You Make the Difference® Resources for Community Parent Educators

In your work with families, you know that the parent-child relationship is the most important context in which children’s early language, social and literacy development unfold.

Helping parents provide their child with a positive and responsive early learning environment can make the difference in helping the child reach his or her full potential.

The You Make the Difference Guidebook and DVD show parents how they can interact with their child during everyday activities in ways that will build their child’s confidence and create rich opportunities for him to communicate and understand his world.

You Make the Difference resources are used by a variety of professionals, including:

  • Infant development specialists
  • Infant mental health specialists
  • Social workers
  • Parent educators
  • Resource teachers
  • Early literacy specialists
  • Adult Basic Educators (ABEs)
  • Professionals in Early Learning/Readiness Programs

How You Make the Difference® Helps

You Make the Difference resources are designed to support families of typically developing children birth to five years of age, including those who are at risk due to social and environmental challenges.

Parents discover how to “tune-in” to their child’s interests and communication, and respond in ways that foster openness to learning and a positive self-concept – essential foundations for language and social skills development.

You Make the Difference helps by providing:

►Simple strategies that parents can use with their child throughout the day

The You Make the Difference guidebook provides parents with simple techniques for taking the everyday activities they do with their child and making small, but impactful adjustments to their interaction styles.

Having dinner, taking a bath, reading a book – parents discover how they can turn daily routines like these into  opportunities for encouraging their child and letting him know they care about what he has to say. When the child knows the parent is interested, he’ll be more likely to continue the interaction and add his own ideas, giving him more opportunities to learn.

One You Make the Difference strategy that that will help parents tune-in to their child’s interests and encourage his learning is called the “3A Way”.

The “3A Way” means:

The You Make the Difference guidebook and DVD show parents how they can apply this strategy while they’re playing games, having fun with music, reading books, or engaging in just about any daily routine with their child.

Click on the link below to see sample pages from the guidebook introducing this strategy:

►Parent-friendly resources that are fun and easy to use

The You Make the Difference guidebook and DVD are filled with simple language and helpful visuals to make comprehension easy for parents, including those with low literacy levels.

►The You Make the Difference® Guidebook

The guidebook’s clear explanations and fun illustrations engage parents while showing them how to interact with their child in the most supportive ways possible. Parents receive important information without being overwhelmed with extra detail, and this allows them to pick up the book and start using the ideas almost right away.

►The You Make the Difference® DVD

The You Make the Difference DVD is a user-friendly resource filled with dozens of real-life video examples of parents interacting with their children in their natural settings. Available in English and Spanish, this 9 session DVD may serve as a helpful companion to the guidebook or it may be used on its own.

Parents have told us that they find the DVD particularly helpful because it allows them to see what other parents have done to join in and share in their child’s experiences during everyday routines and activities. The DVD depicts both moms and dads, as well as a variety of ethnicities, allowing parents to better identify with the material and relate to the parents they see.

Click on the video below to see clips from the You Make the Difference DVD:

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►Availability in several languages

Since parents often find it easiest to read and learn in their native language, the You Make the Difference guidebook has been translated into several different languages, inculding English, French, Spanish, Chinese, and Dutch. We also provide a First Nations/Native American adaptation which is written in English, but which is sensitive to cultural differences. 

What People are Saying about You Make the Difference®

“Every teacher and parent should have a copy! You Make the Difference provides the tools for adults to engage in intimate, supportive interactions with children.”
- Philip H. Printz, Director, Head Start Region 1 Resource Access Project, Education Development Centre

“A warm, wise and wonderful guide to help parents and other grownups connect with the feelings of babies and young children”
- Emily Fenichel, Editor, Zero to Three Bulletin, National Centre for Clinical Infant Programs

"Simply the best and most charming guide for raising happy, confident children that I have ever seen"
- June Callwood, Social activist/Writer

Help parents make the most of their relationship with their child to foster the important foundations for social and communication development. Click on the link below to order You Make the Difference resources: