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Strengthening Child Rearing in Portage County: Evaluation of Parenting the Second and Third Years Instructional Newsletter Series By Brenda Janke UW-Extension.

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Presentation on theme: "Strengthening Child Rearing in Portage County: Evaluation of Parenting the Second and Third Years Instructional Newsletter Series By Brenda Janke UW-Extension."— Presentation transcript:

1 Strengthening Child Rearing in Portage County: Evaluation of Parenting the Second and Third Years Instructional Newsletter Series By Brenda Janke UW-Extension

2 What is Parenting the Second and Third Years? 12 Issue Set of Parenting Newsletters Continues in Footsteps of Parenting The First Year Series Available Bi-Monthly to Parents During Their Child’s Second and Third Year Matched to Child’s Age


4 Why a 2 nd & 3 rd Year Parenting Newsletter Series? Early Experience Has Big Impact on Child Development Parents Establish Patterns of Child Rearing Early On Lack of Knowledge About Children Can Lead to Incompetent Parenting Impact of First Year Series May Be Maintained New Parenting Issues Emerge in Second and Third Years

5 Advantages of Newsletters: Age-Paced to Reach Parents at a “Teachable Moment” Reaches Socially Isolated Families Can Be Shared With Others Low Cost Available in Spanish Easy to Read and Understand (Written at 5 th Grade Reading Level)

6 Developed by University of Wisconsin-Extension for Two Goals: To Promote Competent Parenting To Prevent Abusive Parenting

7 Are the Newsletters Effective? The Evaluation Study: Sample Size: 72 Families Response Rate to Questionnaire Survey: 33% Most Respondents Were Mothers (96%) Only 3% Were Single Parents About Half (53%) Were First Time Parents

8 No Teenage Respondents

9 About Half Had a College Degree

10 Only About 3% Had Family Incomes in the Poverty Range

11 Did Parents Read the News- letters? They Say “Yes!” 60% Said They Read All Articles in All Issues 56% Save the Newsletters as a Reference

12 Readership Nearly Doubled By Sharing

13 Examples of What Parents Said: “My husband and I have both found the information in your newsletter useful. Thank you!” “I think the newsletter is an excellent source of information for my family to follow along with our child and how he is doing and where he should be for his age.”

14 Parents Rate the Newsletters “Very Useful” for Advice More Often Than Any Other Source.

15 Parents Commented On Their Usefulness: “These are my main source for learning. I look forward to each issue. Many ideas to promote a very smart and happy child. Thank you!” “We have kept every newsletter from birth to 3 years and reference to them periodically…When the letter arrives, it’s the first thing I read! Excellent!”

16 Parents Believe That Reading the Newsletters Has Improved Their Parenting. Examples: “Helps with discipline issues. Different ways of interacting with a child. Different games or toys.” “Definitely, we try a lot of things in these newsletters, anything from getting kids to eat to discipline.”

17 Parents Report Changing Child- Rearing Behaviors in 6 Key Areas

18 74% Said That Reading the Newsletters Caused Them to “Involve My Child When We Are Doing Household Chores.” Teaches Children Responsibility Fosters Sense of Pride and Self Confidence Promotes Independence/Self Reliance Creates Sense of Family Unity

19 Examples of What Parents Said: “They like to help with everything even if we’re not doing the exact same thing…I always thought kids were too young and thought they should wait. Boy was I wrong!” “Some things done easier by myself are more fun and educational for the child when including the child.”

20 61% Said the Newsletters Caused Them To “Talk More With My Child.” Toddlers are “Ready” for Language Acquisition Talking with Child Contributes to Vocabulary Growth Children with Larger Vocabularies Score Higher on Language and Cognitive Tests Language Skills Make Learning to Read Easier

21 Examples of What Parents Said: “I find that talking and explaining things to them make them understand more.” “Explain things more to him instead of just saying no or don’t. Play more games, sing more songs.” “We read and discuss things together.”

22 About Half of Readers (46%) Said the Newsletters Caused Them to Be Firmer in Setting Limits with Their Child, and More Likely to Explain the Reasons for Rules and Limits.

