Parenting is a committment most people aren’t really prepared for but that doesn’t mean parents don’t have any idea of how to raise a child. Natural instinct is a wonderful thing; relatives and friends form part of the parenting equation but I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: parenting is something you grow into. Each child is different and believe it or not, being a parent to your first child becomes a team effort in a lot of ways between you and the child.
Now, what about the other end of the spectrum. Is parenting help available when you are at your wits end with a child who who has stretched you to the “end of your tether?” You’re a first time parent so you have never dealt with this issue before. Where do you go for parenting help? Apart from picking up the phone to ask the in-laws which many people seem relunctant to do; maybe it’s got something to do with the old chestnut…”I told you so…” go figure. Let’s examine what’s available in the parenting help category.
For starters, let’s examine what the problem might be. In most cases, it’s just a matter of taking a little time out for yourself. Hey let’s face it, spending a couple of hours on your own doesn’t constitute being a bad parent. Not finding a release for your stress levels isn’t going to do anyone any good. So who is going to babysit junior?
There are several suggestions to consider if either your parents or in-laws aren’t available. For pre-schoolers, daycare is a great option. Yes, it is expensive in most countries but we are talking a few hours a week. In my case, two three hour sessions a week for our child was more than enough time out plus the benefit of interaction he got with other children couldn’t have been measured in dollars and cents.
Have you ever considered checking out your local community programs? This could be church-based programs or child-oriented programs where activities are organised for kids on a weekly basis. It’s usually a cheap way to not only get some much needed respite for yourself but again, your child will be mingling with other like-minded “rug rats” while you can sit back for a few hours, chill out with other parents, and swap notes. If you have been feeling a little over-whelmed, then by meeting other parents you’ll soon realise you are not alone.
What about if it’s just information you require? A problem has occurred and requires you disciplining the child. Hey I hear you… this stuff wasn’t taught at “child raising finishing school” but like I said, parenting is something we grow into especially with number one.
I found for immediate assistance that a quick search online or the telephone book ( do they still produce telephone books? ) for local parenting groups often worked most times. If you don’t locate a parenting group then try the local hospital. Either someone there will be able to assist you or they’ll point you in the right direction. And speaking of parenting groups, if you’ve got the time, and at this point you would certainly have the inclination, why not join one and “give it a test drive.”
Books and magazines are a useful set of resources for parenting help but don’t rely too heavily on the information available. You need to decipher the good from the bad and it’s a good idea to always double-check information that takes your fancy.
The message I hope you get reading this article is there is always parenting help available in all shapes and forms but don’t feel alone. Raising a child is a wonderful experience but the waters aren’t always calm.
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