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Growing Your Parenting Toolbox

Let’s be honest: Most of us don’t waltz into parenthood knowing what we’re doing. We seek guidance from family, peers, and pediatricians, but even then, parenting is still often a learn-as-you-go process, which is why we make mistakes and fall into parenting traps.

The good news is that when it comes to parenting there is always room to expand your “toolbox” and learn new coping skills for handling the stressors that come with parenthood.

How Are You Coping?

As a parent, we often get asked about how the kids are doing. It’s not as common for the parent to genuinely get asked about their emotional health—and even if you are asked, would you be able to answer honestly?

One of the first steps in improving your parenting skills is recognizing the areas where you are struggling. Are you:

  • Easily frustrated by your child’s behavior?
  • Sometimes embarrassed by your own behavior or that of your child’s?
  • Losing your temper easily?
  • Responding to your child with criticism or yelling?
  • Feeling hopeless or out of control?

Parenting is demanding work. It is important to take breaks and take care of yourself – “fill your cup” so you can again give to your family. Call a friend, get some exercise, do something you enjoy – do something that will give you some perspective.

If you are feeling overwhelmed or depressed for more than a couple of weeks, it may be time to seek support.

Be The Expert:

The next step in growing your parenting toolbox is to find the support you need. You are the expert when it comes to your own child and family. However, when you have concerns, you can learn from a professional who has expert knowledge about a child’s development and coping with the stressors of parenting. Whether you need support for you or your child, there are local resources available.

For a list of resources and to read the full article, visit lanekids.org.

This article is brought to you by Parenting Now Parenting Educators and authors Amanda Bedortha, Claire Davis and Lynne Swartz and consultant Jay Thompson (andupdatemywebsite.com).  Parenting Now is passionate about happy, healthy families. For more information about Parenting Now please visit their website (https://parentingnow.org/) or contact us at info@parentingnow.org.

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