23 Prior Research Has Shown That Parents Who Do Both of These –Firm But Responsive— Have Children Who: Become More Competent Are More Receptive to Parental Influence Show Higher Self-Esteem Comply With Rules Better Develop Inner Controls

24 Examples of What Parents Said: “Helped guide me as to how to set rules – using terms that make my child feel good and cooperate while sticking to the rules.” “Setting limits helps him more than myself!” “They learn by example as I learned from a lot of examples given in the newsletters.”

25 Half (51%) Said the Newsletters Caused Them “To Make the House Safer for My Child.” Risk of Accidental Injury is Reduced Safe Homes Allow Children to Explore Safe Exploration Promotes Intellectual Growth and Development of Skills

26 Examples of What Parents Said About Safety: “Installed many safety locks, gate, railing guard, moved meds and cleaners to top shelves, etc.” “Crawl around on ground for safety check at child’s height.”

27 39% Said They Have Learned to “Spank or Slap My Child Less Often.” The Newsletters Provide Many Alternative Ways to Teach and Discipline Children.

28 Other Research Shows, Less Physical Punishment Predicts: Children Less Violent. Parenting Less Likely to Become Abusive. Children More Likely to Develop Internal Controls.

29 Examples of What Parents Said: “It has reassured me my ‘no hitting’ rule is good. Many relatives/friends spank. I thought I was wrong not to.” “I slow down and try to find alternatives, explain, redirect.” “Timeouts for him (or me).”

30 Which Parents Need Child Rearing Information Most? First-Time Parents Who Are Inexperienced With Children.

31 First-Time Parents Reported Greater Change in Parenting Than Experienced Parents. In particular, first time parents were significantly more likely to involve their child when doing household tasks, as a result of reading the newsletters, compared to experienced parents (p <.05).

32 “Reading the newsletters caused me to... Experienced First-time

33 First-Time Parents Said: “This newsletter is wonderful!! As a first time parent I looked forward to receiving it… It has offered new ideas and tips and also reminders of things we sometimes forget in a busy family life. I hope you continue to provide it to all parents of infants and toddlers.” “The newsletter is very informational on the first child. It is very helpful to let you know that at this stage your child should be doing this or that…”

34 How Reliable Are Self-Report Answers? Common Sources of Bias Response Set Bias Social Desirability Bias

35 Use of Lie Scale Items to Check for Biases Parents Were Asked About Something That Might Have Been in the Newsletter But Wasn’t “Because of the parenting newsletters… …I have changed the kind of clothing my child wears.” …I changed how I wake my child in the morning.”

36 Only 2 Parents Answered “Yes” to Both Questions From the Lie Scale. Their Data Was Removed Before Analyses.

37 Summary of Results: Parents Really Read the Newsletters. Parents Share the Newsletters With Others. Parents Rate the Newsletters Highly Useful. Parents Report Positive Changes in Six Key Parenting Behaviors. Inexperienced Parents Reported Learning the Most.

38 Recommendation: Continue Distribution of The Newsletter Series. Based on Survey Results Based on Parents’ Comments

39 Summary Comments From Portage County Parents: “Great newsletter! Every parent should read this.” “Please don’t stop sending these newsletters. I just wish more people read them and followed the advice you give. All the information I have read is great.” “I looked forward to reading the newsletter. It had ideas that I didn’t have or a better way of doing things... I hope you continue this program for other parents and when I have my second child.”

40 Acknowledgment of Project Partners: St. Michael’s Hospital Mental Health Association of Portage County (Penny Schmitt) United Way Kiwanis Clubs of Plover and Stevens Point Retired Senior Volunteer Project From Lincoln Center CAP Fund of Milwaukee

41 Co-Authors of Evaluation Study: Dr. Dave Riley, UW-Madison/Extension Carol Ostergren, UW-Madison

42 And of course, We thank the families who thoughtfully answered our survey.

43 Copies of the written report are available from the Portage County Extension Office.


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