Thursday, May 11, 2023
In this blog post, we will discuss some of the most common challenges that parents face when raising children. Whether this is your first child or your fourth, there will always be something new about your experience. Since each child is a unique individual with different personalities and needs, they will each bring us as the parent something new to look at and learn about ourselves. Below are some of the most common issues parents feel are challenging. If you have others, please get in touch with me and let me know or fill out THIS SURVEY to share your voice.
1. Lack of sleep
One of the biggest challenges that new parents face is the lack of sleep. Babies wake up frequently during the night to feed, and it can take a toll on parents' physical and mental health. Sleep deprivation can make it difficult to function during the day and can even lead to depression and anxiety. As children grow, so can our anxieties ... now that we know they will survive the night, we begin to worry about everything else. Here's a SHORT VIDEO with 3 hacks for when we feel like we haven't gotten enough sleep and still need to show up for ourselves and our children.
2. Disciplining children
Another challenge that parents face is disciplining their children. It can be difficult to find the right balance between being too strict and being too lenient. Parents want to set boundaries for their children, but they also want to encourage independence and self-expression. There have been many names for this more balanced way of parenting and one of them is Breakthrough Parenting. As a certified Breakthrough Parenting instructor (I will have an online version of the course out soon) I have taught hundreds of parents the foundational principles for having a more balanced approach to parenting where we raise responsible children with connection and cooperation instead of with conflict and struggle. Here are a couple links to short videos about punishment and rewards as DISCIPLINE and an old intro video about BREAKTHROUGH PARENTING to give you an overview of that course.
3. Balancing work and family life
Many parents struggle with finding the right balance between work and family life. It can be challenging to manage a career and take care of children at the same time. Parents may feel guilty for not spending enough time with their children or for not performing well at work. We also know that not taking time for yourself will keep you from truly showing up in all areas of your life. Personally, I have found this to be one of my biggest challenges. To do well in any area of our lives we have to make sure we are taking good care of ourselves. Here's a short VIDEO on why it is so important to take care of ourselves so we can take care of business and we can take care of others.
4. Dealing with picky eaters
Parents also face the challenge of dealing with picky eaters. Children can be fussy about what they eat, and it can be difficult for them to try new foods. This can make meal times stressful and can lead to nutritional deficiencies. When it comes to "picky eating" I want us to separate true aversion to certain tastes and textures (please consult an occupational therapist about these true food issues ASAP) and when we are trying to get our children to eat something and they will not. Again, if your child truly is struggling with certain textures or tastes as a sensory experience, then consult your pediatrician and get a referral to an occupational therapist who can help you and your child understand what is going on and will find ways to help. If this is about GETTING YOUR CHILD TO EAT, then please watch the linked video and think about if they are really "picky" or if there's something else going on here ...
5. Managing screen time
In today's digital age, managing screen time is a challenge for many parents. Children are exposed to screens from a young age, and it can be difficult to limit their usage. Parents want to ensure that their children are not spending too much time in front of screens and are engaging in other activities. There is a lot of conflicting evidence about how much is too much. What we can all agree with is that children are missing out on a lot of play and outdoor time when they are on their screens - no matter for how long. Creativity, imagination, physical health, can all be adversely effected by time on screens. Instead of heading straight into the screen time debate, I'd rather we think about how we set RULES, EXPECTATIONS, AND BOUNDARIES around anything we are helping our children learn how to navigate.
6. Dealing with tantrums
Tantrums are a common occurrence in young children, and they can be challenging for parents to deal with. Children may throw tantrums when they don't get what they want or when they are tired or hungry. Parents need to find effective ways to calm their children and diffuse the situation. Remember, tantrums can happen at any age. I have seen 30 year olds throwing huge tantrums. This is not just about little kids, this is about the ability to regulate our emotions. We do not learn this on our own, we learn how to do this from our parents. Here is a video about 2 KINDS OF TANTRUMS and how to handle each of them. Then think about how you are able to REGULATE YOUR OWN EMOTIONS and what you are teaching your children by them watching you.
7. Helping children with their homework
As children get older, parents may face the challenge of helping them with their homework. The curriculum can be more challenging, and parents may struggle to understand the material themselves. This can be particularly difficult for parents who work full-time or who have multiple children. Here are some of my old THOUGHTS ABOUT HOMEWORK, since the pandemic and children having to learn in different ways some of my thoughts may have changed, but this is a good place to start.
In conclusion, parenting is a challenging but rewarding experience. From lack of sleep to disciplining children, parents face a variety of challenges when raising their children. By finding effective ways to manage these challenges, parents can ensure that their children grow up to be happy, healthy, and well-adjusted adults. I'm here to help you along the journey ...
Presence in Parenting®
I want this parenting blog to be a valuable resource for parents seeking information and support. It should provide a platform for parents to connect with others and share their experiences, while also providing access to expert advice and resources on a wide range of parenting topics. If you have any ideas for future topics that you have questions about, let me know!
In no way are any of these articles to be considered clinical advice or part of therapy. If you are looking for those services, please contact me for a referral.
Learn the steps necessary to change your triggered emotional reactions into a consciously chosen calm response.
Check out the recorded replay of The Calm Response workshop held in April of 2023.