For the September and October OPEC blogs, we are going to be sharing the voices of Oregon State University students who took a course on “Parenting Research and Application” (HDFS 312).
Students were asked to respond to two questions in their final discussion for the class:
We shared student responses to question 1 in September and are now following-up with their responses to question 2.
Parent education NEEDS to be invested in. Parents are raising the next generation who will care for our communities and these young children need to be shown love and responsiveness by their parents. Raising children is difficult but the more knowledge we have about their development and the needs that each age has the easier it is to understand their behaviors and react appropriately. There are no classes or textbooks that are mandatory before having children, but the more knowledge we acquire the better we can prepare for what is required of us as parents and what to expect from our children.
Yes. I believe that all high school students and college student should take required credit courses on human development and parenting. This introductory knowledge would open young adults up to better understanding their phases of growth and the emotions and turmoil that they may have experienced during youth or puberty. It would also play an important role for them if and when they themselves become parents because they will remember their semester learning about babies, young kids and young adults and this could be a positive influence when deciding which parenting style to adopt based on information provided in school.
Yes, absolutely. I think parenting education is valuable at every stage of development. For parents of newborns it would be very beneficial to understand that picking up your crying child does not spoil them but provides them with secure attachment. Some parents may not realize this. As pointed out through this course many of us parent like we were parented. Gaining greater insight as a parent can certainly do no harm. I know I did. The section we read on “fair ways to fight” definitely made me reflect on my own style of “fighting.”
I do think we should invest in parenting education. I think it is awesome for parents to want to learn more about what exactly their children are going through at what moments and what they can do to help further their growth processes. There’s so much to learn and it is impossible for every parent to know it all, but parenting education could open so many doors to opportunities some parents never even would have known about.
I think that investing in parenting education would be the best thing we could do for families. I believe that if parenting education was more known and accessible that education for children would be more of a positive outlook. I think there is nothing wrong with raising awareness for parenting education, and I think parents would only benefit from these programs.
I do think that we should invest in parenting education. Based on what we have learned through this class about the difference that parenting education can make, it does not make sense to continue shoving parenting education aside. It has such a negative connotation tied to it because it implies that a person does not know how to parent if they need parenting education. It is important to let people know that attending parenting education classes will only help them in their parenting and open them up to new ideas and methods because, let’s face it, no parent gets through life without having problems with their child.
Parenting education can provide support for new and experienced parents. All parents want what is best for their child. Wanting the best and doing what is best, are two different approaches. By investing in parenting education, parents are given helpful tools to encourage character in their children.
Yes I think that we should have parent education. There is a lot of research showing that parent education helps the development of children and prevents juvenile delinquency later in life. It helps the parents understand social, emotional, physical development through every stage. There are so many ego centered and dramatic things that children do that a lot of people have a hard time understanding, but that all comes with knowing the different developmental stages that they go through. Children are ultimately our future and how they grow up really shapes them. These are people who we will be putting into our society and they need to be nurtured, respected, and understood.
Based on what I have both learned, and experienced, we definitely do need to invest in more in parenting education. The committee I am currently apart of are working on a grant proposal to fund additional trainings for us facilitators to meet the needs in our area, specifically our alcohol and drug addiction and recovery population. As stated in the lecture, every child deserves an effective parent, but how can a parent know what is and isn’t effective when raising their child? New parents aren’t give a manual after leaving the hospital. When I am at my wits end, I have sought help from Google and blogs written by fellow parents in the same predicament. The desire for parent education is out there, the only difference parent education classes bring to the table, is that it isn’t on a web page.
I think we should invest in parenting education because parenting is not an innate ability. It’s common to hear from young parents that they’re just “winging parenthood,” but that’s not necessarily the most correct thing to do. Raising a child is not a hobby; it’s a lifestyle and a job. In order to get a good job in the real world, you need to go through years of education. Parenting should be seen similarly, and I’m honestly super happy that I chose HDFS as my second major because it’s given me tips on how to raise my own future children.
Absolutely, I think all parents should take the time to get educated about their child’s development. If you think about it, how can parents raise a child not knowing how their child’s brain works? what affects them positively or negatively? It seems like a gamble that I’m glad I didn’t play.
