Parent Resources

Research-based Resources on Parenting, Social and Emotional Learning and School-Family Partnerships
The mission of the Collaborative for Academic, Social, and Emotional Learning (CASEL) and the Social and Emotional Learning Research Group is to help make evidence-based social and emotional learning (SEL) an integral part of education from preschool through high school. Because parents are critical partners in achieving that mission, we are providing resources to help them learn more. We have partnered with parenting and SEL expert Jennifer Miller to develop a thoughtfully curated list of resources that might assist parents in learning more about social and emotional learning in schools or in their own parenting practices with their children. There is also a section specific to supporting school-family partnerships with resources to help parents engage in their children’s school. These particular sites were chosen because they regularly utilize the research literature to ensure that their work is well-informed by science. All were created with the parent audience in mind and can be accessed for no cost. We hope parents, scholars, educators, and youth service providers alike will benefit from the following list.


Edutopia: A Parent’s Resource Guide to Social and Emotional Learning
This curated list will help parents identify a number of resources including blogs, articles, and videos for parents on fostering social and emotional skills like kindness, gratitude, persistence, and more.


Ashoka Parenting Changemakers
This site offers resources and ideas for acting as a parenting change-maker with a focus on building four skills in family life including empathy, teamwork, new leadership, and change-making. Their facilitated process helps parents problem-solve for themselves and leads families and communities in addressing the issues that are most pressing to them.

Common Sense Media
This site reviews the vast majority of movies, apps, video games, and other media available to children. Each movie, for example, lists a parent-level age rating along with a kid’s perspective of appropriate age level. In addition, it gives a summary along with positive messages and violence or scariness rankings. There is a mobile app to make it simple to review any media your children may encounter.

Confident Parents, Confident Kids
The only site for parents that focuses explicitly on actively promoting kids’ social, emotional, and ethical development. Drawing upon research from multiple disciplines and best practices from educators, articles and resources focus on simple, practical ways to model, coach, and create practice opportunities to develop social and emotional skills in the context of family life.

Great Schools, Great Kids
A community resource to find and share information about schools. You can type in any school, city, or zip code and get demographic information on schools in your area such as ratings, reviews, and extracurriculars. Check out their new video series entitled, “Milestones,” to learn more about grade level expectations K-5, including children’s perspectives. The site has an “Emotional Smarts” section with a toolbox, a game, and a video series.

Healthy Children
Developed by the American Academy of Pediatrics, this site provides information on children’s developmental ages and stages, on healthy living practices, on safety and prevention, and on dealing with health concerns at home.

Info About Kids
Produced through a collaboration of the Consortium for Science-Based Information on Children, Youth, and Families, the site is committed to publishing resources with a solid research base. They have sections on body, mind, emotions, and relationships.

NBC Parent Toolkit
Drawing from an experienced set of experts in a range of fields, including CASEL’s Roger Weissberg, this site provides developmental markers at each age/stage with guidance for parents on how to support each aspect of development. Resources are provided in the areas of academic, health and wellness, and social and emotional development. A supplemental application can prompt a parent on a child’s specific milestones along with tips for support.

Stop Bullying
A site dedicated to helping parents, educators, and community members stop bullying. There are also resources and articles specifically written for kids and teens.

Youth Service America
A global organization that supports youth involvement as significant contributors to communities through learning, leadership, and service. They organize large scale campaigns, make grants, offer numerous resources, and give awards to support their mission.


Child-Psych Blog: Child Development, Parenting, and Child Psychology
Written by two clinical-child psychologists, they draw from a solid research base to write articles for parents and educators on child development.

Edutopia: Maurice Elias on Social and Emotional Learning
Maurice Elias, a long-time CASEL collaborator and Psychology Professor and Director of the Social and Emotional Learning Lab at Rutgers University, writes on social and emotional learning topics regularly for the Edutopia blog. Articles are written for parents and/or educators depending upon the week and topic focus.

Momma Data: Debunking Children’s Health News and Advice
Written by a psychologist and researcher, the author finds popularized research and examines it for rigor and validity. She shares her views and questions for parents on key challenges such as bullying, ADHD, autism, and more.

Parenting Science: Parenting for the Science-minded
Author is an evolutionary biologist and anthropologist and brings her unique perspective to parenting by reviewing how science may impact a range of child development issues.


