When I talk with parents who seek help to address the challenges they face raising their children - whether or not they have a developmental challenge or disability - parents across every culture and socioeconomic group all want the same thing: to know that their children will be okay. We are essentially parenting children, but we're raising ADULTS. Not just any adults! Adults who used to be our children! These little people matter to us more than we can say and so it's completely understandable that we struggle to make sense of the chaotic feelings of distress, worry, and self-doubt.
It's not always possible for every parent to rely on the parenting they received as children in order to make choices in how they parent their children today. And even if they received exemplary parenting - felt truly loved and connected to their caregivers - there are so many other factors and technological developments in the world today that feel strange and unfamiliar and we don't feel equipped with the tools to manage them all.
When we feel overwhelmed it's really important to come back to "what we really want" - that our children will be "okay" (likely you're wanting better than just "okay", but, sometimes "okay" is good enough to hope for!). At times like this, it's important to learn to "stay calm" (see yesterday's post for more on this!) and take the next right step. What might that be? For some parents that might be taking time to meditate, journal, reflect, go for a walk. For others it might be re-reading those most excellent books on parenting (recommendations for those in upcoming posts!). For still others, it might be enrolling in a parenting workshop or working with a therapist to try to make sense of the best way forward for you and your children. We're all unique and how we resolve this most important challenge will be unique as well.
So, stay calm and take the next right step for YOU!