, Community Engagement Center, we can't begin anything without our framework; and I know many of you are familiar with this, but we just wanted to always keep it in our minds that this is a framework that is the foundation for all of the work that we do and an organizational guide, kind of, for the collaboration among families,
Head Start, Early Head Start staff, and community service providers to promote positive, enduring outcomes for children and families. And you'll see we've got a little white box there, as you're probably all familiar with that blue column, that that blue column is around family outcomes and what we hope to achieve from positive and goal-oriented relationships and from equity, inclusiveness, cultural and linguistic responsiveness, as you see those arrows across the top. Many of you could probably share with me your thoughts about the framework, but I'll just continue on. Some of you might even actually present on the framework. That would be fun to hear about.
But you'll see that there's program foundations, program impact areas, family outcomes, and child outcomes, and it's all moving forward towards family and child outcomes; and those first two columns, of course, support the outcomes for both families and children. And we just want to point out to you that the second one, positive parent-child relationships, is actually the title of this webinar today, and it fits in beautifully with our framework and the work that you do. I'm loving these words that are coming.
We might want to explain to you some of the complications of the webinar. Nancy is looking at the Q&As and Angela and I have the group chat up, and sometimes our screens don't allow us when we're presenting to look at the Q&A in the manner that we would like to. Nancy, do you see some key words in the Q&A that you'd like to share that are coming through that right now?
Nancy Darlington: Hi. So far, mostly what I'm seeing in the Q&A are people who put in their names, where they're from, how long they've been in, what we had in that initial thing, and then just a lot of the similar words that we've been seeing in the chat box, just some really fantastic understanding of what we're talking about here.
Jennifer: Oh, I feel the same way, Nancy, "attachment, being in the moment, body language," just incredible words, and I'm looking forward to more responses from this audience as we move along. So, Angela, it's to you, about the characteristics of positive parent-child relationships; and as Nancy and I both said, it's kind of like we're mirroring now what our audience has been telling us.
Angela: Yes. I completely agree. So when we think about what characteristics are positive parent-child relationships -- we think about what are some characteristics, again, Jennifer, to your point, we could build on what the participants have already shared in the chat box. But also, you know, to just expound on that a little bit more, when we think about positive parent-child relationships, we have to really -- and it's a culmination of what everyone has already written -- but we think the culmination of warm, sensitive responses to children's bids for attention, and, you know, in terms of social-emotional skills.
And we say, "Well what exactly does that mean?" It means, you know, when a child says, like, "I want to play. I want to be with you," to ask a child questions about what they're doing, or when children -- the back and forth when children will often say, "How can I help you?" So warm, sensitive responses around emotional development really lends itself sometimes when children say, "I want reassurance or understanding," or when babies and toddlers just kind of crawl over to a parent and say, "I need a hug," or they want to cuddle. It can be both emotional and physical; physical when they're tired and they want to be cuddled and hungry, or even in a wet diaper.
So it's really thinking about warm, sensitive responses to children's bids for attention. And number two, when we think about how to respond with interest and sensitivity to a child's interest, and also to their natural abilities and sometimes disabilities, and their own uniqueness because we know that each child is unique in their own way, to provide consistency in responsiveness. We talk often with home visitors with routines, and we have to mention, as well, positive discipline and what is that based on. It's age-based guidelines, limits, and boundaries. We know that children intuitively are aware of warm, sensitive responses and predictable routines and positive interactions with parents and caregivers.
So this pattern of interaction, in terms of consistency, helps a child to regulate their own behavior and respond to age-appropriate disciplines. So it's not always easy to establish the consistency, but once parents begin to see how a child responds -- their child responds, I think it often gives them encouragement to continue in a positive parent-child interaction. I often tell parents that, you know, children tell the story. In other words, you know, they will let you know if some pattern of interaction is working for them or not. They communicate with their outward expressions of behavior and social-emotional development, which I think really begins with the parent-child relationship. Jennifer, do you have anything to add?
