KIPS Blog: Parenting Assessment in Practice & Research

Count All Kids in Census 2020: Child Health & Schools Depend On it!

Posted by Marilee Comfort on Thu, Mar 12, 2020 @ 11:51 AM

Young children are too often missed in the Census counts.  We need the Census 2020 to be a full count of all of our children and families. The Count All Kids Campaign is reaching out nationwide to work with community advocates, policy makers, service providers, schools, and childcare programs to inform and persuade families with young children to fill out the census questionnaires and include ALL of their children from birth through 18 years old.  In the 2010 census it’s estimated that more than 2 million children were missed. The largest age group missed was children birth to five years old. This resulted in 36 states in the US losing over $500 million a year in funding from programs such as Medicaid, children’s health, foster care, adoption assistance and foster care. School districts lost nearly $1700 per year for every child missed. More than 300 federal programs use census data to determine how federal funds are allocated to state and local governments. These dollars fund childcare, schools, children’s health insurance, school meals, housing assistance, roads and highways, plus numerous other services.  

Image: https://www.sesameworkshop.org/press-room/2020-census-kit

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Tags: Parenting Assessment, engagement-parent, family, community, family support-partnership-services

Get Kids & Families Ready for School. It’s All About Relationships!

Posted by Marilee Comfort on Fri, Feb 28, 2020 @ 02:00 PM

Years ago, we used to hold preschool teachers responsible for preparing children for school. Today, we realize that early learning begins at home with babies and their families. Yet, many families of young children need information and support to nurture their children's learning and to navigate the early years of their children's development. The most effective early childhood programs are built around a commitment to family-staff partnerships that focus on both the child and the parent. With the proliferation of Birth to 5 programs, collaborative teams of families and practitioners typically partner to ensure that children are ready for school. A specialized team that includes therapists and/or infant/family mental health specialists is often needed for children at high risk for developmental delays or with disabilities who may need extra support.

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Tags: Parenting Assessment, parent-child relationship, school readiness, early intervention, engagement-parent, family, community, family support-partnership-services, Getting Ready model, children with disabilities

How Can We Help Parents Cope with the Burden of Toxic Stress?

Posted by Marilee Comfort on Fri, Dec 06, 2019 @ 11:54 AM

Do the Holidays Bring Joy or Stress?

A little stress in life can be useful. It may motivate people to stop procrastinating, take better care of their health, or explore new opportunities. However, too often the lavishness of the holidays depicted in stores and in advertisements may bring families stress rather than joy. These messages may act as reminders of the stress from lack of food and clothing for their family, lack of safe, stable housing, insufficient health care, or violence in their family or neighborhood.  This stress for parents and children may grow heavier in the face of our society’s extravagant holiday glee.  Eventually, the accumulation of such burdens takes a toll on parents’ and children’s mental or physical health and well-being.  The continual weight can lead to toxic stress when powerful, frequent or ongoing harmful experiences trigger a person’s defenses to freeze, fight or flee.  Carrying this burden of toxic stress can be so overwhelming that it disrupts a family’s nurturance, their relationships and routines.

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Tags: parent-child relationship, engagement-parent, family, community, adverse experiences/toxic stress, family support-partnership-services, coping with stress

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