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Becoming the parent you want to be


Being a parent is the most important job you will ever have. But it isn’t without challenges. The job can be made easier by preparing yourself for each developmental stage and continuing to learn techniques to connect with your children. The parenting process includes nurturing, protecting and guiding your child. Here are a few ways to positively influence your children:

  • Talk often with your children from the day they are born.
  • Hug them, hold them and respond to their needs and interests.
  • Listen carefully as your children communicate with you.
  • Read aloud to your children every day, even when they are babies. Play and sing with them often.
  • Say “yes” and “I love you” as much as you say “no” and don’t.”
  • Ensure a safe, orderly and predictable environment, wherever they are.
  • Set limits on their behavior and discipline them calmly and not harshly.
  • Learn about each stage of your child’s development so you can respond to their needs and behavior appropriately.

Many jobs and roles require training to optimize performance and outcomes. As you think about your important role in helping your child grow and develop, consider taking advantage of parenting education opportunities in your community. These opportunities will not only introduce you to information about effective parenting practices, but will also give you a chance to interact with other parents.

Denise Rennekamp, M.S.
Outreach Coordinator
Hallie E. Ford Center for Healthy Children & Families
College of Public Health and Human Sciences
Oregon State University

This is posted in conjunction with Oregon Parenting Education Week 2013

The Hallie Ford Center for Healthy Children and Families promotes the development and well being of children, youth and families by generating, translating and sharing research-based knowledge.

The Oregon Parenting Education Collaborative (OPEC) supports delivery of high quality parenting education programs and collaborative efforts to strengthen regional parenting education systems.

OPEC is a partnership of four of Oregon’s largest foundations (The Oregon Community Foundation, The Ford Family Foundation, The Meyer Memorial Trust and The Collins Foundation) and Oregon State University.