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For Parents

Children acquire from their families the skills, knowledge, attitudes, and feelings about themselves as learners. The quality of the home environment in the early years of a child’s life has a powerful and long-term impact on later social and academic success. The home is a powerful center of learning for children.

This is because the strong emotional bonds children have with family members strengthen the impact of experiences in the home. Also, the family can be spontaneous and individualize experiences that focus a child’s interest. The ways parents touch, look at, and talk with their children from earliest infancy affect children’s physical, cognitive, social, and emotional development. These patterns also affect how children’s brains develop. It is important for parents to realize how much they teach their children simply by the behavior they model. A child learns by observing his or her parents in daily life as much as by what the parents try to teach.