June 16, 2006
Parenting is not a "solo" job
Whether you're single or have a partner, you need people around you and your children who are supportive, affirming, and encouraging. Seeking advice, help and support from others gives you the ideas, encouragement and positive reinforcement you need to be a good parent and care for yourself. Research from Search Institute shows:
Only 45% of middle and high school youth indicated that they have three or more caring adults who they can turn to for advice and support about important questions in life
71 % of parents surveyed say it would really help to have other adults they trust spend time with their kids
Many adults believe they should be supporting young people and want to find ways to do so but
Nearly 3 in 10 parents report NO support from any source other than their spouse or partner
How to build a support team of Adults:
Strengthen your partner relationship - Reguarlarly set aside time to strenghten your relationship with your spouse or parenting partner. Be sure to check in every day, get away for a meal and conversation and take overnight retreats. And above all, continually encourage each other.
Build relationships in the neighborhood - Take advntage of or create opportunities to get to know your neighbors, such as block parties, invite them over to dinner and help them to become a friend to both you and your children. Plan or participate in events in ways that include and connect all generations.
Connect with other parents - Get to know other parents with children the same ages as your children. Share your expectations and struggles, brainstorm solutions and in general just be there for each other. Join Parent Corps by contacting email@example.com to form Parent Peer Groups or Neighborhood Networking Groups.
Stay involved during stressful times- Stay connected and involved with supportive people and places for your family-particularly during times of stress and transition. This may include extended family, a faith community, a social network, a service organization or other important people and places.
Parents with multiple sources of support are more likely to be better equipt to handle the challenges of parenting.
For more information about Parenting Matters go to http://www.mvparents.com
Posted by Pat Giuliani at June 16, 2006 10:53 AM