We really need to invest in Parenting Education now or we will end up paying for it down the road. Children need effective parents and so does our society. When we invest in such programs, it will pay back in huge dividends and in many, many positive ways. Children who have been raised to be loving, secure, respectful members of society, likely give back to society. Children need to be socialized and Parenting Education programs can help teach and guide parents to do just that. I hope that the Federal Government will look to the parenting education and application research and see that the 150 million dollars spent per year on the Healthy Marriage Initiative would be better spent on Parenting Education, and not just exclusive to those who are married with children. The Healthy Marriage Initiative leaves out an astounding 40 percent of children being raised by unmarried parents. Research shows that as long as children’s needs are being met (and these are well defined) the family structure does not matter.
Of course we should invest in it! Because the problems in our communities will never get better (only worse) if we don’t address them at the core…the family. Research has proven that prevention and early intervention can improve the lives of children, who will grow up to be the parents of the future.
Since long before I enrolled in this class I have thought that parenting education would be immensely helpful in our society. In the past 8 weeks, I’ve only grown more supportive of this idea–the profound influence that we have on our children and their lives is far too important to take for granted. Not to simply target populations of parents that have no frame of reference on parenting or know what they are doing, parenting education is something that everybody in our society could benefit from. Individuals should not have to attend college in order to have a more in depth understanding of parenting techniques and child development when it is such a ubiquitous experience in our global population. There are plenty of people in this world who do not have access to basic resources and knowledge needed to be a successful parent–it should be expected for those of us who will have children or work with children to know everything we can in the face of their development and progression as a human. To put it simply, our knowledge or lack thereof does not end with us, it is recycled continuously through our next of kin–future generations deserve to have opportunity at being a responsible, respectful, and contributing member of society.
It is of no question that the investment of parenting education is exceptionally important. We invest in knowledge by investing in each other. We mustn’t forget that we all start somewhere; the power of knowledge is real. The parent who wishes to acquire more knowledge for the benefit of their child is not a bad one.
I absolutely think we should invest in parenting education. Especially for those enter into parenting either be accident, or find themselves in a stressful situation. Not every parent has a co-parent to rely on, or extended family or friends to help them out along the way. I think it is important to offer classes, support groups, and facilities where any new parent can feel comfortable going to to get information, advice, and tools to help them out.
Yes, I think that we should. More than that, let people know it’s available. Get the word out. People, even parents, will not really know anything about child development and parenting unless they’ve learned it, been taught, or sought out the information themselves. I believe the best chance at reducing child abuse/neglect, reducing teen pregnancies, encouraging child development, and building stronger parenting skills MAY be found in parenting education. Education is the answer to many problems. “When you know better, you do better”. If we can measure the effectiveness of these programs, it’s worth it.
I do believe we should invest in parent education. Especially because of family of origin. So many of us base our future parenting skills on how we were parented. So if we can educate parents about child development and get them the best knowledge on how to raise children then we would have a better probability of raising competent children who will turn into successful adults.
Based on what I’ve learned, I definitely think we should invest in parent education. If a parent is not educated when they have their children, it will affect their children in different ways. If their parents are prepared and are ready to be parents, then it’ll be a chain reaction and they will be able to raise their children like they know they can. I think that investing in parent education is also like investing in educating children, and that is always important.
I absolutely believe we should invest in parenting education. Building a better world for our children starts with how we raise them now, and every parent can benefit from learning new skills and techniques that can help them make the best decisions at each stage of child development.
I definitely think we should invest in parenting education even if not financially, emotionally and mentally. Parenting education is primarily understanding your kids and ways to communicate with them so it shouldn’t take up much financial resources but it takes time. Once parents understand to be flexible and authoritative, their relationship with their kids will be amazing and it will even set out examples for their kids to follow when they become parents later on.
