Infants and toddlers build a story of who they are within the context of their family. As infant and early childhood mental health professionals, our relationships with parents and caregivers reflect for young children a sense of worth we hold for them all. In this training, we will utilize Bronfenbrenner’s (1990) five critical processes for positive development to highlight the importance of our multidisciplinary infant and early childhood workforce in offering support, two-way communication and mutual trust to parents and caregivers within the primary settings in which families live their lives.
Just as interactions with childcare providers, therapists, interventionists, and physicians present edifying experiences for the child, parents and caregivers are also impacted through his or her experiences with the professionals in their child's life. Mutual trust and patterns of rapport with parents and caregivers are essential ingredients for those serving and supporting young children and offer opportunities to disrupt the impact of stress in the family's life. Current research regarding parent/caregiver support and the impact on family well-being (including parenting stress) will be discussed.
This session will also offer strategies to: bridge gaps with “distant” parents, address challenging conversations, and ultimately strengthen your relationships with positive parent/caregiver interactions. Participants will have the opportunity to engage with case studies, share experiences, and plan for future positive impact.
At the end of this training, participants will be able to:
Identify the impact of the PPCT (person-process-context-time) model as it relates to parent/caregiver interactions across settings.
Advocate for family/caregiver well-being upon engaging with the training content (qualitative examples from participating parents) provided in the session.
Use strategies to help bridge gaps with “distant” parents and address challenging conversations.
Dr. Jes Fyall Cardenas is an Assistant Professor of Early Childhood at the University of North Carolina Wilmington and an endorsed Infant Mental Health Mentor - Research/Faculty. She has a B.S. in Biology from Texas A&M University and an M.S. in Family and Child Studies from Texas State University. After working for several years as an early childhood teacher, education director, and later an infant mental health educator and advocate, she earned her Ph.D. in Human Development and Family Studies from Texas Tech University. Dr. Cardenas' research agenda focuses on social-emotional development in early childhood and the impact of social support from teachers and caregivers on parents. Of specific interest are mothers' experiences of emotional social support from caregivers when utilizing childcare for the first time.