The Evidence Portal

Enhancing parent-child relationships

Flexible activity

The activity of enhancing parent-child relationships involves parents being actively involved in their child’s education and schooling and recognises that family relationships are the biggest influence on a child’s development. A strong parent-child relationship helps the child feel secure and confident – important attributes during the transition to school when a child makes new friends and tries new activities.

How can it be implemented?

This flexible activity is more commonly implemented in the home rather than school setting. It can involve young toddlers interacting with their parent while being coached, or children and parents together undertaking activities sent home from school.

Who is the target group?

This flexible activity has two target groups: parents and children.

What programs conduct this activity?

Kids in Transition to School (KITS): Caregivers and students receive supplementary materials such as homework assignments and home practice activities to support the implementation of new skills. In addition, the KITS program’s manualised caregiver curriculum includes caregiver instructions on skills relevant to school transition, such as helping children to develop their early literacy skills, developing routines around school activities, preparing children for the kindergarten transition, and using behaviour management skills that parallel those used in the school.

Smart Beginnings: Parent-child interactions are video-recorded and reviewed with Smart Beginnings coaches. The coach identifies parents’ strengths, promotes self-reflection, and helps parents plan for future parent-infant interactions.

What else should I consider?

Those parents who, as a child, were parented inadequately might not have the experience or skills to build a strong positive relationship with their child nor appreciate the importance of this relationship. In addition, those parents for whom school was a negative experience might consciously or unconsciously influence their own child’s perception of school.

Further resources

  • Roby, E., Miller, E. B., Shaw, D. S., Morris, P., Gill, A., Bogen, D. L., Rosas, J., Canfield, C. F., Hails, K. A., Wippick, H., Honoroff, J., Cates, C. B., Weisleder, A., Chadwick, K. A., Raak, C. D. And Mendelsohn, A. L. 2021.  Improving Parent-Child Interactions in Pediatric Health Care: A Two-Site Randomized Controlled Trial. Pediatrics, 147, 1-12.
  • Pears, K., Fisher, P., Kim, H., Bruce, J., Healey, C. and Yoerger, K. 2013.  Immediate Effects of a School Readiness Intervention for Children in Foster Care. Early Education and Development, 24, 771-791.
  • Pears, K. C., Kim, H. K. And Fisher, P. A. 2012. Effects of a school readiness intervention for children in foster care on oppositional and aggressive behaviors in kindergarten. Children and Youth Services Review, 34, 2361-2366.
Last updated:

24 Feb 2023

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