Relationships and Regulation

The relationships that form as a new baby joins a family is significant for a number of reasons. The bonding and attachment is the foundation for later learning for that new baby. A baby that cries, and is comforted by a family caregiver, learns to trust that as they have needs, those needs will be met. A cry is a baby’s way of alerting a caregiver that they need something. They may be hungry, wet, or sick with a stomachache. The cry that is ignored can create emotional upset for that child. And overtime a neglected response can produce negative emotional consequences for a child.  

As parents provide care and attention to their child, it becomes a back and forth with the child. Parents quickly learn to read the cue’s their child sends through movements; facial expressions and vocal responses including cries for attention and support. Be sure to listen as Lori and Mackenzie talk about how important the attachment connection is for healthy growth and development! In addition, they will visit about the importance of: routines; communication; emotional support including affection, time and autonomy.

Barb Dunn Swanson

With two earned degrees from Iowa State University, Barb is a Human Sciences Specialist utilizing her experience working alongside communities to develop strong youth and families! With humor and compassion, she enjoys teaching, listening and learning to learn!

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Define Your Philosophy

When it comes to parenting, being on the same page or in agreement with your co-parent usually brings some stability and confidence with decision making. When co-parents agree to a parenting philosophy their actions communicate a solid foundation that can provide boundaries and safety for the entire family.

Deciding on a parenting philosophy may take some research or discussion. Some parent the way they were parented; Others parent based on what they have studied about healthy child development. Several philosophies that have been highlighted include:

  • Attachment parenting
  • Authoritative parenting
  • Authoritarian parenting
  • Permissive parenting
  • Helicopter parenting

Learning about the styles and how they fit your family’s values is important. Children who know what is expected of them and feel safe and secure will be better able to manage their behavior. One study, the Minnesota Longitudinal Study of Risk and Adaption (MLSRA) revealed that the quality of the early attachment was influential well into later childhood, adolescence, and adulthood. This study highlights the importance of the first few years of life and how influential parents can be to the growth and development of their children.

Identifying a parenting style or philosophy is one important step in creating a happy healthy family.  

Join the Science of Parenting Podcast hosts as they explore and discuss the role of identifying a parenting philosophy in this episode.

Mackenzie DeJong

Aunt of four unique kiddos. Passionate about figuring how small brains develop, process, and differ. Human Sciences Specialist, Family Life in western Iowa with a B.S. in Family and Consumer Sciences and Design minor.

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