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.
Some of the best ways to support, protect, and nurture parents is to give them trust: to assume they want to do their best and are trying their best, in their given circumstance (not just now, in the most trying of times, but always), and provide them with the tools and information they need to be the parents they want to be.
Prevent Child Abuse Arizona, in partnership with Arizona Children’s Association, has been offering Parent Huddles, open Q&A/support group events, and a particular theme has emerged, according to Meghan Davis, Prevent Child Abuse Arizona’s Program and Training Director: parents want a better understanding of development (and how certain behaviors tie in with development), and they want social connection.
During the Parent Huddles, Meghan said, she’s “always impressed with the collective vulnerability and support that comes up.”
Vulnerability, she said, fuels connection.
“It says, ‘I’m here, I’m not perfect, this is me.’ And in return, we get a response like, ‘Oh, I see you there, I accept you as you are, and I want you here,’” Meghan said.
Society has placed so much weight on being self-sufficient and not asking for help. This has made it difficult for parents to come to each other with questions.
Parents aren’t wired to raise their children in isolation. Yet, many of them are, especially during this pandemic.
Being vulnerable—asking for advice or sharing stories of similar experiences—fosters the connection that makes parents feel supported, and like they can ask questions and seek help.
This is possible only in an environment where we trust one another; where we believe we’re all doing our best.
That’s what the Parent Huddles are all about. Themes typically include development, behavior, parenting stress/resilience, resources, discipline, and tantrums. The Parent Huddles are offered virtually, twice per quarter, and people can learn more and sign up for them at pcaaz.org/parent-huddle.
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 www.pcaaz.org