The Art of Parenting

The Art of Parenting

KEY MESSAGES – why is this topic important for you?

• Children need a loving, secure and stimulating environment for their optimum growth and development. For this to happen, their physical, developmental, and emotional and psychosocial needs have to be met. As a home visitor you have opportunities to make both mothers and fathers more aware of these comprehensive needs.

• Positive relationships with parents, caregivers and other family members, as well as stimulating home environments shape the child’s brain’s architecture and influence development across all domains (physical, social/emotional, language and cognitive).

During home visits, you can foster strong relationships between the parents/caregivers and the young child and the stimulating and safe environment young children need for exploration and learning.

• How families support the development of their children has the potential of having a greater impact on developmental outcomes than their socio-economic background. This means that you have opportunities during your home visits to provide families, especially the most vulnerable ones, with the support and information they need to give their children the best start in life, even in situations of social disadvantage.

• You can teach families about four important things they can do  to nurture their young children: love, talk, read and play. Love is just as important as nutritious food for children’s development.  During your home visits, you can provide families with the knowledge and skills on how to talk, play and read with their  children. You can convey to them how love, gentle touch, attention and understanding create strong relationships between parents and children and promote early learning and school readiness. You can explain how children learn through play, why reading is important and how talking with children builds their communication skills.

• During your home visits, empower fathers as well as mothers and build their confidence in parenting to become the best possible fathers for their child.


By the end of this module, you will be able to:

• Describe essential aspects of positive parenting.

• Explain to families the importance of love, talk, read and play for child development.

• Give parents concrete suggestions of things that mothers and fathers can do at different stages of child development.

There is significant global evidence that shows that love and talking, reading and playing with babies and young children are essential for their being able to form positive relationships with others, enhance language development and teach the cognitive skills, social skills (how to relate to others in society), and executive functions (self-control, ability to sustain attention,  etc.) that help children to be ready for school and achieve academically (Wave Trust, 2013).

For example:

• When there is love between the parents or caregivers and the young child, with secure attachment, young children have the confidence to explore their environment and learn (see Module 4 on Falling in Love – Promoting Parent Child Attachment).

• When parents and caregivers create environments rich in spoken language, that is when they talk affectionately with their children, describe what is going on in their environment, and read to them, they have children that at age two have a more extensive receptive and expressive vocabulary. Language development at age two is strongly associated with school readiness (Wave Trust, 2013).

• When mothers and fathers talk to and engage face-to-face with their infants, they each independently contribute to greater social competence and reduced aggression in pre-school age children (Allen, Sarah PhD and Daly Kerry, PhD, May 2007).

• High father sensitivity, involvement in early childcare, play and literacy-related activities (reading) has been associated with secure attachment and greater academic achievement (early reading, math, grades), executive function, and social skills (see also Module 5 on Engaging Fathers) (Fatherhood Institute,2014).

• While poverty often affects the development of young children and their chances in life negatively, research has shown that positive parenting can buffer children against the impact of poverty (Wave Trust, 2013). This is particularly true when families benefit from the support of available services, including.
home visiting.

Under The Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC), parents have the right and responsibility to give their child the best foundation they can by loving, talking, playing and reading to their child.

The CRC asks governments to “provide appropriate assistance to parents in the performance of their child-rearing responsibilities” (art. 18.2)” and “take all appropriate measures to enhance parents’ understanding of their role in their children’s early education, encourage child-rearing practices which are child-centered, encourage respect for the child’s dignity and provide opportunities for developing understanding, self-esteem and self-confidence.”

It further asks early childhood services to complement the parents’ role and develop services in partnership with them, “including through active cooperation between parents, professionals and others in developing ‘the child’s personality, talents and mental and physical abilities to their fullest potential” – art. 29.1 (a) (A Guide to General Comment 7, 2006: 47).

In this module, we will focus on how during home visits, you can support mothers and fathers and other caregivers in concrete ways to fulfil this right and responsibility. You can assist families in creating positive learning environments for their children by talking and interacting, playing, and reading to them.

All these activities build on and strengthen the child’s relationship with the parent/s or caregiver (see Module 4 on Falling in Love – Promoting Parent Child Attachment). During your home visits, you can share with mothers, fathers, and other caregivers that when interactions are responsive, respectful, and responsive to the child’s initiatives to communicate, they are building the foundation for children’s learning and development.

During your home visits, you may also identify others in the family, such as grandparents, older siblings, extended family members or even caregivers in the community who may care for the child during the day.

All of these people can contribute to the child’s development while talking to, playing with, and reading to the child.

Parents should be made aware of the positive contributions that these people can make to their child’s development and share with them some of the information you are providing.



Confirm Subscription

Just use your name and valid email address – I will never sell or share your email address with anyone. NeverYou may unsubscribe anytime. I hate spam just as much as you do.

Regards, Coyalita

Behavioral Health Rehabilitative Specialist & Addiction Counselor

Copyright © 2021-2024 All Rights Reserved Privacy PolicyEarnings DisclaimerTerms of UseContact Us

About Author

Share on Social Media