The Vital Role of Parents

Craven County Children

From: Too Small to Fail – Clinton Foundation and Next Generation

Parents keep children safe and healthy – it’s in our genes to look out for our children’s well-being. We react instinctively when a child is in harm’s way.

The more we learn about how children develop, the more we know about the crucial role of parents in those moments when a child isn’t in danger. Parents play a vital role in their children’s social and emotional development by providing quality engagement that stimulates brain growth and increases their learning potential. Those every day interactions are the keys to a child’s long-term potential.

Research has shown that meaningful family engagement – the amount of time parents spend talking with their children, reading them a book, cuddling them or asking about their day – has a direct impact on learning and motivation. Very young children thrive when their parents spend time talking, reading, and singing to them every day and when their parents remain calm during emotional outbursts or stressful situations. Older children benefit from parents who ask about their friends, establish a homework routine, and carve out quiet study time.

All children benefit when parents and caregivers establish routines in their home, whether around family meal times, bedtimes or bath times. Routines that begin early can pave the way for habits that last into adulthood. A routine as simple as reading to a child before bed contributes to her healthy brain development and sets her up to become a successful, lifelong reader.

No matter the activity, parents play a critical role in their children’s growth and education from birth on, and help establish the emotional and cognitive foundation that their children’s lives will be built upon.

As Prevent Child Abuse Month comes to a close let us all remember that it isn’t just a one month event, but it is the most important work we must all do every day of every year to raise strong children in our community.  Whether you are a parent or a grandparent or a friend you can help in some way to PREVENT CHILD ABUSE!

Submitted by: Terry Brubaker, Community Coalition for Craven County Children 

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