Last Updated on January 23, 2024 by Lori Pace
Parents are frontline public health workers. They nurture and support their children, supervise and teach them healthy habits, ensure their child’s safety and support in their community, help their child receive the education and healthcare they need, and so on. The joys and challenges of parenting are many. These challenges can be more difficult to overcome for parents with limited resources. These challenges may require parenting support.
Parents are crucial in the brain development of a child. Parents are the first teachers of their children and help them prepare for greater independence. There are many ways parents can help their children as they grow and develop. Parents can monitor their child’s development milestones to act quickly if they have any concerns.
What is the Legacy for Children Program?
Legacy is based on the belief that, no matter what their circumstances are, parents can make a difference in their child’s life. The research has consistently shown that the way parents interact with children is a factor in their success in later life. Children who are facing challenges such as poverty in the family or in their neighborhood are more likely to overcome them when parents provide a stable and nurturing environment.
Parents not only need information but also parenting support. Parents turn to one another for support and information, but not every parent has access to it. Legacy for Children is a group-based intervention for mothers and their children that helps children in families with limited financial resources to grow and learn. Legacy’s goals are to
- Supporting sensitive and responsive mother-child relations;
- Make mothers feel confident in their role as mothers;
- Encourage mothers to form relationships so they can help each other.
Legacy achieves these goals in several ways: through group meetings, where mothers are able to discuss their needs with other mothers and the group leader; during mother-child playtime, where they can learn new skills; individual sessions with a group leader where you can talk about your own personal needs; and by participating in community events.
The mothers who take part in Legacy are interested in learning more about the development of children and how they can improve their parenting from the support they get. They also value the support that group leaders and fellow mothers provide. Attending a weekly parenting group for three years can be difficult for some mothers because of their work schedules, other family obligations, and the difficulty in finding transportation.
Legacy For Children Aims To Push Through Language Barriers
The promise of Legacy among English-speaking mothers motivated efforts to translate and adapt the program for more families. Legacy has recently been translated into Spanish in order to reach mothers with limited access to support and information due to language barriers. These groups are attended by mothers who report that they learn a lot from their children’s developmental stages, interact more freely with their children, and feel more confident.
These mothers report the same as many other Legacy participants: finding time and transportation can be difficult. Mothers who speak Spanish at home are more likely to report social isolation than those fluent in English. The groups, called Legacy in Spanish, provide a great opportunity for mothers to meet other mothers and improve their relationship with their children.
Legacy does not instruct mothers on how to raise children. The group sessions encourage discussion, exploration, and trying out a variety of ideas and practices which have had positive results. This allows mothers to choose what’s right for them and their children. Legacy is built on the philosophy of the following:
- Even when parents are dealing with other major problems, they can still have a positive impact on the development of their children;
- Parenting practices are important, but the quality of the relationship between parent and child is even more important.
- No one way is “right” to be a parent.
- Parenting successfully requires thoughtful decisions and a responsibility to the child.
- The best way for parents to develop and maintain a sense of responsibility is to belong to a group of parents who also share this responsibility.