You know, in this slide, let's think about young children and what the research tells us about their development; and, you know, "From Neurons to Neighborhoods," you know, the research tells us that nurturing, responsive relationships are critical for children to grow and learn, and to really keep in mind that all children are born ready to learn. When babies come from the womb, they are ready to learn. So the environment in which these relationships take place are really also very, very important, and this ties back to the responses from our audience in their descriptors of when they think of positive parent-child interactions.
So, remember that positive parent-child interactions may look quite distinct in different families; right? It's the wide range of caregiving styles, playful interactions, and emotional responses that support healthy child development. So, parents' responses to children's cues and behaviors look different. This may depend on their own temperament, personal history, current life situations, and their cultural goals and beliefs. So the responses also may vary with their gender.
Mothers and fathers -- we see this all the time -- influence their child's social-emotional development and future academic success in unique ways. And as home visitors, you probably see this frequently in families with different cultural beliefs and responses to their children's emotional and physical cues. So it's important to share an authentic interest as a home visitor in learning about your families and their cultural backgrounds early in the initial home visit to help establish a trusting relationship with the parent to support the parent-child interaction and positive relationship.
I think it's just really important to know that, you know, the families that we serve, how they interact with their children can look different based on different cultural beliefs and backgrounds.
Jennifer: Angela, I'm sorry. I was on mute before. I was two slides back. I was on mute, and I did want to comment on the environment that the home visitors are...
Really, what an opportunity for them to be able to go into the environment where the nurturing relationships, you know, are built...
Jennifer: ...and have a wonderful, wonderful opportunity to go in and not only be able to be engaged and involved in it, but be part of it...
Jennifer: ...and it's very exciting, the home visiting role. And I loved it when you talked about being respectful of all the different cultures and types of families because today, I mean, that's such an exciting part of our culture today, our society today, of the mixing of cultures and people. And home visiting is just such a wonderful opportunity.
Angela: I agree. I agree. I think the differences just add such depth and richness...
Angela: ...in how we see families and how that influences children's behavior and overall development and sense of self. So I think, you know, home visitors just have such a wonderful opportunity to be part of that unfolding.
Jennifer: I agree.
Angela: So positive parent-child relationships, we know, are central to our work -- right? -- in Head Start and Early Head Start because they are connected to positive outcomes for children. Positive parent-child relationships provide the foundation for children's learning. We know this based on the brain research; and with parents' sensitive, responsive, and predictable care, young children develop the skills they need to succeed in life. The research shows that early parent-child relationships have powerful effects on children's emotional well-being, their basic coping and problem-solving abilities, and their future capacity for relationships.
The research also tells us that through these interactions, children learn skills they need to engage with others and to succeed in different environments. They learn how to manage their emotions and behaviors and establish healthy relationships with adults and peers. They also learn how to adjust to new situations and to resolve conflicts. So clearly, we know, based on the research, Jennifer, that, you know, healthy, positive parent-child relationships really lays the foundation for all other developmental domains and children's success. So it really, I think, offers that level of support that all children need.
Jennifer: And it's like a circle of affirmation, too, as a parent develops that positive relationship with children through a variety of means. It affirms them as parents...
Jennifer: ...and then that feedback loop just continues. So again, it's just so helpful to think about how important it is to be modeling that and to be supporting that as home visitors.
Angela: Yes, and, you know, when parents are sensitive and responsive to children's cues, you know, they contribute to the coordinated back and forth of communication between the parent and their child. Many researchers often refer to that back and forth as the "mutual dance." These interactions, you know, help children to develop a sense of self and model various emotional expressions as well emotional regulation skills, you know, self-calming and self-control skills. Parents can engage in everyday learning activities even with very young children and help them to develop lifelong motivation and persistence and a love for learning by how they interact with the day-to-day activities and their ability to respond sensitively to a child's cue.
It helps a child to understand that, "I am important," you know, that, "You believe I'm important because you are my parent;" right? So the parents' engagement in everyday learning is really, really important. So, for example, parents can participate with their children in early literacy activities, you know, such as pointing and naming objects, storytelling, and reading.
In Early Head Start programs, you know, stimulating play interactions between mothers or fathers and their children has predicted children's fifth grade math and reading abilities, which is really phenomenal. As school approaches, parents can promote successful transition and the persistence by engaging children in joint literacy activities, like -- such as reading together and sharing exciting conversations about educational topics, which aligns with what the Early Learning Outcomes Framework tells us about learning outcomes for infants and toddlers in Language and Communication. Children attend to, understand, and respond to communication and language with others, repeats, and uses some rhymes.