I will soon be working as a parent educator and I think it is 100% necessary to invest in parenting education!! This is the core of our society and communities, if we have healthy successful parenting, we are going to have more resilient healthy children who can better contribute to the community. Parenting education should not only be available for at risk and high risk families, it should be for all parents. It’s okay to lean how to play an instrument or do a sport, and start from not knowing how, and taking classes and learning and improving, and I think that it should be the exact same way with parenting. Parents need to learn how to parent just like they need to learn how to do a new hobby. Learning is important for success.
I really do think we should invest in parent education. There are so many people that are uneducated when it comes to parenting which leads to neglect of the child or abusive behavior from the parent since they weren’t educated on how to deal with their child a proper way. I am also in support of anything that will help the world population go down, teen pregnancy plays a factor into that and if we can lower that rate then it would be a huge help. Parent education is important and raising a child is a 24/7 responsibility so why not get educated in something that will be apart of you the rest of your life?
I believe fully we should invest in parenting education! When you want to go hunting or drive a car you must take classes and prepare since you could potentially harm someone, shouldn’t ti be the same for parenting? Not only can potential parents harm someone, but they are responsible for every aspect of their initial development and deserve all the support and education possible in such an endeavor.
For the September and October OPEC blogs, we are going to be sharing the voices of Oregon State University students who took a course on “Parenting Research and Application” (HDFS 312).
At the end of the term, students were asked: What is the most useful piece of advice/information you have learned from this course that you think would be helpful to parents/caregivers?
Here’s what they said!
The most useful piece of information I learned is…
…that there is not one “right” way to parent. While there are many methods and techniques to be a great parent, each child is different and it is important that parents realize that they must work with their child and really understand who their child is. The best way to do this is through creating strong, open communication lines. That is the glue that holds together parents and children. –Cheyenne Fasana
… that the first years of your child’s life is the most critical. I have learned so much about how important it is to talk to your child and to let them talk to you. I have also learned that parent education isn’t as well known or accessible as I think it should be. I have learned so much from this course, and I have already shared so much of this information with family and friends, I can’t wait to keep spreading what I know. –Anonymous
… that parents are their child’s biggest role models. Each child learns so much in a very fast amount of time, and parents have the biggest hand in what they learn. Parenting is hard work, but it can also be extremely rewarding and fun if you teach your child how to swing the ropes of life properly. It’s scary to think that a child is so dependent for many years on a parent, but with the right tactics and the ambition to ask for help, a child can be successful. –Brooke Meyer
… that there are so many different resources available to parents if they need it. A parent who is having their first child is able to find any sort of class that they might need if they feel like they need help preparing and that is a really great thing. –Anonymous
… that I think it is important for parents to know is that there is no such thing as “bad parenting.” Sometimes people may make a bad parenting decision, but that doesn’t mean they are a bad parent. It’s life, and we all make mistakes when it comes to raising children. Every parent has been there, every parent has a “bad parenting” moment. Also, I think all parents should partake in all of the numerous parenting sites/ classes that are available to them! There is so much to learn about your child that can help them in more ways than you may even know. –Morgan Cross
… that there are many forms of discipline. As parents, when we become upset with an action that our child does, we need to stay calm and avoid using inconsistent, irritable, low involvement, rigid and physical punishment. When disciplining, we need to be disciples and remember that our children follow our example. When children are loved unconditionally and reinforced by desirable behaviors, children are going to want to do what is asked of them because they love and respect their parents just as their parent’s love and respect them. -Karalee Behling
…the stages of child development. I believe that if more people understand the natural tendencies for infants, toddlers, preschoolers, school ages up to young adulthood, more parents would find solace in knowing that each is a natural phase of growth and approach the ebbs and flows eager to guide their children through the phase as gracefully as possible. –Anonymous
… the use of natural consequences in parenting versus other forms of discipline. I think as a parent it is so hard to follow through at times and let your child experience that consequence. We do not like to see our child upset or suffer. I think it’s an important concept that stepping back and letting your child experience that consequence provides a learning opportunity for them, and that’s not a negative thing. –Anonymous
