5 Things Students Want Parents To Know

Parents did you know that your children are the first generation in the history of the world that has access to the entire world without leaving your home?  Children face challenges in their neighborhood but the neighborhood of today is also online as well as the house next door.  Children want parents to become more aware of how important it is for parents to be aware of their definition of neighbors and not just neighbors as defined by mom and dad.  Regardless of how large a child’s neighborhood may grow, children still want parents to know that it is important for family to be involved in their daily lives.

Family and Environment
A large number of different family patterns and environments play an important role in
children’s developmental patterns. Early in life, for example, chaotic or depriving caregiving
can severely disrupt many areas of mental functioning, including language, social and emotional
capacities, and the ability to process information and learn. Mounting evidence suggests that
these environmental patterns affect not only the child’s mind, but the structure of his or her
central nervous system. By the same token, favorable and enriched experiences tailored to the
individual needs of the child and his or her family can exert very positive developmental
influences (Shonkoff & Phillips, 2000).
Therefore, family and environmental patterns are important components of early
identification and preventive intervention efforts. Understanding these patterns is essential for
appreciating the nature of the developmental risk, the mechanism through which it is occurring,
and the type of program that will be required to work with it.
Clinical experience and research also suggests that attempts at early identification of
challenges with at-risk families requires ongoing trusting relationships and an understanding of
the beliefs, values, and coping strategies of caregivers (e.g., for obtaining reliable information
about a child’s development). Asking a parent about an area of the child’s functioning that is
very important to the parent will often lead to a rich description, in comparison to a question
about whether the child has this or that problem.
Yet, creating relationships that will facilitate communication and understanding and lead
to the reliable identification of challenges in at-risk groups is very difficult to do with large
numbers of children and families, especially with multi-problem families. Furthermore, multiproblem families often evidence multi-generational patterns of marginal functioning
characterized by learning problems, delinquency, criminal activity, and mental health disorders
(Buell, 1952; Greenspan, et al., 1987). A number of mental health disorders that can interfere
with caregiving, such as maternal depression, can be present in any family.

For additional information go to: http://www.cdc.gov/ncbddd/dd/

Question For Parents:  What does your child talk with you about that surprises you and how do you talk with your children?

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