“Is anyone in there?” Welcome to Parenting 101.
In many ways the mindset and start of the learning curve of parenting actually begins before the birth of a first child. I say this because by the time most couples decide to become parents they have already thought about how they want to parent and raise their child long before the due date. (Of course, if the first pregnancy was totally unplanned and a surprise, that’s anther matter altogether!) If we do it correctly, our parenting continues for the rest of our natural lives. (And you thought just launching them out the door of life was enough!) Parenting can be hard and sometimes excruciating work. It can also, thank goodness, be the most rewarding, enriching and most beautiful experience of our entire lives.
Nearly everyone wants to be good at parenting, yet we come to the job with no expertise and usually with very little training. So given the high expectations of society and how difficult parenting can be, how do we become good parents? By following our good, natural instincts, by accessing resources as needed and by learning and sharing from one another and scooping support wherever we find it.
This, in a nutshell, is what this section called Parenting 101 is all about! And why are we talking about parenting and parenting skills on a site named YouthWorkersToolbox.com? Because parents are youth workers too! We just never think of them as such.
Parenting is not a perfect profession!
Shock, I know! Parenting is a trial and error and learn as you go process that involves perseverance, patience, determination and skills, all of which are mixed into buckets of love and perhaps equal measures of luck. One thing’s for certain, the articles and resources you’ll find here are not intended for the cookie-cutter, perfect parent, even if there was such a thing! Parenting 101 is designed for real parents dealing with the real everyday challenges of raising children, overseeing teens, Protecting Children Online and getting them out the door intact and equipped to live their own lives.
Let’s get one thing out-of-the-way right now. Though we know that the education level of parents and their household income can play a role in how well their children thrive and succeed overall within society, it takes more than just these factors. I have worked with troubled teens whose parents belong to the local country club and who earn salaries well into six figures. And I have had the joy and privilege of working with families living at or below the poverty line, who struggled constantly with seemingly unbearable hardships or serious illness, and yet from whose households grace and love flowed in abundance. Within these homes lived children who not only thrived in school but who also became leaders and standouts within their communities and beyond.
Getting right into it!
There are many good parenting resources out there already, (See my list that I refer parents to all the time.) so we’re not attempting to duplicate those valuable resources here. What you will find in Parenting 101 though is inspiration, encouragement and some hefty doses of humor for the journey of parenting in ways that matter to the heart and soul. So let’s get started.
No, you cannot sell your children today!