Skip to main content

Raised with Love and Limits Foundation Develops “Behavior Checker®”

KU Pediatric nurses Kelley Harrison, BSN, RN and Shelley Zell, BSN, RN share the news about Behavior Checker with patients.

"Parenting Healthcare" to Prevent Adverse Childhood Experiences and Toxic Stress

The Raised with Love and Limits Foundation announces the launch of Behavior Checker, the first initiative of its kind in the country giving a pediatric healthcare provider/pediatric nurse the tools to help every parent improve and protect the health of her child through parenting healthcare.

Making the teachable skills of parenting a priority in pediatrics is a change that fills a gap in meeting the needs of every parent and the health and well-being of every child. New scientific research demonstrates that physicians can’t take care of a child’s health without taking care of a child’s parenting.  Over one-half of questions asked of pediatric healthcare providers in a phone call or clinic setting is behavior-related, according to healthcare providers. Before Behavior Checker, those questions were answered by nurses and physicians without the knowledge of the new, evidence-based results of the Adverse Childhood Experiences Study (ACE), noting the irrefutable link between parenting behavior and child health, learning and behavior outcomes.

The New Public Health Movement

Behavior Checker supports the new public health movement of preventing adverse childhood experiences and toxic stress in children’s lives that causes chronic inflammation, in order to improve their health, learning and behavior. How is this accomplished? Evidence demonstrates that a consistently caring, supportive and protective adult can mitigate the harmful effects of stress in a child’s life that leads to toxic stress, a root cause of bullying, violence, obesity, depression and diseases such as heart, diabetes, and cancer through childhood and beyond.

“Babies and toddlers cannot ‘pull themselves up by the bootie straps’, says Jack Shonkoff, MD, the Director of the Harvard Center on the Developing Child. “We are so captivated in this country by the ‘pull yourself up by the bootstraps’ mentality to just “get over challenges’. Little ones don’t have these skills—they must be taught how to do so in order to develop the brain capacity to do so.”

“No one questions whether or not the pediatric healthcare provider can help with a rash, vomiting, or a fever,” notes co-founder of Raised with Love and Limits Foundation, Jerry L. Wyckoff, Ph.D. “Breaking down barriers to asking behavior-related questions and getting support to know “what to do” when behavior problems arise are the keys to raising a healthier child and adult. Look at the facts— evidence shows us that 80% of a child’s brain is formed before age 3. And research also tells us that a consistently caring, supportive, protective adult is one factor that can promote that brain growth that leads to healthy social and emotional learning, as well as physical health, for life.”

"The behavioral prescriptions offered through Behavior Checker will help parents and their primary care providers manage common behavioral issues in an effective, standardized and systematic way so that parenting strategies don’t become toxic to the child’s brain and body,” says Dr. Lauer, Ph.D, M.D., Associate Professor and Associate Chair, KU Pediatrics.

Parenting is Healthcare TM

“We have responded to changes in how we address children’s health before,” he continues. “Behavior Checker is just that kind of systemic change. Think of mandatory child carseats, encouraging breastfeeding, teaching the risks of smoking and lead in paint, for example. These were never part of pediatric healthcare. We are excited to be on the cutting edge of seamlessly integrating Behavior Checker that will change how we practice pediatric medicine, putting as much emphasis on teaching positive behavior management skills as directing parents to respond to their child’s physical health.”

“As a mother and parent educator, I know that responding to a child’s temperature can be confusing even if you’ve been a parent of another child. Each child and situation is different,” notes co-founder of Raised with Love and Limits Foundation, Barbara C. Unell. “The same can be true for responding to a child’s not going to bed, tantrums, wanting their own way and other normal behaviors. Knowledge in evidence-based decision-making in responding to little ones is a key to reducing the risk of poor heath, behavior and learning in childhood and beyond, new scientific research tells us. It is part of the responsibility for every healthcare provider to protect the well-being and good health of the population they serve.”

These practical, proven Behavior Checker tools have been developed and tested by the co-authors of the best-selling parenting book, Discipline with Love and Limits: Calm, Practical Solutions to the 43 Most Common Childhood Behavior Problems, who are also founders of the Raised with Love and Limits Foundation. For more information, go to

The Raised with Love and Limits Foundation supports the new public health movement of preventing toxic stress in children’s lives to improve their health, learning and behavior by helping parents and caregivers manage children’s common behavioral issues through evidence-based strategies that develop consistent, caring, supportive and protective relationships with children.

"Behavior Checker" and "Parenting is Healthcare" are trademarks of The Raised with Love and Limits Foundation, which also owns all rights to the Behavior Checker program.


The authors and Raised with Love and Limits Foundation disclaim responsibility for any harmful consequences, loss, injury or damage associated with the use and application of information or advice contained in these prescriptions and on this website. These protocols are clinical guidelines that must be used in conjunction with critical thinking and critical judgment.