The declaration, along with practical support and evidence-based positive parenting help for families, comes at a time when a focus on optimism and potential is needed more than ever, as parents and caregivers may be dealing with the current health, financial, and emotional challenges.
“Honoring Positive Parenting Awareness Month at the state level helps more parents and caregivers become aware of the tips and tools available to help them, especially during these challenging times,” said Assemblymember Mark Stone, lead author of the statewide resolution.
The PPAM initiative began nine years ago in Santa Cruz County and continues to gain traction as a valuable way of visibly supporting and encouraging parents and caregivers to develop warm, nurturing relationships with their children and teens and become more confident as parents.
Last year marked the first time the California Assembly had officially passed a resolution on PPAM, as a result of a grassroots campaign by Triple P providers across the state and the backing of key legislators.
Triple P America CEO Bradley Thomas and Triple P founder Matt Sanders have hailed the public recognition of the crucial importance of positive parenting to the well-being of children, parents and entire communities.
The 2021 proclamation also acknowledged the additional challenges families have faced during the COVID-19 pandemic and the adaptability of Triple P practitioners during this difficult time.
“With multiple significant stressors on many families currently, it is critical, now more than ever, that families be provided with quality and effective parenting supports,” said Bradley Thomas. “I applaud this effort in raising awareness of such supports offered throughout the state and highlighting the importance of positive parenting. The more we do to reduce parental stress and build resilience in children, the more we can help reduce the impacts of the situation presently facing families.”
The California Legislature officially passed HR4 on January 15, proclaiming January 2021 as Positive Parenting Awareness Month and highlighting important messages and concepts, some of them specific to the current challenges of COVID-19:
- That raising children and youth in California to become healthy, confident, capable individuals is the most important job parents and caregivers have;
- That the quality of parenting or caregiving—starting prenatally—is one of the most powerful predictors of children’s future social, emotional, and physical health;
- That positive parenting is a protective factor that eliminates risk, strengthens family relationships, increases parents’ confidence, and promotes the healthy development and well-being of children and families;
- That positive parenting increases children’s self-regulation skills, relational skills, problem-solving skills, and involvement in positive activities;
- That positive parenting can prevent or mitigate the effects of adverse childhood experiences, such as child abuse, neglect, household dysfunction, and other traumatic events that can create dangerous levels of stress and impair lifelong health and well-being;
- That all parents have inner strengths or resources that can serve as a foundation for building their resilience and for passing these strengths on to their children;
- That many parents and caregivers raising children and youth feel stressed, isolated, and overwhelmed, no matter their age, race, ethnicity, tribe, or income level. This has been intensified by the health, economic, and social-emotional impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic;
- That parents may need additional support if they have experienced trauma, have a disability, are raising a child with an emotional, behavioral, or developmental disability, or are living in adverse community environments that lack equity, as measured by racism, concentrated poverty, poor housing conditions, and other barriers to opportunity;
- That families in California come in many forms, with children who are raised by parents, grandparents, foster parents, family members, and other caregivers;
- That families can benefit from a “tool kit” of proven strategies and receive support from various positive parenting programs in many counties and tribes through numerous organizations and individual practitioners, thanks to local partnerships, such as between First 5 commissions, local government, tribal nations, health and human services providers, schools, libraries, higher education institutions, and child welfare agencies;
- That counties may implement and encourage positive parenting through a population health approach so that all families have equitable opportunities to access information in ways that respect their unique beliefs, traditions, customs, interests, and racial, ethnic, tribal, and cultural practices;
- That family support professionals and paraprofessionals, recognized for their excellence and compassion across California, adapted quickly in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, shifting to virtual service delivery in order to maintain continuity of essential services that support the physical, social-emotional, and behavioral health of children and families;
- That every individual, community group, business, public or nonprofit agency, and tribe in California has a role to play in raising awareness of the importance of positive parenting and supporting the health and well-being of children and families.