NDSU Extension - Sargent County


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Relationship is Basis for Parenting

Relationship is Basis for ParentingWhat does it mean to be a parent?  Much more than just trying a bunch of different parenting strategies and techniques, the foundation for being a parent is having a strong relationship with our child or children.  By having such a relationship with them, we help them be and become their best selves.

These kinds of strong relationships are called developmental relationships. The opportunity to build a strong and powerful developmental relationship begins with how we relate and respond to our child during infancy.  It continues as the little person becomes a child, adolescent and adult. 

Research has found that young people who experience strong developmental relationships across different parts of their lives are more likely to show signs of positive development in many areas, including

  • Increased academic motivation;
  • Increased social-emotional growth and learning;
  • Increased sense of personal responsibility; and
  • Reduced engagement in a variety of high-risk behaviors.

What do developmental relationships look like? What can we do to build them?

Through extensive research with families across the United States, Search Institute identified five keys (elements) for developmental relationships that help children be and become their best selves by helping them grow, learn and thrive.  The five keys are:

  • Express care
  • Challenge growth
  • Provide support
  • Share power and respect
  • Expand possibilities

To gain a deeper understanding of each of the five keys, and learn more about specific things you can do within each key to develop relationships that help kids thrive, visit the Search Institute website at https://www.search-institute.org/developmental-relationships/developmental-relationships-framework/

Search Institute also offers self-assessment quizzes you can use to discover where your strengths are and where you can improve.  The quizzes are available online at https://keepconnected.searchinstitute.org/family-relationship-quiz/

Image by John Hain from Pixabay:  https://pixabay.com/illustrations/parenting-friendship-nurturing-736384/  (downloaded 8/28/19)





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