Protective Factor 6

Promote Healthy Parent-Child Relationships

When parents have healthy relationships with their children, they are “in tune” with them: they can listen to their children, understand them, and perceive their needs. A parent who fully comprehends and accepts the role of parent serves as the child’s chief provider, protector, and teacher; shows love for the child; and strives to meet the child’s needs and provide a solid foundation for life. Through this relationship, children can trust, learn, grow, and explore the world.

First and foremost, early childhood staff promote healthy parent-child relationships by respecting parents, their role and value in their children’s lives, and how hard they are trying to meet their children’s needs. From this basis of respect, staff can help enhance parents’ understanding of their children and help children communicate with their parents. Programs can also provide parent-child activities and help during challenging times that put stress on parent-child relationships.