Nurturing Parenting Programs



Community Based Education Nurturing Parenting

This 10-week Evidence-Based Program was designed for the Prevention and Treatment of Child Abuse and Neglect to empower individuals and families with new knowledge, beliefs, strategies and skills to make good and healthy lifestyle choices. The program's 10 sessions topics are below and coupled with LENA Start and the State of TN Building Stronger Brains: The Role of Life Experiences in Shaping Brain Development Curriculum to provide weekly two hour sessions.  Parents are provided childcare if needed, refreshments, 10 books for the child and a weekly gift card for participating.

1. Understanding Feelings
2. Alternatives to Spanking
3. Communicating with Respect
4. Building Self-Worth in Children
5. Praising Children & their Behavior
6. Ages & Stages of Growth for Infants & Toddlers
7. The Philosophy and Practices of Nurturing Parenting
8. Learning Positive Ways to Deal with Stress & Anger
9. Understanding & Developing Family Morals, Values & Rules
10. Ways to Enhance Positive Brain Development in Children & Teens


Community Based Education 
Nurturing Parenting Teen Pregnancy Prevention


This 8-week evidence based program's purpose is to reduce teen pregnancy by providing knowledge, this is not a fear based program. Isn't reality bad enough? The goal of this program is to educate teens about the consequences of high risk behavior and give them the tools necessary to make better choices. Enhancing decision making skills based on Cognitive Behavioral techniques, the series encourages the use of evidence finding to validate beliefs, instead of relying on faulty thoughts and charged emotions. Changing attitudes and beliefs about self-worth, Teens that are ambivalent are more likely to experience negative consequences of bad decision making. These lessons are geared to improve self-worth because teens that value their bodies and future, in an effort to "protect" themselves make better choices. 

Eight independent lessons topics below are coupled with LENA Start and the State of TN Building Stronger Brains: The Role of Life Experiences in Shaping Brain Development Curriculum to provide weekly hour sessions over a full school semester as a class elective or as an organized extracurricular parent/sibling group outside of the school setting. Parents are provided childcare if needed, refreshments, 10 books for the child, and a weekly gift card for participating.

1. Developing Your Sense of Worth
2. What About Boundaries?
3. Saying What You Feel
4. Dating and You
5. When Dating Goes Bad
6. Your Sexual Health
7. Talking About Sex
8. Oh Baby! The Consequences of Teen Pregnancy


Building Nurturing Parenting Skills in Teenage Parents: Final Report Winter, 1987
Stephen J. Bavolek, Ph.D. Juliana Dellinger-Bavolek, M.S.E.


All sessions are now enrolling and will meet once weekly for an hour. Morning and evening sessions are available for parents with child 2-32 months of age.

  • Session 1 the week of June 22 through August 31, 2020.
  • Session 2 the week of September 6 - November 2, 2020.
For more information or enrollment, email the below contacts.



Language Environment Analysis

Through language enhanced parent education we hope to enhance the knowledge you already have of child development particularly in language and social emotional development through LENA Research coupled with Nurturing Parenting and Adverse Childhood Experiences Awareness group sessions.  Parent Caregiver groups are conducted once per week at a community location near you. It is a program that helps parents understand the importance of talking with their children, early brain development, and literacy for early care through back and forth conversational turns.  Benefits of this program include with child care while attending sessions if you need it, refreshments, 10 free children's books, and gift cards weekly.  Scroll below  to register for a short webinar. 

Click here to find LENA in our community.

Click here to read more about LENA in a Q&A with Dr. Loretta Rudd.

Here is what participants had to say about their UofM LENA experience.


LENA Start

LENA Start is a program for parents that uses regular feedback from LENA's "talk pedometer" technology to help increase interactive talk in order to close the early talk gap, improve school readiness, and build stronger families. Over the course of 10 weekly sessions, parents and caregivers learn about the importance of interactive talk along with ways to incorporate more conversation into their daily routines. The program combines the use of LENA technology to measure the home language environment with parent group meetings that teach simple techniques to improve the quantity and quality of adult-child talk.

Why is talking with children so important? 

More than 20 years of research show a relationship between the amount of language children experience and their brain development. Recent brain imaging studies indicate that conversational turns in particular — back and forth alternations between a child and an adult — have unique brain building power. During the first three years of a child's life, these back and forth conversations are a significant factor driving brain growth and kindergarten readiness. Read more.

Why does LENA focus specifically on early talk, rather than other factors that may affect children's development?

When adults engage in high-quality, "serve and return" interactions with children, they build a healthy  foundation of brain architecture and neural connections that will last a lifetime. LENA Start is designed  to help caregivers boost interactive talk with children in anticipation of many cascading benefits  for the child — like better social-emotional health and kindergarten readiness — that will lay the groundwork for future success.

Is there variability in how much different families talk with children?

Yes. Studies that used LENA technology to understand the home language environment found
significant differences in how much families talk with their children. Even in the same household,
talk levels vary significantly during the course of the day and from week to week. That's where LENA
comes in — our language-measurement technology is an objective tool to help parents understand,
measure, and increase conversations with children.




LENA Grow is a professional development program for early childhood educators in family day homes or child care programs that uses regular feedback from LENA technology to improve the talk environment in the classroom. Educators meet with a coach one-on-one or in group sessions, weekly or every other week, with flexibility to fit their schedules. The coaching sessions provide time to review the data on the interactive talk environment in each classroom, and use the data to set goals to talk more.  



LENA Home is ideal for coaching and home visitation programs that would like to supplement their curriculum with objective feedback from LENA technology. LENA Home is an add-on for the existing parent coaching curriculum. Home visitors using LENA technology to measure language gain objective insights on home talk that can be used to inform and motivate parents and track progress toward increasing interaction. Productivity is increased through clear reports that provide insights on how much adults spoke, back and forth exchanges between parents and child, and tv and electronic sound throughout the day, feedback designed to show progress over time, scheduling and text reminders that simplify logistics and ease the burden on home visitors, Implementation support and one year of technical assistance, two validated measures of child language behavior.


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