… explained in First Compassion, Then Teaching by H. Wallace Goddard. Goddard describes that sensible rules should include at least the following, ”(1) Be careful about the rules you make. (2) Consistently enforce the rules you make. (3) Use consequences (4) Keep the relationship positive. (5) Give children lots of real choices.” I feel like these rules serve as simple reminders, or guidance, to parents and caregivers. -Stephanie Khauv
… how to pick out proper child care and cognitive development of an infant. To me infants are the most challenging to figure out. It is important to know how their mind develops and how you can nurture, and communicate with them at an age when communication is challenging. I really found all of this class useful. I think that any information about children and life is something that every person could use. –Anonymous
… the tips for healthy fighting. Looking over the list I was able to see what strategies my family used when I was young and what I want to improve with my children. I didn’t realize how important it is to truly listen to your child. Also the week we learned about different parenting techniques and how some parents ignore their children and that could make them sexually active at a younger age. SCARY! I’ll remember that forever. –Anonymous
…that more than any other type of parenting style, I learned that when we use an authoritative style of parenting, children are more likely to grow to be caring, respectful, contributing members of society. This means parents need to be nurturing, develop a secure attachment as well as be high in responsiveness and high in expectations- but with reason and explanation. These valuable and effective skills can be acquired from the many evidence based Parenting Education Programs in existence today. Nobody is born knowing how to parent; parenting is a learned skill. Parenting Education is for everybody and our children and society highly benefit from it now, and most assuredly in the future. –Angelynn Proctor
… the breakdown of the different parenting styles. While mentioned in numerous of my previous HDFS classes, I think the intensive and descriptive teaching on each style and it’s effects on the both the child and child-parent relationship has really helped me understand parenthood. Not only in the context of my own desire to have children one day, but also in my career and my relationship with other individuals. In the last couple weeks, I have been unconsciously analyzing myself, my family and friends, my clients even–and making connections between their personality/behavior and the relationships they share with their parents. With my youngest clients especially, this has been incredibly beneficial as I work with both the child and their parents. In order to successfully help families work together when their conflict resolution skills breakdown, it’s incredibly valuable to be able to understand the root of certain tensions and problems within the family dynamic. –Anonymous
… that in a world in which poverty is continuing to rise and resources are rapidly disappearing, the importance of communal effort is paramount for the well-being of our children. People need to know they are not alone in their struggles. The saying “it takes a village” is of much significance in the realm of parenthood. Advocacy for our youth and the betterment of our adults is vital in diminishing the gap of dysfunction and instability. The benefits of such programs far outweigh the negatives. One should not feel shamed in asking for assistance; after all, it is for the sake of raising confident and resilient children. It is of no question that the investment of parenting education is exceptionally important. We invest in knowledge by investing in each other. We mustn’t forget that we all start somewhere; the power of knowledge is real. The parent who wishes to acquire more knowledge for the benefit of their child is not a bad one. -Amanda Sampson
As an educator, I think it is important to start as young as possible when it comes to teaching kids any and all skills they will need when they start school. That includes academic skills, sharing, following directions, following the rules and being respectful to others. Ask questions, share advice and never be afraid to discipline your kids in a loving and respectful manner. –Anonymous
…to seek more information. Always learn new things and best practices, especially when it comes to caring for children and encouraging their development. After loving them and caring for them, there is so much that can be done to ensure they grow into loving, caring, productive human beings. You have to seek out this information. Some aspects of parenting are ingrained, but parenting and child development is so much more complex that it appears. If we are to give children their best chance and give society a fantastic addition, learn all that you can about parenting and child development. -Anonymous
…probably the information on parenting children with special needs. I want to be a teacher, so it was really great to read all the content on the subject. I especially liked the topic of not labeling a student as a “blind student” that their disability does not make define them. This is definitely something I will make sure to be aware of in my classroom. –Anonymous
… to take your time and be patient with kids, especially when you’re raising them to build their own personality with their morals and ethics. A lot of parents nowadays are way too busy working to provide for their family, which is justified because of the rising costs of living, it’s still important to not forget about your kids and just let daycare teach them what they need to know. It’s important as parents to have a basic foundation with your children so you can have open communication with your kids as it will make parenting a lot easier when they understand you. –Tracy Tran
