The reality of life is that every situation is different. In some families, both parents work, while their children attend daycare. In other households, one parent stays home with the children. We all know parents who would love to stay at home with their children, but can't due to work or school obligations. All of these situations are normal, and all the children in these homes have an equal chance of having successful outcomes. Recognizing this is one way to change your perspective about what being a "good parent" means. It's also important to remember some of the following basic elements of good parenting:
Meet Your Child's Basic NeedsDoes your child have clothes, food, shelter, and a safe place? If these are things you are struggling to provide for your children, you can dial 2-1-1 and ask for help with these resources.
Spend Quality Time With Your KidsThis is more than daily interactions such as helping children get ready for the day or for bed. Our child development specialist recommends spending 10-15 minutes a day (or at least a few days a week!) engaged in an activity of your child's choice. This helps them to know and feel that you are interested in what they are doing, and they will feel more secure in their attachment to you.
Let Children Know That They Are LovedTake opportunities to tell your child you love them and let them know you are happy with their accomplishments. Simple comments such as "I like your drawing!" or "Thanks for being such great helper!" go a long way in helping kids feel loved.
Provide Stable BoundariesChildren need discipline to feel safe. They need to know what the limits are, and need consistency as much as can be managed. For example, while you might let bedtime get pushed back 15 minutes on a crazy day, children need to know that they are never allowed to run in the street, or play with fire.
Be Aware of Developmental MilestonesDo you know which milestones your child should be reaching? If not, ask your friendly Help Me Grow care coordinator! We offer free free developmental screenings and child development information and are happy to help in any way.
Take Care of YourselfIf you don't take care of yourself, you are more likely to burn out and won't be able to give your kids the time and attention they need!
Guilt-free parenting starts with YOU. As a parent, only you have all of the facts about your family situation. Only you know what is best for your child. Don't be afraid to use your resources and the supports around you. At Help Me Grow we are committed to helping you find the answers and information you need to help you take the guilt out of parenting! How can we help YOU?