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Beginnings Guides Blog

Parents Guide Update in Progress

Beginnings Parents Guide is temporarily sold out. We are accepting
backorders for the New 2012 Edition.  It will, of course, be easy to
read, interactive and evidence based.

Evidence based content  The scientific evidence for each topic in
the Guide is being reviewed and incorporated into the text. The
content reflects guidelines from the American Academy of Pediatrics,
Services Task Force and the Zero to Three National Center for Infants,
Toddlers and Families, as well as the current public health literature.
Parents Guide content is specifically complementary to Bright Futures,
Ages and Stages and the Life Skills Progression instrument (LSP).  We
will be checking all these and other sources for the latest evidence
and best practices.

Plain Language  Beginnings Guides use plain language and a fourth grade reading level
This does not mean the information is suitable for a fourth grader. It does not mean the
Guides “talk down” to readers. Rather it means the information is easy to understand and
use independently for about 80% of individuals with 9 to 12 years of schooling and half of
those with 6 to 8 years. Everyone, regardless of reading ability, benefits by review and
discussion. That is because we readers make meaning from information and figure out how
to use it by talking with others.

Using your input  The Parents Guide was developed by and for home visitors and the families
they serve. Over 40 home visitors participated in content development and testing. I routinely
collect comments from parents and their home visitors, parent educators, case managers and
outreach specialists who rely on Beginnings Parents Guide for teaching and learning about early
parenting. These comments are reviewed first as we plan the update. If you have additions or
changes to recommend, now is the time. Send me email.

Text Reviews  I am now working on the text review. The Parents Guide is one of the most
reviewed documents on the planet. It was first published in 1999 with technical support from
ZERO TO THREE and has been updated regularly. So the text is already well honed and mother-
tested. Our editorial standards require that it be easy to read, understand, and especially easy
to use. The text serves both as a teaching aid and for independent learning.  It reads like something
you would actually say to a mother sitting across from you. In fact, you can use the text as a script
to open discussion of difficult topics that mothers are unlikely to bring up, and that may leave
feeling at a loss for words. So far, I’ve found  two bits of American slang to clarify: Do not try to
“go it alone”, and You might feel you are at the “end of your rope”. These common expressions
may not be understood by all parents.  They will be clarified.

Topic Reviews   As I did recently with the Pregnancy Guideupdate, I will post here reviews of the
evidence and decisions regarding changes, additions and deletions. As always your comment will be
welcome, appreciated and fully considered.

Next: Sleep Safety There is perhaps no more emotional or controversial issue for new parents
than sleeping arrangements.
Stay tuned.  
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