Strong Families, Happy Kids: Parenting Tips from Prevent Child Abuse Arizona

Contributed by Claire Louge, Executive Director, Prevent Child Abuse Arizona

It’s spring, which means the Prescott area is once again painted with all the rainbow colors, thanks to the blooming of so many wildflowers. Part of what makes this season unique is that the flowers have spent the winter dormant. They’ve been resting.

What if we could take a note from nature and permit ourselves to rest, too? We need to free ourselves from the tyranny of productivity, especially as the weather warms up and many activities resume.

My dear friend Emma, who works as an elementary school teacher in Detroit and lives her life with exemplary reflectiveness, shared a quote with me years ago that continues to resonate with me:

“Be patient with yourself. Nothing in nature blooms all year.”

The internet doesn’t seem to know who said this first, but I think it could be attributed to our exhausted collective consciousness. How often when you’re asked, “How are things with you?” do you answer, “Busy”?

Try as we might to overcome the limitations of our nature, human beings are still part of the natural world. We, too, need a break occasionally. We, too, aren’t supposed to be constantly blooming.

I’ve written about the need for self-care and the endurance required to be a parent working to meet your family’s needs. Like every vital idea, the subject of self-care merits revisiting, so in case you would benefit from a reminder:

The world can be ridiculous, grating, and devastating. It would be best if you had time to recover from being in the arenas you launch yourself into every day and the pain you expose yourself to.

Raising children is a purpose more significant than any of our individual lives. The only way you can thrive, long-term (and therefore give your best to your family), is if you provide yourself with grace and accept it from others if you take the time to enjoy the things you have and reflect on what is meaningful to you. You are better for yourself, your work, and the world when you can do that.

You are part of nature, too. You can keep on going only if you stop blooming occasionally. I hope you get some time to expect less from yourself this season.

Editor’s Note: look for the Strong Families, Happy Kids column in every issue of Prescott Woman Magazine. It’s designed to support parents with actionable tips and strategies they can use to create optimal environments for their children to thrive. To learn more about Prevent Child Abuse Arizona’s mission and resources, visit