MOAPPP Adolescent Parent eNews

MOAPPP Adolescent Parent eNews

March 2011

Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.

-Mark Twain


Please Tell Us What You Think About Your Work with Pregnant and Parenting Teens!

MOAPPP is partnering with Stephanie Dibb, a graduate clinical social work student at the University of St. Thomas, to discover how service providers working with pregnant and parenting teenagers perceive teenage pregnancy and what services your program offers. It is a quick 14-question survey (shouldn’t take more than five minutes) and responses are anonymous. You will be asked to electronically sign a consent form before you start the survey stating you agree to participate. All participation would be greatly appreciated and valued! Click here to take the survey.

Good News from the National Women’s Law Center

Recently, the Michigan Department of Education (MDE) adopted a new policy to ensure that its homebound/hospitalized instruction program would no longer discriminate against pregnant and parenting students. The National Women’s Law Center advocated for this policy change after being contacted by a pregnant student at a Michigan high school whose school did not offer her homebound instruction services when she was recovering from childbirth, despite the state law requirement that all school districts in Michigan provide access to homebound instruction to students with prolonged absences due to a medical condition. Thankfully, MDE was responsive to their concerns and changed the guidelines, making it clear that schools could not exclude eligible pregnant students and those recovering from childbirth from receiving homebound or hospitalized instruction services.

Unfortunately, Michigan is not the only state where pregnant and parenting students experience discrimination that can push them out of school. Help the National Women’s Law Center weed out discriminatory treatment and unfair educational practices. Send your school’s policy for homebound/hospitalized instruction (or any other policy you think impacts the educational success of pregnant and parenting students) to Sue Fust, [email protected]. It will be forwarded to the National Women’s Law Center for review.

Minneapolis Teen Parent Connection Meeting

March 21, 1:00 – 2:30 p.m.
Genesis II for Families, 3036 University Avenue SE, Minneapolis

Please come and offer ideas for future meeting formats and topics! New developments about Broadway School will be discussed.

New Group!! Ramsey County Teen Parent Connection Meeting

April 2, 4:00 – 5:30 p.m.
Agape High School, 1919 University Avenue West, St. Paul

Please join those working with teen parents in Ramsey County for an organizational meeting. Topics of discussion will include what needs professionals may have for coming together and goals we might address and accomplish. Meet each other and do some networking!


Influence of Religiosity and Spirituality on Adolescent Mothers and Their Teenage Children

This article in Journal of Youth and Adolescence describes a project that assessed the influence of religiosity and spirituality on the socio-emotional and behavioral adjustment of 110 adolescent mothers and their teenage offspring at age 14. Maternal religiosity, measured prenatally and when children were three, five and eight years of age, was defined as involvement in church as well as contact with and dependence on church officials and members. Levels of spirituality, defined as religious practices and beliefs, were assessed for both mothers and their children at 14 years postpartum. Maternal religiosity was a strong predictor of maternal and child adjustment; children’s own spirituality served as a predictor of their socio-emotional adjustment as well. Furthermore, child spirituality mediated the relationship between maternal religiosity and children’s externalizing behavior. Implications for designing intervention programs with high risk families are discussed.

Impact of the Nurse-Family Partnership on Neighborhood Context, Government Expenditures and Children’s School Functioning

This report (PDF) from the U.S. Department of Justice presents the methodologies and findings of three studies: an economic analysis of the Nurse-Family Partnership (NFP) through age nine for children in the Denver trial of the NFP; an assessment of children’s school functioning using teacher reports of third-grade children’s grade point averages and behavior in the Denver trial of the NFP; and a study of the NFP in neighborhood contexts in the Elmira, Memphis and Denver trials.


FREE Parent-to-Parent Live Chat with Dr. Marti Erickson on April 15

Join others on the upcoming one-hour chat entitled, “Helping Your Child Manage Emotions and Get Along with Others: The What, When and Why of Supporting Healthy Social Emotional Development” on April 15, 2011, 12:00 – 1:00 p.m.

Dr. Erickson will provide a brief overview of the topic, then for the remainder of the hour she will respond to parent questions and comments. Questions can be submitted ahead of time to [email protected]. Questions will also be welcome during the discussion forum. This chat will be recorded and archived for future listening. Pre-registration is required. For more information or to register, click here.

Parent-to-Parent Live is provided through a partnership between the Minnesota Department of Education and the Working Family Resource Center.

From the Baby’s Point Of View

Have you ever tried to explain the effects of toxic stress such as poverty and child abuse and neglect on early childhood development? Watch this video of a speech by Terri Rose.

Recorded Webinars from the Minnesota Department of Education

Recorded webinars include:

  • Parenting 101: How to Understand and Enjoy Your Child’s Development
  • Social Emotional Development: The Magic of Encouragement
  • Discipline Is Teaching: Guiding Children’s Behavior in Positive Ways
  • Good Enough Moms and Dads: Separating Fact from Fiction about Parent-Child Attachment
  • Countdown to Literacy

Early childhood programs can use these webinars in their parenting education classes, special events, home visits and to share with their community partners. Several ECFE parent classes are registering for the webinars as a group. The parent groups will be participating together in the webinar and following the presentation will have a parent educator facilitated discussion. The Minnesota Department of Education would like to hear how you are incorporating this information in your programs. For additional information or to share your suggestions, contact Debbykay Peterson at [email protected].

Impact of the Early Years: Online Video

The Center on the Developing Child at Harvard University has released a new online video entitled, InBrief: The Foundations of Lifelong Health, which explains why a vital and productive society with a prosperous and sustainable future is built on a foundation of healthy child development.

