June 2009


Most teens have deep talents, interests and passions (what we call "sparks"). They are eager to use these strengths to make a difference in areas that matter to them. However, many don't have the kinds of relationships and opportunities they need to help them tap their sparks during this important time in life when they are on the cusp of young adulthood...Our challenge, then, is to help young people use their current interests, talents, and passions—their sparks—to grow networks of support and understand how they can ignite those sparks in the ways they live, lead, learn and love in the world.

-TEEN VOICE 2009 | The Untapped Strengths of 15-Year-Olds


Announcements

Errata in MOAPPP's Training Calendar!

If you received a paper copy of the MOAPPP training calendar, please make the following changes (the online version has already been changed).

The We Can Parent Together fall series for professionals has incorrect dates and locations. Here is the correct info:

We Can Parent Together
$30/$20 MOAPPP members

September 24 - Fergus Falls
September 25 - Bemidji
September 30 - St. Paul
October 14 - Hermantown
October 22 - Owatonna
October 27 - West St. Paul
October 30 - Little Falls
November 5 - Redwood Falls

When parents are consistent and support each other in the task of parenting, children benefit. This workshop for professionals and community leaders, presents the basics and benefits of co-parenting and offers strategies and best practices to utilize in supporting any family working to raise children in a healthy, safe environment. Specific focus will be given to the unique challenges of divorcing and never-married parents, adolescent parents or those with substance-abuse/dependence-related concerns. Follow this link to register.

Sponsored by the PREVENT Institute groups: Prevent Child Abuse Minnesota, Minnesota Fathers & Families Network, University of Minnesota Extension, Minnesota Prevention Resource Center and MOAPPP.


Would You Like to Develop Programming for Teen Dads in Your Area?

A statewide Young Fathers Advisory Committee is in its initial formation stages. Current members are those working with fathers across the state. We need input from those working with teen moms but wanting to expand their programming to young dads as well. We will be focusing initially on identifying the barriers and issues surrounding work with teen dads and eventually coming up with a plan to promote services in underserved areas. Please contact , 651-644-1447 x15 if you’d like to be on this committee. Our next meeting will take place in early August—date TBD.


Research


Prison Nurseries: A Pathway to Crime-Free Futures?

An evaluation in Corrections Compendium of a Nebraska prison nursery program that included: 1) provision of inmate education targeting prenatal, parenting, infant care, and child development; 2) hands-on training for new mothers and expectant mothers; and 3) the development and coordination of community resources during incarceration and after release found after 10 years of operations that recidivism was 16.8 percent for women who successfully completed the nursery program, compared with 50 percent for the previous population of women forced to give up their infants. There was also both a demonstrated and perceived decrease in misconduct reports for women involved in the nursery program. The cost to the State has been minimal, both in terms of staff and operating expenses. Ten states have created prison nurseries, with more states considering a prison nursery program.


Violence Exposure and the Association Between Young African American Mothers' Discipline and Child Problem Behavior

Children of adolescent mothers are at increased risk of violence exposure and behavior problems, which have been linked to mothers' disciplinary practices. This study examined young African American mothers' discipline with their preschool-age children. Researchers found that compared with less violence-exposed mothers, the harsh disciplinary practices of young African American mothers who have been exposed to high levels of violence are more strongly associated with their children's problem behavior. Practitioners should screen mothers for violence exposure in order to address potential issues of discipline and behavior problems.


Teens Are Not the Only Ones Having Babies out of Wedlock

A report by the Centers for Disease Control shows that childbearing by unmarried women has been climbing steeply since 2002. Birth rates have risen considerably for unmarried women in their twenties and over, while declining or changing little for unmarried teenagers. Teenagers accounted for just 23% of nonmarital births in 2007, down steeply from 50% in 1970.


Becoming a Father at a Young Age Increases the Likelihood a Man Will Have Children with More than One Woman

According to an article published last year in the Journal of Marriage and the Family, black, Hispanic, and young fathers have especially high odds of experiencing 'multiple-partner fertility' across a series of nonmarital relationships. On average, fathers with children by more than one woman provide less financial support and spend less time with their nonresident children. Having additional children with the mother of his first child reduces the likelihood that a man will father children with other women.


