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May 2002Vol. 3, No. 4New Resources Offer Suggestions on Successful Parenting and Grandparenting

Two new guidebooks and a video serve as beacons in a parent's and grandparent's journey through the ups and downs of child rearing.

The National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD) has published a book containing practical advice on parenting, based on decades of research as well as experiences of actual parents. Adventures in Parenting: How Responding, Preventing, Monitoring, Mentoring, and Modeling Can Help You Be a Successful Parent is designed as an aid to parents and grandparents of every background. The 63-page book gives practical advice and examples of real-life situations, organized by children's age ranges: under three; four to ten; eleven to fourteen. It also focuses on five aspects of successful parenting:

  • Responding to the child in an appropriate manner
  • Preventing risky behaviors
  • Monitoring the child's contacts with the surrounding world
  • Mentoring
  • Modeling of parental behavior to present a positive example for the child.

Understanding Children, a joint publication by the non-profit communications group Civitas and the publishing company TOP conveys the latest research and advice on children 0 to 3 years in a guidebook format. Areas covered include developmental stages, prenatal care and childbirth, health and nutrition, brain development, childcare, sleep, play, behavior, financial and legal issues, fathers, and grandparents. In a section on adoption, the National Adoption Information Clearinghouse, one of the sponsoring organizations of the Children's Bureau Express, serves as a source for much of the data. Each section is presented in picture dictionary style, with a detailed answer to a "big question" followed by action items for caregivers, including recommended websites and reading lists. Colorful charts, photographs, and diagrams illustrate the facts. It is available in stores nationwide.

Another new item by Civitas, a video entitled Grandparenting: Enriching Lives, An Essential Guide for Today's Grandparents, provides grandparents with information on child development and ideas for maintaining healthy relationships with their children and grandchildren. The video, hosted by Maya Angelou, profiles several families and how they handle issues such as cultural and religious diversity, divorce, and long distance. It shows one grandmother involved with caring for her divorced daughter's children daily, while two other sets of grandparents live far away but communicate regularly through email and phone calls. Other grandparents in the video teach their grandchildren about their family histories and cultures, such as reading aloud in Spanish and sharing Japanese-American customs. Grandparents also develop bonds with their grandchildren by playing with them and they remain close with their adult children by respecting their choices and parenting styles. A Spanish version of the video is available.

To order a free copy of the NICHD book, contact the NICHD Information Resource Center at 1-800-370-2943 or download it at: publications/pubs/parenting/adv_in_parenting_final.pdf

For more information about the Understanding Children guidebook or the Grandparenting videos in English or Spanish, contact Civitas at 312-226-6700 or visit

Related Items

See the following related articles in these past issues of the Children's Bureau Express:

  • "Video Reaches Out to New Parents" (May/June 2001)
  • "Survey Shows Parents Confused About Child Development" (January/February 2001)