So this type of interaction has really been linked with later successful math and reading abilities. So when we think about a few more parent behaviors that positively impact child development -- and someone mentioned this, Jennifer, you know, earlier in the group chat -- affection, warmth, and physical closeness. Positive expressions towards a child teaches the child, again, less anti-social behavior, better adjustment, more compliance, greater cognitive ability, and again, more school readiness and be it, you know, responsiveness.
Again, like I said earlier, responding to a child's cues with emotions and words, interest and behaviors, and we ask -- as adults, you know, we sometimes -- like, you know, helping a parent to understand what does responsiveness do for children: more secure attachments, better cognitive and social development, better language development, fewer behavior problems, better emotional regulation and empathy, and encouragement. You know, we sometimes -- even adults, we need encouragement. Children need encouragement.
As home visitors, when we encourage parents, it means a lot. The active support for children, it's active support of exploration, encouraging a child in their physical movements even, and giving them the encouragement to explore and acknowledging their effort or their skills in demonstrating the initiative and curiosity, creativity in situations of play.
You know, when we think about encouragement, you know, and what it does for children, the research shows us that it also is almost like less negativity. Children are inspired and have a more greater willingness to try challenging tasks, better cognitive and social development, better language development and teaching, shared conversation, and play. Using play to share teachable moments informs, like, cognitive stimulation, explanations, and it allows children to ask questions. So we think, you know, what does teaching really do?
Again, better cognitive and social development, better language development, and it also promotes more conversations and more emergent literacy skills. And I also want to circle back to, you know, sharing the real meaning of discipline. The real meaning of discipline is, in fact, to teach. So this can be a powerful message for parents, you know, who want their children to be -- "to be smart and to do well in school," is understanding the real meaning of discipline.
And lastly, to play and have fun together. Here, we think about the impact of social-emotional development and what feels good to a child will likely repeat. So if the child feels good, they're more likely to like something and then practice it and then to later master it, right?
Jennifer: Mm-hmm. And you know, Angela, I'm struck by the fact -- I'm going to go back one. We were just presenting to home visitors in Puerto Rico in Region II, and when you were speaking, I was thinking how helpful these slides might be for home visitors to think about sharing with families.
Jennifer: Not that you would ever go out and share a slide presentation with families, for heaven's sakes, but sometimes talking to them about what parents just do naturally with their child or want to do naturally with their child and describing it and giving them the words for it, that they're actually teaching and encouraging when they respond to their child, and they're giving them a greater sense of well-being and self-worth. And I was struck by a member of the audience -- remember, Angela, when we were there and she said...
Jennifer: ...sometimes she sees parents doing things so naturally and spontaneously, and she comes along to give them the words that affirm their behaviors and their natural inclinations towards parenting. I thought that was so beautiful.
Angela: I agree. It was very, very powerful.
Jennifer: I've seen that comment from Nigel -- sorry, Nancy -- that you're getting an echo from my phone. Nigel, is it still there? Are people hearing an echo? Angela, do you hear an echo?
Angela: No. I think you're good, Jennifer.
Jennifer: Okay. Thanks so much. I just wanted to check before. Nancy, to you.
Nancy: Yes. I just wanted to jump in here real quick. There were three questions in the questions and answer box, and one of them in particular is very relevant to exactly what you're talking about right here, and that was how to teach parents the negative impact of negative feedback to their child.
And you are sharing the benefits of giving them positive feedback, so I don't know if either one of you want to respond to that question real quickly?
Jennifer: I'll take it, and then Angela can be thinking if she wants to add to it. I think it's just so difficult sometimes to, because we feel perhaps that we're criticizing a family member when we suggest that they do something differently. At some point, I think it's modeling the positive comments and, if you can, catch them offering a positive comment, you know, reinforcing it and saying, "Oh, look how she responds when you speak with her that way," you know, and the parent may also open a door for you.
