KIPS Blog: Parenting Assessment in Practice & Research

Marilee Comfort

Recent Posts

New Muppet Helps Kids and Families Talk About Foster Care

Posted by Marilee Comfort on Fri, Aug 16, 2019 @ 11:17 AM

This summer Sesame Street in Communities introduced a new Muppet named Karli to its young audience with the help of Elmo, one of their most beloved characters.

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Tags: Parenting Assessment, family support-partnership-services, foster children, foster families

How-to Video: Serve & Return Parenting Builds Healthy Brains and Relationships

Posted by Marilee Comfort on Thu, Jun 06, 2019 @ 02:32 PM

Have you ever wondered how to explain “responsive parenting”?  It’s not easy to put into words.  It’s much easier to illustrate and understand using video.  Take a look at a new video, How to: 5 Steps for Brain Building Serve and Return, from the Center on the Developing Child at Harvard University.  It walks step-by-step through video examples of parents and other caregivers as they play, shop, and cook with their young children.  The video shows each responsive adult’s undivided attention as s/he notices a child’s action, then follows the child’s lead to respond.  These “serve and return” interactions happen when a child says or does something and the adult responds in a timely and focused manner to support the child’s action.  Such continual back-and-forth interactions are essential parenting skills that build the child’s brain and the parent-child relationship during the earliest years of development from birth to 5 years.

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Tags: parent-child relationship, brain development, parent coaching, parenting videos

Listen to Children! Our Climate Needs Protection. Earth Day Is Everyday!

Posted by Marilee Comfort on Tue, Mar 05, 2019 @ 03:27 PM

Can we listen and learn from our children?  Yes, we must!  Just listen to the wisdom of Swedish climate activist, Greta Thunberg, age 15 years, who has sparked a worldwide children’s campaign to protect our climate.  Last year she became so depressed witnessing the lethargy of adults’ inaction to protect our climate that she left school and spent 3 weeks protesting outside of the Swedish Parliament to spur politicians’ action. Soon after she began taking Fridays off from school to continue her protest.  Greta has spotlighted what she deems the greatest worldwide crisis facing us today. A crisis which severely impacts children’s future. 

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Tags: Parenting Assessment, climate change, child health,development, learning, Earth Day

Protect Children, Reduce Impact of Neglect. Build Nurturing Parenting

Posted by Marilee Comfort on Wed, Feb 13, 2019 @ 12:21 PM

 Since 2017 we have been witnessing a devastating US practice of separating immigrant children from their families at the US-Mexico border.  In early February 2019, Dr. Jack Shonkoff stepped forward to testify to a U.S. Congressional committee that is investigating the response of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services to this family separation policy  He explained that the trauma that can be caused by such forced family separation and the long-term effects of toxic stress will continue to accumulate until children and their parents/caregivers are reunited. His testimony presented the scientific evidence needed to analyze the effects of the family separation policy.  Dr. Shonkoff is a renowned pediatrician, researcher and the Director of the Center on the Developing Child at Harvard University.  He went on to clarify:

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Tags: parent-child relationship, parenting assessments, child abuse/neglect prevention, adverse experiences/toxic stress, nurturing parenting

Pediatricians Say Best Parenting Uses Positive Discipline

Posted by Marilee Comfort on Thu, Nov 29, 2018 @ 09:13 AM

The holiday season can be full of both joys and stresses as families and friends gather together.  For parents, that may mean it’s time to stock up on extra patience when children react with challenging behaviors as the usual family routines are disrupted.  I have no doubt that those of you reading this blog advise families to “catch children being good” and use positive discipline strategies in keeping with their children’s development. You’ll be glad to hear that you’ve now got back-up from pediatricians!  This month the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) released a well-grounded policy statement which guides pediatricians to educate parents regarding positive discipline strategies to teach children appropriate behavior, and protect them from the long-term adverse effects of corporal punishment, shaming and yelling at children.

