Protective Factor #2: How Parents can learn more about child development

Saying that parenting is a tough job is an understatement. After all, “jobs” are supposed to end when you clock out. And you know perfectly well that being a parent is a round-the-clock proposition, and even the best parents make mistakes and are unsure they’re always doing the right thing.

The truth is that raising people to be the best they can be is hard work. And it SHOULD be hard. It’s the most important job to be done in Nebraska communities, and as a parent, you’re in the thick of it. There’s plenty your community can do to support you to be the parent you want to be. Better still, there’s plenty that you can do to support yourself.

Protective Factors

Protective Factors are attributes in families that increase health and well-being. All families have protective factors. You’ve probably heard of “risk factors.” Protective Factors act as a buffer against risk factors are are even more important in predicting positive outcomes for children.

If you look at any strong, healthy family, you will see the Protective Factors. When things are going well we are building the Protective Factors without thinking about it. But like many worthwhile things in life, living all of the Protective Factors takes practice. Basically, this means discovering the best ways to take care of yourself, be a strong parent, and build healthy family relationships.

Protective Factor #2: Knowledge of parenting and child development

Being a parent is part natural and part learned. Having a good understanding of how kids develop makes it easier to react positively to tougher stages – like tantrums and defiance. Informed parents are more likely to have realistic expectations, provide appropriate guidance, and build a positive relationship with their kids.

What knowledge of parenting and child development look like

  • Knowing the basics of what to expect at each stage of your child’s development
  • Matching your expectations to fit your child’s stage of development
  • Creating a supportive environment for each stage of your child’s development
  • Managing child behavior through positive discipline techniques
  • Recognizing and responding to your child’s specific needs

Tips for knowledge of parenting and child development

  • Ask your family doctor, child care teacher, family or friends about parenting or stages of child development
  • Recognize that parenting our children like we were parented may come naturally but may not be what we want to repeat
  • Take time to sit and observe what your child can and cannot do
  • Share what you have learned with anyone who cares for your child


Watch the following video on how a child’s brain develops in the early years.

Child development resources:

Getting your arms around some basic parenting is also extremely valuable. There’s no avoiding it – sometimes your child’s behavior will push you to the limit. When you have strategies to deal with typical (but frustrating) childhood behaviors, you’ll be in a better position to react in a way that builds your child up.

Parenting technique resources:

For more information on Protective Factors, download the eBook now:


Nebraska Children's mission is to maximize the potential of Nebraska’s children, youth, and families through collaboration and community-centered impact.

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Posted in Cradle to career

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