They may say, "My child doesn't listen to me. My child isn't doing what I ask." And that might afford you an opening to say, you know, "Sometimes, negative comments can be interpreted as this by a child versus positive comments sometimes lead to this." Angela, what were you thinking?
Angela: No, I would agree, Jennifer. I think, many times, parents aren't fully aware of the impact of negative comments to a child's sense of self-worth or self-confidence, and, yes, there's -- there's plenty of research out there to speak to that, but I think, to your point, Jennifer, it's almost more critically important to emphasize and be able to support parents to show them the power and the impact of positive reinforcement because I think it's stronger.
Angela: No, no.
Jennifer: Another place that I might invite home visitors to look at this is during socializations.
Jennifer: So if you have a parent that you know uses a few more negative terms or phrases or negativity and they happen to be at your socialization, that could be something that you talk to the whole group about, not singling out the one parent, and actually modeling positive responses and then encouraging parents to work on that during the socialization time. That's just another possibility. I hope these small suggestions are helpful.
Angela: I completely agree, Jennifer.
Jennifer: Nancy, was there another question that you thought we should respond to?
Nancy: Yes, there were two other questions. Another one that really relates to what you're talking about now is, how do you really get across to parents how important they are in children's learning?
Jennifer: You know, I'm struck by Brazelton's work, T. Berry Brazelton and, yeah, finding those places where you can prompt and point out, "Oh, my gosh. Look what's happening." When you do that, your child is beaming at you. When your child is uncertain, they look at you to determine whether or not they should move forward with this or if this is a safe place or if they can touch the toy, or what's the toy going to do?
Look how they look at you. Look how they gaze at you. You know, see how attached, and so it's finding the places where you see the child responding to the adult in a positive way and pointing that out to them if they're not aware of it themselves. And again, as a home visitor, you're having conversations with parents, and as you become more closely aligned with them, you know, you develop a relationship over time, a parent's uncertainty may come up in conversation and you can certainly reassure them in your conversations adult to adult and then through examples when the child and adult are -- child and parent are interacting, and you see those natural occurrences happen.
Angela: No, Jennifer. No, I think I could not have said anything else. I do see that in the -- which is really fantastic -- that in the group chat, the audience is providing some amazing answers that are incredibly appropriate and right on. They're really echoing Jennifer, and they're typing it.
Jennifer: We'll be even.
Angela: Thinking it, so I see, and they're giving -- and they're giving resources to one another about, "Yes, role modeling is key," so I think...
Angela: I think -- Yes, and I think this leads into our next slide.
Jennifer: It does, Angela. I'm a little worried that the -- I'm glad we're reading these out though because, in the Q&A, they may not be able to see each other's comments. Nancy, can we hold that last question or is it critical for us to respond to right now?
Nancy: No, there are a couple questions that I think will be relevant as you get into your next section on the relationship-based competencies, so I'll hold them.
Jennifer: Okay. Well, you keep -- you keep us posted...
Nancy: I will.
Jennifer: ...if we need to respond. Thanks so much. So I'm hoping that many of you were on the webinar done by Kathy and Brandy from our center where we introduced the relationship-based competencies, so we're not going to spend a long time on this today. That is available to you, that webinar. You can find it on ECLKC, or by putting in your question in the chat box, we can give you a reference to that previous webinar.
But the relationship-based competencies, it's a series of... We used to have one for just family educators, and we decided that we needed it for several different professions; and like we said, its definition is a set of knowledge, skills, individual practices, and other characteristics, including attributes, behaviors, and actions, that are necessary to be effective in one's family engagement work.
So as you recall, they're really very, very specific about the knowledge that you might need, the skills that you can use, and the practices that you demonstrate on working with families and promoting family engagement, and again, they give us words -- they give words to our behavior. And we have, as I said, a whole webinar on the competencies for home visitors. Just to remind you, we have a universal booklet that describes the relationship-based competencies, and as you look at the three different colors, we see the family service providers in the teal, teachers and child care providers in the magenta, and of course the one that matters so much to us in this conversation is home visitors.
