Our team: Karen Forde (Project Lead), Candice Rainsford (Project Coordinator), Aida Noordin (Research Assistant) and Joanne Readman (Project Assistant).
External collaborators: Ken Resnicow (University of Michigan), James White (Reach HPI)
Partners: Minderoo Foundation, Better Beginnings, Bezos Family Foundation, Raising Childrens Network
Every day we all rely on a set of essential life skills that help us feel good and function well. These skills encompass the brain’s executive functions and help us learn to focus and attend to what’s important; be more organised and plan ahead; feel less frustrated and overwhelmed in daily life; set meaningful goals and take on challenges. We aren’t born with these skills, but rather we learn them over time through experience and practice, starting in early childhood.
The Bright Tomorrows app developed at the Telethon Kids Institute aims to assist parents of children aged 0-5 years to support their child to develop the building blocks of these critical skills. In partnership with Vroom and the Bezos Family Foundation, the app will include over 1000 tips for activities that parents can do with their child to help them learn and practice their essential life skills. These fun and interactive ideas for learning can be woven into everyday moments like bedtime, bathtime and mealtime. The Bright Tomorrows app will also provide parents with information and advice to improve their own life skills, so they can learn and grow alongside their child.
The Bright Tomorrows child activity ideas and parent tips (termed ‘moments’) are organised into five core categories of skill development:
- Attention and focus: awareness, avoiding/managing distractions, mindfulness, technology use
- Emotions and self-control: relaxation/calming, stress management, identifying emotional triggers, reflecting, impulse control, coping strategies
- Relationships and communication: listening, language, perspective-taking, working with others, conflict resolution, responding to situations appropriately, help-seeking
- Planning, organisation and routine: planning, prioritising, decision-making, family routines, household organisation, time management, finances, healthy habits
- Character strengths: problem solving, creativity, critical thinking, setting and pursuing goals, taking on challenges, persistence, growth mindset, self-compassion
Parents can also receive more comprehensive support to develop their own essential life skills and those of their child through individual coaching modules around key topic areas, such as stress management, communication and reading with your child.