A family is more than the sum of its parts – it is a system, and the actions or experiences of one family member can influence all members of the system. Children’s early experiences have a significant impact on their development, health and overall well-being that can effect their readiness to learn in kindergarten and on into adulthood. Parents as Teachers Guilford County partners with families to build strong families in an enviornment that promotes positive child devlopment.
Parent Educators approach this topic by helping families identify their strengths and build on them to promote positive development and help build these specific protective factors:
- Parental resilience is the ability to cope and bounce back from all types of challenges
- Social Connections are the friends, family members, neighbors and other members of a community who provide emotional support through positive relationships.
- Knowledge of parenting and child development refers to the need for accurate information about raising your children, including appropriate expectations for their behavior and supportive parenting strategies.
- Concrete support in times of need is the financial security to cover day-to-day expenses and unexpected costs, access to formal supports like government programs, and informal support from social networks.
- Social and emotional competence of children is their ability to interact positively with others, communicate emotions effectively, and maintain relationships.
Information about these protective factors and how to build them is embeded in the PAT curriculum and are addressed during personal visits and group connections, most of the time during comfortable conversations.