The Parents Are Leaders (PALs) program begins with newborn home visits to inform and engage parents in their child’s development, and maintains support offering an evidence based curriculum of weekly infant play/parent support classes that teach positive parenting skills through structured parent-child engagement.
Linda witnesses transformation every day in her classroom. One particular story is about a 3 1/2 year old boy, and his development over the past year.
Last year, he demonstrated significant emotional dysregulation. He would race around on the bikes, bang into walks, and had difficulty controlling his body in safe and age appropriate ways. His mother was skeptical of PALs based on her prior experiences, but was willing to try it thanks to the encouragement of a family member who Linda already had a good relationship with.
The mother brought her son, and began engaging in the PALs curriculum. Her participation was slow at first, but picked up as she gained familiarity with the navigator, comfort with the setting, and confidence in her own abilities. Over time they were able to address the boy’s emotional dysregulation as Linda implemented her curriculum with the family.
Recently, Linda reported that this boy arrived at class confident and full of joy. He knew where everything was supposed to be for the class, so he helped set up the room, opened shelves to find classroom resources, and set out the toys for the class. He played appropriately. When he was distracted and wandered off, he was easily redirectable as the teacher brought him back to the circle.
This progress shows the benefit of PALs to inform and engage parents in their child’s development while providing a quality early learning experience. However the true value comes in the unique benefit of PALs – trust – as this mother
would not have worked with Maine Families or another organization that didn’t have Linda’s rare blend of child
development expertise combined with a judgement free approach.
PO Box 552
Blue Hill, Maine, 04614