Parenting...the toughest journey

Parenting is about feeling completely inept and unprepared at least half of the time. We are given these vulnerable little lives and try our best to protect, teach and nurture these little people so that they can grow to become amazing adults. This is the dream of all parents. We all try our best to make it a reality.

What happens when things go wrong? What if our little people grow to do not so amazing things? What if they end up on a wrong road? How do we help them then?  Who do we blame? Ourselves? Their peers? The establishment? The world is quick to blame the parent for their child's transgressions. How can a parent be blamed when we're all just trying to do the best that we can? Parenting doesn't come with a Manual. There is no code book that unlocks the mystery.

A recent situation in my small town has had these questions weighing heavily lately. Young men, just past their teens. A theft. A vendetta. Now, serious criminal charges for some. I think about their parents. I think about the worry, the remorse and shame. Did these parents see what was coming for their sons? Were they afraid? Helpless? Why is it that the world makes us feel as though we should have the answers? That we should always know the " right way" to do it?

Too often, we struggle in the shadows. Too embarrassed to ask for help. Toovulnerable to admit that we're stuck and scared. It's time to take the struggles out of the shadows. It's time to be okay to admit that we don't always have the answers; sometimes we need help and support to figure it out.

My wish for all parents is this:  ask for help when you're feeling stuck or scared. Speak with a counsellor. Call a parent coach. Attend workshops. Wrap yourself in a web of support so that you aren't travelling this journey alone. Do whatever you can to find the help that you need to keep yourself and your children on track.

 

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Karen Patterson

Muskoka Family Works, 55 Main Street West, Huntsville, ON, P1H 1W9