Hospitalization and surgery are stressful experiences for children and their parents. In recent years, pediatric health care has shifted toward family-centered care that is based on close and continuous involvement of the child's family members. To shape and improve how pediatric care is delivered, health care providers need to know what children and parents need, expect, and experience. Such knowledge would enable the development of appropriate, systematic, and effective routines to optimize care for all children. Parental participation is beneficial to children, parents, and health care facilities, but it is dependent on the existence of effective routines to facilitate adequate communication among all parties.