All of us in the KIPS community believe that parents play a critical role in promoting children’s healthy development. So it was a precious gift to discover a book this summer that validates the invaluable role of parents and the work we do to support parents. Like tending a garden, parents must protect and nurture their babies, toddlers and children until they can navigate on their own in the wider world. As we all know, it takes plenty of support from trusted souls like us for parents to gain the knowledge and skills to do the tough job of parenting.Read More
KIPS Blog: Parenting Assessment in Practice & Research
The National Smart Start Conference will be held in Greensboro, NC the first week of May.
For a close look at innovative strategies in health, education and family support programs, conference participants can choose from more than 60 workshops during the 3-day conference. This is one of my favorite early childhood conferences because of its manageable size (approximately 1000 participants from across the US), the openness of participants to sharing ideas, and mixing of early education and family support practitioners ranging from frontline teachers and family support workers to administrators, evaluators, researchers and policymakers.Read More
Recently, I was talking with a couple of service providers taking the online Keys to Interactive Parenting Course (KIPS). They both found learning the parenting assessment’s item on promoting exploration and curiosity particularly challenging. This item was a late addition in the development of the parenting assessment, and the psychometrics showed that it complemented the other 11 KIPS items. Long after KIPS was finalized, we came upon the work of Todd Kashdan at George Mason University, which further reinforced the importance of including this item in assessing parenting. My thinking about exploration and curiosity has been deeply influenced by Kashdan’s book entitled: Curious: Discover the Missing Ingredient to a Fulfilling Life (2009, Harper Collins). Kashdan argues that curiosity is among the most valuable of traits, because if one is curious, then one has the ability to learn and adapt. He further states, “Children are born with boundless curiosity.” (p.7). It is our upbringing, schooling and society that constrain this birthright. He also stresses that play provides a safe opportunity to explore. This reinforces the use of play as the focus of the KIPS structured parent-child observation.