Home Visiting: Online Video

The Pew Center on the States has a new four minute video on home visiting that is available on their website and on YouTube. It aims to show what happens in a home visit. You can access it directly from the Pew Center on the States website.

Mother/Child Play Interactions: Short Video Clip

This video clip from Zero to Three shows play interactions between a Spanish-speaking mother and her toddler.

From Zero to Three: Fun Homemade Toy Activities

Birth to 12 Months:
Crinkle and Crackle – Wrap a ball of waxed paper in a scarf and tie it up. Let your child reach for it, grasp it, squeeze and crinkle it. Watch his face to see if he is interested or surprised by the sounds the package makes. You can put into words what you see in his expression, “Wow! Do you hear that? It crinkles and crackles.” Experiences like this provide a chance for your child to explore using his senses and teaches about cause-and-effect (“If I smush this thing, it makes a neat sound!”).

12 to 24 Months:
Fill and Dump – Make 5-10 homemade balls (wad up waxed paper or newspaper and cover with masking tape). Put the balls in a shoebox or basket. Give your child another box, basket or even a metal soup pot. Show your child how she can move each ball from one box to the other. If your child is walking, place the baskets a few steps apart so that your child can toddle from one to the other. Games like this give children the chance to practice eye-hand coordination and encourage them to “cross the midline” or move their hands across their bodies to transfer the balls from one container to another.

24 to 36 Months:
Throw and Go – Make 5-10 homemade balls (wad up waxed paper or newspaper and cover with masking tape). Place a box or laundry basket at one end of the room or hallway. See if your child would like to take a ball and run to the box or basket, throw the ball in and run back to get another ball. Be open to seeing if he has other ideas about how to use the balls and the basket. Games like this give you a chance to build active play into everyday moments—it’s a fun activity to do with your child while you are cooking dinner or folding laundry. It also teaches your child how to follow two-step directions and is great practice for eye-hand coordination.

From Baby to Big Kid – 26 Months

Toddler development and parenting tips for age 26 months in the Zero to Three Parenting newsletter.

Policy Action Alert

Take Action! Adolescent Family Life Program Slated for De-Funding

President Obama’s 2012 budget eliminates the Adolescent Family Life Program. A portion of this tiny program is the only funding—across all federal funding streams—to address much needed support services for young families. MOAPPP recommends keeping this funding stream intact, but narrowing its focus to only teen parent support programs. Please contact your Congressional Representative and Senators to let them know what an important role this funding plays in the lives of young parents.

Healthy Teen Network has created an online resource with information about the program.

Upcoming MOAPPP Trainings

May 5-6, 2011
MOAPPP’s 20th Annual Conference

Earle Brown Heritage Center, Brooklyn Center

The MOAPPP Annual Conference is Minnesota’s most comprehensive training event covering current research, educational resources, policy initiatives and emerging issues related to adolescent sexual health, pregnancy prevention and support for adolescent parents. It promises to be two days filled with renowned speakers, challenging, informative, skill-building workshops and many opportunities for networking and conversation. MOAPPP is also excited to tell you that we will announce our smarter, SHORTER, teen-friendly identity at the start of the conference!

Early Registration deadline is April 15, 2011. For more information and to register, visit the MOAPPP conference page.

Other Upcoming Trainings

March 29-30, 2011
Building Brighter Futures
Prevent Child Abuse Minnesota’s Annual Conference

Crowne Plaza Hotel, St. Paul

This year’s conference will focus on preventing neglect, ending racial disparities and understanding brain development. Keynote speakers include Dr. L. Read Sulik, MN Department of Human Services and Dr. Alvin Poussaint, Harvard Medical School. Conference workshops focus on a variety of topics including promoting resilience in children, emotional intelligence and addiction. For more information and to register, visit

April 13, 2011
MCFR Ethical Thinking and Practice Workshop

Best Western Kelly Inn, St. Cloud

This workshop was created for parent and family life educators, therapists, public health providers, social workers, faith-based program staff, K-12 educators and anyone working directly with families or supervises staff that does. This process has been adopted by the National Council on Family Relations as part of its Certified Family life Educator (CFLE) program.

This three hour workshop will cover:

  • The different ways we look at ethical issues
  • How to define an ethical issue
  • A set of ethical principles developed by and for family professionals, and a process for applying these principles in your work with families

Workshop participants will receive the newly revised publication Ethical Thinking and Practice for Parent and Family Life Educators. For more information and to register, click here.

May 1-3, 2011
Child and Adolescent Mental Health Conference

Duluth Entertainment and Convention Center, Duluth

Featuring keynote speakers: L. Alan Sroufe, PhD, Professor Emeritus of Child Psychology in the Institute of Child Development at the University of Minnesota and L. Read Sulik, MD, child, adolescent and adult psychiatrist and a pediatrician. Special presentation on May 3: Bringing Research to Practice in Autism Spectrum Disorder: Diagnosis and Assessment, Interventions, and Levels of Evidence.

For more information and to register, visit

July 25-27, 2011
Save the Date! 2011 Summer Institute in Adolescent Health
Rising Above Risk: Promoting Resilience in Changing Times

What helps young people thrive in these times of change? During the 2011 Summer Institute in Adolescent Health, visit settings that are successfully supporting adolescents in times of change. Talk with young people and their program leaders along with health service providers who have walked the talk of resilience and youth development in creative and surprising ways. Learn strategies for assuring supportive environments, sustaining relationships and creating seamless services. Gather resources and gain new skills in effectively communicating these ideas to others.

For more information, visit

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