And so, each of these roles has their own set of competencies and, as you know, they have a self-assessment and a supervisor's assessment that accompanies each one of these booklets. And so, we invite you to either recall the introductory webinar or to access it because this does give us a basis for -- you know, we often have the knowledge, but we might want to work a little bit more on our skills on building positive relationships with families and between families and their young children, and these competencies give you some ideas and words to our behaviors regarding skills and practices, and so we invite you to take a look at them. They're in the resources at the back of this webinar and remind you that they're available there to help you build your skill and your knowledge and your practices.
So, let's look at some very specific strategies on supporting positive parent-child relationships. We'd like you to put in the chat room some of the strategies that you've used. Now, I know you've been very busy. I'm so excited to see all these chats, and they go by so quickly that it's hard for us to speak and read at the same time, but if some of you would like to just say some basic strategies or add another strategy that you haven't already put in. It says, "No, don't ignore. Just don't give in to what they ultimately..."
So we're having a conversation, it looks like, about challenging behaviors. Would you all like to put in some strategies that you've used to support positive child relationships? I can scroll back up and see if I can see some right there. I see you're talking. Yeah, we're having a big discussion about behavior. I see positive feedback on what they're doing. That's a strategy someone is using. Reflective listening.
Angela: Reflect. Mm-hmm.
Jennifer: Go ahead, Angela.
Angela: I would say -- they said, "modeling, redirecting..."
Jennifer: Oh, praise.
Angela: "'...praise, and pointing out...'"
Jennifer: Go ahead.
Angela: No, I was reading the same one, "Modeling positive behavior." "Following the child's lead" is an excellent one, as well.
Jennifer: Yes. Someone has mentioned conscious discipline. Share ideas about development, communication, praising the parent and the child. Oh, look! Someone did a high five from positive behaviors.
Angela: And self-care.
Jennifer: Mm-hmm. Creating a journal; oh, that's an interesting one. Nancy, what's happening in the Q&A?
Nancy: There's still a couple questions that are outstanding there that I'm thinking... I'm not sure we have time to go into them in great detail here, but they are asking about how to support parents of children with challenging behaviors, and I see you're talking about that now, but there was also one about children that may have undiagnosed mood disorders or extremely aggressive behavior. So I think for those kinds of questions, you might want to take some of the tips from this webinar but you're going to have to dig a little bit deeper, maybe a topic for another webinar at some point.
They're also asking about the negative effects of screen time. How do you talk to parents about that? But a really good one is, you know, when we talk about offering the positive interactions with children, and they're asking, "How do you support parents who that may be difficult for them if they're dealing with depression or extreme stress or anxiety?" So, sometimes you do need to find some alternative strategies to support parents who are dealing with some of the more difficult issues.
Jennifer: Thank you, Nancy. You know, we're going to get to a little bit about families experiencing stress in the next few slides, and so we'll try to come back to that and also, of course, being able to use our community partners when some of our families are experiencing -- you know, if there could be some concern with referrals or with behaviors that you see there that would perhaps encourage a referral. We'll be speaking to that in a little bit, but we'll try to circle back around to them. They do put them in the chat box for us in our own box, and maybe we can get back to that as we move forward or a little bit in the end time. Angela, is that okay?
Angela: Yes, and Jennifer, I also want to mention, for any questions that we may, just due to our time limitations, that we may not get to, we will try to respond via email, but I also want to encourage people to -- we're going to talk about this at the end of the webinar -- about joining MyPeers because MyPeers has a home visiting community, and posing some of the questions that we're not able to get to, posing them up on MyPeers. And it allows for people to get additional support and answers and strategies from the entire home visiting community. So there's about over 800 people on the home visiting community on MyPeers, so that's a platform to continue the conversation just because of our limitation with time.
Jennifer: Oh, exactly, Angela. Thank you so much, and that gives... We've seen some of the wonderful conversations happening in the chat room, and that would afford an opportunity for people to continue those, sharing your ideas and sharing what's working for them. So here, we had just several that we wanted to share with you about some strategies for working with families and, you know, obviously, observing and highlighting what a parent is doing well.
We mentioned this before. You know, catch them in a positive moment, if you would. Watch for those really wonderful, positive moments and enhance it and be excited about it. I love somebody put a high five. "Yay, high five! What a positive experience we just had, what you just had with your child," and prompting them.
