Promoting Development During the Visit

July 7, 2021
Promoting Development During the Visit

As a primary care provider, every interaction you have is an opportunity to make a difference. Nurturing relationships and positive experiences with caregivers can mitigate a child’s stress response, allowing for healthier brain development. During each well-child visit, you can promote the following six keystones that are well supported by research, are largely dependent on parent and caregiver behaviors, and are strongly predictive of later social-emotional-cognitive and physical well-being:

1) Secure Attachment – A child is securely attached when they view the caregiver as safe, reliable, nurturing, and caring and as someone with whom the child feels a sense of belonging. Promote it by: Discussing skin-to-skin with families

2) Autonomy – A child’s sense that they are able to use their own skills in thinking and behaving. Promote it by: Asking patients for their thoughts on how to do things

3) Self Regulation – A child’s increasing ability to manage their emotions, behaviors, and attention in order to achieve their goals. Promote it by: Discussing positive discipline strategies with families

4) Perspective Taking – A child’s ability to understand and communicate their thoughts and feelings as well as those of others. Promote it by: Playing “I Spy” with emotions

5) Problem Solving – A child’s skill in stepping back and reflecting on what has been learned, making connections, and using critical thinking to help solve problems that are important in his or her life. Promote it by: Praising parents for supporting learning instead of solving problems for their child

6) Academic Knowledge – A child’s increasing and meaningful understanding of language, literacy, numeracy, and sciences as foundational to the acquisition of future knowledge. Promote it by: Using “math talk” by discussing quantities, shapes, and comparisons

For more tips on how you can embed these keystones into each visit, check out the Keystones of Development curriculum!