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Transcripts of Selected Group Discussions on CYC-Net

Since it's founding in 1997, the CYC-Net discussion group has been asked thousands of questions. These questions often generate many replies from people in all spheres of the Child and Youth Care profession and contain personal experiences, viewpoints, as well as recommended resources.

Below are some of the threads of discussions on varying Child and Youth Care related topics.

Questions and Responses have been reproduced verbatim.

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Quality of parenting / care in early childhood

I'm a first year Child and Youth Care student and I'm doing a presentation on the impact of parenting and care giving on early childhood. I was wondering if anyone knew of some research material or books that would be good to look at.

Thank you

Christine Adams

On the opening page of CYC-Net's web site ( there is a Search of the site itself. If you enter "early childhood" (in quotation marks as here) you will find many pages of initial reading. – Eds.

Your best friend as a student will be the website

Type in any subject and references galore will be at your fingertips.

Lorraine Fox

Definitely the work of Bowlby on attachment. His book "a secure base".

Hi Christine what is your focus of the presentation?

Susan Mosure

Dear Christine,

I should put in a word for D.W. Winnicott's ideas about good enough mothers,the mirror role of mother and family in child development, the false self, the transitional object, the facilitating environment etc. etc.

To be found in :
DW Winnicott (1965) The Family and Individual Development London,Routledge (2006) Still in print ISBN 0415 40277 8
DW Winnicott (1971) Playing and Reality London Routledge(2005) Still in print ISBN 0415 34546 4
DW Winnicott (1981, Home is where we start from London Penguin Books Still purchasable ISBN 0140135634

Winnicott, in the main, is in my view easy to read but Michael Jacobs in his book 'DW Winnicott' (I'm sorry I don't have the ISBN readily to hand at the moment, though it is easily obtainable) covers most of the Winnicottian ideas in a reasonably comprehensive and yet precise way. You will also find useful material on the site dedicated to Clare Winnicott, his wife at

There are articles on the goodenoughcaring site just as am sure there are in the CYC-Net Journals articles which are related to his ideas. I am at the moment writing a series of articles about his thoughts on parenting and nurture but they will not be ready for a few months so they will be too late for your project.

I hope this helps.
Best wishes,
Charles Sharpe

Hello Christine,

There is tons of information available in regards to parenting and caregiving. One thing I would recommend looking into is the different types of parenting styles; Authoritative, Authoritarian, and permissive. These styles can deeply impact a child in early development. From personal experience, I had two different types of parenting styles in my home when I was growing up and I see now how much they affected my life both positively and negatively. There are also many scholars articles that can be found online that may help.

If you are interested there are some interesting articles that can be read on Temperament, Goodness of Fit and creating logical consequences for children when they misbehave or do not listen. Some authors of these articles are; Roberta M. Berns who wrote some amazing information on parenting styles, J. Kristal who wrote an article on "The Goodness of Fit", and J. Nelson who wrote an article on logical consequences and some great tidbits on creating logical consequences for children.

I personally have really begun to understand the impact that parents have on children when they are younger. It is through reading these types of articles that I have understood how difficult it can be to parent and how there is no such thing as a perfect parent. One other thing I would like to add that may interest you is the impact of teaching young children basic empathy. I have really come to understand the importance of teaching young children basic empathy skills through child and animal bonds. At my practicum this year it has been proven that children taught empathy through animals can wind up having and showing more compassion in life.

Good luck on your presentation and I hope some of this may help.

Tanya Davis

Hi Christine

I am a second year CYCC student and I recently completed a concepts assignment on five articles about families and different methods of parenting. Each article was very informative and opened my eyes on different parenting methods and styles during early childhood development. The articles also help me to realize how parenting methods and style's can have either a positive or potentially negative impact in their child's development.

In the first article, Bronfenbrenner's Ecological Systems Theory, Bronfenbrenner (n.d) described many crucial concepts which can be utilized when working with youth and families. Bronfebrenner described the ecological theory, the structure of environment, nature verses nurture and implications for practice in his article. This theory looks at a child's development within a context of the system of relationships that form his or her environment.

The second article, The Fundamental Concepts of Family Therapy, Nichols, M and Schwartz, R (2007) described many theories and concepts which can be utilized while working within group and family therapy. The article suggest when working with family issues or problem as a professional you should avoid concentrating on the individual's problems and their personalities, but look at the problem as a product of the relationships surrounding between family members.

The third article, Parenting Styles, Roberta, M. Berns (1993) touched on many concepts regarding parenting styles; and the potential outcome they have on a child's development. The parenting styles were outlined in terms of degrees: authoritative (democratic), authoritarian (parent-centered) and permissive (child-centered). The article allows you to better understand the effects of parenting styles on children's behaviour and development through findings based on research on parenting styles observed most
frequently in many different situations.

The forth article the Goodness of Fit, Kristal, J. (2005) discusses many concepts surrounding getting along with each other in our environments. The article outlines the goodness and poorness of fit between caregivers and the child. The goodness of fit between a parent and a child encourages positive self-esteem and self awareness. This article shows how important forming a "good fit" with a child can be and the many positive influences it that can come of it.

In the fifth article Natural and Logical Consequences, Nelson, J. (1996) discusses how natural and logical consequences can be beneficial when dealing with children and youth. This article touches base on the comparison of punishment and logical/ natural consequences. The article suggests there is no need to enforce punishment on children and youth today, but instead apply either natural or logical consequences when necessary to encourage development in the child's characteristics for long-range results.

I hope these articles provided you with some crucial information on the impact of parenting and care giving on early childhood. One piece that I took from reading these articles is how vital it is to become educated and informed as parents on the many different parenting styles and methods, also the impact it can have on a child's development. Good luck with your presentation!

Chelsea Schick

P.S These are the references for each article.
Berns, Roberta, M. (1993). Child, Family, Community. pp. 148-165. Orlando,
FL: Harcourt
Brace Jovanuvich.
CYCC 1225. (2009). Class Notes. Youth Care Practice with Families. Calgary, AB : Mount Royal College.
Kristal, J. (2005). The Temperament Perspective. pp. 41-56. Baltimore, MD:
Paul H. Brookes publishing.
Nichols, M. & Schwartz, R. (2007) The Essentials of Family Therapy. 3rd ed. pp. 56-80.
ON : Pearson Education Canada.
Nelson, J. (1996). Positive Disciple. pp. 80-102. Toronto, ON: Random

Christine, hey,

I don't know if you have done your presentation yet or not, but there is TONS of amazing stuff out there. It would be in your interest to first research different parenting styles (Authoritative, Authoritarian, and Permissive). This will give you a basis of pros and cons to parenting styles and influence on children. Psychology text on development in children is a vital source of information, as well as articles or research on Goodness of Fit and Temperament. There are other findings done on consequences of corporal punishment that you can find in journal reviews through your faculty's library resources or internet site.
Some recent articles that I have just read which are absolutely amazing are:

The Temperament Perspective. pg 41-56 – By Kristal, J (2005) – Paul H. Brookes Publishing
Positive Disciple. pg 80-102- By Nelson, J (1996) – Random House
* Berns, Roberta, M (1993) – Child, Family, Community. Specifically Parenting Styles pg148-165. Harcourt Jovanovich.

And check out Urie Brofenbrenner's Ecological Theory. Children in the microsystem are influenced from immediate surroundings, as well as from outer layers of the environment and bi-directional influences occur between structures in a given layer, as well as between layers, and so there is a dual influence where child is affected by environment, and environment is affected by child.

Also, Check out the Strange Test (should find in a developmental psych text, or on internet)

Good luck and happy first year :)

Dana MacCallum

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