… the perspective of the children, and how we need to acknowledge this and accommodate for it. Kids and adolescents are more likely to act in certain ways because of where they are in their development. –Anonymous
…is the social bond that you need to develop with you and your young child. Doing beneficial activities together help increase the bond between the parent and child. Examples would be like playing friendly games together or washing the dishes, cooking dinner together. –Anonymous
The best thing you can do for your kids is to be there for them. From talking to your baby as you feed him, to being there to answer questions as he cooks a meal for the first time, to listening to him talk about a problem at school as you drive together — these are the moments that give your children a strong foundation from which to succeed. Never underestimate the incredible impact responsive parenting has on raising a healthy, happy, well-adjusted child. -Michelle Tennant
I think one of the most pertinent things from this course was the unit on facilitating optimum cognitive and psychosocial development in adult children. Understandably the focus of parenting is often on the younger years when things are new and parents struggle the most, but support often waivers after adolescence leave parents to try and figure things out on their own while not obtaining new information and fresh ideas. This unit allowed for a perspective that isn’t usually covered and is too often overlooked. –Nichole LeSage
The information provided in this course is all useful. If there was one particular piece that I would hope parents could utilize the most, it is that there is no set path to raising a child once the secure foundation has been provided. Just as every mother will encounter a different birthing experience, every mother will raise a different and unique child, even if they have more than one. A method or technique used with one, might not work with another. Just be patient, and try something different, and never be afraid to ask for help. –Anonymous
Watch for Part II in OPEC’s October blog!
by Shauna Tominey, PhD
One day when my daughter was about three-and-a-half, we were walking together toward our car talking about her day at preschool. Out of the corner of my eye, I noticed a man making his way toward us from across the street. His clothes were torn and unkempt. His hair was wild and his beard was littered with debris.
I tightened my hold on my daughter’s hand, quickened my step, and avoided eye contact as I hurried by, giving all of the signs I could that I would not engage. I breathed a sigh of relief as he passed without so much as a glance.
As we reached the car, my daughter asked:
“Mom, did you see that man?”
“His leg was hurt.”
“How do you know that?”
“He walked funny and had a cane. I hope he is okay.”
The tension I felt making a beeline for the car melted away in that moment. With her words, my daughter taught me an important lesson about empathy.
In my haste to protect my daughter from a perceived threat, I put my own sense of empathy on hold. Although I convinced myself that this man might be a threat to our safety (he wasn’t), the real threat was that he made me feel uncomfortable.
In exchange for saving myself that discomfort, I gave up an opportunity to be the parent that I want to be – the kind of parent who models empathy and kindness, even when it is uncomfortable to do so. Even if all I had to offer was a connection through eye contact or a smile, I could have made another choice – the choice my daughter made to consider the feelings of another human being.
For children and adults alike, empathy matters. Empathy relates to many positive outcomes, ranging from increased pro-social behaviors and cooperation1 to better learning and higher academic outcomes.2
In my past position as the Director of Early Childhood at the Yale Center for Emotional Intelligence and in my new role as an Assistant Professor of Practice/Parenting Education Specialist at Oregon State University, a significant part of my life has been and still is devoted to teaching empathy. What I learned from my daughter is that I have more to learn. When it comes to showing empathy and kindness, we can all be better and do better.
So what can we parents/caregivers and educators of young children do to model and teach empathy? Here are a few ideas!
At this time in our world when societal tensions are high, laying a foundation for empathy feels especially pressing.
A few weeks ago, my daughter overheard a man asking people walking by to buy him a sandwich because he was hungry. She stopped and opened her lunch bag. I had seen this man before with his bloodshot eyes. On other days, I had chosen to walk around him.
Standing with my daughter that day, I made a different choice. The choice to be the model that I want to be. My daughter held out her applesauce and spoon and I said, “my daughter heard you say you were hungry and wanted to share her lunch with you.”
Much to my surprise, the man got down on his knees, looked my daughter in the eyes and gently said, “Thank you. You did the right thing today by sharing. Your mama taught you right. I’m not going to take your lunch because you’re a growing girl and you really need it. I’m already grown. I’m big and I need a big sandwich, but don’t you worry about me. Someone is going to share a sandwich with me soon. Just know that you did the right thing.”