NBC Parent Toolkit: State of Parenting
A survey of 803 American parents conducted by Pearson asked questions on a range of issues including family dinners, parental involvement, most important skills to build, quality of schools, academic standards, and more.

Pew Research Center on Social & Demographic Trends
Parenting in America: Outlook, Worries, Aspirations are Strongly Linked to Financial Situation
This article reviews and summarizes large data sets that examine how income level impacts parenting attitudes and styles and specifics about how involved parents are in their children’s education.


Getting Smart: Smart Parents
Articles, blogs, videos and more are included to help parents become involved in their children’s education.

Confident Parents, Confident Kids: Family-School Partnerships
This page contains resources and articles geared specifically to help parents in their efforts to support their children’s learning. Articles include topics such as having constructive parent-teacher conversations about challenging issues, preparing for a parent-teacher conference, and planning successful homework and bedtime routines.

Parent Checklist for School Visits
From Confident Parents, Confident Kids – The Heart and Head School Report Card
If a parent has the luxury of choosing a school (whether it’s preschool, elementary, or high), it’s best to visit, tour, and spend time in a classroom to get a feel for the culture of the school. Print out “The Heart and Head School Report Card” as a checklist and use while on the visit or complete when returning home. See if the school meets your family’s desires and criteria for educating the whole child.

Harvard Family Research Project
This project at the Harvard Graduate School of Education conducts research on the best ways of increasing school-home and school-community collaboration. This site offers research papers on the topic, links to other organizations, and links to many partnership models.

National Parent Teacher Association (PTA)
Tips, fact sheets, and articles useful to both parents and teachers are included on a wide range of topics related to parenting and school-home collaboration.

Partners in Education: A Dual Capacity-building Framework for Family-School Partnerships
by U.S. Department of Education and Southwest Educational Development Laboratory
This report describes a guiding framework for a school embracing families as true partners in education and how that can be successfully accomplished. In addition, it provides three case studies to show how framework plays out in an authentic setting.

Partnerships by Design: Cultivating Effective and Meaningful School-Family-Community Partnerships
by Debbie Ellis and Kendra Hughes
This web resource helps schools and family involvement programs assess what they have in place to build from their strengths and improve the quality of their partnerships.

School, Family, and Community Partnerships: Preparing Educators and Improving Schools
by Joyce Epstein
Learn about the past decade of research supporting effective school, family, and community partnerships and how to improve the quality of those programs and practices.
Book Review:

School-Family Partnerships for Children’s Success
by Eva Patrikakou, Roger P. Weissberg, Sam Redding, & Herbert J. Wahlberg, Editors
The most influential leaders in the field provide essential information to better understand and improve the nature and quality of school–family partnerships for the benefit of all children. These experts examine the various aspects and effects of parental involvement not only on children’s academic achievement, but also on their social and emotional development. Featuring a comprehensive multidimensional framework, the text addresses critical issues facing families and educators, developmental considerations, cultural perspectives, and policy issues. Each chapter includes recommendations to help educators, parents, and policymakers create and sustain successful partnerships to support children’s development.

Southwest Educational Development Laboratory: Research Syntheses
This site lists a number of research syntheses that review numerous studies on school-family-community partnerships.

The Seven P’s of School-Family Partnerships
by Evanthia N. Patrikakou and Roger P. Weissberg
This article clearly articulates seven key ingredients for building schools in building partnerships with families. They were derived from a local research-to-practice program.

Parents and Teachers Working Together
by Carol Davis and Alice Yang
This is an easy-to-read and useful book that contains tools and supports for both teachers and parents to connect with one another on student learning.


National Council on Family Relations: Zippy News
A weekly e-newsletter is produced by the National Council on Family Relations (NCFR), an association dedicated to the multidisciplinary understanding of families, providing news about the latest research, job openings, grant and publishing opportunities, and more in the family field. It has a readership of nearly 10,000 NCFR members, Certified Family Life Educators, and others interested in the family field (free subscription).

Countdown to School Success
by the U.S. Department of Education
A month-by-month school year guide to point parents to tools, resources, and tips for getting involved with children’s learning.

