The Responsive Home

In an optimal classroom setting, the child-teacher relationship is considered one of the child’s most important connections. The teacher is the responsive caregiver whom children reach out to when they are frightened or hurt. The teacher takes the time to understand students’ capacities and can identify where they are in their social and emotional development. The teacher has spent years learning to recognize the individual social and emotional needs and abilities of children and, drawing on that knowledge, helps them to flourish by nurturing their ability to think, communicate, and collaborate. The teacher understands that when children feel socially and emotionally secure they are more likely to consider what is possible instead of what isn’t possible. This leaves children feeling happily challenged in their classroom environment, resilient, and prepared for their next stage.

Our SUNKISSED FAMILIES contributors take those fruitful lessons they’ve learned and adapt them for your home life in our series on The Responsive Home.


Jeannine Marie Lenehan,

Founder & Principal

SUNKISSED FAMILIES and the Center for Social & Emotional Health



Calling All Campers! Guess What I Brought Home From Summer Camp!

Sarah Coburn


Are you deciding whether to send your child away to camp? Certainly, there’s plenty of fun to be had in the backyard or at a playground, but camps can provide children with certain experiences not commonly found out your backdoor. In addition to a few new freckles and a handful of bug bites, camps are designed to help children return home with lifelong friendships [Read More]


“Yes I Can!” Nurture Power & Purpose in Children

Nora Bond


“Is it okay for me to do, move, and act as I do?” This is a summative question that children, between the ages of 3 and 6 years old, continue to ask themselves. It’s also a period when children will initiate tasks and look to their caregivers’ faith and encouragement. A safe, reassuring caregiver allows children to feel comfortable about the way they approach [Read More]


The Power of Pets

Sarah Coburn


“Please!!! I promise I’ll walk it every day and feed it and brush it!!” This is a line heard all too commonly by parents as their child begs for a household pet. Often, parents roll their eyes and respond by saying it’s too much responsibility and that they will end up doing all the work themselves. However, research has found an incredible number of benefits [Read More]


Why “You are loveable” says “I am worthy”

Nora Bond


I am so pleased to be thinking with everyone about happy, healthy children and families. Social, emotional, and spiritual development in children is particularly close to my heart. My work in classrooms and homes has informed my practice as a developmentalist, and sharing my observations for you is my mission here. Just last week [Read More]


The Marvel of Wonder in Children

Nora Bond

Wondering is my favorite activity with children. The way their whole bodies turn to marvel at a fire truck, a slug, or a beam of rainbow light – it brings me such joy. When I worked in a classroom, I often secretly added “Wonder Counselor” to my job title; I love facilitating the magic that is childhood exploration. Children’s experimentation is a welcome sign that they are engaging their minds
[Read More]



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