Sometimes, we need to...As I mentioned earlier, we need to say, "Oh, did you see how your child looked to you? Did you see how he wanted your help with that? Did you see that she brought you that toy and is so interested in having you help her?" So again, it's prompting them to realize the impact and the interactions on their -- you know, between their child and themselves. Modeling is often how we do that, too; that we model for a parent something that's happening between ourselves and their children and then prompt them to try it if they wanted to, especially if they've asked for that assistance.
It's sometimes breaking through that reserve that parents have to share with us their feelings about parenting that allows us to use these strategies. Asking. Ask about the child's feelings, cues, frustrations. Ask what they've observed in the last week since you were there and really affirming them as observers and scientists about their own children. And a wonderful place to do that, often, is when you're doing your screening, your developmental screenings, to really have the parent be the person that you ask about their child's development; and continue to use that information from the screener to help educate parents about development and about what they can expect from their child as they grow.
Offer information. I was touched by the fact that somebody mentioned the screen time. You know, there are -- I don't know if it's in PAT, but there are handouts now that are very sensitive to families that explain about screen time, and, you know, often, they're posted in child care settings or they're posted in Early Head Start or Head Start classrooms, and you could just say, "You know, I was going to bring you some of the materials that are posted on the bulletin boards at our center. I thought you might be interested in some of these, this new research that's out." And of course, bringing something that you know they already do well, maybe on nutrition, and then slide the one in there about screen time as just an opportunity to offer information to them.
Some people talk about recording the family home visit. I think that this is a delicate one, and you'll know whether or not your families would respond to that, but I think that recording would have to be with the full agreement of the family that they wanted to watch what was happening between themselves and their child.
So most important thing is to have fun, play; let the families know that the play is a way of promoting development. So, Angela, should we -- because of our time thing, should we move on now into the infograms?
Angela: I think we might have time for a couple minutes of the video. I think it would be helpful.
Jennifer: All righty. I'm going to do that then. We're going to show a video of some examples.
Woman: What did I bring you?
Man: What is that?
Woman: What is that?
Man: What do you see?
Girl: [Speaks indistinctly]
Woman: You want to play with that?
Man: What is that?
Man: Ooh. Oh, now it's on the floor.
Woman: All right. What's this? Ooh, ooh. Told you were going to love me after I leave.
Man: I know.
Woman: I hope you got -- hope you've got a...
Man: It just fell a little.
Woman: ...vacuum. I brought this, but it probably won't keep it all up. I'll try and help you.
Man: We have a vacuum.
Woman: Well, so how have you been?
Girl: [Babbling] The shell!
Man: I've been good.
Woman: Yeah. What is that? That's like a little scoop. Can you keep the rice in the box? Oh, you can. Look at you.
Man: Wow. Good job. Can you do that again?
Woman: Yeah. Oh, my goodness.
Man: Pour it in here. Whoa. Where'd it go? Oh, that's the easy way. She likes the easy way.
Woman: Well, you know what? That's actually pretty good problem-solving, and I have to tell you, what I love about what you just did with her is you encouraged her. And did you see how she is listening to what you say to her?
Man: Yeah, she usually does unless she doesn't want, you know, to do something.
Woman: Well, you know, 2-year-olds are like that. They're not necessarily going to do what we want them to do because, at 2, they have to learn how to be independent from their parents...
Woman:...and start making decisions. She's also developing, you know, like, her social style and trying to tell you what she does and doesn't like. I think she likes this, though. Does it fit?
Man: She's creative, so she likes a lot. She loves to paint and draw and do anything with her mind that she has to process. Like, the block thing that you gave us last year, she loves that thing.
Woman: Okay. Yeah, because she's able to explore with it, right?
Woman: See how she's picking up the rice and holding it in the spoon and then putting it in the cup?
Woman: You know, she's learning a lot of things from that. She learns about space. She's learning about weight, you know, how to manage things, how to hold it with control, so that's the beginning of writing skills, her fine motor. What's Dad doing?
Man: You see that? I think I like this toy more than she does.