He stood up, gave me a big grin, and gave my daughter a big thumbs up. I apologized for not having money with me to buy him a sandwich. He smiled back, “Don’t worry about that. Just keep teaching your daughter what you’re teaching her.”
I will never forget the lesson in empathy and kindness I learned that day both from my daughter and from our new friend, “Mr. C.” Sometimes as parents, we step out of our own comfort zones for our children. This was one of those times for me and I am grateful that I did.
Mr. C. now smiles and waves whenever we pass his corner. He never asks for money, but always gives my daughter a big thumbs up. I smile and wave back and stop and buy him a sandwich when I can.
I find myself wondering daily: what can I do today to teach my daughter about empathy? Although this is an important question, maybe I should also be asking myself: what will I learn from my daughter about empathy today?
How to Help Your Child Develop Empathy
How Parents Can Cultivate Empathy in Children
Escrito por: Guadalupe Díaz, Cesiah Vega & Dr. Karen Thompson
Los padres cuyos hijos son Estudiantes del Idioma Ingles (ELL por sus siglas en Ingles) a menudo tienen muchas preocupaciones sobre el desarrollo del lenguaje Inglés de sus hijos. Muchos mitos rodean el desarrollo del lenguaje Inglés que puede crear confusión, por lo que es difícil para los padres saber cuales son las mejores estrategias para apoyar a sus hijos. Hemos recopilado las cinco preocupaciones principales que hemos escuchado en varias ocasiones de los padres sobre el desarrollo del lenguaje Inglés de sus hijos. Vamos a hablar abajo sobre cada una de estas preocupación basado en las investigaciones más recientes.
Muchos padres se preocupan que si le hablan su lenguaje nativo a sus hijos hablar en su ellos se retrasará en lenguaje y el crecimiento académico. investigaciones actuales muestra que hablar un idioma nativo puede construir la base del lenguaje que los niños necesitan para aprender un segundo idioma. Una vez que los niños han desarrollado una sólida base lingüística en su primera idioma van a estar mejor preparados para aprender Inglés.
Es un mito muy común que el aprendizaje de dos idiomas puede confundir o agobiar a un niño, pero basado en investigaciones actuales es todo lo contrario. La mayoría de los niños de todo el mundo aprenden más de un idioma. Los niños tienen la capacidad de distinguir entre los dos idiomas a través de diferentes señales para decidir qué idioma es el mas adecuado para utilizar en cada ocasión. Aprender dos idiomas no causará retrasos en la habilidad del niños de aprender Ingles. Además, las investigaciones ha demostrado que el aprendizaje de dos idiomas tiene beneficios cognitivos, socio-cultural, y económicos.
A menudo los padres comparar el desarrollo del lenguaje de sus hijos a otros niños para evaluar si se están desarrollando adecuadamente. Es importante recordar que todos los niños se desarrollan a ritmos diferentes y hay diferentes etapas de la adquisición de una segunda lengua. Las diferentes etapas pueden ayudar a entender donde los niños están en el desarrollo del lenguaje Inglés y la forma de ayudarles a mejorar sus habilidades.
A menudo, cuando los niños no hablan Inglés a cuando terminan la escuela prescolar o el Kinder los padres se preocupan que sus hijos se están quedando atrás. La realidad es que los niños necesita un promedio de 4-7 años para tener fluidez en Inglés. Aprender dos idiomas es un trabajo duro y tenemos que dar a los niños el tiempo suficiente y el apoyo adecuado para dominar los dos idiomas.
Cuando los padres están tomando la decisión de inscribir a sus hijos en programas de Doble inmersión les preocupa que sus hijos se quedarán atrás académicamente y aprenderán Inglés a un ritmo más lento. Las investigaciones ha documentado los beneficios a largo plazo de inscribir a los niños en programas de Doble Inmersión.
