During this difficult time, we offer resources for parents at home with their children during COVID-19.
Overindulgence is giving your child too much of anything — money, space, time, energy, or attention — that can delay their development. Parents and caregivers overindulge children from a “good heart,” but it doesn't help children or families in the long run. Learn about overindulgence and learn some practical and easy parenting tools that you can use.
Learn about the Test of Four tool, which helps you and the children in your care learn what is enough.
Check out this new, free online course designed to give you parenting tools you can use right away.
Take this free online course to help you learn how to identify if something is "too much" and get strategies to avoid overindulgence. NEW — Professionals can access free take & teach modules that coincide with this course to use with parents and caregivers!
The 44-page research based book, Good Heart Parenting: A Journey of Love and Strength, chronicles the experience of two families who highlight the need for both parental love and parental strength in order to deal with the ubiquitous cultural messages to overindulge.
The Developmental Parenting Highway class is one of several in the Parenting in the Age of Overindulgence series. Overindulgence comes from a good heart, but it can lead to unwanted, less-than-good outcomes.
A developmental affirmation is a positive message that you can give to another person, or yourself. The affirmation messages can give hope and direction by helping us care for others and ourselves. Developmental affirmations are especially helpful for people who are going through changes that lead to stress and uncertainty.
The developmental affirmations are ovals because the oval is a symbol of constantly renewing life and of hope. The sequence of colors reflects the rainbow, reminding us that moving through the developmental stages is a natural process.
- Stage 1 (peach) is “becoming” – prenatal
- Stage 2 (red) is “being” – birth to 6 months
- Stage 3 (orange) is “doing” – 6 to 18 months
- Stage 4 (yellow) is “thinking” – 18 months to 3 years
- Stage 5 (green) is “identity & power” – 3 to 6 years
- Stage 6 (light blue) is “structure” – 6 to 12 years
- Stage 7 (dark blue) is “identity, sexuality & separation” – 12 to 18 years
- Stage 8 (purples) are “interdependence” – adult years
- Stage 9 (white) is “integration” – end of life
You can use them in any way that works for you. You can offer them directly to give support to children and to yourself. Here are some ideas. Be creative!
- Say them or sing them
- Post them
- Make games with them
- Write down the one you choose each day
- Keep your daily chosen one close by as a reminder
Start Strong and affirmations
In addition to your Start Strong health and nutrition text messages, you will be receiving developmental affirmations, called Growing Healthy Children (affirmations for children) and Healthy Self Talk (affirmations for you). A printable copy is available for a handout. Interested in receiving Start Strong text messages? Please fill out this form to sign up. Messages will be sent to you twice a week. They will come to you like your Start Strong messages and both messages will come to you monthly.
What are developmental affirmations?
- They are positive, esteem-building messages for emotional health and growth.
- They are powerful, protective messages that give people permission to feel lovable and capable.
- They are nurturing and structuring messages that give people permission to continue to grow and to blossom throughout their lives.
- They are affirming messages that provide an atmosphere in which children and adults can "grow their gifts."
- They are lovable messages that greet the "child" within each of us with open arms.
- They are short reminders for people who take care of children to also take care of themselves. You can use these affirmations as self-talk for yourself.
How do developmental affirmations support growth at every age?
- Children as they carry out the tasks of each developmental stage and foster positive self-esteem and resiliency.
- Teenagers as they explore values and create healthy relationships on their journey from childhood to adulthood.
- Adults as they continue to grow and mature personally and in relationships.
How should I use developmental affirmations?
You can use them in a way that works for you. You can offer them directly to give support to children and to yourself by:
- Saying them
- Singing them
- Posting them
- Making games with them
You give affirmations by the way you speak, touch, look, respond to, spend time with, interact with, and pay attention to people. Don’t give an affirmation when you are angry or you don’t believe it. If you do give one you don’t believe, children may pick up the conflict in it and feel confused, or mistrustful, instead of affirmed.
Developmental affirmations can remind you to provide, as well as you can, an environment in which children and adults can decide to trust themselves and you.