The Strengths of Poor Families

In the minds of many people, poor families equal problem families. Indeed, that perception is not surprising, given compelling evidence of the harsh effects that poverty can have on family life and child well-being. However, far less attention has been paid to the strengths that many poor families have and the characteristics that they may share with more affluent families. A new Child Trends research brief (PDF) examines these issues.


Resources

From Zero To Three: Fun Playtime Ideas for the Under 3 Set

Birth to 12 Months:
Wrap It Up.
Wrap a ball of waxed paper in a scarf and tie it up. Let your child reach for, grasp, squeeze and crinkle it. Watch her face to see if she is interested in or surprised by the sounds the package makes. You can put into words what you see on her face: "Wow! It crinkles and crackles. What's inside?" Games like this encourage tactile awareness, reaching, grasping and language development.

12 to 24 Months:
Hello, Good-Bye.
Make a tunnel from a large cardboard box by opening both ends. Place your child at one end of the tunnel. You sit at the opposite end. Peek your face in the tunnel and say, "Hi!" Then lean away from the tunnel (so your child can’t see you) and say, "Bye!" Does your child try to communicate with you by crawling to find you, or by making sounds to copy your "hi" and "bye"? This activity builds the awareness that things and people still exist even when out of sight. It also encourages problem-solving and motor skills as your child figures out how to find and get to you.

24 to 36 Months:
Open Up!
Draw a large face on a cardboard box. Cut out a circle for the mouth. Pop a ball through the hole/mouth and tell your child, "My friend is hungry. I fed him an apple. But he is still hungry…What should we feed him next?" Encourage your child to find other pieces of "food" to "feed" your "friend." Then he can tip the box over to get all the "food" out and start over. Activities like this encourage the use of symbolic thinking skills and imagination.


The Ounce Scale

The Ounce Scale—an observational assessment for infants and toddlers—is an easy to use resource for both parents and child care providers to monitor a particular child’s development. The Center for Early Education and Development (CEED) at the University of Minnesota has recently been conducting a study to determine if using this scale can help child care providers and parents work together to understand a child and to build effective communication. Final results are not yet in. The Ounce Family Albums are very appropriate and enjoyable tools to use with teen parents.


Upcoming MOAPPP Trainings

July 27-29, 2009 (July 30 for graduate students)
2009 Summer Institute in Adolescent Health
Social and Emotional Health for All Young People: Expanding Approaches

Minnesota Department of Health, Snelling Office Park, St. Paul
Cost: $250

At the 2009 Summer Institute in Adolescent Health, learn strategies for enhancing supportive environments and fostering skills for social and emotional health for all young people. Gather ideas for adding to what’s already working, whether in a community clinic or youth program, at school or after-school, within a residential center or a juvenile justice setting. Practice skills for selecting optimal approaches for reaching young people, all of whom we hope are on healthy social and emotional pathways to adulthood. For more information and to register, visit www.nursing.umn.edu.

Sponsored by the Center for Adolescent Nursing, University of MN, School of Nursing. Co-sponsored by Coordinated School Health, MN Department of Education; Healthy Youth Development-Prevention Research Center and Konopka Institute, Division of Adolescent Health and Medicine, Department of Pediatrics, Medical School, University of MN; Maternal and Child Health Section, MN Department of Health; and MOAPPP.


Other Trainings

Summer Course Offered at University of Minnesota Family Education
*CI5900-Sec 005 - Fatherhood (1 credit-online course)

Registration # 91814
Instructor: Chris Buzzetta
Saturday, July 4, 2009 to Friday, August 7, 2009
Online Chat: Thursdays 7:00 p.m. - 7:45 p.m.

The course explores unique aspects of the father-child relationship and the important role fathers play in child development. Participants will explore: attachment, topics of diversity and changing perspectives on masculinity and gender roles. They will also discover ways the father-child relationship can be fostered within educational settings. This class consists of 5 weekly modules. If you have any questions about registering for these courses, contact onestop student services at 612-624-1111. If you would like to learn more about these courses or other courses and programs offered in Family, Youth and Community, contact Heather Cline at or 612-624-1294.



For more resources and information about adolescent parents, visit the Adolescent Parent Program page on the MOAPPP website.