Por ejemplo, las investigaciones científicas muestra que, a largo plazo, los niños que están aprendiendo inglés (ELLs por sus siglas en Ingles) tienen más probabilidades de ser competentes en Inglés y dominar el contenido académico cuando están inscritos en programas de Doble Inmersión en vez de programas de Inglés solamente. Además, los programas de Doble Inmersión son más eficaces en cerrar la brecha de rendimiento académico entre los estudiantes que están aprendiendo Ingles (ELLs por sus siglas en Ingles) y estudiantes que ya hablan Ingles.
Para mas información sobre como apoyar a los niños que están aprendiendo ingles (ELLs) valla a:
http://www.colorincolorado.org/es/home (Recursos en Español/Resources in Spanish)
by: Guadalupe Díaz, Cesiah Vega & Dr. Karen Thompson
Parents whose children are English Language Learners often have many concerns about their children’s English language development. Many myths surround English language development that can create confusion, making it difficult for parents to know the best strategies to support their children. We have compiled the top five concerns that we have repeatedly heard from parents about their children’s English language development. We will address each concern based on latest research.
Many parents worried that speaking their native language to their children will delay language and academic growth. Current research shows that speaking a native language can build the language foundation that children need to learn a second language. Once children have developed a strong language foundation in their first language they will be better equipped to learn English.
It is a common myth that learning two languages can confuse and/or overwhelm a child, but based on current research the opposite is true. Most children around the world learn more than one language. Children have the capacity to distinguish between the two languages through different cues to decide which language is appropriate to use in each context. Learning two languages will not cause delays in children’s English language acquisition. Additionally, research has shown that learning two languages has cognitive, sociocultural, and economic benefits.
Often parents compare their children’s language development to other children to assess whether they are developing appropriately. It is important to remember that all children develop at different rates and there are different stages of acquiring a second language. The different stages can help us understand where children are in their English language development and how to help them further their skills.
Often when children are not speaking English by the end of preschool or kindergarten parents become concern that children are falling behind. The reality is that it takes children on average 4-7 years to become fluent in English. Learning two languages is hard work and we need to give children enough time and the appropriate support to master both languages.
When parents are making the decision whether to enroll their children in dual immersion programs they worry that their children will fall behind academically and they will learn English at a slower pace. Research has documented the long-term benefits of enrolling children in dual immersion programs. For example, research shows that in the long-term, children who are English Language Learners are more likely to become proficient in English and master academic content when they are enrolled in dual language immersion programs rather than English-only programs. Additionally, dual immersion programs are more effective at closing the achievement gap between English language learners and non-English language learners.
To find more information on supporting English Language Learners go to: http://www.colorincolorado.org
http://www.colorincolorado.org/es/home (Recursos en Español/Resources in Spanish)
By Megan McClelland, Ph.D.
(Oregon Parenting Education Week Newsletter – 2015)
Although many young children have healthy and positive childhoods, disturbing numbers of children continue to experience abuse. There are a number of ways that this can be prevented including supporting positive and effective parenting strategies. Here are a few tips that parents can use to promote positive health and development in their children.
1. Work on your own self-control Parents who keep themselves calm are more able to respond patiently to their children, even when children are having a temper tantrum. Parents who have an understanding of typical child development are more likely to link children’s behavior to their stage of development. This helps put a child’s behavior in perspective. Children also model their parent’s behavior. For example, if you start yelling in your car in a fit of road rage, your child will learn to solve problems by yelling too. Promoting strong self-control in children is important because it predicts how they do in school, how they get along with others, and many long-term outcomes such as stronger health and better educational attainment (e.g., graduating from college).
2.Develop a warm and responsive parenting style but keep your expectations high too! Parents who are warm and responsive with their children have stronger relationships with them. But don’t give up your expectations! Children with warm but firm parents are more likely to comply with adult demands and act in more moral ways. They are also more likely to do better in school, have stronger self-esteem, and a better sense of who they are.
3.Talk, talk, talk with your child! Key to developing a positive relationship with your child is to talk with them as soon as they are born and keep talking to them! Use trips to the store, bath time, and meal time as important time with your child. Do not spend this time on cell phones or other mobile devices – it can lead you to be impatient and inattentive with your child. Even if your child is too young to talk, talk to them about what you have to do that day or what you are buying at the store. As they get older, listen to them and ask open-ended questions. Early vocabulary and language skills are important precursors to school readiness and will also promote a strong bond with children.
