As a parent, you need accurate information about raising your children and the appropriate expectations for their behavior. Knowledge of Parenting & Child Development helps to define what parenting looks like when families have good information and skills to help their children at every stage of development.
Promoting healthy child development
Having an environment where your child can express themselves freely is important to their developmental growth. Encourage open conversations by talking with your child daily – no matter their age. Talking, reading and singing with your child from day one promotes positive parent-child attachments, protection, brain development and reduces the word gap. You also fill their brains with words and thoughts that make all the difference to their happiness and future. Champions for Children’s Talk Read Sing program offers tips and activities for age-based child development to ensure your child succeeds in school and life. For more information, visit talkreadsingtampabay.org.
Using teachable moments also helps your child’s development. A teachable moment can be letting your child help with household chores or helping you prepare a meal. They can stir, scoop and mold food in the kitchen, as well as help with cleanup. This gives you an opportunity to talk about healthy food, bond and take pride in the meal you both will eat together. It also helps them develop a passion for a life skill they will need to be a successful adult. It can even be as simple as pointing out colors, shape or animals as you go for a walk.
Trying new parenting strategies
You may already know a lot about being a great parent, but there’s always more to learn. By understanding how children develop physically and emotionally, you can know what to expect as your child grows up. You can also learn from other parents (as well as experts) effective strategies for handling children’s challenging behaviors without harsh punishment.
Try seeking out activities that will allow your child to develop their social skills and help them cooperate with others. Creating and eating meals together, learning how to dance or play an instrument, and playing sports are all great examples. Age-appropriate versions of these activities for very little ones work well – and in the social distancing era, you can even try them with friends on a group video chat!
Participating in play-dates or playgroups allows your child to interact with other children who are around the same age. Champions for Children offers playgroups (including virtually) that support your child’s social, emotional, physical and cognitive development through sensory materials, songs and positive interactions. For more information about joining a playgroup, call 813-673-4646.
Utilizing parenting resources
There are an abundance of resources available to you as a parent, but how do you find them? Whatever your parenting question, there are so many resources available online for you to check out! Whether it’s finding online parenting communities, advice, educational videos, or activities you can join, never hesitate to Google what’s on your mind.
Social media can offer you help with parenting issues or to get information on child development. You can post topics on social media to see if other parents relate and have feedback. This can help you feel like you are not alone and have options to discuss these things if you choose. You can also join parenting groups on Facebook to see what other parents are doing to help their children. Internet research is also a good option to help you find supporting facts for topics you may have found on social media.
The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is a fact-based website you can use to help you find effective parenting practices, positive parenting tips and learn about developmental milestones. Visit their website for more information: https://www.cdc.gov/ncbddd/childdevelopment/facts.html
Champions for Children has many resources available for you and your child. We offer parenting classes, developmental screenings, playgroups for your children and so much more. For more information about the resources available to you, visit cfctb.org.
Exploring your parenting concerns
Walk through challenging situations with your parent friends and family members. These people are a part of the village it takes to raise your child. Acknowledging similar challenges and actions can help both you and your family/friends guide each other to figure out what’s best for your children.
Self reflection is always important, though especially when it comes to your child. Are the expectations you have placed on your child responsible for their age? Using the Brookes Publishing Ages and Stages Questionnaires, children as young as 1 month of age to 66 months of age are eligible for a complimentary developmental checkup at Champions. Learn more about your child’s milestones, how to best foster their development, and community resources that may support you and your family. Contact Elena Medina, our Developmental Screening Specialist, to get more information and schedule an appointment at 813-530-6459 or email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Recognizing your strengths and weaknesses as a parent helps you be the best parent you can be for your child. You don’t have to be the perfect parent to be a good parent. Doing your best is the most important thing about being a parent. Be willing to ask for advice from parents who you think are doing a good job. Conscientiously learning from other parents and acknowledging their parenting techniques fosters positive strength-based parenting.
Sharing is caring. Share your parenting stories with other parents. Your past struggles can help other parents learn how to move forward with their children.
When you have more knowledge on parenting, you are more likely to engage in positive parenting practices, whereas when you have less knowledge it is easy to get frustrated and engage in negative parenting behaviors. Because of this, Champions for Children offers parenting programs and services for families with infants and toddlers to aim to improve your knowledge of child development and healthy care-giving practices. See our virtual programs list here to see how we can help you, even during COVID-19.