Decades of research have shown that positive interactions between parents and children have a major impact on the development of children’s brains. When babies are first born, they look for the warmth of their mothers to help them feel safe and secure. As children develop, how their parents respond to their needs shapes their emotional, mental and social well-being.Without nurturing from parents and caregivers, very young children have difficulty developing the emotional and cognitive skills they need to process the world around them. In short, they have greater difficulty learning.A parent’s response to cries from her baby – or to her cooing – helps the baby learn the fundamental mechanics of human communication. In fact, babies whose cries are ignored often are challenged in vocabulary development later on. This is because a baby’s efforts at communication need to be met with a back-and-forth from the people closest to her in order to encourage her to continue to communicate, and eventually learn to use her words.There are many ways that parents and caregivers can be responsive to their babies’ needs, and help them develop emotional and mental security. When a baby cries, parents can pick their babies up and cuddle, rock or sing to them. Other non-verbal actions like gazing into a baby’s eyes, stroking their heads and backs, and breastfeeding or holding them close while bottle-feeding help them relax and feel safe.For parents and caregivers who feel challenged by their infant care-taking responsibilities, programs across the country like the Early Head Start program have been designed to support children and their families, and help promote safe and secure relationships for better children’s development.
- The National Center on Parent, Family, and Community Engagement explains why positive parent-child relationships are so important.
- This article from Harvard’s Center on the Developing Child explains Early Head Start and how toxic stress can negatively affect children.
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The Clinton Foundation, with NYC Parks and Recreation, NYC Service, and St. Bernard Project, will mobilize hundreds of volunteers for a day of service
Led by Chelsea Clinton, volunteers will participate in multiple service projects throughout Rockaway, Queens and Staten Island rebuilding houses, cleaning and updating public parks, conducting conservation activities, a school beautification project, and more. This is the second Sandy-related “Day of Action,” recognizing that effective disaster response involves a multi-year effort that addresses long-term challenges faced by impacted communities. Projects will take place at Brookville Park, Rockaway Park, PS 197 and homes in Far Rockaway.
At approximately 1:15 PM, Chelsea Clinton will join St. Bernard Project (SBP), along with its project partners, to break ground on the future site of the first “Resilient House” – the “Designing Recovery” competition’s winning design, selected for New York. This project was first announced as a CGI America Commitment to Action. Designed by Sustainable.TO Architecture + Building, the “Resilient House” was modeled to be energy efficient, cost effective, and able to withstand future disasters. Chelsea will join future home-owners, the Lyons family, to break ground on their new home and offer remarks.
Since the first “Day of Action” in New York for Hurricane sandy Relief last November, Chelsea has continued to lead the Day of Action program with additional service days in the New York tri-state area, St. Louis and Chicago.
Learn more or sign up to volunteer here: clintonfoundation.org/NYCDayofAction. Follow the Day of Action on social media at Facebook.com/ClintonFoundation, Twitter @ClintonFdn, Instagram.com/ClintonFoundation, and join the conversation with the hashtag #DayofAction.