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Tags: Parenting Assessment, setting limits, positive discipline, corporal punishment

Five Ways to Prepare for a Baby as a Single Disabled Parent

Posted by Marilee Comfort on Wed, Oct 10, 2018 @ 04:01 PM

Guest Blog by

Ashley Taylor

Ashley Taylor is a freelance writer, photographer, and advocate for people with disabilities. 

She created Disabled Parents.org to provide information and resources to other parents with disabilities. 

When she isn’t working, she enjoys spending time with her husband and two children.

 

Becoming a parent is an immense privilege, but it's also a time full of challenges. Having a disability can complicate things, and as a single parent, there are other obstacles to overcome. However, the joys that come with parenthood are profound, and with the right preparation, the stresses and challenges we face can be overcome. 

Image Courtesy of Pixabay.com

 

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Tags: Parenting Assessment, parenting stress, family support-partnership-services, parenting support, parents with disabilities

Parenting Assessment Maps Interactions of Families of Children with Speech Delays

Posted by Marilee Comfort on Wed, Sep 12, 2018 @ 12:02 PM

Guest Blog by

Nur Rahmadina

Faculty of Medicine, YARSI University

Anna Luthfiana

Departement of Neurology, Faculty of Medicine, YARSI University

Jakarta, Indonesia

Background

In our Indonesian pediatric practice, parents often report that their young children have delayed speech. Both intrinsic factors and extrinsic factors may affect delayed speech. Research shows that better parenting is associated with better child development, including speech and language development.  We wanted to see if one of the extrinsic factors might be the parent-child relationship and the interaction within the family. This clinical study was conducted to explore the parent-child interactions of Indonesian families with young children with speech delays. 

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Tags: Parenting Assessment, parent-child interaction, language skills

Do Cell Phones Enhance Parenting Interventions Over Long-Term?

Posted by Marilee Comfort on Tue, May 15, 2018 @ 04:19 PM

Cell Phones Are Everywhere!

Today 75% of U.S. adults own a smart phone, compared to 35% in 2011. A hefty 92% of 18- to 29-year-olds own a smartphone, versus 42% of adults ages 65 and older. As researchers Hirsh-Pasek and Golinkoff have found, when parents let screen time interrupt their social interactions with their young children, it can hinder their young children’s development. It’s up to parents to use cell phones responsibly, as a resource rather than a disruption, during their activities with their children.  Can family services providers turn the ubiquitous presence of cell phones into an advantage for families and children?

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Tags: parenting outcomes, Parenting Assessment, parent-child interaction, engagement-parent, family, community, SafeCare, maternal depression, retention, PCI, cell phones, text messaging

Oprah: A New ACEs Champion

Posted by Marilee Comfort on Tue, Mar 20, 2018 @ 02:08 PM

Oprah Discovers ACES!

Oprah has become a passionate champion for broadcasting the alarming impact of ACEs (Adverse Childhood Experiences). ACEs refers to the profound long-term impact that traumatic childhood experiences have on health and well-being. One could hardly find a more beloved TV/movie personality and billionaire to champion this long-overlooked cause! In a recent segment on the 60 Minutes television series

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Tags: Parenting Assessment, parent-child relationship, court involved, adverse experiences/toxic stress, ACE

Mindfulness Builds Positive Parenting for Moms in Opioid Use Treatment

Posted by Marilee Comfort on Wed, Nov 29, 2017 @ 12:59 PM

I’m delighted to share the results of a research study on a mindfulness-based parenting (MBP) intervention for mothers in treatment for opioid use disorders. With the abundance of news reports about the opioid epidemic, it’s heartening to share some good news regarding families affected by opioid misuse. This study is of special interest to me because it was carried out at the women’s substance abuse treatment center in Philadelphia where I worked for nine years.  As someone who formerly worked in this challenging field, I found this article inspiring. This relatively brief and inexpensive MBP group intervention produced an incredibly large change in the parenting behavior of mothers who struggled with multiple risk factors. 

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Tags: parenting behavior, mindfulness based parenting, adverse experiences/toxic stress, ACE, opioid addiction, opioid use treatment