Parenting in Early Childhood
Parenting is the family involvement process that includes the attitudes, values, and practices of parents in raising young children. Nurturing, warm, and responsive parent–child relationships and parental participation in child-centered activities relate to positive learning outcomes in early childhood.
Nurturing relationships provide an emotional refuge for children, fostering the development of a healthy sense of belonging, self-esteem, and well-being. When parents are sensitive and responsive to children's emotions, children are more likely to become socially competent and show better communication skills.
When children are entrusted to our care, we begin a partnership with their families.
For this partnership to thrive and flourish it is important for the relationships to be built on a foundation of trust and open, positive communication. Working together, in an alliance built for the well-being of the child, can only foster optimum development. Forging that alliance can be fraught with peril, however.
Positive communication skills are essential to establishing a trusting relationship with families. Understanding each other leads to continuity between the home and the care giving environment. Mutual respect is essential for navigating a relationship between the adults that can be complicated, intense and emotional for everyone. Establishing this kind of relationship takes a specific set of skills and attitudes.
How we care for children naturally reflects our values and beliefs. Parents and caregivers may disagree on what is important for the child. Each party brings a unique perspective. Parents are the experts on their own child. Caregivers’ expertise about child development and offering appropriate program elements foster that development. Sometimes the language that parents and caregivers use to describe events, activities, thoughts or beliefs can be misunderstood.
Establishing a common language and identifying other influences on communication is important.
Creating relationships with parents is important and the building blocks of strong parent-staff relationships include reflection, collaboration and regularity. Observing carefully, asking questions and listening are all important skills to establish mutual respect.