The purpose of this blog is to offer some fundamentals of parenting. I am a parent of three children and a psychotherapist. Parenting is challenging full-time job. I think it’s a position that many of us find daunting and overwhelming at times. Sometimes we feel down right ill-prepared for the job. Frankly, in reality we are much less informed or educated about parenting than most learned roles or tasks in our lives. Most of us assume the role of parent without a clear job description We tend to make it up as we go or create objectives on the fly. In no other circumstance do we function like this. As a student, an athlete, an employee or manager we know the role, exceptions, goals, tasks, implementation, etc. We are suddenly given the awesome responsibility of raising another human being, or several, and are expected to “know how to do it”.
We all have great intentions on being the best parent we can be. We live in a world with so many resources and means of obtaining information but often it leads to information overload. We are paralyzed by the thought of weeding through the information to find what works or applies to us. There are hundreds of excellent books on parenting. I have read many of them and have recommended them to friends and patients. Through research, I find there are many texts full of valuable information but in my clinical practice and personal experience that information is difficult to retain and/or implement.
I am a fan of short-term, goal directed, prescribed programs. I am a sucker for P90X, 30 day ab challenges, 7 day cleanses and the like. I significantly increase my chances of success when someone tells me specifically what do do, eat or think about each day. I’ll propose a task, thought or perspective to focus on for the week. Post it on your bathroom mirror, challenge your friends, put a reminder on your phone. It is a daunting thought, but what you do today absolutely affects your child’s future.