Woman: Well, you will laugh, but I bring you this today because, lots of times, I want to show parents things they can do in their house. This was two bags of rice that I bought at Aldi's, okay? These are things that you can find around your home: funnels, cups, spoons. Yeah. Is it full?
Man: It's full, isn't it? Oh, good.
Woman: Oh, my goodness.
Man: That was pretty cool. Are you going to fill it back up? Here, try to do this. Put one under it and see if it can catch it like this.
Man: There we go. Did you see that? That was pretty neat.
Jennifer: So we stopped it and now... Okay. So, you all, what did you -- what did you -- what did you see in the video? If you want to put...The one thing we disagree with is about the rice. I know. I see that. I thought about it when I was -- it came to my mind when I was listening to this. And I'm noticing that many of you are speaking about the father and his... It's so lovely that we have a father figure here.
Jennifer: I saw her providing information quite a bit, describing what was happening with the child. He provided language, yes. The home visitor provided language for what was taking place and was actually offering information, wasn't she? And she -- right -- she was telling the father what he was doing well. They provided a structure for the child. The father did. Uh-huh. Male involvement. Keep them coming, Nancy. Do you see any in the Q&As that you want to point out?
Nancy: No, nothing specific.
Angela: And again, Jennifer, we can always circle back via email.
Jennifer: Okay. All righty. All righty. I'm going to push forward then. Thank you so much, and for those of you that might not have been able to see it, we -- it's in the resources, the link, or we can certainly get that to you. I just went on... Anyway, it's very easy to find wonderful videos. Someone mentioned that they'd shown this to the people that they work with and that it was very, very well received, so that was exciting.
So home visits equals strategies. Socializations equals strategies. All of these are things that we -- you know, our whole home visiting program is an opportunity to describe and work on different strategies. And of course, the strategy that we always want to emphasize is family engagement itself because your role as a home visitor is not only engaging the child but promoting that positive parent-child relationship and also engaging the families as partners in this process, so we don't want to forget about that important term, engagement versus just involvement when parent is showing up and sometimes going to the kitchen and doing the dishes versus staying there with you and being engaged fully in interactions with their child while you're home visiting.
Let's look at some quick guides that might help you look at these. It's a new resource that we have that's just come out of the Parent, Family, Community Engagement Center, and keep it close if you just kind of want a quick review or to share it with others that you work with. We look here at parent-child relationships as three key words, to value the parents, to support the families, and of course, to demonstrate respect; and these go back to the incredible words that you shared earlier when you yourself tried to -- you know, offered definitions for positive parent relationships.
You see the value of this now because it talks about valuing parents and nurturing relationships, and you see in the left column the actions that a home visitor could take and then actual examples of what you might say. So, we'll just read one quickly. "Ask about the family's dreams, hopes, and traditions" is an action, and an example of what you might say is, "I'd like to learn more about your family so I can be supportive. Can you tell me what is important to you and your family?" And so, these are just quick and easy reminders of how we value families.
The next one is how we might support families, and you see, of course, again an action -- three actions and then some examples. And then this last one is respect. Hold families in high respect. And again, we see an activity might be, "Engage families through mutually respectful and flexible interactions," and examples might be, "I noticed you have a basket by the door with shoes in it and that others in your household do not wear shoes in the living area.
Would you like me to remove my shoes when I come in?" I think I would just take my shoes off if I saw that basket, but these are really some nice tools that we are just starting to put out from the center, so we wanted to be sure that you had access to them, and they are included in the resources. So, Angela, to you now.
Angela: Thank you, Jennifer. This has all been such great conversation. And when we're thinking about respect, we're also, you know -- when we talk about respect, it's also respecting and supporting parents when parenting is stressful. So this next section of our webinar, we're going to move a little quickly because we have about five minutes left.
So here, you know, when we're thinking about supporting parents, it's really thinking about how the emotions of parents are expressed during stressful moments with their child and really trying to, you know, ask ourselves, you know, what are some of those -- how do some of those emotions look? Like, when do they come out in terms of through trouble sleeping or -- you know, for both the parent -- how are the emotions of parents expressed? And so I think it's being mindful as home visitors, you know, when parents tell us, you know, they have trouble eating or sleeping, just in their own dealing, you know, various stress components, you know, of everyday life because parenting can be stressful and being supportive of that.
