Parenting Pitfalls: Navigating the Inevitable
We are quite certain no one ever said being a parent would be easy. It is all a guessing game in many ways. Many of us have ideas of what we think we will do and won’t do but as soon as a little one enters the picture, much of those visions are open to interpretation.
At Work & Play, we recognize the fluidity of parenting - and honestly, that is what we love the most. We have built our careers and business on supporting children and parents as they move from one developmental stage to the next. The work is not always pretty but it is exciting, ever-changing and offers many moments of joy.
As parents, we are thrust into the day-to-day work of raising young children while juggling responsibilities, commitments, personal goals and relationships. There are plenty of parenting pitfalls that you will encounter along the way. Whether navigating potty training, managing a finicky eater, battling bedtime routines, curtailing tantrums, soothing sensory overload, working through separation worries....we have been there.
In all we have seen as parents ourselves and situations we have worked through as teachers, we have some key points to remember that truly help when you’re facing day-to-day parenting:
Decide on rules that work for your family.
Rules get a bad rap sometimes. Of course, children will undoubtedly test them and break them. Parents will surely bend them and ignore them. At a certain point, what rules you decide on doesn’t really matter. It’s that you have thoughtfully created them to reflect YOUR families’ needs and values while trying your best to be consistent in upholding them.
Find your NO.
Ah...such a small word with SO much drama attached to it. “No” is not a word many children like to hear (although they do like to SAY it!) When facing your own parenting pitfalls, finding your “no” and deploying it as needed can be a game-changer. When your child is pushing the limits, making unreasonable demands or refusing to cooperate with the family rules, use your “NO” when it’s appropriate.
Work your way to ‘in the middle” parenting.
At Work & Play, we are here for “in the middle” parenting. What does that mean? Parenting decisions will run the gamut from strict too lenient in any given moment but, at the end of each day, striving to land back “in the middle” is key. The middle gives room to move, to reflect and to make decisions that work for your family. Because parenting is a living, breathing, changing animal all it’s own, it’s vitally important to be nimble, flexible and resilient.
Trust your gut.
There is not one of us who has all the answers - and that is because there are no clear, fast answers. Every situation, family and child requires its own set of answers. Whether you feel like parenting comes naturally or is a struggle, trust your inner voice. Sense that something is “off” with your child? Take a closer look. Feeling like you are at your wit’s end? Give yourself space to recharge. Have a question that seems too ridiculous to ask a pediatrician, teacher or friend? Take a deep breath and find a way to do it. Trust your gut as a parent.
Find your village.
Connection is key - even for parents. Parenting was never meant to be done in isolation. Find your village that you can lean on, commiserate with and garner some courage from as you navigate parenting. Consider who will keep you grounded, who helps you move forward & who will support you to find time to recharge and reflect.
Whether parenting toddlers or teenagers, parenting is no small job. At Work & Play, we are here to offer support, ideas and guidance. We support families on an individual basis to keep things on track, help create routines, foster joy and connection and problem solve in-the-moment based on each family’s unique needs. Reach out to us anytime. We’d love to get to know you and your family!
Emily Boucher & Amy Mockbee