A Community Arts-Based Parent Program

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Early childhood is an important period for development. Parents play an important role in structuring children’s physical and psychosocial environments. Much remains unknown about the best methods for engaging parents in health promotion programs. It is critical that programs meet the needs of the families while encouraging the use of positive parenting strategies. The article describes how one pediatrician used the American Academy of Pediatrics’ Community Access to Child Health grant program to develop and implement The Arts of Parenting program with input from predominantly low-income families. A community mapping and needs assessment was conducted as well as stakeholder interviews and parent focus groups to determine the needs of the families with preschoolers. Family programs that are centered in play and the arts provide families with a supportive environment in which to engage their children and learn about their child’s socioemotional development, and build a network with neighborhood peers.

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