Background 

Designed during a two-year iterative process with various stakeholders and parent focus groups across Baton Rouge, the Cradle to K initiative centers its parental engagement work around 3 pillars, patience, curiosity, and conversation.

When properly synthesized into a parent education program, the Cradle to K Parenting Pillars have the potential to serve as a highly effective school readiness intervention.


PATIENCE

Parenting with patience provides our children with the necessary groundwork to develop their own healthy responses to stress. When we’re patient with our children, we model empathy, kindness, and compassion. 

Patience reinforces positive attachment between parents and children, which allows our children to feel safe and supported in their exploration in the world. Patience helps mitigate the negative effects of stress and trauma, as well as ensures a positive developmental environment for children.

CURIOSITY

A curious mind is the most powerful trait a child can have, as curious children learn extremely quickly. A 2018 study from the University of Michigan found that a child’s curious disposition erases the achievement gap between high- and low-income families.

Sometimes curious behavior can seem problematic, but it’s important for parents to find ways to encourage and enhance their children’s curiosity whenever possible.

CONVERSATION

We can engage our children in conversation over anything and everything, as every moment is an opportunity for discussion. But powerful conversations involve actively listening to our children about their emotions and interests, in order to develop positive attachment with our children. 

Conversations are also the building blocks of language and cognitive skills, bridging language acquisition and academic vocabulary. When we converse with our children, we’re building the necessary brain architecture for Kindergarten success.