CALMM Parenting

CALMM, a project of Kids First, is an approach to parenting based on understanding what children need. Parenting can be exhausting; part of the challenge is that children need freedom to grow but also reassurance that you will be there for them when they need it.

CALMM stands for:

  • Connected
  • Aware
  • Loving
  • Moment to Moment for
  • Me and My Child

Develop CALMM relationships

A child's behaviour is a way of communicating need. To learn what they need, you can try the following tips to help build a better relationship:

  • Stop and listen to the need and be in the moment with your child
  • Remain calm and be emotionally available to your child
  • Take actions to support your child

Create CALMM sleep habits

Sleep is important to your child's growth and development. You can support your child's sleep by creating a healthy sleep routine. Try these tips to develop regular sleep schedule:

  • Create a relaxing, consistent bedtime routine that your child can follow each night
  • Avoid screen time before sleep
  • Try to keep bedtimes and wake times consistent from day to day
  • Regular meals, physical activity and time outside can promote a good night's sleep

CALMM eating

As a caregiver, you decide when and what to feed your child. Your child should decide if they want to eat and how much they want to eat. You can help develop healthy eating habits by:

  • Building a positive relationship with food
  • Teaching children to trust the cues their body gives them
  • Letting them experiment with food
  • Allowing them to introduce variety over time

Promote play

Trust your child's ability to assess their own limits, such as deciding to jump off a stump, climb up a slide or tree, etc. Make play as safe as necessary, not as safe as possible. Children need the freedom to explore with an adult there for support if needed. You can:

  • Encourage child-led play
  • Provide new environments, objects, textures, tools and more
  • Offer a balance of structured and unstructured play time