How Child Well-Being Impacts Community

As a parent, it’s natural to want to do anything within your power to meet and protect your child’s best interests. You want him to grow up and become the best person he can be, to experience a happy and fulfilling life, and to know that you are his number one cheerleader and advocate.

Investments in your child's success are also investments in Memphis & Shelby County! Tweet this!

Throughout infancy and early childhood, positive parenting is critical to promote optimal progress in all life stages.  Being present, attentive, nurturing, encouraging, and affectionate are aspects of positive parenting that contribute to your child’s social and emotional health, and directly influence his future success. 

Studies show that during the first three years of life, the type of parenting that a child experiences has lasting effects on their overall well-being as older youth and adults. Our upbringing largely determines the type of people that we become and the type of lives that we lead. 

Positive parenting contributes to the success of our entire community. 

By investing in your child’s individual success you also make an investment in the future of Memphis - by helping to create the type of community that your children and future generations can thrive in.

If you are the parent of an infant or toddler you could be thinking: how can the way I raise my child affect the city of Memphis?  

Strong communities thrive on productive citizens. The children of today are who we will count on to move our city forward as adults, and to assume various roles in its leadership.  Positive parenting is a prerequisite for preparing children and youth to be a part of the solution and not the cause of challenges their cities face.

To make Memphis stronger, all parents and residents must commit to actively promoting and supporting early childhood social and emotional development. In championing the individual successes of our own children, consideration should be given to how their accomplishments affect the condition of our community for future generations to come. 

A skilled workforce is vital to a city’s economic security and vitality.

According to The Urban Child Institute, kindergarten and school readiness is an early indicator of how well a child is positioned for academic success, which impacts one’s ability to secure gainful employment and establish a career.

School readiness is rooted in the first three years of life. Early learning that occurs at home or in early education programs allows a child to build critical social and emotional skills that drive classroom performance.   Being a positive and proactive parent that supports early learning not only increases your child’s potential for life-long success, but also improves our city’s potential to advance.

In Memphis, low achievement rates for children and older youth have plagued our city for years. By ensuring that your child is prepared and eager to learn, parents are instrumental in driving the comprehensive work that is required to improve collective outcomes.

Poverty, unemployment, and crime rates in Memphis and Shelby County are interrelated. Research conducted by The Urban Child Institute suggests that increased focus on early social and emotional development is key to combat negative statistics that impact our community’s economy, livability, and attractiveness. 

Devoting more energy, resources, and attention to our children will help our community succeed.

There are various individuals and organizations in our community leading new initiatives to improve our community, but it’s important to remember that parents serve on the starting line of our city’s defense by providing direct links to its future caretakers.

The individual and combined results of positive parenting impact the well-being of all children, all adults, and our entire community.  Doing all that you can to meet and provide for your child’s social and emotional needs reflects a shared commitment to help him reach his potential, and to help Memphis do the same.

By Tarrin McGhee, owner of Pique Creative. This article was originally published online by the Tri-State Defender