Strong Families, Happy KidsParenting Tips from Prevent Child Abuse Arizona
“I just finished ‘Parent Nation’ by Dr. Dana Suskind. Folks, this is it. It beautifully articulates why we, as a nation, must support parents. If we want to promote child wellbeing and prevent child abuse, we need to support parents. If we want economic prosperity, we need to support parents. If we want a healthy nation, we need to support parents.
The book outlines why and how the U.S. doesn’t have things like paid parental leave and affordable quality childcare, and why that needs to change. In the name of preventing government overreach, we’ve left U.S. parents with nothing but bad options.
One concept in the discussion struck her most: the best thing any parent or caregiver can do to promote the well-being of a child is to be present.
In this case, “present” means that the parents and caregivers can be attentive and connected when they’re with their children.
There’s a parable about a woman who walks by three men working on a building site, each doing the same thing.
The woman asks the first man what he’s doing. “I’m hauling bricks,” he says.
She asks the second man what he’s doing. “I’m building a wall,” he states.
She asks the third man what he’s doing. “I’m building a cathedral,” he answers.
The men are all doing the same action, but their answers show how different they are framing their purpose.
Ever Feel Like You’re Not Doing Enough? Discover Your Most Precious Resource: Where Your Values and Your Passion Meet
It can be easy to feel that no matter what we do, it’s never enough.
If you’re a parent or caregiver who is paying attention, this may feel familiar. There is a lot to care about—a healthy diet, extracurriculars, mental health, social activities, school, homework—and there are a lot of problems to solve.
Creating the Healthy, Resilient Community We All Want: Look for Opportunities to Support Parents, Every Day
Parenting is a difficult job any time of year. During the holiday season—despite all the warm fuzzies we’re feeling—it can be even more so. We’ve started turning on the heat in the house, our children need new coats, and we’re in pursuit of that special holiday gift.
Sometimes, life itself feels pretty urgent. Between school carpools, work, kids’ homework, practices, making dinner (yes, you have to feed the kids every single night), and squeezing in a little time for yourself, the days fly by.
Take a moment to consider your answer to the question, Do you believe, generally speaking, that people are doing the best they can?
Whether your answer is “yes,” or “no,” you likely have strong reasons for your answer. You may believe life is stressful and full of demands and it’s amazing anyone functions at all. Or, you may believe people are willfully inconsiderate or destructive.
Most parents would probably agree that the past year and a half has been tough. The pandemic has added tons of parental stress: we juggled work with kids schooling from home, we maintained a physical distance from our friends and loved ones, and we navigated a completely different set of societal paradigms.
The past year has been tough for parents, especially those with younger children. Between physical distancing, kids schooling from home, and parents working from home, the many competing demands have been intense.
It’s hitting families with children in some unique ways: students are schooling at home part- or full-time, which means working parents have to come up with childcare, shift to working from home (or shift to working from home while children are schooling from home), or possibly even stop working to stay home with their kids.
Choosing Connection Over Perfection: Finding Holiday Cheer When Our ‘Normal’ Plans are Changed or Canceled
For many, planning and having something to look forward to keeps us sane, even when is “normal.” Given the current state of our world, though, many of the holiday traditions we look forward to have already been canceled or changed. So, given our new reality, how do keep up our holiday spirits—and those of our children?
As we enter the final months of this year, we continue to face uncertainty and even more change. One of the best things we can do for ourselves and to support all the families in our community is to create connection.
Building a sense of community is good for everyone. Nothing is more life-affirming than feeling connected.