Parents Guide to Student Success
by the National Parent Teacher Association
This guide reviews learning standards at each grade level to help parents understand what their children will be learning and how they might support those learning goals.

Whole-Hearted Parenting: How to Use Emotional Intelligence to Create More Peace, Collaboration, and Joy
by Joshua Freedman
Executive Director of a global nonprofit that promotes emotional intelligence, Six Seconds, Joshua Freedman brings his own parenting experience as well as his professional knowledge on emotional intelligence to provide a resource for parents on parenting with their whole hearts. 

Jennifer Miller’s Top Ten Favorite Books for Parents:

Positive Discipline
by Jane Nelsen
In this easy to read guide, Jane Nelsen coaches parents and teachers to be firm and kind so that any child from toddler to teenager can learn creative cooperation and self-discipline with no loss of dignity.

Positive Discipline for Preschoolers: For their Early Years – Raising Children Who are Responsible, Respectful, and Resourceful
by Jane Nelsen, H. Stephen Glenn, Lynn Lott
Written as a quick reference guide, this book will teach you methods for raising a preschool-age child who is responsible, respectful, and resourceful by finding practical solutions to parenting challenges such as bedtime hassles, school problems, whining, and so much more. 

Making Grateful Kids: A Scientific Approach to Help Youth Thrive
by Jeffrey Froh, Giacomo Bono
Jeffrey J. Froh and Giacomo Bono introduce their most compelling research, announce groundbreaking findings, and share real-life stories from adults and youth to show parents, teachers, mentors, and kids how to achieve greater life satisfaction through gratitude. They offer many simple strategies for building habits of gratitude into day-to-day life and provide compelling evidence for its importance.

Transitions: Making Sense of Life’s Changes
by William Bridges
William Bridges spent his life working to understand changes. Whether you are going through the birth of a new baby, a move, a job change, or the death of a loved one, this book explains in simple yet brilliant terms how any person can understand the emotions they are undergoing, help ease the transition, and launch a new life.

Yardsticks: Children in the Classroom Ages 4-14
by Chip Wood
This comprehensive, user-friendly reference helps those who work with and love children use the knowledge of child development to shape classrooms and schools where all children can succeed by giving charts on development traits; physical, social, language, and cognitive growth patterns; and suggestions for curricular areas. Though the text is geared for educators, it remains an exceptional resource for parents who want to understand each age and stage of development.

Brainstorm: The Power and Purpose of the Teenage Brain: An Inside-Out Guide to the Emerging Adolescent Mind, Ages 12-24
by Daniel J. Siegel (Goodreads Author)
Dr. Siegel is a leading expert in brain science. This book sheds light on the often misunderstood yet critical time in a child’s life in which they straddle childhood and adulthood but don’t fit squarely in either phase. Siegel characterizes the teen years as the most powerful life phase for activating courage, purpose, and creativity. He creates empathy for the teenage experience and helps parents understand how to work with and support the teens in their lives.

Parenting without Power Struggles: Raising Joyful, Resilient Kids While Staying Cool, Calm, and Connected
by Susan Stiffelman
Stiffelman shows you how to awake your child’s natural instincts to cooperate by being the confident parent your child needs, teaching you how to parent from a place of strong, durable connection, and helping your child navigate the challenging moments of growing up. This is an excellent resource for any parents but particularly for those who find themselves in power struggles with their children.

The Whole-Brain Child: 12 Revolutionary Strategies to Nurture Your Child’s Developing Mind
by Daniel J. Seigel
This book simplifies brain science to assist parents in teaching children about how their mind works and how they can practice emotional awareness and self-management.

Smart Parents: Parenting for Powerful Learning
by Bonnie Lathram, Carri Schneider, and Tom Vander Ark
What an honor it is to be a contributor to this book. Packed with helpful guidance from more than 60 parents who are also experts in learning and/or education, this book will support Moms and Dads who recognize learning as core to their purpose. It prepares parents for powerful and significant contributions to our children’s learning with practical tips that can be used immediately.

How to Talk So Kids Will Listen and Listen So Kids Will Talk
by Adele Faber and Elaine Mazlish
This book provides specific language and numerous examples of parent interactions to enhance parents’ communication and listening skills in a variety of challenging situations. It has the potential to create deeper connections and trust as parents use the new skills with their children.