4.Get help when you need it! Parenting is Hard! We all need breaks, even if we have resources, a supportive partner, and a job that we love. Remember to give yourself a break! Exercising (even if it’s just going for a walk), having time and space to calm down, and getting enough sleep all helps promote positive parenting. For example, research has shown that using mindfulness practices and meditation can lower cortisol (a stress hormone) and promote better parenting. Learning positive parenting strategies is an important way to improve your parenting and your child’s development. Go to parenting classes and access resources! A few good resources include: http://www.joinvroom.org, www.pbs.org/wholechild/parents/building.html, and http://www.zerotothree.org/child-development/.
By Jenn Finders & John Geldhof, Ph.D.
(Oregon Parenting Education Week Newsletter – 2015)
Parenting education classes are an important resource for families. Sadly, common myths keep many families from taking part. Many parents see these classes as a way to correct other people’s bad behaviors. They do not understand that all parents have something to gain from classes based on the latest research.
We tend to see interventions as something that “fix” people. If parents see parenting education only as an intervention, they assume the classes are only meant for bad parents. Parents who go to the classes must be doing something wrong; otherwise they wouldn’t need to go.
Parenting education is not an intervention. Parenting classes can teach all parents important new skills. In fact, research done at Oregon State University shows that low-income, higher-income, court-mandated, and voluntary parents all benefit from parenting education equally.
Education is just as important for raising a child as it is for having one. For example, many parents learn about giving birth from friends and family, but they also take childbirth classes to better prepare for the event. By working to remove the stigma from parenting education, we can teach parents that these classes can likewise supplement the advice they get from their friends and families, teaching them:
To find out more about parenting classes in your area, contact your local parenting education hub: http://health.oregonstate.edu/hallie-ford/oregon-parenting-education/opec-hubs
By Megan MacDonald, PhD & Erica Twardzik
(Oregon Parenting Education Week Newsletter – 2015)
You are your child’s advocate for physical activity and exercise. One way you can support your preschool child with a disability to be active is by making sure that physical activity is included in your Individualized Family Service Plan (IFSP). An IFSP is a plan that you help to create so your child has access to the services that they need. Physical activity/physical education is included in this plan. The steps below are ways you can get the ball rolling for inclusion of physical activity services to an IFSP in Oregon.
Step 1: Make a referral
To create an IFSP for your child you will first need to make a referral. Referring your child will include sharing concerns that you have about your child’s development. In the state of Oregon services for young children with a disability are provided by the education department: http://www.ode.state.or.us/search/page/?id=1690
Step 2: Evaluation
An evaluation will help you learn your child’s specific strengths and needs in order to be physically active. This can help you and your doctor find physical activities that will be fun and the right fit for your child.
Step 3: What is available around you?
Physical activity in your area can be found through local community organizations. Well established programs in the state of Oregon include, but are not limited to: Special Olympics, Boys & Girls Clubs, Parks & Recreation, Family YMCA’s, and other local community based programs. You can also contact United Way to ask about help for your child in these programs.
Step 4: Remember you are your child’s strongest believer!
The goal is to find physical activities that your child will enjoy. But, if your child is having difficulty with the activity you can ask for the right supports be added to your child’s IFSP. This will make sure that your child has the best chance at success. You as parents have the power to make a positive impact on your child’s physical activity and exercise experiences.
By Denise Rennekamp, M.S.
(Oregon Parenting Education Week Newsletter – 2015)
Adequate sleep is important to your child’s overall health, growth, and development. Children who do not get enough sleep are less mentally alert and easily distracted. Lack of sleep can also cause a child to be more physically impulsive. Establishing a calming naptime/bedtime routine can help your child get to sleep faster and awake rested. Although each child and family situation is unique, the following ideas may be helpful.
“Consistency is key to success. If you are co-parenting, discuss bedtime routines and work as a team. A well-rested child equals a more rested parent.”
For more parenting tips contact your local OPEC Parenting Hub!