The Parent-Child Mother Goose Program® is a joyful, physically close and interactive program in which parents and children learn to share the power and pleasure of oral rhymes, songs, and stories. The approach is backed by decades of research, yet is so simple and natural that parents easily gain skills and confidence that foster healthy relationships and help them give their children experiences that promote healthy brain development, which peaks by the age of three and is largely set for life. All children’s early experiences mold their brains, and the primary caregiver provides most of those experiences. The caregiver’s choice of words, tone of voice, gestures, facial expressions, holding, and cuddling lay the neurological foundation for the child’s lifelong emotional, physical, and cognitive health.
Parent-Child Mother Goose delivers the culturally sensitive and adaptable program at no charge and although the program benefits ALL families, prioritizes any families at risk. Participants may be single teens, isolated newcomers with little English, Indigenous families in isolated communities, or may suffer from abuse, addiction, poverty, or post-partum depression; some may even have lost their children to institutional care. The program creates a warm, embracing little community that is a lifeline to isolated families.
Parent-Child Mother Goose also manages the training and certification process for Parent-Child Mother Goose Program teachers nation-wide and internationally. By providing training to full-time staff from other agencies, the organization has enabled Parent-Child Mother Goose programs for many thousands of parents, babies and toddlers in every province in Canada as well as Australia, China, U.S., Iran, and Ecuador. Program languages include Indigenous languages, English, French, Spanish, Somali, Farsi, Mandarin, and ASL.
The Parent-Child Mother Goose Program partnered with the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) at the Hospital for Sick Children in Toronto to create a book of rhymes and stories for NICU families, It Was Midnight on the Ocean. The NICU gives the book to babies’ parents to give them an easy way to connect with their fragile infants, whom they often cannot touch. This has the added proven benefit of combating the known risk of language delay in preterm infants.
WHAT PROGRAM PARTICIPANTS SAY?
- It allows my children to socialize with other children, and learn to sit still (mostly!) and listen.
- As a single parent I found it very hard raising my son. I used to hit my son, though I didn’t want to. Now when I get angry at him, we do a nursery rhyme and it makes us both feel better.
- I like the meanings behind the stories. Whatever the culture, there are always similarities.
- This program is great because I feel lonely at home, not having much friends to chat with. But when I come to the program I feel belonging to a community, I feel loved.