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Talaris Celebrates Mother's Day Because Parenting Counts!

Friday, May 7, 2010 Lifestyle News J E 4
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SEATTLE, May 6 Why are Mothers important? "Research shows that parenting is one of the most important jobs you'll ever have, because everything you do as a parent counts. Children rely on their parents to help them make sense of the world. No one has a greater impact on a child's development than their parents, and since we are nearing Mother's Day, we will specifically recognize how important a mom's role is in her child's healthy development," says Katie Simons, Executive Director of Talaris Institute.

Talaris Institute, a nonprofit based in Seattle, Washington, has developed www.ParentingCounts.org as a resource for both parents and professionals. The site serves as a trusted source of information regarding children birth to five years old. With research spotlights, video segments, and a timeline of typical development, Parenting Counts provides information based on research, applicable to everyday parenting. Research tells us so much about the value of a parent-child relationship and it all comes down to building trust between parent and child. Trust develops every day in simple everyday moments. Here are a few specifics:

A fussy newborn cries out a few soft cries. The new mom responds with a gentle voice: "What's wrong?" The newborn calms as his mom has recognized his need for attention. The mom spends a few minutes talking quietly, turns out the light and gently pats her newborn, reassuring her that she is there. Within minutes, she is back to sleep feeling safe and secure that someone is close by.

A mom is trying to start dinner and her toddler decides to kick and throw his blocks because they tumbled over. The mom stops what she is doing and squats down beside the toddler, "What's wrong? Why are you kicking your blocks?" "They won't stay up," says the toddler as he kicks one more time. The mom says, "I can see that you are frustrated. Can I help you?" Nodding his head, the toddler starts gathering his blocks. "I can't do it!" he proclaims. Mom responds, "Well, how about if I help build the tower and then you help me make dinner?" Together they build the tower and head to the kitchen to cook together. This positive interaction stops frustrated behavior and the toddler responds to his mother by being a good helper. Both are rewarded for having connected in a positive way.

In both of these situations the mom recognized her child's feelings and responded in caring ways. In each case, the mom's awareness helped address her child's emotion before it escalated.

Talaris Director of Research, Dr. Elizabeth Nelson, notes that when a child is upset, the best course of action for a parent is to recognize the emotion behind the behavior. To young children, emotions do not make sense, they simply happen. Through your response, you can "lend" your child the awareness that they are going to be okay. You can help them figure out how to feel better when they are upset. Talking about feelings helps children learn the words to communicate their feelings and tells them you care.

All of this emphasizes the importance of those magical moments that help children know they are important and that their mom is always there for them. Parenting Counts salutes mothers everywhere!

About Talaris Institute and Parenting Counts

The mission of Talaris Institute is to support parents and caregivers in raising socially and emotionally healthy children. To learn more about Talaris and Parenting Counts products, please visit www.talaris.org and www.parentingcounts.org.

CONTACT: Jordan McCarren, 206-859-5600

SOURCE Talaris Institute
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