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Using Nurturance and Prevention Tools

Bernadette Mayek, Extension Family Living Educator — Waupaca County, University of Wisconsin; and Ronald L. Pitzer, Family Sociologist, University of Minnesota

Reviewed November 2008 by Kathleen A. Olson, Family Relations — Extension Education

Effective parental nurturing may be the single best predictor that a child will turn out successfully. Nurturing means giving our children the time, love, care, attention, and affection they need to develop into competent and healthy adults. Nurturance builds self-esteem, develops attachment, and allows children to be disciplined. Nurturance builds a relationship between parent and child, a “bank account” of good will. If this account is established very early in a child’s life, when babies are cuddled and cooed at, it can be a great benefit during the teenage years. A child who feels loved is more apt to realize that parents set limits and give guidance because they love and care about him or her. Children are more likely to feel secure within loving boundaries.

Love and Care for Our Children

Prevention Tools Help Stop Misbehavior Before It Starts

As a parent you can use tools to prevent a problem from happening in the first place. The prevention tools are organized into four groups:

Change Your Attitude

Teach Values and Behavior

Change the Situation

Increase Security


Clark, J. I., & Dawson, C. (1997). Growing up again: Parenting ourselves, parenting our children. New York, NY: Harper & Row.

Smith, C. A. (1993). Responsive discipline: Effective tools for parents. Manhattan, KS: Kansas State University Cooperative Extension Service.

Steinberg, L. (2004). The Ten Basic Principles of Good Parenting. New York, NY: Simon & Schuster.

University of Minnesota Extension. (1997). Positive parenting II: A video-based parent education curriculum. St. Paul, MN: University of Minnesota Extension. This product is no longer available.

Related Resources

Child Care: Raising Children Together — Good child care provides parents with an extended family to help share in the challenges and joys of raising children.

How Positive Is Your Parenting Style? (284 K PDF) — Parenting styles have their pros and cons depending on the situation. Take this self-assessment to determine how “positive” your parenting style is.

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