Easy Ways Parents Put Science Lessons into Everyday Living

Over the last days, we have examined the Harvard University Center on the Developing Child report “Three Principles to Improve Outcomes for Children and Families” and explored ways that scientific findings about childhood development can help make better public policy.

But what about better parenting? Here are some quick tips, based on the report:

  • Practice “serve-and-return interaction” with your children in a wide range of settings. We noted how serve and return works here: “When an infant or young child babbles, gestures, or cries, and an adult responds appropriately with eye contact, words, or a hug, neural connections are built and strengthened in the child’s brain that support the development of communication and social skills.”
  • Take baby steps – with your child and with yourself. You both are learning, and neither one of you can be expected to fully master being a parent or a child all at once!
  • Work with professionals and other parents to “learn and practice new skills” that are appropriate for your child’s age. Don’t forget – as they grow, your skills need to change, too.
  • Get help. A stable and supportive home environment with consistent and predictable routines is helpful for your child’s development. But of course, life is not always stable. Don’t be afraid to seek help from professionals and local agencies.


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