KIPS Blog: Parenting Assessment in Practice & Research

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

Child Poverty’s Impact on Our Future

Posted by Marilee Comfort on Mon, Nov 09, 2015 @ 07:05 PM

A new report, Income and Poverty in the United Sates: 2014 details the most current statistics for children and families in the United States, the largest economy in the world.  The title tells the story.  Despite the encouraging steps toward recovery from the 2008-09 recession in terms of employment, the US continues to be a society of the “haves and have-nots”.  The new poverty statistics are sadly too familiar.  I find it appalling that 21.1% of children under age 18 and 23.5% of children under age 6 live in poverty in the US!  Even worse, more than half, 55.1% of children under 6 years who live in families headed by single mothers live in poverty!  (See Income and Poverty in the United Sates: 2014, pages 14-15 for more details on children living in poverty).  Considering the trends over the past 50 years, we clearly are not winning the War on Poverty.

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Tags: Parenting Assessment, parent-child relationship, brain development, poverty

Parental Adversity, Brain Development & Early Intervention

Posted by Phil Gordon on Wed, Dec 04, 2013 @ 01:58 AM

Parents with current and past adversity may end up parenting in a way that poses a threat to the baby; this refers to all forms of maltreatment, and in turn the baby's entire neuro-hormonal system will adapt to its emotional environment creating structures and responses that become the foundation for future development.  Thus, “From a basic biological perspective, the child’s neuronal system – the structure and functioning of the developing brain – is shaped by the parent’s more mature brain” (Siegal, 1999:278).  Through early detection and intervention we can repair relationships and support parents in nurturing their children to promote healthy neurobiological development.

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Tags: Parenting Assessment, brain development, trauma, adverse experiences/toxic stress, child health,development, learning