So I think the Zero to Three parent survey talked about almost three out of four parents said parenting was their biggest challenge, and we also know that less than half of parents, 48 percent, reported getting the support they need when they were overwhelmed. So as home visitors, it's often, you know, asking, "What can we do to help support parents further?" And so, just knowing that home visitors, you know -- when, again, home visitors can provide emotional and concrete support. Like, when parents have warm, trusting, and reliable relationships with their peers and family or community members and service providers, they're more likely to have positive relationships with their children.
So to work toward the positive parent-child relationships outcomes, providers and programs can, you know, help parents to connect -- I think, is really important here -- help them to connect with other parents and community members and resources to help provide emotional and concrete support and to model warm and responsive relationships. So just helping them to know that -- you know, providing them with community resources as strategies for helping to reduce stress.
And as home visitors, we can help them to stay connected and to take a break when needed. We talked about this earlier. Many members of our audience talked about self-care and establishing a daily routine as best you can in terms of consistency and routines for the adults.
Jennifer mentioned have fun, and I want to just mention here the importance of mindfulness. So it's really, and again, the importance of connecting them with community resources; right, Jennifer? Think she may be on mute. So again, we've talked a little bit about that.
Jennifer: I'm sorry, Angela. I apologize.
Angela: That's okay.
Angela: So just want to -- You want to tell them about connecting to community resources, and then we're going to go into the resources for everyone that they can make sure that they download before we conclude.
Jennifer: Right, absolutely. Community resources are critical for some of those concerns that you brought up earlier about children's behavior, some concerns that you might have about development, and also of course with stress because some of these are community resources that help with financial, nutrition, health, and mental health, and those of course relate back to all the factors associated with stress that Angela was referring to.
Also, your parenting curriculum can be a resource for helping families. You might have during your socializations used some of the parenting curriculum ideas to share some of the thoughts that you had with families, so again, it's not directed at a single parent but shared with a group of parents. And so, we strongly encourage you – or to invite your home visiting parents to a parent education night that your center is offering, so that's a possibility as well. So on to you, Angela.
Angela: Yes, so we just want to reiterate that all of the resources and links are available to you, along with the slide deck. And we, again, encourage you to join MyPeers' home visiting community where we can continue the conversation, and we really thank you for your time. We are going to take a look at all of the questions that we were not able to get to this afternoon, and we will respond via email; and again, please feel free to upload those questions onto MyPeers. I will show you the link, and that's the link to join the MyPeers community, and also to please make sure you fill out the evaluation link to receive your certificate of completion.
And we really would like to know your thoughts, and again, it helps to support our future ideas for future webinars to really support you in this amazingly important work. And I'd like to thank Jennifer and Nancy and all of our friends and colleagues at PFCE. It's always a wonderful pleasure to collaborate with you, so thank you all for joining us. Jennifer?
Jennifer: Oh, Angela, the feeling is mutual. Thank you so much for putting MyPeers up because I think a lot of the questions that are coming, I could see responses and helpful comments, and we will be on that as well, Angela. And Nancy and I are looking forward to continued conversations, and this has been very helpful for planning the next webinars.
Angela: Thank you so much, and please look at the evaluation link that will be left up on the screen. Erica? Someone's asking for the evaluation link again. And the slides will be... Oh, there she... The link is now in the -- Erica put the link group chat.
Nancy: Okay. I'm not sure that the Q&A people can see it. Can you put it there too, Erica?
Angela: And again, thank you so much for joining us, and we look forward to being with you again in February for our next Home Visiting Webinar.Close
Additional Resources for Supporting Positive Parent-Child Relationships
Find out why it is important to teach positive parenting in home-based programs. Learn ways to help parents manage their reactions to their child’s behavior while promoting healthy child development. Discover how to work with parents to set developmentally appropriate expectations and provide positive guidance and limits.
Resource Type: Article
National Centers: Early Childhood Development, Teaching and Learning
Program Option: Home-Based
Audience: Home Visitors
Series: Home Visitor Series
Last Updated: January 3, 2019