I hear parents joke all the time about the “missing manual” for parenting.
“How come my child didn’t come with any directions? Where is the manual that teaches me how to work with my children?” Parenthood is ripe with all the fulfillment and richness of life. We experience love, commitment and dedication at levels we never realized were possible. All this richness is why so many of us desire to be parents. But the fulfillment and richness of the journey is laden with trying times as well. It can feel as though we are sent on a road trip with no map, to the most important destination of our lives.
Parenting is a Learned Skill. Many of us assume we will inherently know what to do when we have kids, but, the truth be told, ALL parents struggle to know how to handle situations with their kids. Knowing how to look for services is often a defining factor in parenting skills. Not whether or not you have ever made a mistake, or whether or not you know exactly what to do in every situation. While some wait for the answers to come to them, the wise go looking for answers they seek.
There are resources available for you; rest stops on the “map-less” trip of parenthood. Nearly every community has some sort of Community Education program. Here in Maple Grove a new catalogue comes out each season with a myriad of educational opportunities. Look there for parenting classes or groups. There are many books that can provide guidance for parents. “Parenting with Love and Logic” by Fay and Cline and “Why do they act that Way” by David Walsh are two excellent resources. If you think counseling would be helpful for
you and your family, there are many qualified therapists in the area.
This is far from an exhaustive list, but you can start to see all the tools that are available to help provide direction. Find the rest stops that work for you and you
are much more likely to feel good about who you are as a parent. Blessings on your “map-less” journey.
Kari Lyn S. Wampler, M.A., LMFT (763-255-2125) is a licensed Marriage and Family Therapist at the Calli Institute and offers Family Counseling.